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Your Health and Safety Come First: COVID-19

Last updated 12.15.2020

Due to the shelter in place ordered the GSHCC Guidelines for meeting in person are on hold until the mandate is lifted. The safety of our members and girls is our number one priority, and we understand girls need to feel a sense of belonging – now more than ever.

Recently GSHCC put forth guidance for in-person troop meetings based on the Blue Print for a Safer Economy. Our decision was based on schools returning to in-person learning.  While this is a goal to get all youth back to in-person learning, it may not represent the best criteria for when troops can meet in-person. Further review of the Blue Print for a Safer Economy and the California Department of Health guidelines for children participating in youth groups and day camps provide us with additional guidance on in-person troop meetings.

GSHCC will follow the COVID-19 - Industry Guidance: Cohorts for children and youth in supervised settings. This guidance is state-wide and applies to groups of children participating in youth groups and day camps.  Here is the link to the California Department of Public Health Guidance Related to Cohorts – Updated September 4, 2020. Cohorts must be limited to no more than 14 children and youth and no more than two supervising adults, or a configuration of no more than 16 individuals total (children and youth or adults) in the cohortWhen considering how to configure your cohort troops must maintain adult supervision ratios listed in Safety Activity Checkpoints.

Your county risk level DOES NOT impact the guidelines that support public health guidelines related to cohorts.

Before meeting in person make sure you understand and follow these guidelines, checklists and planning worksheets. If you have additional questions, please contact customercare@girlscoutshcc.org.

Please continue to check our website for updates or changes.  We will continue to update in-person troop and service unit meetings as conditions continue to change. Thank you for your consideration and support.

Here are two blog posts from Raising Awesome Girls that you may find helpful during these times:

When will GSHCC staff begin hosting in-person events?

Due to the increased ability to serve all members, GSHCC staff will continue to focus our work in the virtual space, creating fun and unique opportunities that engage girls, families and troops both online and offline. For more information about our program offerings, including upcoming trainings and leader meetings, visit the activities page and gshccvirtual.org.

What is the best way to get in touch with council staff if I have questions?

Presently, our program centers are not open to the public and the majority of staff are working remotely. We have added staff to our Customer Care Team so that we can more quickly address any questions or concerns you have. For the quickest response, please reach out to us through email: CustomerCare@girlscoutshcc.org.

Are the GSHCC shops open?

Girl Scouts Heart of Central California Girl Scout Shops are following state and county guidelines. Be sure to check our website before you leave to assure conditions have not changed. 

 

In-Person Cookie Program Guidance

As our most publicly visible activity, the Girl Scout Cookie Program provides us with a unique opportunity to model leadership by doing our part in reducing community transmission of COVID-19. In addition to understanding and following this guidance, girls and adults should model Girl Scout Law behavior at all times, while representing Girl Scouts during any Cookie Program activities. Ultimately, we are all responsible to the girls, to each other and to the public. If we all follow these guidelines, each person pursues only those activities they feel comfortable with, we remain diligent about personal and public safety, and we get a little creative, our girls will have a fun and successful 2021 cookie program!

This guidance is designed using the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy  Updated 11/2020., with additional consideration for the Regional Stay at Home Order, announced December 3, 2020 (where applicable within the council). 

  • GSHCC COVID-19 Guidelines for PARTICIPATING IN GIRL SCOUT IN-PERSON MEETINGS should be reviewed, accepted, and adhered to by participating girls and adults.
  • Girls should remain within their county boundaries when conducting in-person activities – with the exception of contactless, pre-paid, girl delivered orders. 
  • Girls should always wear masks and follow all physical distancing precautions.
In-Person Cookie Sales Covid Chart
Definitions:

Contactless: without contact; for example “contactless delivery” would include leaving purchased items at the entryway of a home rather than handing it directly to a person, or putting cookies purchased from a virtual booth directly in to a customer’s trunk.  

Touchpoint: any point of contact between multiple people; for example: girl gives cookies to customer, customer gives cash to Girl Scout, Girl Scout gives cash to parent, parent gives cash to troop cookie manager, troop cookie manager gives cash to bank teller, customer gives a credit card to a girl to input information, etc. 

Individual Household: An Individual household is a single household of people, or families who been social distancing together.

In-person activities:
  • Contactless Door-to-Door marketing:
    • Flyers, business cards, door hangers, and/or signs with girls’ online shop information may be distributed in a contactless manner to residences and businesses.
    • Yard signs with girls social links or QR codes are encouraged
    • Knocking on doors to transact with customers is not encouraged unless girls are in counties with a RedOrange, or Yellow risk level, with appropriate safety precautions in place. Due to the additional touchpoints, this will also apply to walkabouts and wagon sales.
    • Girls should not engage in door-to-door contactless marketing to residences or businesses outside of their county. 
  • Contactless payment acceptance:
    • We recommend all customer purchases be transacted through girls' online storefronts, promoting Direct Ship or pre-paid Girl Delivery.
    • When not possible to accept payment through pre-paid options, we encourage using the credit card payment option in Smart Cookies to reduce transmission touchpoints at the time of cookie deliverer. As a reminder, GHSCC will cover Smart Cookies/Heartland fess for the 2021 cookie program. Troops are responsible for any and all fees associated with using any other credit card payment system.
    • We do not recommend accepting cash or checks. However, if circumstances require it and a girl and parent elect to do so, we recommend taking appropriate safety precautions. To reduce touchpoints, adults may deposit cash or checks into their personal accounts, then electronically transfer the funds to their troop volunteers. Each troop may decide whether to allow this option.
  • Contactless product deliveries or product pick-up:
    • Contactless porch product deliveries should be planned and shared with customers in advance of the drop. We highly encourage girls to use their social links for girl delivered and encourage customers to pay for their cookies in advance. 
    • Date, time and location of product pick-up for virtual booth sales should be communicated with potential customers in advance. Consider scheduling trunk pick-ups at a central location and scheduling customer pick-up times to minimize the number of people there at once. 
  • In-person Booths and Cookie Drive-Through Booths:
    • Not recommended in counties with a Purple risk level. GSHCC staff will continue to monitor, and communicate as we approach the deadline for the troop’s initial order.
    • Suggested only in counties with a RedOrange, or Yellow risk level. 
    • Individual Household participation only. Booths must always include a minimum of two adults, including one female (at least one of whom is an approved registered Girl Scout volunteer with the required current eligible background check) and one girl should be present at the booth at all times. With this adult supervision, you’ll have adequate booth coverage if the girls need to be accompanied to the restroom.  As always, the in-person booths should have no more than 4 girls, with the additional guidance that all girls be from an individual household. 
    • Follow additional site and/or business restrictions.
    • All appropriate COVID-19 precautions in place: Booths must be outdoors and girls must wear masks and adhere to physical distancing at all times while at their booth. Troops are responsible for providing their own supplies, such as barriers, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for high touch surface areas.
    • Booth submission, availability, approval, and management processes vary by county and at SU team discretion.
    • Counties that move from Red to Purple risk level must immediately cancel any planned booths. Booths may not be rescheduled until the county returns to Red Risk Level.
    • Booths must be approved by the local SU volunteer team for insurance tracking purposes and to be included in the National Cookie Finder.
  • Lemonade Stands, Walkabouts and Wagon Sales: 
    • Lemonade stands work like a booth sale, but are held on personal property. If only one girl is present, a lemonade stand only needs one adult. 
    • Individual Household participation only.
    • It is recommended that girls and families follow guidelines for contactless payment acceptance.
    • Although noted as an option for those counties at a Purple risk level, lemonade stands are highly discouraged. Families should regularly check and follow real-time local and national safety directives before hosting sales on their personal property.
    • Due to the additional touchpoints, walkabouts and wagon sales are not encouraged unless girls are in counties with a RedOrange, or Yellow risk level, with appropriate safety precautions in place. 

Please note: Even with health and safety precautions, there are no guarantees that anyone can prevent exposure to COVID-19. There is an inherent risk of exposure and illness in participating in any in-person activity.