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GSLPG Response to COVID-19 - Working together to keep our Girl Scout community safe

Two girls washing hands with soap and water

Updated September 17

After careful consideration, GSLPG has decided to keep in place our current COVID-19 health and safety guidelines until October 9. This means the GSLPG Volunteer COVID-19 Guidance materials will remain in effect as-is until October 9. The health of our girls, volunteers, members and staff are our highest priority, especially in these uncertain times. Please continue to check back here for updates to our guidelines as modifications could occur at any time.

Updated September 10, 2020

Following the Governor's announcement that Louisiana will move into Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan, GSLPG will be working to release updated COVID-19 guidelines for Girl, Volunteer and Troop activities. As always, we want to keep the health and safety of our girls, volunteers, members, and staff at the forefront of all our decision-making. We will have more detials on updated guidelines by September 21. Please continue to adhere to current health and safety guidelines until that time.

Updated August 28, 2020

Due to the restrictions, we have put together a document titled GSLPG Volunteer COVID-19 Guidance. Please view the document in its entirety and extensively when considering beginning in-person troop or camp activities. We are keeping the health of our girls, volunteers, members and staff at the forefront of every decision made in regards to our re-opening. 

There are some very important dates and requirements to remember throughout the document:

  • Beginning now until September 11, 2020, GSLPG will only allow troop meetings to be held in outdoor spaces. 
  • GSLPG is not allowing meetings in the home out of concern that there would be greater risk of exposure to other family members.
  • While in Phase 2, group sizes should be limited to 25 people (23 girls and 2 unrelated adult volunteers). However, check your local restrictions for small gatherings. If more restrictive, follow the local restriction.
  • Overnight trips for GSLPG members are not permitted until further notice.
  • A self-symptom check should be conducted prior to attending any meeting. If you are experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms, please do not attend any in person meetings.
  • Face coverings should be worn by adults and campers (particularly older campers) as feasible and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.
  • Camp Bon Temps and Camp Wawbansee are open for day troop activities beginning July 7, 2020. Cabins will remain closed for usage through the month of August.

Girl Scouts of Louisiana Pines to the Gulf (GSLPG) may modify this guidance as circumstances change. Please visit our website frequently for updates regarding COVID-19 and the guidance for in-person meetings. As a Girl Scout Volunteer, you must adhere to any guidance and protocols provided by GSLPG and GSUSA. Please read this document in its entirety and contact info@gslpg.org with any questions.

 

GSLPG Service Center hours will be Monday - Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Service centers will not be open to the public, but staff will be available to service membership through phone and email during these times. Contact us at 1-800-960-2093 or at info@gslpg.org.

COVID-19 Update - May 18, 2020

Updated May 18, 2020

As local stay-at-home restrictions begin to ease, GSLPG will begin to reopen its offices and shops on a phased schedule for the safety of our staff and membership. Beginning June 1, GSLPG shops will open for curbside pickup only, while offices will remain closed to the public.

Please stay tuned to this page for updates on how shop and office operations will be handled in this phase of reopening.

COVID-19 Summer Camp Update - April 29, 2020

Updated April 29, 2020

Summer Camp

In this time of uncertainty and constantly changing timelines, we are placed in a most difficult position, but the highest regard for health and safety must prevail. Therefore, with heavy hearts we have also decided to cancel all summer 2020 Summer Camp sessions.

Our chief concern centers around our ability to house campers in such proximity while maintaining best practices as currently mandated by the CDC and the LDH. We simply don’t have the resources or capacity to hold camp within the necessary guidelines for girl and volunteer safety.

Refunds are already being processed for those who had registered for the first several camps, and registration will not open for the rest of the originally scheduled camps for the season. As stated above, refunds will also be given to those who had reserved a camp property for personal or troop camping during these closure dates.

We recognize that many girls had plans to use their Cookie Dough to pay for camp registrations and are working with GSUSA to brainstorm alternative options for girl rewards. In the meantime, Cookie Dough earned during the 2019 cookie season will be extended through June, as will the opportunity to request cookie dough be transferred to Online Shop Credit that can be used to purchase items from our online shop. Stay tuned for more details.

We deeply regret this interruption to a core tradition of Girl Scouting and pledge to do all we can to ensure that our outdoor program offerings remain available to girls and their families while also maintaining the safety of our membership. 

COVID-19 Update - April 27, 2020

Updated April 27, 2020

With the Governor’s Stay At Home order extended until May 15, Council has made the decision to extend the restrictions on girl, troop, and council activities until June 15 to give us time to adequately phase in in-person activities in adherence to the recommended social distancing guidelines to maintain the safety of our membership.

This will mean that all council-sponsored girl and volunteer programs, travel opportunities, trainings and events will remain cancelled through June 15. Refunds will be issued to all individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs, trainings and events through this date, including those who camp property reservations already in place for these dates. Also, all troop meetings, service unit events, and other volunteer-led programs will remain prohibited through June 15.

COVID-19 Update - March 31, 2020

Updated March 31, 2020

In keeping with the Governor's stated plans to extend the closure of all K-12 schools and the prohibition of large gatherings through April 30, GSLPG has made the decision to adhere to this proclamation as closely as possible. As such:

All GSLPG offices and shops will remain closed through April 30. Additionally, we will convert to a 4-day work week, with staff working remotely and available to volunteers by phone and email Monday-Thursday from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

All council-sponsored girl and volunteer programs, travel opportunities, trainings, and events are cancelled through April 30.   We will issue refunds to all individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs, trainings and events through this date.

All troop meetings, service unit events and other volunteer-led programs are to be cancelled through April 30.  

All troop travel will also be prohibited through April 30.

All camp properties are closed through April 30, 2020. We will issue refunds to all individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs and events through this date. We are closely monitoring government reports and health agencies for recommendations after April 30th. Please check back here frequently for information about camp properties reopening. 

Letter from the CEO - March 13, 2020

Message from the CEO, regarding COVID-19 Pandemic
March 13, 2020

Information updated March 24, 2020

Dear Girl Scout Family,

At Girl Scouts, our motto is “be prepared.” The COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) protocols at our council are changing rapidly in response to available information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Louisiana Department of Health (LDOH), city and Parish health authorities, school districts and other partners. I am writing today to update you on the actions our council is taking in response to this guidance in order to keep our membership safe and well.

As of Friday, March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to address the novel coronavirus pandemic, and in line with that proclamation Governor John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation that closed all K-12 public schools from March 16 through April 13.  As a result, GSLPG is monitoring the situation in order to maintain the safety of our girls, volunteers and employees.  We will do our best to continue updating you as new developments occur throughout this ever-changing crisis.

While the coronavirus has greatly impacted our way of life, it has also presented an opportunity for leadership – to be an example of calm but diligent action at a time when others might panic. As Girl Scouts, community problem solving and taking action is an important part of who we are, and that means doing our part to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  With that said, we are taking the following steps effective immediately:

Council-sponsored Programming:

  • All council-sponsored girl and volunteer programs, travel opportunities, trainings, and events are cancelled through April 13.  We will issue refunds to all individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs, trainings and events through this date.
  • Cookie Reward roller parties will be moving to June. We will annouce the offical date soon.
  • Cookie CEO Banquet is still scheduled for May 30th. Should this change, will we make an update and inform our membership.
  • The Cookie IFly experience is still set for June 19th.

Troop and Service Unit Programming:

  • All troop meetings, service unit events and other volunteer-led programs are to be cancelled through April 13.  This provision has been extended from the original March 31 and could change again based on incoming information from local, state, and federal health agencies.
  • All troop travel will be prohibited through April 13.

Camps/Summer Camp:

  • All camp properties are closed through April 13, 2020. We will issue refunds to all individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs and events through this date. We are closely monitoring government reports and health agencies for recommendations after April 13th. Please check back here frequently for information about camp properties reopening. 
  • We are consistently monitoring the current health threat for our Summer Camps. As of now, we do not anticipate camp cancellations and will take begin to take registrations when they open. Should this change, we will notify membership as soon as we make a decision. 

Programming beyond April 13:

  • While current and near-future Council programming is being affected by the President’s and Governor’s proclamations, we are closely monitoring government reports and health agencies for recommendations after April 13th. As such, registration for these events whose dates fall after April 13 will remain open until their stated deadlines, unless closure recommendations extend past April 13th or GSLPG chooses to cancel the event. Please check back here frequently for updates about additional cancelations/closures.
  • It is with our deepest regret, LEADher Summit 2020 has been cancelled. Our number one priority is the safety and health of our membership. With the recommendations from the CDC, we have decided to cancel this event without rescheduling for a later date. We will re-evaluate and discuss potentially holding this event next spring. 
  • We are currently exploring alternative ways to deliver our Annual Meeting and more information about the meeting will be released soon.

Travel

  • GS Destinations Updates from Emily Henehan, GSUSA Older Girl Travel:

    One of GSUSA's Destination partners, ATS, has decided to cancel the 13 Destinations they were scheduled to run. All girls have been informed and will receive a 100% refund or the opportunity to reserve their spot on a 2021 Destination. This was a business decision given the current pandemic, and GSUSA looks forward to working with ATS in 2021. Affected girls who still wish to consider traveling on a Destination this summer have been given the opportunity to have their application forwarded to programs that still have space via completing THIS FORM. Please email info@gslpg.org with any additional questions. 

Cookies

  • All final Cookie Program paperwork and deadlines are still in effect and we will continue to work through the process of wrapping up the cookie sale.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact info@gslpg.org

Council Offices and Shops:

  • All council offices and shops will close to the public on Tuesday, March 17.  Staff members are being instructed to work remotely through March 31 in order to adhere to social distancing recommendations, but will remain available by phone and email to continue to assist with our membership's needs. 
  • You may still contact us with questions or concerns anytime at info@gslpg.org. You may contact us by phone at 1-800-960-2093 during the hours of 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Mon-Thur, and 9:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. on Fridays. You may of course reach out to us at the same number in case of emergency at any time.

Social Distancing

At Girl Scouts, we lead. Our Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Girl Scouts are known for identifying community problems and coming up with a solution. As Girl Scout leadership, we want to model the same actions we ask of our girls. Right now, the global community problem is, of course, the COVID-19 disease. Within that problem lies another: How to stress the importance of the CDC’s advice to practice social distancing in our extremely social communities, and how to address the need for social interaction while staying safe.

We are committed to being leaders in the prevention of the spread of this virus, which means educating our communities on the importance of social distancing during these trying times. Though temporary, we understand that the sacrifice of maintaining social distance for adults and especially children can be a hardship. As such, GSLPG will work quickly to determine what other avenues of social interaction we can provide through digital and other means to retain engagement of our membership without risk of exposure.

I want to thank each of you for your patience, and for your commitment to be a sister to every Girl Scout by helping lessen the spread of this virus by whatever means necessary. Please stay tuned to this page for updates as council protocols evolve, and more information is released from health entities across the state and country. In the meantime, let’s all keep well, calm, and carry on in our roles as leaders of our communities.

Sincerely,

Rachel's signature

Rachel Broussard
CEO, Girl Scouts of Louisiana – Pines to the Gulf

____________________________________________________________

What can I do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

General Guidance for Every Girl Scout

  • Follow CDC hygiene best practices that include regular hand washing for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, and cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Use non-contact forms of greeting instead of physical contact such as shaking hands.
  • Practice "social distancing:" Keep at least 6 feet of distance between individuals at meetings and events whenever possible, and remain out of places where people meet or gather.
  • Do not attend public functions if you are ill or believe you have exposed to a contagious disease like coronavirus.
  • Consult your healthcare provider if you (or a member of your family) is at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 before attending a Girl Scout or other public event. 
  • Use the resources on our Raising Awesome Girls site with girls who may have questions or concerns about coronavirus.
How can I still purchase from the council shop?

GSLPG retail shops will operate Monday – Thursday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. for curbside pick-up only. Customers will be able to submit their orders online through THIS DIGITAL FORM.

Customers are asked to submit all orders within 1 business day of expected pick-up. Customers may call in same-day orders, however items may not be available upon arrival. Please call 1-800-960-2093 to place orders.

Customers may conduct in-person orders by arriving at the retail shop location and calling the shop phone to place their order for pickup.

Prior to arrival to pick up orders, customers will be sent a text confirming their order is ready for pickup. In order to minimize contact, customers will be asked to call the shop to notify staff of their arrival and open their trunks so items can be placed safely in their vehicles. Once staff has stepped away from the vehicle, please confirm your order is correct and notify us of any issues. Customers will be responsible for closing their trunk prior to leaving.

Once an order is received, customers will be contacted for payment. Online and phone orders may be paid by credit cards or cookie dough. In-person orders may be paid by credit card, cookie dough, check, or cash.

What is "social distancing" and why is it important?

The CDC has called for Americans to practice social distancing in order to prevent the spread of this virus. The closing of schools and childcare facilities in our state has highlighted the need for this distancing to also apply to children who, though at lower risk for serious illness from the virus, can be exposed to and carry the virus to those at higher risk for serious illness. This means that parents will have to use their best judgement in allowing children to gather. For GSLPG, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety of our members of all ages and as such, are taking the social distancing recommendation as seriously as we can by prohibiting the gathering of girls and volunteers for events, at camps, or at regular meetings until such a time as we can confidently do so safely.

What do K-12 School closings in Louisiana mean for troop and service unit activity?

In following guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health, all in-person Girl Scouts of Louisiana - Pines to the Gulf troop meetings, service unit meetings, and girl/volunteer gatherings are suspended until April 30, 2020.  

We are thankful to you all for taking steps to ensure the safety of girls in this difficult time. While we cannot endorse or support specific online meeting tools for your use, we are aware of several tools that troops and Service Units are using for virtual meetings. See below for a list of free and low-cost tools that could be useful to you. We encourage troop leaders to look at these and alternative options and discuss with parents and girls to determine what the best solution is for your troop’s needs. 

Video and Audio-Conferencing Tools with free versions 

While all of these options have a free version, please note you may be prompted to consider their upgraded versions for a subscription fee.

  • Zoom - FAQ
    • Note: Meetings durations maximum of 40 minutes in free version
  • Skype - Support
    • Note: Up to 10 participants free
  • Webex – Help Center
    • Note: Limited file and content sharing in free version

Chat and Collaboration Tools with free versions

Additional low-cost tools for collaboration and conferencing to consider if the above options do not meet your group's needs.

Our staff here at Girl Scouts of Louisiana - Pines to the Gulf is also working on tools to help keep girls engaged during this uncertain time.  We know Girl Scouts provides a place of family and security for girls.  We want to continue being able to serve our girls, we just have to be creative about how!  Keep an eye out for additional information in the coming days. 

Will Annual Meeting still be held on April 25, 2020?

A virtual Annual Meeting experience will be held on Thursday, April 30 via GoToWebinar. Only voting delegates will attend the live meeting in order to complete the business of Annual Meeting, but a recording and attending documents will be made available to the full membership shortly after the virtual call. Stay tuned for further details on Volunteer Recognition events, which will be held at a later date after Annual Meeting in order to give appropriate attention to recoginizing the amazing work of our volunteers. 

Will the LEADher Summit still be held on April 25, 2020?

It is with our deepest regret, LEADher Summit 2020 has been cancelled. Our number one priority is the safety and health of our membership. With the recommendations from the CDC, we have decided to cancel this event without rescheduling for a later date. We will re-evaluate and discuss potentially holding this event next spring.

Will there be an extension for Highest Awards applications?

We recognize the impact of the COVID-19 closures and ‘stay at home orders’ are having on Girl Scouts who want to earn the highest awards. We’re committed to supporting girls with the time and space they need to adjust to these changes, so when they’re ready, they can safely harness their enthusiasm and facilitate meaningful solutions with their communities!

To ensure all Girl Scouts who want to earn the Highest Awards this year have the opportunity, Girl Scouts is offering a 3-month deadline extension from September 30 to December 31, 2020 for Girl Scouts who are graduating from 5th grade (Juniors who seek to earn the Bronze Award), 8th grade (Cadettes who seek to earn the Silver Award) and 12th grade (Ambassadors who seek to earn the Gold Award) this year. These Girl Scouts will bridge to the next program level officially on October 1, 2020 and, without this extension, would be no longer eligible to earn the Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, respectively.