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COVID-19 Guidelines

Girl Scouts of Suffolk County (GSSC) is committed to the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers and staff. In the wake of COVID-19, we are continuing to take precautions and appropriate measures to ensure that girls and volunteers have a safe and one-of-a-kind experience at Girl Scouts.

The Updated COVID-19 Guidelines below go into effect 06/01/2021:

Troop Meetings: (Indoor or Outdoor)

  • All vaccinated girls and/or adults may remove their mask. Non-vaccinated girls and adults need to be masked at all times unless they can remain socially distanced.
  • Troops must abide by all CDC and NYS guidelines relating to capacity.

Meetings in Private Residences: While meeting in private residences both indoors and outdoors is not recommended, if a troop wishes to do so they must abide by the following guidelines:

  • Private Residence Authorization Form must be on file with your Service Unit annually.
  • Anyone 18 or older may be required to have a background check on file with Council.
  • Homeowners insurance must be on file at the council for any private residence where a meeting will be taking place.

Trips

  • Trips (including camping off council property) will be approved in the Tri-State Area, which includes NY, NJ, and CT.
  • Overnight trips will be allowed in the Tri-State Area following all CDC and state regulations in the state you are traveling to.
  • All trip approval guidelines must be followed, including obtaining a COI.
  • Tagalongs are permitted as long as they do not take the place of a Girl Scout due to capacity limits.

Parents/Caregivers must fill out a COVID-19 Liability Waiver Form annually.

In-Person Troop Meetings

GSSC continues to encourage virtual engagements and troops are strongly encouraged to meet virtually. 

Leading in-person activities during COVID-19 is optional. Volunteers should first decide if they are comfortable offering in-person troop meetings before proceeding. Take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, volunteers, and families. 

  • All leaders/volunteers are to keep attendance at meeting of girls, adults, and any special guests in case records are needed for contact tracing.
  • During in-person indoor or outdoor troop meeting, vaccinated girls and/or adults may remove their mask while indoors. Non-vaccinated girls and adults need to be masked at all times while indoors unless they can remain socially distanced.
  • An adult instructor or speaker such as a Yoga Instructor, Art or Dance Teacher or maybe a Naturalist may attend outdoor meetings to work with the girls at the meeting as long as they are in the count for the group size permitted. The visitor/instructor should be sent the same Outdoor Troop Meeting Requirements information and review the COVID-19 Health Screening questions before participating.
Meeting Space, Size & Duration

Meeting Size:

  • Troops must abide by all CDC and NYS guidelines relating to capacity.
  • Be sure to follow Safety & Activity Checkpoints to meet required Approved Adult to girl ratio. Attendees should be currently registered, properly trained, and current on their background check.

Meeting Duration: Meetings should be an hour or less. 

Meeting Space: Indoor/outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are permitted for meetings. Obtain advance permission from the property owner or the jurisdiction that provides the location.

Here are some examples of outdoor meeting areas or outside spaces:

  • Town/County Parks 
  • Town/County Beaches
  • Churches 
  • Firehouses
  • VFW Halls
  • Rotary Halls

Outdoor Troop Meeting Approval: Leaders must submit an Outdoor Troop Meeting Request Form 10 days prior to meeting. All requests will be sent to your SU Coordinator.

Meetings in Private Residences: While meeting in private residences both indoors and outdoors is not recommended, if a troop wishes to do so they must abide by the following guidelines:

  • A Private Residence Authorization Form must be on file with your Service Unit annually 
  • Anyone 18 or older may be required to have a background check on file with Council.
  • Homeowners insurance must be on file at the council for any private residence where a meeting will be taking place.
Personal Contact

Hugs, handshakes, “high-fives,” and even activities like the friendship circle or squeeze can transmit COVID-19 from person to person. Refrain from these gestures for the time being. Create a safe way for girls and volunteers to greet and end meetings. 

Food and Beverage

Food should not be served. Girl Scouts may bring their own food or drink to troop meetings. Please make sure their food and drink are labeled with their name. Food and/or drinks may not be shared.

First Aid Supplies

Troop first aid supplies should include COVID-19 prevention items including hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol), tissues, disposable facemasks, and disinfectants. Trash baskets or bags should be supplied for meeting spaces, if not already available. Make sure that the trash baskets (or bags) are easily accessible. Disposable or no-contact thermometers may be added to supplies if available and are not cost-prohibitive. However, parents should be checking temperatures and allowing their girl(s) to join group activities only when temperatures are normal (the same guidance applies to volunteers). 

Volunteers & Families

Leaders should share these guidelines with troop families and make a collaborative decision with families based on comfort level, accessibility, and desired level of engagement. 

  • Volunteers and families should assess their ability to comply with required guidelines. For example, younger girls may find it difficult to remain socially distant and/or wear masks. If girls cannot comply with guidelines, troop activities should remain virtual at this time.
  • Parents/Caregivers must fill out a COVID-19 Liability Waiver Form annually.
Transportation
  • Carpooling will be allowed. All occupants in vehicle must wear a mask.
  • Public transportation should be avoided, where possible, to maintain social distancing. 
  • Tagalongs will not be permitted. 

 

Pre-screening Questions

We recommend Troop Leaders put into motion pre-screening protocols that may include completing a pre-screening COVID form, taking temps, assigning contact tracers, etc.

Outdoor Troop Meeting Request

Outdoor Troop Meeting Approval: Leaders must submit an Outdoor Troop Meeting Request Form 10 days prior to meeting. All requests will be sent to your SU Coordinator.

Troop Day Trips/Programs

Effective June 1, 2021: Troops will be permitted to participate in trips in the Tri-State area, which include NY, NJ, & CT. Also camping off council property and overnight trips will be allowed in the Tri-State area. Participation in these trips is strictly voluntary and is at the discretion of girls’ caregivers.

Please be advised that trips must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Trips may be taken on Long Island, within the five boroughs and in the Tri-State area, which includes NY, NJ, & CT.
  • Carpooling will be allowed. All occupants in vehicle must wear a mask.
  • Tagalongs are permitted as long as they do not take the place of a Girl Scout due to capacity limits.
  • Overnight trips and camping off Council property will be permitted following all CDC and state regulations in the state you are traveling to.
  • All GSSC trip approval guidelines must be followed.
  • A Certificate of Insurance must be filed with Council: Certificate of Insurance Form
  • All guidelines for wearing masks, guest capacities, and social distancing must be followed.

Please fill out a Trip Approval Request Form

Troop Bridging/End of Year Celebrations

Effective April 8, 2021: Troops will be permitted to host an outdoor bridiging ceremony/end of year celebration. Participation is strictly voluntary and is at the discretion of girls’ caregivers.

  • Troops may plan to hold an outdoor bridging ceremony or end-of-year celebration in a public space to include family members of each household;
  • You must follow the NYS Guidelines for outdoor gatherings
  • Only packaged/individually wrapped foods/beverages may be served;
  • All NYS and CDC guidelines for wearing masks, guest capacities, and social distancing must be followed.

Please fill out a Trip Approval Request Form

Council Facilities

Our offices and facilities remain closed. Business operations continue as staff work remotely. Cookie Cupboards are by appt.

For assistance, please email customercare@gssc.us or call 631-543-6622. 

GS Shoppe

The Girl Scout Shoppe in Commack is Open! Come back and shop in-person (by appointment only) for uniform items, journeys and badges, end-of-year celebrations and much more.

Appointments are 30-minute sessions. Book back to back sessions if you need more time to shop.  Online shopping and curbside pick-up still available. Questions? Call (631) 543-6622 or email customercare@gssc.us


MAKE APPOINTMENT

Due to limited staffing, the Edey and Riverhead Shoppes are not open at this time. Please contact us at customercare@gssc.us to arrange for curbside pickup at either of these locations.

 

These guidelines are subject to change in order to be in compliance with any CDC/NYS/COVID-19 regulations and updates.   

We continue to monitor the situation daily and will keep you updated here and by email. Please direct your inquiries to customercare@gssc.us