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COVID-19 and Girl Scouts: Frequently Asked Questions


COVID-19 and Girl Scouts: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated:   March 17, 2020 

(Previous Updates:  March 16, 2020, March 13, 2020, March 12, 2020, March 9, 2020)

Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida is suspending all Council-sponsored activities and closing properties until April 6 or further notice.  Additional information will be shared as we continually assess the situation.

Additionally, as federal guidelines currently limit gatherings to fewer than 10, GSTF, along with Girl Scouts of the USA, advises that ALL Girl Scout in-person activities, including troop meetings, be cancelled immediately.  

The safety and welfare of our girls is Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida’s top priority. We are hearing from our community, and many families and volunteers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in our region. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. We will be adding frequently asked questions to this document as they come up. If you have a question, please email customercare@girlscoutsfl.org. 

What is Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida doing in response to COVID-19?

Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida is monitoring the situation closely. Based on public health authorities’ current guidance and the state of emergency declared for Miami-Dade County, we are adjusting plans for upcoming events – including multiple event cancellations and postponements.  

This is a quickly evolving situation and we will stay in touch with members about any additional changes in public health recommendations and how they affect Girl Scout programming.

Program/Event Updates:

March 14 – Miami Youth Fair has been CANCELLED.  Project pick up on Wednesday, March 18.  

March 14 – Women In Aviation has been POSTPONED.  In an abundance of caution, the host location is closing for all outside events.  GSTF is refunding participants.  The new date is TBD.  Priority registration will be given to troops who signed up for the original March date.  The new date and registration process will be shared as soon as it is confirmed. 

March  14 – Innovation and Invention Workshop has been POSTPONED.  GSTF is refunding participants.  The new date is TBD.  Priority registration will be given to troops who signed up for the original March date. The new date and registration process will be shared as soon as it is confirmed. 

March 15 – Jungle Island – Camp Cookie Champ (invitation only event, part of cookie rewards) has been POSTPONED.  The new date is TBD.  The new date and registration process will be shared on this site as soon as it is confirmed. 

March 21 – Sweet Salute/Field of Dreams has been CANCELLED. All spring sports have been cancelled by the NCAA. We’re working on alternatives for the distribution of cookies to Hometown Heroes to occur later in the spring. We will notify all eligible troops as soon as we have a confirmed date. 

March 28 – Wellness 101 Workshop has been CANCELLED.  GSTF is refunding participants.  Refunds may take up to 5 business days to process. 

April 1 – High Award Task Group Meeting will be a virtual/remote meeting

April 4 – Cadette Cybersecurity Badge is CANCELLED.

April 4 – Gold Award Training will be a virtual/web meeting.  Contact customercare@girlscoutsfl.org for more information. 

April 5 – LIA Training is POSTPONED. 

Will you be canceling additional programs? How much notice will you give if you cancel any programs? 

Decisions regarding additional cancelations are being made on an ongoing/rolling basis.  In the case that an event is not canceled, decisions regarding participation in Girl Scout activities are up to the discretion of parents and guardians. 

In the event of an event cancellation, we will do our best to notify registered participants as quickly as possible.  Additional cancellation information will be posted on the events page of our website, as well as the “Breaking News” banner at the top of the website.  Due to the evolving nature of this situation, cancellations may have to be made with short notice, for instance in the case of a public health directive. We will do our best to contact all those affected as quickly as possible.

Will we receive full refunds for cancelled events?

In the case of cancellation of a GSTF program, refunds will be issued.  Refunds may take up to 5 business days to process.

In the case of a partner program (hosted by an organization other than GSTF), refunds will follow the partner program refund policy.  Partner programs receive payment directly, GSTF does not have a role in collection or refunding those programs.

What if the program isn’t cancelled, but I’m not feeling well and choose not to attend?

First and foremost, CDC guidelines on this are clear – anyone with fever, respiratory symptoms, or believe they are sick should stay home.  If you choose not to attend an event, please advise GSTF Customer Care (customercare@girlscoutsfl.org) prior to the event (preferably 24 hour notice).  Refunds will be made on a case-by-case basis when medical concerns are present.  Refunds will only be considered if GSTF was notified prior to the event. 

What about my troop meetings and troop activities?

Effective March 17, in following federal guidelines which limit gatherings to fewer than 10, GSTF, along with Girl Scouts of the USA, advises that ALL Girl Scout in-person activities, including troop meetings, be cancelled immediately.  

Note that all Girl Scout event insurance will remain in effect as before.  However, keep in mind that this is a liability insurance and will cover injuries resulting from an accident.  THE GIRL SCOUT INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER HEALTHCARE OR ILLNESS. 

Under all circumstances, anyone feeling sick should STAY HOME.  

What about property reservations?

All property reservations are canceled through April 6.  Additional cancelations will be made on a rolling basis.  Please contact customercare@girlscoutsfl.org for additional information. 

Will I be able to get help with questions for my troop during this time?

Yes, GSTF is still here to help!  The service center is not open to the public and staff is working remotely.  However, we are answering phones and emails, and continue to be here to help and support you.  Please keep an eye on this site, as well as our social media (Facebook and Instagram) for updates, along with tips and ideas for ways you can support girls during this unprecedented time.  

What other resources are there to support my troop and girls during this difficult time? 

While so much has changed and so many events and activities have been canceled or postponed, it is critically important to remember – we might not be meeting in person, but Girl Scouts has not been cancelled.  In early March we celebrated Girl Scouts’ 108th birthday.  This Movement has been around for a very long time.  This is not the first crisis Girl Scouts face.  We are strong, we are resilient.  Here are a few things you can do:

  • Follow this site and GSTF on social media for opportunities for more virtual programming opportunities – both local, regional, and national opportunities are in the works!

  • The Girl Scout online shop is offering free shipping beginning March 18 until further notice.  This is a great way to stock up on troop supplies for spring bridging ceremonies and other celebrations – of course, once it is safe for group gatherings.  

  • Check out our blog to get tips on how to continue your Girl Scout experience at home

Will GSTF follow Miami-Dade or Monroe County school closures?

Depending on the circumstances behind school closures, GSTF may or may not follow school closures. Schools may be closed in order to clean them fully, which would not impact Girl Scout programming happening elsewhere in the community. In addition, local health authorities may have different recommendations for schools than for community organizations. We will be relying on the recommendations of public health entities such as the CDC, Florida Health, and county response teams. 

What steps can girls and volunteers take to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Please follow all of  the steps recommended by the CDC (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf). The same simple steps that prevent the spread of ordinary flu viruses work against COVID-19 and other illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. 

  • Cough into a tissue or your elbow (not your hand). Then throw tissue away and wash hands. 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. 

  • Stay home when you are sick, with temperature above 100.0 F (38.7 C) or do not feel well, appear weak or ill.

  • Consult your health care provider if you have special health conditions that put you at increased risk.

Additional Resources:

Talking to Girls about Coronavirus

Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Monroe County Public Schools

Florida Department of Health