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COVID-19 Updates

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Last Updated 5/28/21

Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts is committed to the safety and well-being of our members, their families, and the communities we serve.  We know Girl Scouts provides a platform for friendship, belonging, and support for thousands of girls and we have appropriate measures in place to protect them when they participate in Girl Scout activities.

Our communities are beginning to explore what is likely to be new ways of gathering together for years to come.  Girl Scouts is carefully managing this transition to ensure compliance with official guidance and will continue to adjust to stay current as the COVID-19 risk changes over time.  Please continue to visit this site for the most up-to-date information and resources.

Basic Guidelines for All Girl Scout Gatherings and In-Person Activities
  • Masks must be worn when singing and at all times when indoors, except when eating or drinking. Girls and adults who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged, but not required, to wear masks and maintain social distancing of at least three-feet when outdoors.
  • All participants must wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • All are expected to do a quick health check before they leave home and not participate if they are showing any signs of illness
Troop Meetings
  • Girl/Adult ratios listed in Safety Activity Checkpoints must be maintained
  • Outdoor spaces are strongly encouraged when weather permits.
  • In accordance with our standard policy, no meetings are allowed at private residences.
  • Meeting options need to be flexible based on the fluid nature of the COVID-19 risk.  GSUSA recommends maintaining virtual meetings at least 20% of the time to keep tech skills and virtual meeting habits fresh.  Troop leaders can contact info@gscwm.org for information about Zoom accounts available at special Girl Scout rates.
  • Find out about virtual program opportunities
  • Check here for more complete meeting and activity guidelines
Troop and Service Unit Camp Guidelines

Camp Guidelines

The following are key points to consider when planning a camp activity and more detailed guidelines are available here.

  • GSCWM does NOT allow Girl Scout activities, including outdoor/camp activities, at private residences.
  • Nobody should attend if they are showing any signs of illness.  Each attendee must complete a COVID-19 Screening Form (Screening Form) upon arrival.  
  • It is imperative to take all safety precautions when girls travel in motor vehicles.  Since the risk of COVID-19 transmission is high when people are in close proximity and in a closed-in area for more than ten minutes, girls from different households are discouraged from carpooling. 
  • Visitors, including parents, are not allowed.
  • Masks must be worn when singing and at all times when indoors, except when eating or drinking.  Girls and adults who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged, but not required, to wear masks and maintain social distancing of at least three-feet when outdoors.
  • Groups using program equipment (e.g. archery & boats) need to be small enough to allow thorough disinfecting between each camper’s use and still allow sufficient time for girls to enjoy the activity.
  • No shared cooking or serving utensils for food are allowed (no buffets/pot lucks or self-service). Girls should bring their own lunch or snack from home (no sharing) or pre-packaged food/snacks can be provided.  Adults handling food items must wear disposable gloves.
  • Staff must prepare and serve all meals
    • Self-serve buffets, including salad bars, and family-style meals are not allowed
    • Campers can have S’mores and individually cooked campfire meals if adults wearing gloves distribute the ingredients
  • If a camper feels ill during the camp day or has COVID-19 symptoms, they will be separated from other campers and the parent/guardian or emergency contact must be notified and instructed to pick up their camper

Additional Day Camp Guidelines

  • Day camp guidelines apply to any activity for 25 or more girls that lasts more than two hours.
  • “Unit” (cohort) size must be 25 or fewer girls plus the required adults to meet safety ratios.
  • Units, including adults, must stay together throughout the day (no mixing of people from different units/groups).

Additional Overnight Camp/Activity Guidelines

  • “Unit” (cohort) size must be 12 or fewer girls plus the required adults to meet safety ratios.
  • Units, including adults, must stay together throughout the day (no mixing of people from different units/groups).
  • Sleeping areas are restricted to those in the same unit
    • Beds are placed so that individual heads are at least six feet apart
    • Ventilation is maximized as much as possible (open windows, doors, tent flaps)
    • Face coverings/masks should not be worn while sleeping
Girl Scout Leadership Centers and Stores

Leadership Centers in Holyoke and Worcester remain closed to the public but we continue working to provide services and support for you.  Girl Scout stores in each location are able to process orders and prepare them for curbside pickup.  You can also email info@gscwm.org or call 413-584-2602 or 508-365-0115 to make an appointment to visit the store in-person or have a CORI Acknowledgement form verified.

Raising Awesome Girls!

Don’t forget to check out Girl Scouts of the USA resources for Girl Scouts at Home.  You’ll find virtual meeting tips, activities for individual girls and troops, and help for parents and caregivers navigating challenges we’ve never seen before – like how to talk to your kids about coronavirus.