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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com with any additional questions.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com. 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.
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.