2020 COVID-19: Important Updates to Keep our Girl Scout Community Safe
Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (GSSEM) has canceled all themed weekend camp sessions and day camp experiences through December 31, 2020. However, we're offering Family Camp and Troop Camping at Camp Hawthorn Hollow.
All GSSEM in-person girl events, community events, service unit meetings, and in-person volunteer training sessions have resumed; however, GSSEM is only permitting indoor gatherings of groups of 10 or less and outdoor gatherings for groups of 25 or less.
COVID-19 Waiver of Liability and Indemnification (PDF)
Events, Programs, and Meetings
DISCOUNTED ZOOM LICENSES
Get a Zoom license for your Girl Scout troop for only $36.00 per year!
GSUSA is offering heavily discounted Zoom licenses for local councils' troops—and you can use your troop bank account to purchase one.
If you're interested in getting a license* for your troop:
- Email your Troop Support Specialist (TSS).
- Your TSS will send your request to GSSEM's finance department.
- The finance department will do an ACH transfer from your troop's bank account for $36.00.
- Your Zoom license will be activated.
If you have any questions, please reach out to your TSS.
* Only one person per troop may receive the discount, so please decide which leader will be responsible for the Zoom license before sending the email.
SERVICE CENTERS AVAILABLE FOR TROOP MEETINGS
Troops who haven't been able to gather due to COVID-19 restrictions are invited to utilize our service centers for meetings!
Leaders: Please reach out to your Troop Support Specialist to reserve space at the service center closest to you. You can find your Troop Support Specialist's contact information at the bottom of your community page.
Note: If you don't your community number, please email Nafeesah Williams, Director of Troop Support, at email@example.com.
TROOP MEETINGS & COMMUNITY EVENTS
Now that Governor Whitmer has signed an executive order permitting indoor gatherings of groups of 10 or less, some troops may want to resume in-person meetings.
To ensure the health and safety of our membership, it's GSSEM's recommendation that troops continue to meet virtually. However, if troops choose to meet in person, we strongly encourage troops to adhere to safety and precautionary measures as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and follow GSSEM's guidelines for resuming in-person troop activities—which includes guidance on transportation, meeting space, and day trips/activities. We also have a new PDF with guidelines for meeting in private residences.
Participating in in-person troop meetings is at your own risk.
We suggest troops use free group video chat and web conferencing resources like Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Whats App, Free Conference Call, or any other group video/audio conferencing platform you prefer to use to hold your meetings during this time of social distancing.
AT-HOME & VIRTUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR GIRLS & ADULTS
Check out what GSSEM is doing to keep girls engaged and connected during this time of necessary social distancing:
TIPS & TOOLS FOR LEADERS
ONLINE TRAINING SESSIONS
Is your troop planning to host a virtual meeting? If your troop would like to explore meeting online, please register for one of the upcoming Engaging Troops Online webinars. Please visit gssem.org/listings for upcoming dates and times of all of our volunteer training sessions.
KEEP GIRL SCOUTS GOING AT HOME WITH VTK
You may already be familiar with Volunteer Toolkit (VTK). It allows troop families to view what the troop leader has planned, learn more about troop experiences, and tap into additional resources. Several virtual resources have been added to VTK.
VTK now includes:
- Tips on how to plan a virtual meeting
- Digital icebreakers and games
- Easy badge and Journey adaptations
- Virtual bridging resources
If you'd like more information on VTK resources, please contact your Troop Support Specialist.
HIGH AWARD REPORT DEADLINES
High Award (Bronze, Silver, Gold) report deadlines have been extended to December 31 for inclusion in the 2021 Honor Reception.
This means that girls who are 5th-grade Juniors, 8th-grade Cadettes, and 12th-grade Ambassadors now have until December 31, 2020 to turn in their reports. All Silver Award and Gold Award Final Reports must be received by GSSEM by that time.
NOTE: Gold Award Girl Scouts must have an approved project proposal in place by September 30, 2020. Bronze Award Girl Scouts' projects are handled by the troop/group leader.
Keep checking gssem.org/highawards and your email for more information.
If you haven't yet received your refund for a cancelled event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outdoor Education and Camp Programs
All troop/group travel planned through December 2020 should be immediately rescheduled or cancelled.
Given the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping our girls and adults safe, GSSEM suggests that troops continue to meet virtually. If Michigan stays in Phase 4 of the Michigan Safe Start Plan, overnight travel will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If your troop is planning to travel, please do the following:
- Contact email@example.com with all trip details, including the desired location, the number of people attending, and your troop's plans to practice social distancing on the trip.
- Research the COVID-19 situation at the destination to assess potential risks and exposure.
- Consult with girls and families to measure comfortability levels with traveling during a pandemic.
Please note that these guidelines are subject to change. If Michigan moves back to Phase 3, all Girl Scout travel needs to be immediately cancelled or rescheduled.
Volunteer Training Sessions
At this time, no in-person volunteer training sessions are scheduled. However, we have several training sessions available via live webinar or recorded and online. Please log into gsLearn to explore our library of online, on-demand training sessions, or register for an upcoming live webinar.
New to gsLearn?
Visit gssem.org/gslearn to view a Short & Snappy on how to log into and use gsLearn.
Service Centers and Council Shops
With everyone's safety and well-being in mind, we've switched from in-person shopping to ONLY curbside pickup at all of GSSEM's council shop locations.
Council Shop Pickup Days:
- Clinton Twp - Fridays // 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
- Detroit - Thursdays // 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
- White Lake - Thursdays // 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
- All Shops - Saturdays (By necessary appointment only)
Council Shop Orders:
- Email your 1) order and 2) phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 PM on Monday to pick it up on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday (if applicable).
- We'll call you to set up your pickup location, date, and time.
You can order from Girl Scouts' online shop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Talk to Your Girl About Coronavirus
Rule number one when it comes to emergencies? Stay calm. But with COVID-19 spreading rapidly around the globe—and everyone from news anchors to the couple next to you at the local pizzeria talking about worst-case scenarios—stress and worry can seem downright contagious.
Resources and Additional Information
For additional information and resources about COVID-19, we recommend the following:
The CDC is publishing its latest updates, health tips, and country-specific travel information.
The World Health Organization has published a helpful Q&A addressing many common questions about this virus.
State of Michigan
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has established a website with information for residents and communities, employers and workers, childcare and school administrators, and healthcare professionals.
- CDC website