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COVID-19 Updates

Last updated September 1, 2022

The safety of our girls, volunteers, staff, and families is our top priority. Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and reassess mask guidance if needed.

COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community. Please take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, volunteers, staff, and families.

GSWPA Offices

Updated September 1, 2022

Our offices are open to visitors Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. We are closed to the public on Fridays (except during Cookie Program).

Our staff is available to support you on Fridays, 9 a.m.-noon by:

Masks are optional in council offices and shops, regardless of vaccination status. 

GSWPA Shops

Girl Scout shops open 

Updated September 1, 2022

Our shops in Edinboro, Greensburg, and Pittsburgh are open for in-person shopping. See Shop Hours and Locations for full hours. 

Masks are optional in council offices and shops, regardless of vaccination status. 

Please practice physical distancing from other people who are not from your household and wash hands frequently.

In-Store Shopping, Curbside Pickup, and Mail Orders

Our Edinboro, Greensburg, and Pittsburgh shops are offering in-store shopping, as well as curbside pickup, and mail orders. Contact us at 800-248-3355 or customercare@gswpa.org to place an order, or submit your order with this form. Browse or shop at shop.gswpa.org anytime.

The shipping rates, when ordering directly through one of our shops, are lower than shopping online. These rates are effective Sept. 7, 2021:

Up to 6 badges or patches $1.25
Orders $.01-49.99 $4.95
Orders $50-98.99 $9.95
Orders $99+ $12.95
In-person Events/Programs

In-person events and activities

Updated September 1, 2022

  • Masks are optional during all Girl Scout activities, regardless of vaccination status. Physical distancing is still recommended when possible. 
Camp Facility Rentals

GSWPA camp rentals open

Updated June 28, 2021

We're accepting day-use and overnight rentals at each of the four GSWPA camp properties using our online reservation system. Visit our camp reservations page for full details.

  • Day-use and overnight rentals are now at full capacity.
  • For more detailed information about renting any GSWPA camp properties, please visit our Reserving a Camp page.
Troop Meetings & Activities

Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania may modify this guidance, from time to time as circumstances change. This document is intended to help volunteers determine if they are prepared to hold in person activities with their troop and elements to consider in planning those activities.

Parent Permission Form

During this time, the COVID-19 Permission Form is replacing the Parent Permission Form. Please have this form completed by caregivers when you return to in-person meetings or activities.
 

Troop Meetings

Updated September 1, 2022

Mask requirements for indoor and outdoor troop meetings and activities:

  • Masks are optional during all Girl Scout activities, regardless of vaccination status. Physical distancing is still recommended when possible.

Meeting Locations:
At this time, troops can participate in activities outside the counties of GSWPA. Outdoor spaces where physical distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings. Get advance permission from the property owner or the jurisdiction that provides the location.

GSWPA will permit troops to meet at private residences/property, with strict adherence to CDC and state guidelines. To be approved for this troop meeting option, you must complete an application. A GSWPA staff person will review the request and notify the applicant of approval or request more information. 

Meetings may not be held at fitness centers or gyms where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist. Schools or churches may not permit outside groups on-premises, so always check and confirm ahead of time.

Meeting Size:

The current suggestion from GSUSA is to keep your group's size as small as possible to allow for physical distancing while maintaining volunteer-to-girl ratio. Follow all local and CDC restrictions.  

If you have a large troop, stay connected while you wait for a safe time for everyone to gather. Large troops are wonderful, so stay together! Some ideas:

  • Host virtual troop meetings.
  • Gather up in smaller groups—such as age-level groups, patrols, or groups of girls with a particular badge they’d like to work on. Each group must maintain volunteer-to-girl ratio.

Transportation

Updated July 28, 2021

Individual parents drop off and pick up their own girls from meetings. Carpooling and public transportation should be avoided, when possible, to maintain physical distancing.

 

Virtual meetings. 

Meeting options may need to be flexible based on the fluid nature of COVID-19 risk. Troops that can run online meetings as needed (or wanted) should do so. GSUSA recommends continuing occasional virtual meetings to keep tech skills and virtual meeting habits fresh. Virtual meetings are also a great alternative for inclement weather.  Use the Safety Activity Checkpoints for Virtual Meetings to guide your meeting plans.

Other helpful resources can be found here.
 

Day trips and activities

Updated May 3, 2020

Troop activities and day trips are now permitted beyond the counties of GSWPA, including out-of-state travel. In conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints, follow the same guidance as the Troop Meetings and Hygiene and the COVID-19 Risk Mitigation guidance.  Call ahead to the facility or vendor to confirm that they are following CDC and state health department guidelines. If activity or sporting equipment is being provided, ask the provider if they wipe down equipment in between uses, similar to equipment at the gym. Make whatever appropriate accommodations that are necessary. For example, bring extra sanitizer if none will be provided for public use at the activity location.

Troop Travel & Overnights

Travel and overnight stays

Updated June 10, 2022

Troop day trips, overnights, out-of-state travel, and international travel are permitted at this time. All trips and activities must comply with the safety standards and guidelines outlined in Safety Activity Checkpoints

If your troop is planning high-adventure activities, to travel more than 200 miles round-trip, or an overnight trip, you must complete a Trip and High Adventure Application for approval.

When planning an international trip, we recommend that volunteers use a council-approved travel agency such as EF Tours.

Volunteer Training/Certification

In-person training/certification

Updated March 16, 2022

GSWPA is now offering in-person training. Find more details and a link to register on our Activities page.

Hygiene and the COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Guidance

Face Coverings

Updated September 1, 2022

  • Masks are optional in council offices and shops and during all Girl Scout activities, regardless of vaccination status. Physical distancing is still recommended when possible. 

The safety of our girls, volunteers, staff, and families is our top priority. Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and reassess mask guidance if needed.

Please practice physical distancing from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces and wash hands frequently.

Disinfectants and Disinfecting

Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched (i.e., table tops, markers, scissors, etc.). Use a household cleaner, or see the EPA’s list of effective cleaners approved for use against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).  Cleaning and disinfecting should be done by adults and older girls.

Household bleach is effective against COVID-19 for up to 24 hours when properly diluted. Check that the bleach is not expired and determine if it can be used on a given surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

To prepare a bleach solution, mix:

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or
  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

See the CDC’s website for more on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities.

Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation

Follow the resources developed by credible public health sources such as CDC or your local public health department. Share these with girls and volunteers and ensure that they are practiced during meetings and activities. Place signs in the meeting or activity space to remind girls and volunteers to engage in everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Signs should include:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash or sanitize your 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 available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash hands if you do touch.
  • Parents/guardians should be reminded to make sure temperatures are taken prior to group interaction to confirm the individual is not running a fever and temperature is a normal 98.6 degrees  Members with fever or temperature higher than 98.6 should skip the in-person gathering until their temperature is normal.

Personal Contact

Hugs, handshakes, “high-fives,” and even activities like the friendship circle or squeeze can transmit COVID-19 from person to person. Refrain from these gestures for the time being. Create a safe way for girls and volunteers to greet and end meetings instead (like tapping elbows).

First Aid Supplies

Troop first aid supplies should include COVID-19 prevention items including hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol), tissues, disposable facemasks, and disinfectants. Trash baskets or bags should be supplied for meeting and activity spaces, if not already available. Make sure that the trash baskets (or bags) are easily accessible for girls. Disposable or no-contact thermometers may be added to supplies if available and not cost-prohibitive, however, parents should be checking temperatures and allowing their girl(s) to join group activities only when temperatures are normal.