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In response to recent inquiries regarding in person troop and area team meetings, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona is sharing interim COVID-19 Guidance for Volunteers that wish to return to in person troop meetings and activities. Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona may modify this guidance at any time as circumstances may change within our communities.  If you choose to have in person meetings, you must adhere to the provided guidance along with a signed and submitted COVID-19 waiver for each attendee (found under the Three Phase's). 

The Council is currently in PHASE ONE and has made a few changes to the prevention and preparedness guidelines under this phase.

Phase One: Small Groups & Gatherings

As of March 12, 2021, gatherings up to 20 may be held when the space is appropriate, and precautions are met:

Outdoor space is the best. If indoors, there is appropriate space and ventilation/airflow (e.g., windows and doors open) relative to the group size.

  • Note, some spaces are not suitable for even the smallest groups when the area is too small to allow for adequate spacing, there is a lack of ventilation, or non-group members are too close.

All other protocols must be rigorously followed.

Troop Meeting Space. Using outdoor spaces with social distancing is strongly recommended. Meetings may not be held in fitness centers or gyms, where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist. Schools or churches may not allow outside groups on-premises, so always check and confirm ahead of time. Council facilities may begin to accommodate socially distanced gatherings on a case-by-case basis. 

Troop Meetings in the home. In-home meetings are not recommended out of concern that there would be a greater risk of exposure to other family members. If meeting indoors, ensure that there is appropriate space and ventilation/airflow relative to the group size.

Troop Meeting Size. The recommended maximum is 10-20 people (with the proper girl to volunteer ratio).

Transportation. Public transportation is not allowed to ensure social distancing. Individual parents drop-off and pick-up their own girls from meetings/activities as much as possible.

As of March 15th, carpooling is permitted with appropriate precautions:

  • Make sure parents are aware ahead of time if girls will be in a car together.
  • Always conduct the Council’s pre-screening process for all participants.
  • Girls and adults wear CDC-approved masks
  • Keep the car window opened, at least partially, to circulate fresh air.
  • Consider every participant and their family’s health situation and comfortability before deciding to carpool. Make other accommodations with families who have increased health risks and concerns for their household.
    • Sustained contact within less than six (6) feet for longer than ten (10) minutes within an enclosed area creates a high risk for virus transmission, so be very careful with carpool decisions.
  • Adults should meet the girls at a designated location where parents can drive up and drop-off/pick-up their Girl Scout. This ensures that larger groups are not gathering to wait for troop participants. 

Virtual Meetings. GSUSA recommends maintaining a virtual to in-person meeting ratio of at least 20/80, which means holding virtual troop meetings at least 20% of the time to keep tech skills and virtual meeting habits fresh. Use the Safety Activity Checkpoints for Virtual Meetings, to guide your meeting plans.

Day Trips and Activities. In conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints, follow the guidance for Troop Meetings and hygiene and COVID-19 risk mitigation guidance. Call ahead to the facility or vendor to confirm that they are following CDC and state health department guidelines.

Phase Two: Moderate Groups & Gatherings

Gatherings up to 50 may start to open following local guidelines. Council facilities may begin to accommodate small, socially distanced groups on a case-by-case basis. 

Troop Meeting Space. Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings. Get advance permission from the property owner or the jurisdiction that provides the location.

Large gatherings - up to 50. Remind volunteers to allow for proper girl-to-adult ratios. It is strongly recommended to meet outdoors and only when social distancing can be maintained

Transportation. Carpooling may resume as necessary. Even then, girls and adults should wear masks and keep the car windows open, at least slightly. Remember sustained contact within less than six feet for longer than ten minutes creates a higher risk for virus transmission.

Virtual meetings. GSUSA recommends maintaining a virtual to in-person meeting ratio of at least 20/80, which means holding virtual troop meetings at least 20% of the time to keep tech skills and virtual meeting habits fresh. Use the Safety Activity Checkpoints for Virtual Meetings, to guide your meeting plans.

Day trips and activities. In conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints, follow the guidance for Troop Meetings and hygiene and COVID-19 risk mitigation guidance. Call ahead to the facility or vendor to confirm that they are following CDC and state health department guidelines.

Phase Three: Large Groups & Gatherings

The state, county, town, or region is successfully past its final phase of re-opening. Large gatherings may be held without restrictions on size.  Council properties will be fully opened.

Troop Meeting Space. Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings. Get advance permission from the property owner or the jurisdiction that provides the location.

Large gatherings. If larger gatherings are permitted, confirm the number of people permitted and remind volunteers to allow for proper girl-to-adult ratios. It is strongly recommended to meet outdoors and only when social distancing can be maintained. 

Transportation. Carpooling may resume as necessary. Even then, girls and adults should wear masks and keep the car window open, at least slightly. Remember sustained contact within less than six (6) feet for longer than ten (10) minutes creates a higher risk for virus transmission.

Virtual meetings. GSUSA recommends maintaining a virtual to in-person meeting ratio of at least 20/80, which means holding virtual troop meetings at least 20% of the time to keep tech skills and virtual meeting habits fresh. Use the Safety Activity Checkpoints for Virtual Meetings, to guide your meeting plans.

Day trips and activities.  In conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints, follow the guidance for Troop Meetings and hygiene and COVID-19 risk mitigation guidance. Call ahead to the facility or vendor to confirm that they are following CDC and state health department guidelines.

Travel and overnight stays. Overnight trips are permitted. The timeframes will vary.  As always, contact your council for prior approval before planning any overnight stays and follow the guidance in Safety Activity Checkpoints.

Guiding Principles

In addition to the guidance from the CDC, Arizona’s Governor Office, Department of Health Services, and the different county guidelines, GSUSA has provided all Councils with a set of guiding principles to aid in our decision-making process on reopening our facilities. These are:

Do no harm – Safety, health, and well-being of staff, volunteers, and girls must remain our first and highest priority. 

Abundance of caution – When in doubt, choose the safest possible approach. We believe this is to follow the CDC's phased reopening guidelines.

What would you do – If given a choice, would you seek to return to an on-site setting? Would you feel safe in your office environment? Would you put your daughter there?

Follow MOST restrictive guidance – Councils review all relevant federal, state, and local orders and public health officials to ensure that operations comply with the most restrictive rules in each jurisdiction. We believe this is to follow the CDC's phased reopening guidelines.

Face Coverings.  Girl Scouts wear face coverings (masks) not only to protect themselves but to protect others. Face coverings are a civic responsibility and a sign of caring for the community. 

At each Phase, we will not move the reopening plan forward until we are certain we are meeting GSUSA’s guiding principles to the best of our ability. 

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Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona (GSSoAZ) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the local public health departments and all of the counties and cities within our Council boundaries.

Girl Scout events are aligning with schools, and we are paying attention to local public health guidance.

By area:

Pima County

Yuma

Cochise

Graham & Greenlee

Santa Cruz County 

 

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Virtual Girl Scouts Programming

When girls take the lead, great things happen! Even though your girl’s daily routine may have changed, there are many ways she can still participate in Girl Scout activities and earn awards, even at home! Here are a few resources and ideas for Girl Scouts of all levels to help you get started.

How are you continuing the fun at home? Share all the fun you're having by tagging us on social media and using the hashtag #virtualgssoaz

Visit the Girl Scouts at Home page for more activities and suggestions!

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COVID Update: March 16th, 2020
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The safety and well-being of girls, families, volunteers, and staff are of paramount importance to all of us. While what health officials know about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to develop, we do know that verified cases in Arizona and surrounding states have been increasing, prompting businesses and organizations to take precautions. As such, this page will provide the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona community constant updates on how our council is being impacted as well as daily activites and patch programs for you to do with your girl(s) at home. 

Effective March 16, 2020, all Girl Scout programs and events are cancelled through the end of March, or until further notice. During this time, our staff are also working remotely— prompting all of our buildings to be closed. Please check back often for any new updates, and for at-home activities for your Girl Scouts.

We are wishing each and every one of you health and wellness during this time!

COVID Update: April 16th, 2020
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As we continue Social Distancing and doing our part in keeping our Girl Scouts, families, and friends safe, we have a few updates regarding May programs:

  • All May in-person Girl Scout programs and activities are canceled, including “on your own” meetings and gatherings on Girl Scout properties.
  • Volunteer Area Meetings will be conducted via Zoom Meeting. We look forward to seeing everyone’s beautiful face! Your staff liaison will be in touch soon with details.
  • 2020 Cookie Program reward events are postponed— we are excited to celebrate in the near future when it is safe to do so. Girls and their families will be contacted directly with new dates as soon as they are determined.
  • Summer Camp 2020— a decision will be made by early May on if/when Camp will go live. In the meantime, your program and camp teams are working diligently on preparations, contingency plans, and alternative experiences to ensure a fun and exciting summer for our girls!

Virtual Girl Scouts is going strong! We invite you to engage with us and check out the new content added every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
 
We look forward to Friendship Circles, campfires, singing, and adventure, all in due time. Until then remember,  Girl Power Can’t be Quarantined!

How is COVID-19 impacting Camp 2020: May 5th, 2020

Dear Girl Scout Families

I am writing to communicate a very hard, but also very necessary, decision about the 2020 Summer Camp season. Coming from someone who has spent summer after summer— both as a child and adult— at our very own Camp Whispering Pines, I can assure you we do not take the decision lightly. We are canceling in-person camps at all locations for both June and July.

This decision was made based on many factors including current Federal and State guidelines, guidance from the CDC, restrictions from the Forest Service, and dialogue with other local youth serving organizations. The importance of our girls' safety, their health, and wellbeing— as well as that of our staff and you, our extended family— is at the forefront of every decision.  

Though this is a disappointment, our amazing program team has created a one-of-a-kind summer opportunity. Camp Log On is your very own Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona virtual camp experience! We will be offering six weeks of Camp Log On, beginning June 1st, each with their own theme.  Our intention is to have registration open and available beginning on May 11th you will find updated information on our website . These camps will include: morning check-ins from your camp counselors, daily videos for activities (as well as printed materials with a calendar), step-by-step instructions for badge work, and a camper care package mailed directly to your house!  

Refunds for those currently registered for summer camp will be processed beginning May 11th to the original form of payment. Although it may take 2 weeks for you to see the refund, rest assured we have not and will not forget about you.

We know this is a heartbreaking decision for girls and many of us— who not only love summer camp but also understand the importance and life-enhancing impact that the camp program provides for our girls. Girl Scouts are resilient. We will get through this together, and we will be stronger together.

If you have questions, are looking for additional details, or just need someone to talk to our team is here for you.  You are welcome to contact me directly via e-mail or by phone at 520-319-3177.

Mama Bear and I (along with some other familiar faces) will see you at the campfire sing along! 

Be Well and Stay Girl Scout Strong,

MacGyver Tank
Chief Operating Officer
Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona

For additional information and resources about COVID-19, we recommend the following:

  • Need internet? We are proud to be partners with Cox Communications and Comcast who are doing their part in supporting the community. They are offering free trials of their internet packages for low-income families, Connect2Compete and Internet Essentials (respectively). For more information, please visit their websites.
  • CDC Website – The CDC is publishing its latest updates, health tips, and country-specific travel information. 
  • Coronavirus Q&A – The World Health Organization has published a helpful Q&A addressing many of the common questions about this virus.

AZ State Department of Health Services – COVID-19 information from local services.

COVID Update: January 9th, 2021

As you know, our first priority is always the health, safety and wellbeing of our girls, volunteers, staff and Girl Scout families. We continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19, we feel that as an organization, we have an obligation to try to mitigate the spread of the virus in our community and help our members stay healthy.

We continue to evaluate and adapt our reopening plan based on the current information available. In addition to our Movement's guiding principles, we are following the CDC COVID-19 Task Force's guidelines which provide specific data-driven gating criteria for a phased reopening.

The council is currently in  PHASE ONE .

In Phase One, gatherings of 10 people or less will be permitted if the protocols of social distancing and wearing masks are followed. However, holding in-person meetings are at the discretion of the Troop Leaders and parents, depending on their comfort level regarding the risks associated with small group gatherings. Virtual meetings may continue to take place. Carpooling and overnight stays are not allowed.

COVID Update: March 12th, 2021

The Council is currently in PHASE ONE and has made a few changes to the prevention and preparedness guidelines under this phase.

We’re seeing a downward trajectory of most indicators reflecting the impact of the virus in our state, although not enough from our perspective to further our reopening to phase two. However, we have additional data and a better understanding of the reopening implications and believe there are ways to allow more flexibility while remaining safe and continuing a gradual transition to more in-person activities.

In Phase One, gatherings of 10-20 people will be permitted if the protocols of social distancing and wearing appropriate masks are followed. Virtual meetings may continue to take place. Carpooling is now allowed with appropriate precautions. Overnight stays are not allowed. However, holding in-person meetings and carpooling are at the discretion of the Troop Leaders and parents, depending on their comfort level regarding the risks associated with small gatherings. More information on Phase One can be found above.