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COVID News & Resources

March 9, 2022: Together over the last two years, we have come together as members, volunteers, staff, vendors, and supporters to be there for Girl Scouts when they needed us, and I’m proud of how well we’ve adapted and learned together throughout the pandemic.

I’m writing today to share significant changes to our COVID-19 in-person activity guidance. We are making these changes now because vaccines are readily available, easy to access, and free for all age groups that participate in Girl Scouts and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently changed its recommendations regarding masking.

In almost all cases, the guidance will shift from requirements to recommendations. The full In-Person Girl Scout Activity Guidance (PDF) document has been updated , and you should always continue to reference this page for the most up-to-date information. 

Here is a Summary

  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued new guidelines for masking. The CDC now classifies counties according to the levels of COVID-19 transmission in the community as low, medium or high. 

  • As of March 9, 2022, most of the counties River Valleys serves are classified at either low or medium levels of COVID-19 transmission, and we will no longer require universal mask usage while indoors. 

  • Effective today, mask requirements will depend on the COVID-19 community transmission level your county is assigned. Visit CDC: COVID-19 by County to find your county’s status.

  • In counties with medium levels, masks are encouraged. 

  • In counties with high levels, masks remain required while conducting Girl Scout activities indoors. 

  • Please remember that some participants may choose to continue to wear masks even when it is not required. Please respect the personal safety choices of others.

  • There are no longer maximum limits on group size, indoors or out. However, breaking large groups into pods of 25 people or fewer is recommended.

  • Indoor meetings and activities, including those at public facilities, are allowed.

  • Overnights are allowed, indoors and outdoors. Limiting sleeping to one household per area is recommended, as is maintaining six feet of distance if possible. 

  • Food may be prepared and served following our standard kitchen use and food preparation requirements and with consideration to additional COVID-19 recommendations.

  • Use of public transportation and busses is allowed. 

  • Travel is also allowed, including international travel. Travel must always be pre-approved through the Girl Scouts River Valleys travel planning and approval process.

Approach to Vaccination

We encourage all Girl Scouts, volunteers, parents, and caregivers participating in Girl Scout activities to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they are able.

Although vaccination is not a requirement of membership, Girl Scouts River Valleys may require proof of COVID-19 vaccination (or a negative test result) to participate in council programs, events, or camp sessions.

With advanced council staff permission, volunteers may also require participants to provide either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative test result before participating Girl Scout activities, events, or travel. Both options must be offered.  Please see our Volunteer Process for Vaccination document for more instruction on this process.

Requirements for Exposure or Positive Test Result

Any individual who is directly exposed or has COVID-19 or its symptoms should refrain from attending Girl Scouts activities. Various factors affect how long a person should wait to attend and what the reporting requirements are. Please review the guidance details to familiarize yourself with the updated requirements.

What to Expect

While this new guidance is effective today, it may take some time for volunteers leading programs, travel, or troop activities to adjust their plans, or they may choose not to adjust their plans. 

Please be patient with and respectful to anyone planning or leading an activity while they get reoriented. This is the biggest change we’ve made since the first shutdown and early guidance. It will likely take the same amount of time and effort to adopt this new approach.

Girl Scouts, families, and volunteers are not required to participate in any activity. It is the sole discretion of each individual family and their comfort level with the planned activity. All participants should be supported, included, and welcomed and their personal safety choices, such as continued mask use or requests for physical distancing, should be honored and respected.

Good communication with families and fellow volunteers continues to be vital. Discuss plans with families and fellow volunteers and be flexible and patient as you work together to decide the best course of action.

Inclusion and access are critically important. Make sure that you have considered access and inclusion as you make your plans.

Girl Scouts River Valleys’ properties and equipment may not all be immediately available due to maintenance schedules and staffing levels. If you have questions regarding properties and equipment, contact Kyria at girlscouts@girlscoutsrv.org.

Our program, camp, leader support, volunteer engagement, and travel support staff are also ready to help you understand and interpret these changes. You can submit your questions to girlscouts@girlscoutsrv.org and our customer care team will get your question to the right person.

And lastly, we’ve all learned to expect the unexpected. The situation, of course, may change on us again. If we have to, we may need to tighten this guidance and introduce more restrictions. I hope this is not the case, but please be prepared in case I need to write to you about this again.

Our Journey Together

We, our council—all of us—have done remarkably well throughout the pandemic. We have kept Girl Scouts, members, and our communities safe, our top and most important priority. We also learned new skills (hello Zoom, Rallyhood, video, and more!), created virtual programs, meetings, events, and camp (!), learned, laughed, and cried together, leaned on and trusted each other, and when something didn’t work, we tried again. In short, we were Girl Scouts.

Thank you to each and every one of you for your patience, your creativity, your grit, and your commitment. I have been so inspired and humbled by what you’ve done for girls and their future.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or send in your questions to girlscouts@girlscoutsrv.org. I hope you have a wonderful spring and summer ahead!

In Girl Scouting,

Jen Thorson 
Chief Operating Officer 
Girl Scouts River Valleys

Check this page regularly for the most current COVID news and updates related to Girl Scout activities, program events, facilities, shops, and camps.

Any time you are in a gathering with other people, you are putting yourself and others at risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 can lead to serious medical conditions and even death for people of all ages. We cannot predict who will become severely ill, although we know that older people and people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk. We do not yet know what the long-term effects of COVID-19 are; even people with mild cases may experience long-term complications. People with symptoms and without symptoms can spread COVID-19. The masking, distancing, and other guidance provided here is intended to reduce the risk of transmission, but does not eliminate it.

 

Updates by Category

Council Events
  • Find a listing of upcoming virtual and in-person events on our Events page. Be sure to check this list regularly as we continue to add more events.

  • Girl Scouts River Valleys may require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to participate in council events or camp sessions. 

  • Our Program team will consult county guidance and let participants know on an event-by-event basis about any masking requirements.  

Service Unit and Troop Activities
  • If you are planning a service unit or troop event, read the In-Person Girl Scout Activity Guidance (PDF) prior to planning your event.

  • With advance council staff permission, volunteers may require participants to provide either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative test result before participating in Girl Scout activities, events, or travel. Both options must be offered. 

  • Indoor and outdoor shared cooking as part of Girl Scout program activities for troops and volunteer-led events is allowed. All cooking and meal preparation must follow Girl Scouts River Valleys kitchen use and food preparation requirements and the COVID-19-related guidance and recommendations provided in the In-Person Girl Scout Activity Guidance (PDF).

  • With advance council staff permission, volunteers may require participants to provide either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative test result before participating in Girl Scout activities, events, or travel. Both options must be offered.  Please see the Testing Requirement Process for Volunteer-led Events Vaccination (PDF) for more instruction on this process.

Summer Camp

The health and safety of all campers and staff is our highest priority, and we selected our camp offerings this year to ensure the safest, high-quality experience for campers. Camp sessions will follow the Minnesota COVID-19 Prevention Guidance for Overnight Youth Camps and will also be informed by the American Camp Association’s Field Guide to Camp 2021 .

Campers will not be able to stay at camp without these essential forms. Campers this year are required to submit proof of a negative COVID test before their start at camp.

While at camp, campers may be tested for COVID-19 if they are displaying symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who tested positive. Campers testing positive will not be able to stay at camp. Unvaccinated campers who have a close contact with someone with a positive COVID-19 test result are asked to quarantine and will not be able to stay at camp. Vaccinated campers who have had a close contact with someone with a positive COVID-19 test result may be asked to mask indoors when possible and will be monitored for symptoms and tested as needed.

Shop

Online

Our online store is fast, easy, secure, and orders typically ship within five business days. For additional shop resources, discounts, and special items, visit GirlScoutsRV.org/Shop.

In-Store

Please view shop locations and hours prior to your visit.

Contactless Pick-Up

You can also order items for contactless pick-up by using the Contactless Pick-Up Order Form.

Facilities
  • All reservations are subject to change based on evolving Girl Scouts River Valleys COVID guidelines and must comply with the In-Person Girl Scout Activity Guidance.

  • Two-hour free meeting spaces for troops and service units are available. View meeting space options and then complete the Member Rental Inquiry Form

  • Create Your Own Troop Overnight: Didn’t get a Troop Camp reservation or prefer to plan your own troop overnights? Increase your troop’s leadership, planning, and collaboration skills by facilitating your own troop overnight at Sagata Troop House, Camp Singing Hills, and Camp Northwoods—Exclusively for Girl Scout troops and Juliettes with current memberships. Troops plan, supply and prepare for their own meals and activities. View "Create Your Own Troop Overnight" options or submit the  Member Rental Inquiry Form to let us know you are interested.

Travel & Overnight Stays

Tents/outdoor camping:  

  • Tenting/outdoor camping is allowed, following all Girl Scouts River Safety Activity Checkpoints. 

  • One household per tent is recommended. 

  • If participants from more than one household share a tent, try to maintain at least 6 feet of distance (measuring from head-to-head) by sleeping head-to-toe or spacing out. 

Indoor overnights:  

  • Indoor overnights are allowed, following all Girl Scouts River Safety Activity Checkpoints. 

  • One household per sleeping space is recommended. 

  • If participants from more than one household are sharing a sleeping space, maintain at least 6 feet of distance (measuring from head-to-head). 

  • Masks are recommended following county-level CDC designations and except when eating, sleeping, or showering. 

Extended travel (domestic & international): 

  • Troop, group, and individual Girl Scout travel will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis following the Girl Scouts River Valleys travel planning and approval process.

  • When making travel plans, consider current CDC guidance, group size, family expectations, destination, and safety plans. It is recommended to limit participant numbers to a maximum of 25 people per group/pod (including adults), maintaining at least three feet of distance and avoiding mixing groups. 

  • COVID-19 risk changes frequently, and contingencies for rescheduling and pivoting should be in place for last-minute changes. 

  • It is recommended that Girl Scouts and families participating in extended travel quarantine (staying home and away from others) beforehand to reduce risk, and that participants from different households consider sleeping at least 6 feet apart (measuring head-to-head). 

  • Fully vaccinated adults and Girl Scouts may skip pre-trip quarantining and follow CDC guidelines for vaccinated persons. 

 

Additional Support

Be Prepared and Minimize Risk

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) shared the following things you can do to minimize your risk of contracting any virus:

  • Stay home when you are not feeling well.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

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

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Email Communication Archive

 

A Letter to our Members | March 9, 2022

A Letter to our Members | Jan 1, 2022

A Letter to our Volunteers | May 28, 2021

A Letter to our Volunteers | May 5, 2021

A Letter to our Volunteers | February 16, 2021

A Letter to our Members | November 19, 2020

A Letter to our Volunteers | November 11, 2020

A Letter to our Volunteers | September 9, 2020

A Letter to our Volunteers | June 30, 2020

A Letter to our Members | May 7, 2020

A Letter to our Members | April 22, 2020

A Letter to our Members | March 26, 2020

A Letter to our Members | March 18, 2020

A Letter to our Members | March 15, 2020

A Letter to our Members | March 12, 2020

 

Still have questions? Contact us.