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COVID-19 Updates: Working Together to Keep Our GSCSNJ Community Healthy

COVID-19 News Image

Updated as of November 16

 
GSCSNJ troops can resume outdoor activities as of June 22, 2020. Due to recent changes in the current environment, GSCSNJ girls and volunteers are not allowed to meet indoors until further notice.
 

At Girl Scouts, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our members. Our current decisions, based on public health, CDC, and local school district guidelines, are summarized below:

  • Service Centers and offices remain closed to the public at this time.
  • Juliette's Closet retail shops are open (Tuesday and Thursdays) for Curbside Pick-Up and Virtual Shopping tours. Girl Scouts' online shop is open 24/7 for all your Girl Scout needs.
  • Council staff is telecommuting during our regular business hours, M-F from 9AM-5PM. For general questions, please contact us at customercare@gscsnj.org or 856-795-1560.
Steps to Meeting In-Person
  1. Read GSCSNJ's COVID-19 Guidelines - Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ may modify this guidance from time to time as local and national circumstances change. Please continue to check the edition date highlighted at the top of the PFD to ensure you've reviewed the most up-to-date COVID guidelines.
  2. Ensure parents have completed the COVID-19 updated Yearly Permission Form and Meetings/Trip forms.

As your troop or group begins to make plans to meet for in-person activities, use the GSCSNJ COVID-19 Guidelines to lead your decisions and planning around returning safely to troop activities. Please note: alternative participation options should be provided or individual troop members not able to meet in person.

Please note that resumption of in-person Girl Scout activities (whether outdoors or inside) will require modifications. Modifications will include, limited group sizes, face coverings, physical distancing, sanitizing protocols, and symptom pre-screening each time a member participates in an in-person Girl Scout activity.

Guidelines for In-Person Troop Meetings
Due to recent changes in the current environment, GSCSNJ girls and volunteers are NOT ALLOWED to meet indoors until further notice. -Updated Wednesday, October 7 , 2020

In response to recent inquiries regarding in-person troop meetings, GSCSNJ is sharing interim COVID-19 Guidance for Volunteers who wish to return to in-person troop meetings and activities throughout the summer. 

PLEASE NOTE: GSCSNJ may modify this guidance, at any time, as circumstances may change within our communities.  If you choose to have in-person meetings, please read the comprehensive guidelines below to ensure safe practices. 

  • Starting on June 22, 2020 - troop outdoor activities may begin

As stated above, these guidelines may change moving forward and we will update if needed. Please also note revised permission slips below. 

In-Person Troop Meetings | COVID-19 Guidance for Volunteers [PDF]

*Forms last updated Wednesday, October 7, 2020*

Reporting a Positive COVID-19 Test

In the event of a volunteer or girl receives a positive COVID-19 test result, the volunteer or parent/guardian should promptly contact Council in this situation.

Learn how to report a positive COVID-19 test result.
REMINDER: Only Council staff and NOT volunteers will notify parents and others about a postive test result and that the tester's identity will remain confidential. Girl and volunteer health informatoin is private, strictly confidential, and should only be shared on a need to know basis with a Council staff member.
Virtual Meeting Resources
Zoom for Troops

Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ is providing one (1) year of free Zoom licenses per troop and Service Unit to make leading your Girl Scouts in the 21st-century easier than ever! Learn more >>

NEW! GSUSA Training: Facilitating Virtual Troop Meetings

Prepare for leading girls in a virtual world. Training includes "Tips & Techniques for Virtual Meetings" and "Keeping Virtual Meetings Safe." This short 24-minute training is available now on gsLearn.

Messages from CEO, Ginny Marino
Posted June 5, 8:30 PM (EST)

To our Girl Scouts, families, volunteers and supporters,

All of us at GSCSNJ are thrilled to be planning, organizing, and accepting registrations for the 2020 Summer Camp season. We know that camp is an essential piece of the Girl Scout experience and we are thrilled that Governor Murphy sees the importance as well.

The uncertainty this spring has been difficult for everyone. Our decision to offer an in-person camp experience for girls has always centered around our commitment to the safety of our campers and staff. We rely on the COVID-19 Child Care and Youth Summer Camp Standards, the guidance of The American Camping Association, and 108 years of Girl Scout camp experience, to be confident in our ability to offer a great Summer Camp experience.

We are looking forward to in-person Day Camp options at Camp Inawendiwin (Tabernacle) and Camp Oak Spring (Somerset), as well as providing a Virtual Summer Camp experience, run by our Camp Sacajawea staff.

 

In-Person Camp
Governor Murphy has announced that all New Jersey youth day camps are permitted to operate starting Monday, July 6; overnight camps are prohibited from operating. This means that we will need to cancel Week 1 (June 29 - July 3) and our sleepaway, troop camp, and family camp options, until we get the green light from the state.

All Camp Inawendiwin and Camp Oak Spring day camp options are open for registration on eBiz. Further details regarding our updated safety protocols will be made available in the upcoming weeks once finalized guidelines have been issued by the state. We know safety protocols will not allow us to operate camp by traditional means; therefore, as we receive specific guidelines, we will inform you.

Any Girl Scouts registered for a week of camp that is no longer running will be contacted with the option of a refund or to switch camp weeks and continue the summer fun!

 
Virtual Camp
We are excited to announce GSCSNJ’s first-ever Virtual Summer Camp! While heartbroken that we are not able to run Camp Sacajawea in person, we are thrilled that Camp Sacy has been able to pivot to provide a necessary service to those Girl Scout families for whom in-person camp doesn’t work this year. 

Virtual Summer Camp, including Virtual CIT and CA programs, will begin Monday, July 6 with registration opening in the upcoming weeks. Each of our age-appropriate Virtual Summer Camps will be run by Camp Sacajawea staff, providing the Girl Scout experiences and Camp Sacajawea traditions our campers have come to love. Each camper will receive a box of supplies either mailed to them or available for curbside pickup at our Service Centers filled with everything they’ll need to participate in our Virtual Camps. 

 

At this time, we are asking families interested in registering for in-person Summer Camp to do so now! All available Summer Camp weeks are live on eBiz for families to choose and register for. As always, Council Cares financial aid is available to those families that need it.

We would like to thank all of our camp families for their continued support, patience, and excitement for the 2020 Summer Camp season. Whether we see your Girl Scout in-person or virtually, we are proud to provide her with a quality summer camp experience.

 

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Ginny Marino
Chief Executive Officer  
Girl Scouts of Central & Southern New Jersey

 

 
Posted May 21, 5:49 PM (EST)
To our Girl Scouts, families, volunteers and supporters,
 
While much is uncertain, we know one thing for sure—Girl Scouts will always be a force for good and a place where girls can find support, resources, and a community ready to champion her. Now more than ever, we see that challenging times are when Girl Scout grit shines through the most! We are glad to be part of that, and we’ll continue to be here for families. I encourage you to renew your Girl Scout's membership during this early renewal season to continue her skill-building experiences. We are incredibly proud to bring the exploration, fun, and learning of Girl Scouts to your family even when circumstances are keeping Girl Scouts from meeting up in person. After all, Girl Scouts isn’t somewhere girls go or something they do—it’s who they are day in, day out.
 

Girl Scouts at Home
The launch of Girl Scouts at Home free virtual programming has been tremendously successful! Girls have been able to connect with one another and meet sister Girl Scouts from across the country and around the world as they learn something new about STEM, life skills, entrepreneurship, and the outdoors.

With over 7,000 girls from all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Canada, England, South Africa, and the Netherlands participating so far, we are proud to be the one constant your girl and family can count on.
 
Summer Camp
As we plan our 2020 Summer Camp season, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our campers, their families, and our staff. We have been in constant communication with GSUSA, the American Camping Association (ACA), and the County Health Departments to decide our next steps. 

As we continue to weigh options, we are considering the ways in which our decision would impact our members’ experience, our commitment to inclusion and equity, and—above all else—the safety of our campers and camp staff.  Regardless of whether we can convene in person, we will be ready with virtual experiences for our camp community.

As Governor Murphy has unveiled his Three-Stage Reopening Strategy, we have also jumped into action with planning in-person outdoor activities that are permitted during Stage One. We will announce further details regarding these in-person outdoor activities and Summer Camp in early June.
 
In-Person Activities and Programs
Out of an abundance of caution for our Girl Scouts and extended Girl Scout family, most in-person activities, programs, and property reservations are suspended until further notice. Those impacted by these cancellations will receive an email with additional details about their full refund for any payments made.  

We will communicate further specifics about in-person programming as soon as we are given the okay to resume by local and national health authorities.

 
At GSCSNJ, we are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic with a hopeful eye toward the future. As a council, we continue to face the reality that we don’t know when we will return to “business as usual.” We will keep looking to the experts at the CDC and our state and city governments for recommendations on social distancing and remote work, always keeping the safety of our staff, members, and community top of mind. 

We are looking forward to continuing to leverage our technology and talents to engage our members as well as welcoming new girls and grow our Girl Scout Family.

Thank you for your help in keeping Girl Scouts a safe, fun space for everyone!
 
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Ginny Marino
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ

 


 
Posted March 23, 4:50 PM (EST)

Like all of you, all of us at the Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ are doing our best during these challenging times. There is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our members, and as COVID-19 continues to be of growing concern in New Jersey and across our nation, Girl Scouts will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have a safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experience at Girl Scouts. Our GSCSNJ team continues to work remotely, and we are here to answer any questions or help you as related to your Girl Scout experience (Reach us at customercare@gscsnj.org OR 856-795-1560).

  • Given Governor Murphy’s stay-at-home order on March 21, all GSCSNJ physical locations - our offices, stores, service centers, and camps - will remain closed until such time as we are permitted to re-open. As the Governor’s order does not have a definitive timeframe, all GSCSNJ activities, programs, and property reservations are canceled/postponed for the immediate term ~ which we estimate to be at least the next 45 days. As government restrictions and timeframes change and we can safely gather again, we will make announcements regarding Girl Scout activities. We remain optimistic about summer programming and the summer camp season! Troops and Service Units are also required to cancel/postpone any events scheduled for the near term, and to heed the Governor’s order and convene only virtually until such time as the stay-at-home order is lifted.
  • Our Girl Awards Celebration has been postponed from May 17 to July 12. More details will be forthcoming, and we’re looking forward to celebrating with our Gold Award Girl Scouts before many of them head off to college in the Fall.

Girl Scouts of the USA has developed a helpful resource for to help minimize stress and worry in your Girl Scout’s life and give her a sense of calm and control. Throughout our history, we have played an important role in helping to keep our country safe. The 1947 Girl Scout Handbook explains: "A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency." During World War II, Girl Scouts tended victory gardens, sold war bonds, and collected scrap metal. The work of today’s Girl Scouts is just as essential.

Girl Scouts can continue to demonstrate leadership in the fight against coronavirus by teaching proper handwashing and other hygiene practices to their peers. They can learn about how coronavirus is spread and how to protect themselves and share this information with others. Girl Scouts can be a force for good by confronting misinformation about Asian-Americans, who increasingly have been the targets of racist attacks and discrimination in many communities.

As we take this situation day by day, it’s helpful to remember that our future leaders, our Girl Scouts, are learning from us and getting ready to do the work of our future. 

Please be safe and take care of yourselves and your families.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Ginny Marino

Chief Executive Officer

Girl Scouts of Central & Southern New Jersey


 
Posted March 14, 6:06 PM (EST)

Dear Girl Scouts,

Like you, all of us at GSCSNJ have been actively monitoring COVID-19; our hearts go out to all the families across our globe who have been directly affected. It is times like these that reinforce our Girl Scout Law - to be courageous and strong, respectful and caring, sisters to every Girl Scout, and neighbors to all.

We have been actively monitoring the rapidly evolving situation via the CDC and New Jersey State and Local actions over this past week. Given school closings announced yesterday and in order to ensure the health and welfare of our members and employees:

  • All GSCSNJ programs and events (including partner events and school-based programming) from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5, are canceled.  Full refunds will be issued as soon as possible, and you will receive them no later than April 1. We will continue to monitor this crisis as it evolves and communicate any future cancellations as soon as possible. We are actively working to reschedule some of these programs for later in the calendar year, so be on the lookout for new dates coming soon!
  • We advise that all Service Units and Troops suspend meetings for at least the next 10 days, and consider postponing any large Service Unit gatherings that are planned through mid-April.   Currently, within our region, there is a wide variety of timelines for school closures/advisories for suspension of social interaction. We trust that all of our members will make prudent decisions for themselves and their families. This is a time when virtual meetings and working on badges at home can be great distractions for leaders and girls. GSUSA has also produced a terrific resource, , to help us support our girls during this time.
  • As the final digital week of our Cookie program officially concludes tomorrow, March 15, the final ACH will take place as scheduled on March 27.  Please use the Collection Problem Report form as you have been doing all cookie season should your Troop/Service Unit have any challenges with this, and please communicate with Customer Care should you have any additional questions regarding the wrap-up of the Cookie Program.
  • Celebrate! (our annual volunteer recognition event) scheduled for April 18 has been postponed until November 15. Given that this is a large event that typically draws nearly 300 people, we are proactively rescheduling this event. Currently, it is the only 250+ event on the GSCSNJ event calendar for April. Again, you will be notified should any other events beyond April 5 be cancelled.
  • In order to provide for social distancing and allow our employees to care for their own families, all GSCSNJ Service Centers, Offices, Camps, and Juliette's Closet locations will be closed from noon on Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 29.  Like several school districts in our region, we are hopeful to be open again on March 30. While our physical locations will be closed, all GSCSNJ employees will be working remotely during this period, so feel free to call or email us as you customarily do (856-795-1560 OR customercare@gscsnj.org). We pledge to respond to you as soon as possible and appreciate your patience as we adapt to this new way of work.

As we innovate and do our best to lessen disruption, please know that supporting you and our girls is our number one priority. No one leads alone, and when we come together to support each other, our sisterhood thrives. Together we will do our best to navigate through this period and make our girls' world a better place.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Ginny Marino

Chief Executive Officer

Girl Scouts of Central & Southern New Jersey

Council Programs & Property Reservations

Virtual Programs

GSCSNJ is proud to provide virtual Girl Scout programming to girls of all ages, from across the country! 

Live Virtual Programs

GSCSNJ is constantly adding new virtual programs for girls to attend! Whether an individual Girl Scout is looking to participate in a patch program or an entire troop is eager to earn their next Journey, we have options for every Girl Scout level! 

Past Recorded Programs

Families and troops have access to dozens of past recorded programs ran during Summer 2020. 

 

Outdoors

Troop & Service Unit Day Camp Events

After a long spring of being cooped up indoors, bring your troop or Service Unit to Girl Scout Camp! Our camps are primed and ready to give your group a wonderful, safe, and clean outdoor experience your girls are craving. Your group will have access to a day use unit to explore the great outdoors, with access to our adventure activities as well! For more information, contact Customer Care at 856-795-1560

On-Demand Programs

Interested in earning your next outdoor badge, but don't know where to start? Do you want to teach fire building, but don't have a spark for this camp craft? Do your girls want a guided hike through one of our beautiful camps? Do your Cadettes want help planning their Outdoor LiA? Our Outdoor Experience Specialists are here to help! Contact your local Outdoor Experience Specialist to set up your On Demand Programs today.

Amanda Kelly | akelly@gscsnj.org

Mercer & Middlesex Counties

Carmen Guzman-Francesco | cfrancesco@gscsnj.org

Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester & Salem Counties

Jaci Moseley | jmoseley@gscsnj.org

Burlington & Camden Counties

 

Service Centers & Shops

Council staff are telecommuting during our regular business hours, M-F from 9AM-5PM, and are here to support you! For questions, please contact us at customercare@gscsnj.org or 856-795-1560.

Shops: Our retail shops are closed to in-person visitors. Our online shop remains open for business, with some limitations.

All three of our retail shops are now providing Curbside Pick-Up. See details below.

Curbside Pick-Up Available

How to Place Your Order

1.    Curbside Pick-Up is now available at all three Juliette's Closet Shop locations until further notice! Email your order to the shop location you would like to pick-up from by Wednesday. Customers MUST include their phone number in the email.

Cherry Hill Shop
40 Brace Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
chshop@gscsnj.org


East Brunswick Shop
108 Church Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816
ebshop@gscsnj.org

Egg Harbor Township Shop
3003 English Creek Ave, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
ehtshop@gscsnj.org

2.   Orders will be pulled on Thursday, and the customer will be called for order confirmation, payment over the phone, and to schedule the Friday pick-up. Curbside Pick-Up is available on Fridays from 11am-4pm.


Please Note: To keep the Curbside Pick-Up process contact-less for the security of the customer as well as the retail staff, we will only be accepting credit cards over the phone at this time. Any refunds will be processed when stores reopen for an in-person shopping experience.

Guidance for Canceling Events

Here is our suggested course of action for any volunteers who are currently managing events and need this information:

Best Practices for Cancelling Events

  • Determine whether you can postpone and reschedule the event or need to cancel it. This decision will depend on your event, it’s current date, your groups’ needs and your capacity to reschedule. 
  • Inform all registered attendees as soon as possible of your intention to cancel or reschedule. You do not need to announce the reschedule date at this time if you don’t have the date/location secured yet. With so many things uncertain, people will understand and appreciate that you need time to finalize any future plans.
  • We recommend that you inform registrants of your intention and that you will follow up with additional information about new dates and/or plans for refunds as soon as possible. Again, ask for their understanding and flexibility as you need time to manage this situation.
  • Contact your registered attendees via email and announce on your groups’ communication and social media platform if available.
  • If your event was scheduled at a GSCSNJ property your reservation has already been canceled and a refund is being processed. You will receive a full refund for your reservation. Please allow at least four weeks due to the high volume of cancellations.
  • If your event was scheduled at an outside property, contact them as soon as possible to request a refund or reschedule. Most vendors have been very cooperative in giving refunds.
  • Issue refunds as needed per your usual practices. If you need to issue refunds and have any concerns or questions, please contact us at customercare@gscsnj.org.
Be a Source of Comfort and Calm for Girls

Throughout our history, Girl Scouts have played an important role in helping to keep our country safe. The 1947 Girl Scout Handbook explains: "A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency." During World War II, Girl Scouts tended victory gardens, sold war bonds, and collected scrap metal. The work of today’s Girl Scouts is just as essential.

Girl Scouts can continue to demonstrate leadership in the fight against coronavirus by teaching proper handwashing and other hygiene practices to their peers. They can learn about how coronavirus is spread and how to protect themselves and share this information with others. Girl Scouts can be a force for good by confronting misinformation about Asian-Americans, who increasingly have been the targets of racist attacks and discrimination. 

Talking to Your Girl about COVID-19

Thank you for your help in keeping Girl Scouts a safe, fun space for everyone! If you have questions about how novel coronavirus may impact Girl Scout activities, please contact us at customercare@gscsnj.org or 856-795-1560—we're here for you.

 


 

And Always Remember to Wash Your Hands!