COVID-19 Resources
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COVID-19 Resources

At Girl Scouts, our motto is “be prepared" and there is nothing we take or prepare for more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, members, and staff. With the rapidly changing situation of COVID-19 (aka the coronavirus), USAGSO wants to provide you with as much support and information as possible. This page will be updated as often as needed and we hope it will provide you with helpful resources to continue your experience with Girl Scouts through a very uncertain time. 

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Girl Scouts at Home!

Stay connected to Girl Scouts across the nation and around the world!

Bring the exploration, fun and learning of Girl Scouts to your family even when circumstances are keeping Girl Scouts from meeting up in person. Afterall, Girl Scouts isn’t somewhere girls go or something they do—it’s who they are day in, day out. Use the self-guided, free activities to keep your girl, your troop, and your community connected in the safe, online environment of Girl Scouts at Home.

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COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community. Please take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, volunteers, and families.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change as infection rates rise and fall in different areas. There may be regional differences or developments since this guidance was published. Continue to follow local and Center for Disease Control directives. Please have open conversations and discuss return to troop plans with families. 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. 

Communication from USAGSO

In this section, we will add all of the links to communication we have shared with our members in one space. Please note, the situation changes so often, that information may become outdated very quickly. 

  1. Guidance to Volunteers on Restarting Girl Scouts (update June 11)
  2. Guidance to OCMTs in Affected Communities  (sent on February 3)
  3. Updated Information for our Members & Volunteers (sent on March 17)
  4. Information on USAGSO Resident Summer Camps  (updated on April 21)
  5. Recommendations on the use of Troop & Community Funds
  6. Update: Highest Awards & COVID-19
  7. Advice for Virtual Troop Meetings (from Safety Activity Checklist)
Resources & Information for our Volunteers
Helpful Resources for Virtual Girl Scouting

To help our volunteers and members continue on their Girl Scout Leadership Experience, USAGSO has developed the following programs or are sharing already existing platforms with you. 

Activitiy Ideas:

  1. Connect with Girl Scouts around the world through the brand-new Girl Scouts at Home opportunity.
  2. Our Global Facilitators put together this great resource with ideas on to "do" Girl Scouts virtually-- since this is a working document, they will continue to add ideas to the list. This document includes a number of resources to help our members. Please note, USAGSO does not officially endorse any non-Girl Scout platform.
  3. Take advantage of virtual Community Patch Programs developed by other USAGSO communities!
  4. We have challenges you and your Girl Scout can do together-- and she can earn a patch.

Resources:

  1. A great resource for parents and troop leaders is: Keep Girl Scouts Going
  2. Hold virtual meeting ideas/platforms – we do not have any official platform recommendations, but do hear that people have had success with Google Hangout and Zoom (both have free versions).
  3. If you now are working 1:1 with your Girl Scout, we do have a Juliette Guidebook that can give you some additional ideas.  
  4. The Volunteer Toolkit is a great resource as you are able to follow meeting plans developed by your daughter's Troop Leader. Here is a link to the VTK Guidebook to help you get started.
  5. If you are a volunteer-- please join our Volunteer Facebook page to connect with fellow USAGSO volunteers.
  6. Use the resources on our Raising Awesome Girls site with girls who may have questions or concerns about coronavirus.
  7. If you have questions on how to use community or troop funds during a shutdown, please read this reference document for all of the dos and donts.
Guidance: A Case of COVID-19 in your Community

With an overabundance of caution, we have setup a process to help you if someone in your overseas community tests positive for COVID-19 and had in-person involvement at a Girl Scout event or meeting within the last month. If this happens in your community, we request that Troop Leaders (and/or other volunteers) reach out to their Overseas Committee Chair. The Overseas Committee Chair will then need to complete this form. A USAGSO staff person will collect relevant event details and work with your local community, command, or other authorities to implement contact tracing steps.

Guidance for Every Girl Scout

We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of coronavirus in our community. In the spirit of the Girl Scout promise and law, we ask every member of our movement to do their part:  

  • If your school is closed, we ask that you do not hold Girl Scout meetings or participate in any Girl Scout event with a group of people. Please follow your local authority-- if you are not supposed to gather in groups, please do not hold a meeting, event, or any other group activity. 
  • Follow CDC hygiene best practices that include regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, and covering your cough or sneeze. We recommend singing "Make New Friends (but Keep the Old)" twice while washing your hands!
  • Use non-contact forms of greeting instead of physical contact such as shaking hands.
  • Keep at least 3 feet of distance between individuals at meetings and events whenever possible.
  • Do not attend Girl Scout or other public events if you are ill or believe you have been exposed to a contagious disease like coronavirus.
  • Use the resources on our Raising Awesome Girls site with girls who may have questions or concerns about coronavirus.
Stay Informed

To be a resource to our members, we are providing links to relevant health authorities check the CDC and your local country health department’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Temporary or Permanent Relocation
Information for Temporary Relocation

On February 27, on USAGSO's behalf, GSUSA leadership reached out to all council CEOs requesting that they welcome overseas Girl Scouts who were suddenly displaced due to temporary, sudden evacuations because of COVID-19. Those councils showed us that our sisterhood is strong by welcoming girls and their families to council events. 

Here is the message that sent to the council CEOs on behalf of USAGSO:

We want to support these girls during what may be a stressful time for them and their families and helping them to continue their participation in Girl Scouts is one way we can do this. We are grateful to Girl Scouts of Nation’s Capital for welcoming several USAGSO members already, as many State Department families landed in the Washington, D.C., area. If you know of any Girl Scouts who have relocated to your council’s area, we encourage your council to invite these members to council or service unit events. This will give them some sense of consistency and keep them engaged with our mission during the time they’re evacuated. As our recent celebrations of World Thinking Day remind us, our sisterhood is global, and this could also provide a wonderful learning opportunity for all our members.

If you are temporarily in a new location, but plan to return to your original overseas community, please contact USAGSO. We are happy to help you connect with a stateside council (or other overseas community) as you wait to return home.

Information for Permanent Moves

If you have had to relocate due to COVID-19, please let us know! Fill out the forms in the links below and we will help you transition to your new location.

1. Moving Overseas?

The information in this section is for members who are Girl Scout members in the United States and have recently moved overseas.

First of all, welcome to USA Girl Scouts Overseas! We will need to transfer your Girl Scout account to USAGSO. To ensure your overseas transition is a smooth one, please complete the form provided through this link

2. Moving to the United States?

Are you moving back to the U.S.? We are sad to see you go, but happy that you plan to continue with Girl Scouts!

Through the new membership system, we will need to transfer your records to your new council. Please complete the form provided through this link, and we will contact your new council to help you continue your Girl Scout adventure! 

3. Information for Current Members: Moving to Another Country?

Are you a current member of USA Girl Scouts Overseas and moving to a new country? If so, then you just need to contact our customer care team and we will move you to your new overseas community. It's just that easy!

Effects to Cookie Program

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. 

While the safety, health, and wellbeing of our girls and volunteers is and must be our first priority, we recognize that the suspension of Girl Scout Cookie Program Booths create other challenges. Of particular concern for troops, parents, Overseas Committees, and other volunteers is the fact that they will face excess inventory of cookies they were planning to sell during upcoming booth sales.  Please know that GSUSA will actively work in partnership with USAGSO and Little Brownie Bakers to determine how to best manage inventory impacted by this suspension so that it does not become a financial burden to our girls, parents, Overseas Committees, or other volunteers.  

We now have a solution to those unsold cookies, please check out our brand new Cookie Care page for more information on how we plan to help you with those cookies.

Bridging at a Distance: Ceremony Ideas

Bridging is the progression from one level of Girl Scouting to another for girls in 1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades. Troops & individuals families can celebrate this milestone in a variety of ways, even if they can’t meet in person.

Check out this Bridging at a Distance Guide full of fun tips for girls, families, and troops to celebrate this milestone.

And we are excited to bring you-- USA Girl Scouts Overseas' Virtual Bridging Ceremony video! You can watch and celebrate with your family at home or host a virtual watch party on your own schedule with family afar or other Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts: National Service Project

Girl Scouts have always stepped up in times of need and our current COVID-19 crisis is no different. We are proud of all that our volunteers, troops, staff, and girls have done so far to support our community—and the world—during COVID-19. We are also proud to be a part of the larger Girl Scout Movement, which is serving our country and our world. Now, we are proud to share resources to engage in a Movement-wide letter writing campaign to support those in our community who need us most.

The idea is simple: Girls write letters to people in nursing homes, senior residences, and assisted living facilities, including the dedicated and heroic staff who are caring for them. This long-distance hug is a way to share your good thoughts with these vulnerable and loved community members.

Please visit www.girlscouts.org/serviceprojects for instructions on how to write and send letters, including a sample letter to include when you send your letters to a facility.

Share your story of letter writing with the greater Girl Scouts Movement by sharing on social media with #GirlScoutsGiveBack.

Don't forget to visit our Girl Scouts Give Back page and log the number of letters you send to add them to the national campaign. Let’s see how many letters of love and care our movement can send!

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