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COVID-19 Updates from GSSJC

Last updated Nov. 3, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. CDT

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto strives for all Girl Scouts, volunteers, and families to feel included and safe throughout their Girl Scout experience. We continue to monitor COVID-19 through the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, local public health departments and counties and cities within our council jurisdiction.

As of Oct. 16, 2020, GSSJC is allowing both indoor and outdoor troop gatherings, subject to the rules below: 

Rules for Indoor Gatherings:
Rules for Outdoor Gatherings:
  • Members of the troop and/or Community must agree and adhere to GSSJC’s COVID-19 Safety Precautions for In-Person Gatherings.

  • A maximum of 20 people may attend an indoor gathering.

  • All participants must be separated into activity groups of no more than 10 total people (8 girls, 2 adults).

  • Activity groups may not be in the same room unless they are able to be separated by at least 50 feet.

  • Indoor space must be at least 500 square feet per activity group of 10.

  • Girls and volunteers must remain in the same activity group for the duration of the event. Participants from different activity groups may not interact.

  • Food and drinks are not allowed at indoor troop gatherings.

  • At this time, indoor home gatherings are not allowed. GSSJC is evaluating how to safely enable home gatherings and will communicate any updates as soon as possible.

  • Indoor gathering space must be pre-approved by GSSJC. Please use this form to submit a space for approval.

  • Carpooling is prohibited. When transporting girls, the driver and all passengers in each vehicle are limited to a single family/household.

  • Several GSSJC Resource Centers are now open for troop gatherings. Reservations are required. Please see details in the GSSJC Facilities and Camps section below.
  • Members of the troop and/or Community must agree and adhere to GSSJC’s COVID-19 Safety Precautions for In-Person Gatherings.

  • A maximum of 50 people may attend an outdoor gathering.

  • All participants must be separated into activity groups of no more than 10 total people (8 girls, 2 adults).

  • Activity groups must be at least 30 feet apart.

  • Girls and volunteers must remain in the same activity group for the duration of the event. Participants from different activity groups may not interact.

  • Food and drinks must be commercially packaged, or each girl may bring her own (girls may not share food or drink).

  • Troops may now reserve outdoor space at select GSSJC camps. Please see details in the GSSJC Facilities and Camps section below.

  • Carpooling is prohibited. When transporting girls, the driver and all passengers in each vehicle are limited to a single family/household.

 


 

 

 

 

When deciding whether to host an in-person gathering, please consider the makeup and size of your troop or group, including possible attendees, their families, and their current comfort level with in-person activities. All volunteers and/or parents of girl members associated with the troop, group or community must be in agreement to meet in person and willing to adhere to the rules above and GSSJC’s COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Girl Scout Gatherings

We want to do our best to make sure all Girl Scouts, volunteers, and families feel included and safe throughout their Girl Scout experience. Troops or groups should make every effort to be inclusive of every member of the group. If a member is unable or uncomfortable attending in-person gatherings, please see tips and tricks for ideas on offering a virtual or alternative participation method.

For frequently asked questions about camp, resource center use and troop gatherings, please see this section.

Additional updates as of October 16, 2020:
  • GSSJC council staff are continuing to work remotely. Staff are not attending gatherings in-person, but staff are available to meet with our membership virtually.
  • Girl Scout Shops are now offering in-person shopping in addition to curbside pick-up for online and phone orders. An appointment is required for both in-person shopping as well as curbside pickup. Please see below for further details or visit our online shop.
  • In addition to these tips for conducting in-person Girl Scout gatherings during COVID-19, you can find specially adapted badges, Journeys and activities for virtual and safe in-person gatherings on the new Troop Leader Blueprint page. Troop leaders can also access PowerPoint guides and scripts for troop gatherings in the GSSJC Online Community.
Reminders:
  • No gatherings larger than 50 persons may convene prior to January 1, 2021. This means Fall Volunteer Conference will be held virtually.
  • The deadline for completing a highest award has been extended to December 31, 2020. This applies to fifth-grade Juniors earning the Bronze Award, eighth-grade Cadettes earning the Silver Award and twelfth-grade Ambassadors earning the Gold Award.
  • All Girl Scout troop/group travel is suspended through December 31, 2020. Travel restrictions will be reviewed again and updated in December 2020. No Girl Scout overnight travel will be reviewed or approved at this time and no overnight travel should be planned earlier than 2021. All participants in overnight travel will need to wait until both their home and destination locations are cleared for overnight travel and then plan at least 60-90 days in the future to ensure the locations do not regress and provide time for the planning and approval process.
  • Updated permission slips are available here.
GSSJC Status Meter

To support our volunteers as they plan for future in-person Girl Scout activities, GSSJC has developed a meter to align our operating procedures and Girl Scout activities with benchmarks from local health and government authorities. This meter is intended to provide members with a framework for what to expect as the pandemic evolves and as we develop appropriate procedures and protocols to enable safe Girl Scout experiences.  

Multiple GSSJC teams, including a crisis management team, a focus group and the council’s Operating Committee continuously evaluate the current state of COVID-19 in our communities. This meter will be reviewed and updated as deemed necessary and members will receive a communication from GSSJC’s COVID-19 task force at least once a month. 

GSSJC will provide rules that members must comply within each stage, as well as COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Girl Scout Gatherings. Members are always expected to follow any additional local restrictions. 

Our current stage is ORANGE.

RED
No in-person Girl Scout gatherings are permitted beyond the household level.

ORANGE **CURRENT STAGE**
In-person Girl Scout gatherings are permitted so long as they comply with current GSSJC Rules (see table above). Additionally, all participants must adhere to the council’s  COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Girl Scout Gatherings . GSSJC may offer limited family/household-based in-person programming or special interest group day-only programs. At this stage, the council may also open camps and resource centers for troop gatherings and day use.   

YELLOW
At this stage, GSSJC may offer day only troop level, in-person activities. GSSJC may also offer single night family camping opportunities. GSSJC will update the Rules with less restrictions for Girl Scout gatherings, but all participants must continue to adhere to the council’s  COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Girl Scout Gatherings .  

GREEN
At this stage, local health and government authorities indicate an overall improvement in GSSJC’s 26-county region. GSSJC may begin planning some programs and events that bring girls together from different communities while continuing safety protocols and limiting event size or capacity. Travel MAY be considered depending on the status of both home and destination of the traveling group. 

Volunteers may begin planning overnight troop and special-interest group activities as well as other day programs with limited event size or capacity. 

BLUE
GSSJC may resume post-pandemic operational norms which are yet to be defined.

GSSJC Facilities & Camps
Houston Girl Scout Center:

Closed to visitors until further notice. Customer service is available Monday – Friday during business hours. Most council staff are working remotely. Staff who perform essential council functions that require physical presence at Girl Scout Center are scheduled on a staggered basis to limit potential contact. For staff who are present at GSSJC facilities, we are following all local, state and federal guidance for preventing the spread of COVID-19. This includes requiring the use of face masks, continuing to keep our properties well-stocked with cleaning supplies and enabling social distancing.

Program Place for Girls:

Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays (4 - 8 p.m.) for troop gatherings by reservation only. The facility can accommodate a maximum of four activity groups (32 girls, 8 adults). See green box below for information about how to request a reservation.

Resource Centers:
  • Ann Temple Allen Girl Scout Center (Lufkin): Open on Tuesdays (4 - 8 p.m.) for troop gatherings by reservation only. Can accommodate a maximum of 2 activity groups (16 girls, 4 adults). See green box below for information about how to request a reservation.

  • Bay Area Resource Center: Not available for troop gatherings.

  • Beaumont Resource Center: Not available for troop gatherings.

  • Cypress Resource Center: Availability beginning Nov. 10. Open on Tuesdays (4 - 8 p.m.) for troop gatherings by reservation only. Can accommodate a maximum of 1 activity group (8 girls, 2 adults). See green box below for information about how to request a reservation.

  • Imperial Valley Resource Center: Open on Tuesdays (4 - 8 p.m.) for troop gatherings by reservation only. Can accommodate a maximum of 1 activity group (8 girls, 2 adults). See green box below for information about how to request a reservation.

  • Lake Jackson Resource Center: Open on Tuesdays (4 - 8 p.m.) for troop gatherings by reservation only. Only covered outdoor space is available. Can accommodate a maximum of 1 activity group (8 girls, 2 adults). See green box below for information about how to request a reservation.

  • Stafford Resource Center: Not available for troop gatherings.

All participants must adhere to the rules for Outdoor Gatherings (see table at top of page) and GSSJC’s COVID-19 Safety Precautions for In-Person Gatherings.

Camps:
  • Agnes Arnold: Open on Saturdays (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) by reservation only. See details below.

  • Camwood: Closed until further notice.

  • Casa Mare: Effective Nov. 14, open on Saturdays (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) by reservation only. See details below.

  • Galveston Bay House: Closed until further notice.

  • Misty Meadows Ranch: Open for limited day programming. See Activities page for offerings.

  • Pryor: Open on Saturdays (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) by reservation only. See details below.

  • Robinwood: Open on Saturdays (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) by reservation only. See details below.

  • Silver Springs: Closed until further notice.

  • Whispering Pines: Closed until further notice.

  • Wind-A-Mere: Closed until further notice.

Camps that are open for reservations can accommodate a maximum of 5 activity groups (40 girls, 10 adults). Each activity group will be assigned an outdoor space that is for their exclusive use from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and activity groups must remain separated while on property. Check in begins promptly at 9 a.m., and troops cannot check in later during the day. No overnight troop camping is allowed at this time. Girls and volunteers will not be allowed into any of the units or buildings. Bathrooms will be available. The cost is $10 per activity group.

One volunteer who is present must be camp-trained or have completed the new online Camp and Outdoor basics. All participants on-site must be current members, and adults must be currently screened volunteers.

HOW TO REQUEST A RESERVATION AT A GSSJC RESOURCE CENTER OR CAMP:

Note: In order to prioritize facility use for supporting girl programs, Resource Center and Camp use will be prioritized for troop and group activities for girls. Adult gatherings and activities are strongly encouraged to continue virtually.

First, please read GSSJC’s COVID-19 Safety Precautions for In-Person Gatherings. All participants at any in-person gathering must agree and adhere to these safety precautions, in addition to the rules above.

Next, email customerservice@sjgs.org with the following information:

  • Your name, phone number and email address*
  • Property you wish to reserve (i.e. “Imperial Valley Resource Center” or “Camp Pryor”)
  • Troop number
  • Date, time and duration of your gathering
  • Number of activity groups (each activity group may have a maximum of 8 girls with 2 adults)
  • Total number of girls attending
  • Total number of adults attending
  • Certification of trained CPR/first aid volunteer

*Please note: camp requests must be made by members with outdoor camp certification (AKA “camp trained”).

Reservations requests must be submitted at least 7 days in advance. Requests will be reviewed by GSSJC staff and confirmed via email within three business days if the property requested is available.

Refunds on Events

If an activity is canceled, program registrants will receive direction communication concerning their activity.

Participants will automatically receive refunds. No action is required. If you registered online, your refund will be applied as a credit back to the card used for registration within 10-15 business days of the original activity date. Activity registrations submitted on paper will be refunded by check and may take 3-4 weeks after the original activity date to process. Note that postponed and rescheduled events may take slightly longer to refund depending on the size of the participant roster. If needed, camp registration refunds will also be issued by check and may require 3-4 weeks after the scheduled reservation date to process.

For third-party event refunds: we will communicate with participants registered to attend programs delivered by third parties or vendors. If you registered directly through a vendor, please contact them for guidance. If you have questions or concerns, email customerservice@sjgs.org.

Girl Scout Shop Curbside and Lobby Pick-Up Service
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In addition to curbside pick-up for online and phone orders, Girl Scout Shops are now offering in-person shopping. An appointment is required for both in-person shopping as well as curbside pickup.

Please call the shop to make an appointment. You may also email shop@sjgs.org.

Appointments are available at most locations on Tuesdays, Wednesdays* and Thursdays from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Starting Oct. 1, these locations will be open on Friday from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

To place your curbside/lobby order, please download and complete the order form linked above and email it to shop@sjgs.org with your preferred pick-up time. You may also call your closest shop to place your order and arrange pick-up.

*Westside, Beaumont and Lufkin are NOT open on Wednesdays or Fridays.

Program Place
3000 Southwest Fwy., Houston, TX 77098
713-292-0247

Bay Area
1300 A Bay Area Blvd., Ste. 106, Houston, TX 77058
281-282-6077

Beaumont
700 North St., Suite F, Beaumont, TX 77701
409-832-0556 Ext. 1500

Imperial Valley
15800 Imperial Valley Dr., Houston, TX 77060
281- 447-8870

Lufkin
1202 College Dr., Lufkin, TX 75904
936-634-4688

Stafford
12300 Parc Crest, Suite 170, Stafford, TX 77477
281-670-5982

Westside
531 FM 359 South, Brookshire, TX 77423
281- 822-4250

Girl Scouting from Home and Activity Booklets

Girl Scouting From Home
As Girl Scouts, we live by the motto "be prepared" - and that includes when the unexpected happens. We ask that all members continue to follow the most current guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and their local health officials.

We will continue to offer resources for girls and troops to participate virtually. Please visit gssjc.org/girlscoutingfromhome for the latest Girl Scouting from Home offerings.

Activity Booklets
GSSJC is developing activity booklets that will allow us to reach members who don’t have regular access to a computer and/or the Internet. These booklets will be available in both English and Spanish and will assist girls in earning badges and petals (for Daisies). New booklets will be provided every few weeks and will feature engaging, family-friendly activities that can be done safely at home or outside with items that families likely have on hand. These will be mailed free of charge to Girl Scout members who are Daisies, Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes.

To subscribe, please email customerservice@sjgs.org and provide the name of the girl and the grade level she will enter in the fall. Also, indicate if you prefer to receive the booklets in English or Spanish.

Community Resources

Our priority remains the well-being of our girls and families, so we encourage you to become familiar with community resources and seek assistance when needed.

Raising Awesome Girls
From knowing how much to help with her homework to navigating sensitive issues in the news with your family, we've got everything you need to raise girls with confidence. Read more.

2-1-1 Texas
A program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need, including drug and alcohol abuse, mental health and domestic violence. www.211Texas.org

Gulf Coast COVID Survey
To support community recovery, we encourage everyone to fill out this Community Impact Survey. This survey has been created by Harvey Home Connect, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit disaster recovery organization in partnership with local nonprofit, educational and philanthropic organizations to assess the needs that have emerged as a result of the Coronavirus | COVID-19.

Report Child Abuse - It's the Law
To report child abuse or neglect, call the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services abuse hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or visit the website.

Frequently Asked Questions
CAMP

Can I submit a camp request for overnight camping and/or reservations at a camp that is not currently open?
While groups may submit camp requests using  F-126  or  F-127  forms, staff will not follow up on them until we enter an open reservation period and have defined which groups will be permitted to make reservations.

When will my troop be able to plan an overnight camping trip?
When GSSJC determines that any of its properties may become available for gatherings or overnight reservations, reservations will be opened the month preceding the facility re-opening. This determination will be made in the second week of the preceding month. For example, the GSSJC COVID-19 meter in mid-September will determine whether we will begin taking reservations in October for November 2020 activities. In many instances, we anticipate foregoing typical Council camp priorities and re-opening facility reservations based on the progression outline above. Watch this page for updates.

Will the grills be available for troops that have reserved space at the currently open camps?
No. Each girl should bring her own lunch or commercially packaged food.

Why are certain camps still closed and other are open for day camping?
We are continuously evaluating operational factors that influence our ability to offer safe programming at our camps. We are working to offer increased access to camps dependent on resource availability and the GSSJC COVID-19 Status meter
 

RESOURCE CENTERS

Why are certain resource centers not available for troop gatherings?
The availability of resource centers is based on space, scheduling and tenant agreements. We are continuously evaluating these factors and working to expand available gathering space for troops.
 

TROOP GATHERINGS

Can my troop do a Friendship Circle at our upcoming gathering?
The council’s COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Girl Scout Gatherings apply to all in-person activities. This means that girls may do a Friendship Circle, so long as they are separated into activity groups of 10 or fewer (8 girls, 2 adults) and each girl maintains 6 feet of social distancing from each other. We suggest using a rope in lieu of holding hands.

The space that my troop is gathering at does not require masks to be worn when girls are sitting down. Does that mean they can take them off while they are sitting down at our troop gathering?
No. GSSJC’s COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Girl Scout Gatherings must be adhered to at all Girl Scout gatherings, regardless of the venue’s policy. Everyone is required to provide and wear a face mask or cloth face covering that covers nose, mouth, and chin. This includes caregivers dropping off and picking up girls from a gathering. 

The space that my troop is gathering at requires temperatures to be taken before participants enter the building. GSSJC’s COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Girl Scout Gatherings do not say anything about this. Do we need to take temperatures?
Yes. You must adhere to any additional safety measures specific to your gathering space, even if they are not addressed in GSSJC’s COVID-19 Safety Precautions for Girl Scout Gatherings or the rules in the table above.

My co-leader wishes to plan an in-person gathering for our troop; however, I am uncomfortable meeting in-person. Can our troop proceed with the in-person gathering?
No. All troop leaders must be in agreement to meet in-person. If the decision is not unanimous, please continue meeting virtually until everyone agrees to an in-person gathering.