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COVID-19

Handwashing

Updated June 2021

We appreciate the continued efforts of our volunteers and Girl Scouts to do their part to keep our communities safe. While most restrictions are currently lifted, guidelines and guidance from Vermont and New Hampshire do change at times. We recommend you check your local state and town restrictions to determine whether in-person activities are currently allowed. 

For Girl Scout troop activities, masks are no longer required by the council outdoors when social distancing of 3 feet can be maintained. Masks may remain off for short periods of close contact (under 10 minutes of time) for instruction or photos. Masks are required indoors when social distancing cannot be maintained. Day and Resident camp requirements can be found here as our camp must operate under regulations for youth summer programs set by both states.

Masks continue to be required for visitors to our offices and stores. No appointment is necessary for shopping, but a maximum of five shoppers at a time will be allowed in the Bedford store and maximum four shoppers in Williston.  

Our offices and retail stores are now open to customers. The Bedford office and store hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The store is closed for lunch 1:00-1:30 p.m. Our Williston office and store hours are 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., closed for lunch 1:00-1:30 p.m. 

Be sure to check the shop page on the council website for the most up-to-date information about store hours and availability.

For Vermont, check restrictions here: accd.vermont.gov/covid-19 .

For New Hampshire, check restrictions here:  www.nh.gov/covid19/index.htm

TRoop guidelines

Girl Scouts and troops are still encouraged to continue to connect through a variety of virtual programs offered locally, council-wide, and by GSUSA. Girl Scouts and their families may participate in events at our camp properties supervised by camp staff who have received special training and will be following procedures to reduce risk. 

At Girl Scouts, the safety, and well-being of girls remains our top priority. Our committee of staff and volunteers continues to carefully consider CDC recommendations, state guidelines in New Hampshire and Vermont, and best practices from GSUSA to adjust procedures and expectations for in-person activities.

We appreciate the efforts of all our members to keep our communities safe since March 2020 to protect their communities. We have been so proud of the ways Girl Scouts have continued to make the world a better place during this pandemic.


Patricia K. Mellor
Chief Executive Officer
Gold Award Girl Scout

Tips for Staying Healthy
  • Wash hands frequently especially before eating or after sneezing, shaking hands, or having other bodily contact with another individual. Use soap and water for 20 seconds or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick - health officials call this “social distancing” and recommend staying about 6 feet away from someone who is sick.
  • Wear a mask when inside or when maintaining 6 feet social distance is not possible.
  • Stay home from any activities when you are not feeling well.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like your phone or computer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing then throw the tissue in the trash, or as a last resort, cough into your elbow.
  • Get plenty of sleep, good nutrition, stress-relief, and exercise – a healthy body is the best defense against illness.

 

How to Talk to Your Girl About COVID-19

Here are some guidelines from GSUSA for talking to your girl about COVID-19:

Rule number one when it comes to emergencies? Stay calm. But with the new coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading rapidly around the globe—and everyone from news anchors to the couple next to you at the local pizzeria talking about worst-case scenarios—stress and worry can seem downright contagious.

Basically, your girl could likely use a sense of calm in her life right about now, and you can help.

In fact, having a conversation with her about coronavirus could be the most important thing you do with your girl all week. Depending on her age, simply asking what she’s heard about coronavirus and how she’s feeling about it not only helps ensure she’s getting correct information but also lets her know this topic isn’t off-limits and you’re there to support her and help her understand her emotions—whatever they may be.

Here are some basic dos and don’ts when it comes to handling this subject with care.

DO let her know that feelings of fear, sadness, anger, and even confusion are totally normal in times like these. Sometimes just knowing that it’s OK to talk about her feelings can give her a sense of calm.

DON’T lead into the conversation by asking if she’s scared or upset. If she’s not already feeling that way, there’s no need to suggest that she should!

DO answer her questions about things she’s observing—like face masks—in an age-appropriate and accurate way.

DON’T be afraid to admit you don’t have all the answers! Unless you’re a medical professional and highly versed in situations like these, chances are, you may not have all the facts. What you do have on your side? Experts who can help you and your daughter make sense of things. Turn to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted resources, if ever you’re not sure about what you’re hearing in the news or what your girl is hearing on the playground.

DO give your girl the tools to stay as healthy as possible. According to the CDC, washing our hands properly, avoiding touching our faces, staying home when we’re sick, and covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue that gets thrown away immediately are all smart, simple things we can do to prevent the spread of not just coronavirus but also many other illnesses. Taking practical steps to protect herself can give your girl a sense of control in times when she might otherwise feel afraid.

DON’T turn a blind eye to stereotypes or generalizations that have been made about who “started” coronavirus or who might be most likely to have it. Sadly, in times of fear, people often look for someone to blame. Remind your girl that a person’s skin color, the language they speak, and the country their family comes from has nothing to do with the amount of respect and kindness they deserve in this world and that there is no type of person more likely to have or get the virus than others.

DO let her know that, as always, any and all personal contact she has with others should be governed by her own comfort level. For now, she’s unlikely to get sick from shaking hands with a neighbor or hugging a friend—especially if she’s regularly washing her hands—but she should know she can always choose to skip those gestures if they make her uncomfortable or worried for any reason. But if the illness becomes more widespread, you may want to talk to her about minimizing physical contact (like shaking hands or avoiding sharing snacks from the same container), according to CDC guidelines.

DON’T feed the culture of panic. Remember: your girl is taking her cues from you. If you’re staying on track, she’s more likely to as well. 

DO let her know that this is a conversation you can continue as the days and weeks go by. If she thinks of questions she forgot to ask, you’re here to help. And in the case that the situation with coronavirus changes and there’s different or more information that she should know, you’ll bring it to her.

DON’T forget the power of the basics. Doubling down on routines, including mealtimes, bedtime rituals, and quality family time, can go a long way in keeping her world as calm and steady as possible.

GSGWM Facilities and Staff

What are closures to physical locations?
Our offices are open to visitors and customers from June 1, 2021. Our Mountain Top Shops are also open for shopping with no appointment needed. The front desk will be staffed by our Volunteer Support team to assist with questions as needed. Camp properties are open on a limited basis. As appropriate, our staff will continue to provide support to our membership from our offices or their homes. Our camp properties are open to registered participants of programs based on guidance provided in confirmation.

Will staff still be available?
Customer Care will be available to assist with any questions or concerns. They can be reached at 888-474-9686 or customercare@girlscoutsgwm.org. Our website will be updated with new information and resources as they become available. 

Alternatives to Troop Meetings

It is unfortunate that COVID-19 is interfering with Girl Scouts’ ability to meet and learn together. Thank 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 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. Additionally, we are offering several virtual troops and programs for girls to participate in (see our Virtual Troops and Programs page). 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. Please make sure to review the Virtual Troop Meeting Safety Activity Checkpoint.

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
    • GSUSA is making Zoom licenses available to volunteers for $36 per year.
  • 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.

Programs

What are the current impacts on programs?
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is providing virtual and in-person programming, including troop meetings Girls may participate in Girl Scout activities at home with their parents, through our Virtual Troops and Programs, or may decide to utilize online software to lead virtual meetings. A list of free and inexpensive services is available in the Alternatives to Troop Meetings tab.

What about programs and activities 12th grade Girl Scouts have had planned?
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of many programs and activities that 12th grade Girl Scouts had planned for spring/summer 2020: extended travel, bridging-to-adult ceremonies, camping, Gold Award projects, and other Girl Scout activities. In response to this current situation, Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains will allow a one-time extension for 12th graders to use money-earned funds to reschedule these cancelled activities into the next membership year. This policy will only remain in effect until August 31, 2021.

For more information, please refer to the Graduating Seniors Funds Extension Guidelines.

Camp

Our camp properties are open for in person programming this winter, spring and summer! We are excited to open registration for summer day and resident camp programs. We will also be offering troop and family programs which were so popular this past summer. Check our camp pages for full program details and registration links as well as safety measures in place for programs.

Cookies

The 2021 Girl Scout Cookie season has come to a close.  We thank every girl, parent, volunteer, and supporter who made it possible for girls to achieve their successes with this program.

STEM On-the-Go Van

Will the STEM On-the-Go van still come as scheduled?
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we are currently putting new STEM On-the-Go van workshops reservation on hold. We look forward to offering program updates later this winter. Please contact Customer Care at 888-474-9686 or customercare@girlscoutsgwm.org with any questions.