Dear Girl Scout Volunteers and Parents,
Our chief priority is the health and safety of Girl Scouts living overseas, including families, girls, volunteers, and our staff. As you know, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted many of our overseas locations and information is changing constantly, sometimes by the hour. On February 3, we shared this guidance with our members and Overseas Committees. In it, we shared our recommendations on how to handle this unexpected health situation. As the virus has spread, we want to follow up with more information and guidance. This is the very definition of an unplanned crisis, and while there remains a great deal of uncertainty about the virus itself, what is abundantly clear is that it has never been more important for us to take bold and decisive action.
Based on The World Health Organization and The Centers for Disease Control guidance, and bearing in mind official guidance around social distancing, we are recommending that volunteers suspend all large in-person events, consistent with similar bans on large gatherings in many locations. We encourage volunteers and caregivers to use their best judgement when determining all events and activities, and to follow all health and safety guidance from your local authority and other official sources. However, if your school is closed because of COVID-19, we ask that you do not hold any in person Girl Scout events or meetings. Please always follow the requirements from your local host country and the authorities within your community. If you are a member of a cookie-selling community, please follow the advice of local authorities, including base command and embassy officials. Due to the likelihood of interaction with large numbers of the public, we recommend suspending Girl Scout Cookie Booths. Digital Cookie orders can continue shipping without interruption for the time being. If this means that there will be excessive cookies, USAGSO will work with GSUSA to determine a process to ensure it does not cause a financial burden for your overseas community.
Additionally, we have developed a web page to provide you with information, support, and guidance on how to continue your daughter’s Girl Scout experience “virtually” while facing social distancing and quarantine. This page will be continually updated with information and resources to help you and your Girl Scout. We will post information on social media, but if you have questions and don’t see them, please visit this page. Our staff and Global Facilitators have been developing virtual program ideas and we will add them to this page once they are finished.
While this is an incredibly challenging time, please know that we will find ways to continue to stay connected, participate, and contribute, as we do the right thing for our community and the world. We will be Girl Scouts and we will help and lead. We appreciate your partnership, support, and membership in the Movement. Please contact us with any questions.
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Your USA Girl Scouts Overseas Team