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COVID-19: Council Response Updates

As you know, our first priority is always the health, safety and wellbeing of our girls, volunteers, staff and Girl Scout families. As 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 will continue to update this page with new information or decisions as we learn more and assess developments of the outbreak. 

A special message from our CEO

March 18, 2020

   

 As of April 3

Given the rapidly changing environment and current guidance regarding group gatherings and social distancing, we have made the following decisions:

GSACPC Council offices are closed to the public and planned to reopen May 4. Staff members are working remotely and available for support, but we are limiting traffic in our facilities. 

The Council Shop is accepting orders of in-store-only items via web form, email or phone and is providing free shipping. As of now, the Council Shop hours remain the same on weekdays but closed on Saturdays. 

Contact us.

Per GSUSA, all Online Shop orders will receive free shipping until further notice. 

All Council-sponsored in-person activities through May 31 will be canceled or postponed 

We are postponing or canceling all Council-sponsored in-person and hosted events, programs and activities through May 31, in accordance with new state stay at home guidance and to allow for planning. Activities fees for Council-sponsored activities will be refunded and we will work with our program partners, who handle the registration directly, to see that refunds are made.


Annual Meeting – April 25

The in-person meeting is canceled. Voting on the slate of officers by delegates will take place electronically on April 23, with a Zoom webinar meeting on April 25. Voting Members will receive all of the information directly. General guests who had registered to attend the event before it was canceled will be invited to the Zoom webinar via email. 

Camp Surf – May 29-31

The Camp Surf trip will be postponed to a later date. Registered participants will be contacted with details directly. 

Lead the Way Service Unit Conference – June 6

We are sad to cancel this annual conference for Service Unit Volunteers. In an abundance of caution, and to avoid cancellation fees should we need to cancel at a later date, we feel this is the prudent decision. 

Summer Camp Closure

We have made the very difficult decision to cancel our 2020 Summer Camp season as originally planned – all programs listed in the summer camp guide. This includes day, resident, and weekend sessions and all four camp properties.

Many factors impacted this decision, including managing risk and the staffing challenges given that our summer camp staff come from across the country and around the globe. This was a painful decision, but the wellbeing of our girls, families, our volunteers and staff remain our priority. 

While the traditional summer camp program won’t be held, the GSACPC Camp Team is currently designing other summer camp program options that could be offered when it is safe to do so. Girls who were registered for camp will be given priority to register for these programs.

Refunds for summer camp will be processed within the next two weeks, although it may take longer for you to see the refund. If you haven’t received a refund by May 1, please contact reghelp@girlscoutsaz.org.

Any monies paid will be refunded to the original method of payment:

  • Program credits will be refunded back to the program credit card. If you have misplaced the card, we’ll replace it or give you the number. The expiration of program credits earned during the 2020 Cookie Program have been extended to December 2021. Program credits earned during the 2019 Cookie Program and Fall Product Sale have also been extended through July 2021.
  • Those who received a campership will need to reapply next year.
  • Girls who chose a camp voucher as a Fall Product or Cookie Program incentive will be given the option to carry the voucher over to next year, or they may switch this incentive to the Program Credit Option.
Cookie Program
Reward Events and Travel

The Product Program Team and our volunteer Product Advisory Committee (PAC) are working closely to ensure that all 2020 GS Cookie Program cookie rewards and events are safe, following the recommendations of the CDC and other authorities.

  • May Events (Hurricane Harbor, Medieval Times, Camp Surf) are postponed to the late summer or early fall. Once the new dates are finalized, all participants will be contacted. Please make sure that your email is up to date (contact reghelp@girlscoutsaz.org if you need to update it). Once the new dates are released, awardees will have the option to change to Program Credits if needed. At this time, we do not know how many/if there will be extra tickets to purchase.  
  • We are considering postponing all other 2020 cookie program reward events/trips to a later date. Many of these programs are offered in partnership with other companies and vendors. In some cases, we are awaiting guidance from them. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this uncertain time. As we continue to work through this, we will inform all participants when new details are finalized or as any changes occur.
Cookie Sales

Sales of leftover inventory are suspended: While the Product Program Team initially allowed troops to continue selling leftover inventory after our 2020 cookie program ended on March 1, we are asking all troops to cease all sales during this global pandemic. If there are troops sitting on large amounts of inventory, please reach out to productprogram@girlscoutsaz.org. We will address this directly and support each troop. 

There should be no distribution of girl rewards while we are practicing social distancing.

GSUSA Eat. Share. Care. Campaign: A message from GSUSA was sent to all members about the new Eat. Share. Care. campaign that is helping councils with cookies sales in progress, as a response to COVID-19. We are fortunate to have completed our Girl Scout Cookie season before the peak of COVID-19. We have sister councils that were in the midst of their cookie seasons and could not continue due to COVID-19. There are sister councils that have cookies in their warehouse, since their cookie season has not even started. GSUSA is supporting the impacted councils through this Eat. Share. Care. Campaign. We understand there may be confusion as to why Arizona Cactus-Pine is not participating, and it is because we have completed our cookie season and want the limited resources to support other council who have not.

Other Programs / Activities / Events / Trainings

Cancellations and postponements for all other programs and events scheduled now through May 31 will be issued over the next few weeks. Girls and families registered for impacted activities will be contacted by our Council Program and Customer Care Teams. If applicable, full refunds will be issued.

We will continue to monitor information from the Centers for Disease Control and the Arizona Department of Health Services to inform our decisions regarding in-person Council-sponsored activities scheduled after May 31.

Council programs and trips scheduled for June and July (including cookie reward trips) not yet announced are being evaluated and decisions will be made at a later date. Many programs are offered in partnership with other companies and vendors. In some cases, we are awaiting guidance from them.

We are encouraging individual participation in the Get Outdoors Challenge and have put together options for earning Girl Scout badges and patches at home and online – see Virtual Girl Scouts

Girl Travel

Council-sponsored trips are canceled through May 31. The Camp Surf trip on May 29 is postponed. All other trips scheduled through May 31 should be postponed. For trips scheduled at a later date, continue to monitor the guidance from the CDC, U.S. Department of State, and state/local authorities to inform planning. If the current guidance is extended, Council will follow those orders and expect the same of members.

Graduating troops who have trips planned this summer, have until Sept. 30, 2020 to use the funds. We will work with individual troops if other arrangements need to be made.

Based on our current global situation, and the desire of many groups and troops to have clarity and time to make a plan, below is the general decision-making timeframe from GSUSA.

Contact GSACPC’s Travel Coordinator,  Manny Rojolemus , with additional questions and for guidance with specific trips.


International Travel
  • Trips scheduled now – end of June: reschedule or cancel now
  • Trips scheduled for the remainder of the membership year: get in touch with Council Staff now to start the conversation & build contingency plans
Domestic (extended / 3+ night) Travel
  • Trips scheduled now – end of May: reschedule or cancel now
  • Trips scheduled for the remainder of the membership year: get in touch with Council Staff now to start the conversation & build contingency plans

Important: please note that girls traveling to any international location identified by the U.S. Department of State as “Level 4 – Do Not Travel” is never allowed. New as a result of COVID-19 developments, is that if there is any girl travel scheduled in the next 60 days to a U.S. Department of State Level 3 location due to COVID-19 risk, the trip should immediately be cancelled or re-routed. 

As of March 8, the Department of State is also advising against all travel on cruise ships, due to increased risk of infection.

Troop / Service Unit Guidance

In line with Council, Service Units should cancel all events and gatherings planned through May 31. If the current stay at home order is extended past April 30, Council will follow those orders and expect the Service Units to do the same.

Because we don’t want to put anyone in danger of contracting coronavirus, there should be no cookie sales of leftover inventory or distribution of girl rewards while we are practicing social distancing.

In an abundance of caution, and to avoid cancellation fees should we need to cancel at a later date, the Council-hosted Lead the Way conference scheduled for June 6 has been canceled.

Graduating troops who have trips planned this summer, have until Sept. 30, 2020 to use the funds. We will work with individual troops if other arrangements need to be made. Please have the Troop Leader contact our Customer Care Team (reghelp@girlscoutsaz.org or 602.452.7030).


Encampments

All encampments are canceled. Future encampment reservations have been suspended. And encampment rounds are postponed until further notice.

When scheduling opens up again, encampments that were canceled due to COVID-19, will be given the opportunity to schedule encampments first.

All deposits for use of our camps made by Service Units will be refunded. We will also work with Service Units to reschedule in the fall or next spring. Please email encampments@girlscoutsaz.org.

If Service Units have deposits at non-GS properties and have difficulty getting refunds, we will work with them to secure those funds and/or, if necessary, provide financial help from the Council’s operating resources.

Please contact our Customer Care Team for support with managing cancellation of Service Unit events and encampments.


Troop Meetings/Service Unit Meetings

In line with Council, all troop and service unit meetings and activities should be suspended. 

We encourage volunteers to support girls and parents virtually (e.g., Troop hangouts on Google or other similar platform, check-in phone calls to the girls, offering ideas for at-home badge work or service projects, etc.) when possible. Please see our Virtual GS page for resources and ideas. 


If you have additional questions related to these updates, please email reghelp@girlscoutsaz.org or call 602-452-7030.

Preventative Measures and Resources

The best protection is self-protection and self-monitoring. Health officials recommend:

  • Washing hands frequently, especially after sneezing, shaking hands, and before eating.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue into the trash, or, as a last resort, cough into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Review the CDC Workplace, School, and Home Tip Sheet issued to the public on March 10.

We recommend the following resources for more information and support:

Health + Official Updates
Community + Support
Parenting Resources