side menu icon

COVID-19 Updates from GSSJC

Last updated Aug. 17, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. CDT

Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council continues to monitor COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and local public health departments and all of the counties and cities within our council boundaries.

Here is the latest - please find more detailed information in the drop-down section. As of Aug. 17:

  • All offices and camps are closed through Oct. 31 except for specific appointments or offerings.
  • Please note that at this time, GSSJC council staff will not be attending meetings in-person, but staff are available to meet with our membership virtually.
  • No events, meeting or programs larger than 50 persons may convene prior to January 1, 2021. This means that Cadette Weekend will be canceled and Fall Volunteer Conference will be held virtually.
  • In some cases, GSSJC troops and groups are now able to hold in-person meetings. Please read the latest guidelines developed by our council to ensure safe practices. Additional information can be found here and here.
  • Girl Scout Shops are now offering curbside pick-up. Please place an order online at gssjc.org or by calling the shop directly. Pick-up appointments are available at most locations on Tuesdays, Wednesday* and Thursdays from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Westside, Beaumont and Lufkin are not open on Wednesdays). We are evaluating how and when to safely re-open shops for in-person shopping.  
  • 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. Note: Project proposals for graduated seniors were due July 1, 2020, and Silver Award Intent Forms for girls entering 9th grade in fall 2020 were due Aug. 1, 2020.
  • All Girl Scout troop/group travel is suspended through December 31, 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 will be available on gssjc.org later this week.
GSSJC Status Meter

In order to support our volunteers as they plan for future in-person Girl Scout activities, GSSJC has developed a meter to monitor the pandemic status throughout our council operating areas. Volunteers should first look to GSSJC’s meter on this page, which will be reviewed and updated at least monthly or as deemed necessary by the Council’s COVID-19 task force. Based on GSSJC’s meter as first level guidance, local guidance may also be incorporated at the Yellow and Green stages. Our current status is ORANGE.

RED:

  • Council-wide: No in-person activities are permitted beyond the household level.
  •  Locally: No in-person activities are permitted beyond the household level.   

ORANGE:

  • Council-wide: GSSJC permits local in-person activities that are 10 persons or less. Please read the full guidelines for in-person troop meetings at level Orange. GSSJC may offer limited family/household-based in-person programming of fewer than 50 persons, special interest group day-only programs in groups of 10 or fewer, or adult certifications for fewer than 10 persons. Carpooling is prohibited.
  • Locally: If the Council is meter Orange or better, and local authorities permit in-person activities, troops of 10 or fewer may convene following the council’s guidelines and maintaining appropriate adult to girl ratio. Troops and groups should be relying predominately on virtual and “from home” engagement opportunities with their girls and volunteers. Carpooling is prohibited.

YELLOW:

  • Council-wide: At this stage, GSSJC may offer day only troop level, in-person activities with physical distancing, face covering and other hygiene practices in place. Follow council guidance re: carpooling. GSSJC may also offer single night family camping opportunities.
  • Locally: If the Council gauge is Yellow or better, troops and Communities whose local (generally defined as county) pandemic state is improved or who have successfully completed Phase 3 re-opening may begin planning regular troop meetings of 50 or fewer people, or small group convenings of 50 or fewer people at least 45 days out. If in that timeframe, the local jurisdiction regresses, the event should be canceled. And, when possible, virtual participation in all indoor activities should continue to be supported. Carpooling is not recommended, and volunteers should follow the latest Council guidance.

GREEN:

  • Council-wide: at this stage the TMC dashboard indicates overall improvement in the 9-county region. GSSJC may begin planning some programs and events that bring girls together from different communities, while continuing safety protocols and potentially limiting event size or capacity. Travel MAY be considered depending on the status of both home and destination of the traveling group. Monitor council guidance for travel restriction status and whether it is lifted.
  • Locally: if the Council gauge is Green or better, volunteers may begin planning overnight troop and special-interest group activities (small groups overnight) as well as other day programs with limited event size or capacity based on the most conservative guidance from local governing authorities. 

BLUE:

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

While this is our intended approach at the time of this update, please be aware that the data available related to COVID-19 is changing daily and we may change our approach as the situation warrants. Multiple groups including a crisis management team, a focus group and the Operating Committee continue to evaluate the current state of COVID-19 in our area. We currently anticipate that these guidelines will remain in place at least until the end of September so that we can evaluate the impacts of students returning in-person to school before updating in-person meeting and other guidance.

GSSJC Facility Closures

All offices and camps are closed through Oct. 31 except for specific appointments or offerings. Please note that at this time, GSSJC council staff will not be attending meetings in-person, but staff are available to meet with our membership virtually. Most council staff are working remotely. Staff who perform essential council functions that require physical presence at a Girl Scout property may be scheduled on a staggered basis to limit potential contact. The Girl Scout Center in Houston is closed to visitors until further notice.

Additionally, GSSJC offices are closed Saturdays. This means customer service and other staff members may not be available during this time.

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.

When GSSJC determines that any of its properties may become available for meetings 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.

Refunds on Activities

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.

Camp Placement and Facilities Reservations

All GSSJC resource centers and camps are closed through October 31st, with possible exception of limited Council activities. All GSSJC resource center and camp reservations beyond October remain on hold. We know you need time to plan, but we ask your continued patience as we assess dynamic guidance from local health and other camp-focused agencies. A small group of staff and volunteers continue to review current guidance and develop plans that prioritize the safety and delivery of quality experiences at each of our camps and resource centers.

While groups may choose to submit camp requests using F-126 or F-127 as we monitor conditions, staff will not follow up on those requests until we enter an open reservation period and have defined which groups will be permitted to make reservations. 

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.

Girl Scout Shop Curbside and Lobby Pick-Up Service
download_32

Council shops are now offering retail with at-home ordering and curbside/lobby pickup. Prearranged pick-up appointment times will be available on Tuesday and Thursday and at select shops on Wednesdays* from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To place your curbside/lobby order, please download and complete the order form linked above and email shop@sjgs.org or call your closest shop.

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

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

Community Resources

Our priority remains the well-being of our girls and families, so I 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.

Girl Power Can't Be Quarantined Patch
download_32
download_32

The Girl Power Can’t Be Quarantined program is an idea we “borrowed” from our Girl Scout sisters in the Nation’s Capital. Troops who did not opt-out in June should have received their patches. Please distribute them to your troops or contact covidpatch@sjgs.org if you have not received them.

 

Please check back frequently for updates.