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Troop Guidelines

Through December 19, 2020, troops can reserve some of our council offices and camps for troop meetings for free. Make your reservation today! Call 800-798-0833 or email us with any questions.

Troop Meeting Calendar


GSEIWI Current Guidelines

Effective August 3, 2020 until further notice.

This guidance is being provided as of the effective date above. GSEIWI may modify this guidance, from time to time as circumstances change.  All guidelines must be followed for in-person troop meetings.

COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community. 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 national directives. Discuss plans with families.

NOTE: Individual communities in Iowa and Illinois may establish stricter requirements. If that is the case in your community, you must adapt these guidelines to meet those requirements.

State Guidelines
What this means for Girl Scouts in GSEIWI
Allows for gatherings of up to 50 people, may not exceed 50% of overall room capacity.

Troops/groups may meet in groups of up to 50 - total girls and adults, meeting GSUSA girl/adult ratios.

Larger troops may break into smaller groups with each group meeting at the same time. Girls in the groups must remain static. Do not move girls from one group to another during the meeting or from one week to the next. Adults could move from one group to another (mask must be worn). Groups must stay 30 feet apart from each other.  You also may continue to host virtual troop meetings to keep girls engaged.

Adults should meet the girls at a designated drop-off location where parents can simply drive up and drop-off/pick-up their Girl Scout. This ensures that larger groups are not gathering to wait for troop participants.

Parents should have face masks available in case they need to interact closely with a leader.

GSUSA recommends hosting virtual meetings at least 20% of the time to keep tech skills and virtual meeting habits fresh.  

Maintain at least six-foot distance from other individuals. NO PHYSICAL CONTACT.

Mark off distances on the ground or group sitting accordingly. 

Adults are responsible for monitoring all social distancing guidelines. 

Hugs, handshakes, and Girl Scout traditions, such as Friendship Circles, must be adapted or not done.

Games/activities would need to be chosen to ensure physical contact is not happening. 

Hygiene and risk mitigation

Face coverings should be worn by everyone throughout the meeting.

Ensure troop first aid supplies include COVID-19 prevention items including hand sanitizer, tissues, disposable facemasks, and disinfectants.

Must have hand washing/sanitizing supplies available. Sanitize hands upon arrival, throughout (at least every 30 minutes) and just before leaving.

Remind troop members of appropriate process. If not followed, ensure participant sanitizes hands and any surfaces coughed/sneezed on are cleaned.

NOTE: You might have a virtual meeting prior to meeting in person where girls make their own face mask from a bandana to bring to the meeting. 

Regularly clean high-touch surface

Identify areas at your meeting location that will need to be wiped down after each person touches it (door handles, handle of toilet, faucets, tables, etc.) and ensure they are wiped down after each participant touches it.

Minimize the use of shared materials such as markers, crayons, scissors, etc. by having each girl provide her own box of identified items. This box can be carried to and from the meeting by the individual girl. If collected and stored in one location, each box should be wiped off with sanitizing wipe before stored.

If there are shared items, sanitize after each individual person uses the item.

Ensure troop is following CDC and state health department guidelines.

Water fountains must stay closed. 

Ensure each participant brings their own filled-water bottle.

If serving snacks, they should be prepackaged individual snacks. Person distributing snacks must wash hands prior to distributing. (Or have each participant bring their own snack.)

Do not share dishes/utensils. 

Additional Guidelines from GSEIWI based on GSUSA guidance.
Meeting Location

At this time, outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings.

For indoor facilities, maximum occupancy of 50% of facility capacity is permitted. If a meeting room holds 30, you can have no more than 15 participants (girls and adults) AND must ensure social distancing of 6 feet between participants can be maintained.

No in-home meetings at this time.

Rentals for outdoor troop meetings at our Girl Scout properties can be reserved, with groups following all of the meeting guidelines.  GSEIWI reserves the right to deny a rental request if there is a safety concern.

Always check and confirm ahead of time with the facility where the meeting will take place, to ensure all safety and capacity guidelines can and will be followed.

For meetings held in public areas, volunteers must ensure the space is clean and touch surfaces (i.e., tabletops, chairs, etc.) have been sanitized.

Ensure there is at least 30 feet of distance between your troop and any other group that may be meeting in the area.

If meeting in the same outdoor space as another troop, the groups must remain static, no mixing of the girls from the two troops.

Length of Meeting You may want to keep meetings relatively short to limit the number of bathroom trips. Many public bathrooms, such as at parks, are currently not open.
Screenings—self evaluation

Parents should ensure their child does not have a temperature or feel ill prior to coming to the troop meeting. 

Troop members who are ill, living with someone who is ill, showing symptoms, or in a high-risk category should not participate in troop meetings.  

Parents must determine the risks of allowing their child attend troop meetings and determine if now is the time for their child to resume in-person Girl Scouting.

Transportation

Individual parents drop off and pick up their own girls from meetings.  

Carpooling and public transportation should be avoided to maintain social distancing. 

Adults should meet the girls at a designated drop off location where parents can simply drive up and drop-off/pick-up their Girl Scout. This ensures that larger groups are not gathering to wait for troop participants. 

Parents should have face masks available in case they need to interact closely with a leader. 

Travel and overnight stays 

Travel at this time is limited to family trips that allow for individual transportation and housing--no carpooling and one family per sleeping accommodation (one family per hotel room/one family per tent).

Currently, the department that licenses Youth Camps in Illinois is not allowing overnight camping, except for family camping. For this reason, we are NOT ALLOWING overnight troop camping trips at youth camps either in Illinois or in other states. This includes the use of indoor and outdoor facilities. Only family camping would be approved.

Family travel includes, at a minimum, youth Girl Scout member accompanied by a minimum of one adult family member. Family trips may also include additional adults and siblings.

If traveling, see additional travel guidelines related to COVID-19 on cdc.gov.  

Please remember to follow all guidelines regarding group size, social distancing, masks, hand washing, cleaning high-touch surfaces, etc.

Please remember that troops traveling to a non-GSEIWI site must submit the Troop Trip and Overnight Approval Form. This includes day trips further than 60 miles from home.

Day trips and activities  Call ahead to the facility or vendor to confirm that they are following CDC and state health department guidelines. 

Reporting and communicating a positive COVID-19 test. In the event of a COVID-19 positive test result, do NOT contact the parents or troop members.  Promptly contact your council in this situation.  A council staff member and NOT volunteers, will be responsible for:

  • Confirming and tracing the positive tester, 
  • Contacting the parents of anyone who may have been exposed (or other volunteers), 
  • Notifying a facility or homeowner where a troop has met, and 
  • Alerting the state department of health. 

Let other volunteers know that council staff, NOT volunteers, will notify parents and others about a positive test result and that the tester’s identity is confidential. Remember that girl and volunteer health information is private and strictly confidential and should be only shared on a need to know basis with a council staff member.

To report to GSEIWI, contact info@girlscoutstoday.org or call Member Support at 800-798-0833 and let them know you would like to report a COVID-19 case. A team member will refer you to the appropriate staff member, who will contact you to gather the specific information.