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COVID-19

CLOSING UPDATE

In the past 24 hours, the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic, and it has become apparent that there is community transmission in the state of Pennsylvania. As Girl Scouts, we have an obligation to our community to do the right thing to limit the spread of the virus, even if we as individuals are not at risk of serious illness. In response to these changing circumstances, we are taking the following steps: 

  • All camps are closed through May 11, 2020. We will issue refunds to individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs and events through this date.
  • All council-sponsored girl and volunteer programs, trainings, and events are cancelled through May 11, 2020. We will issue refunds to individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs, trainings, and events through this date. 
  • Cookies on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 that were scheduled pick-up locations for Hometown Hero donation cookies at Shelly Ridge and Dorney Park are now CLOSED. For more information about how to order your Hometown Hero cookies online, please refer to your Cookie Manual for instruction. Also, our GSEP team will be on LiveChat from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can access this through our website on the  For Cookie Sellers page. (Today's Hometown Hero pickup at Valley Forge from 4 - 6 p.m. will continue as planned)
  • No trips will be approved through May 11, 2020.
  • All council staff are being instructed to work from home through May 11, 2020, except for staff needed to preform essential council functions. These staff will be scheduled on a staggered basis to limit potential contact. 
  • Retail stores are closed through May 11, 2020. Please shop  online for any merchandise you need in the next few weeks. 
  • Our member services is still operational! You may still contact us with questions or concerns during regular member service hours at  memberservices@gsep.org or 215.564.2030

Thank you for doing your part to limit community transmission of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. We will emerge stronger because of our collective action.

      

Important Information

Virtual Meeting Guide

Learn more about how you can hold a virtual meeting with your troop, your parents, or your service unit. This guide covers five different virtual meeting platforms, how to get started one each, and some pros and cons. It also tips and tricks and other online resources you can use. 

Virtual Meeting Guide

Home Activities for Girls

Check out some activities for you and your Girl Scout to do at home! These activities are all inspired by Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania summer camps, programs, and more and include some helpful ways to get outdoors, stay active, and continue your involvement in Girl Scouts from home. 

Event Cancellations

Check back regularly to see what events, programs, or trainings may be cancelled. 

Girl Programs
Eco Learners – March 26
Mazes and Brain Games Overnight – March 26-28
Spring Badge Blast – March 27-29
Valley Forge Open House - March 28
Flower Pals – March 28
Fling Flyer Fanatics – March 28
Clay Creations – March 28
Nature Explorers – March 28
Celebrating Votes for Women – March 28
Girl Scouts Do Drama! – March 28
Night Hikers – March 28
Mission Sisterhood – March 29
Mural Arts Magic – March 29
Caving Experience – March 29
The Women 100 HERstory Hunt - April 4
Staying Fit with the KDs- April 4
911 What’s Your Emergency - April 4
Real Media - April 5
West Chester University Tour- April 5
Eating For You! - April 6
Brownie Mechanical Engineers - April 9
Club Philly Forensics - April 11
Senior Trail Adventure - April 11
Know Your Health Know Your Body - April 19
The Best You Can Be - April 19
Celebrate You! - April 19
Girl Scout History Comes Alive – April 25
Colonial Days - April 25 
Unearth the Science of Flowers - April 25
Healthy but Yummy - May 3
How Does Your Garden Grow - May 16
Paddle On! - May 24
 
History Committee
SWAP Meet - April 24 & 25, Valley Forge Service Center
 
Volunteer Training
Spring Skills Sampler - March 28, Valley Forge Service Center
Council Learning Facilitators Dinner - April 21
 
Take the Lead 2020

An Important Accouncement about Take the Lead 2020

As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the PA Department of Health concerning our nine-county footprint and surrounding cities, we are taking all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have a safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experience at Girl Scouts. Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to cancel our Take the Lead Berks and Lehigh Valley events scheduled for Tuesday, April 7 and Tuesday, April 28.

While the in-person events have been cancelled the spirit of Take the Lead remains. Take the Lead is the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania’s unique leadership program that forges long-lasting, valuable mentorships with our community’s most distinguished women leaders whose work and achievements make the world a better place. The program is for the girls, by the girls and provides them with the professional development experience to become the future leaders of tomorrow.

Check back for additional updates as we determine the safest way to recognize our honorees, sponsors and Girl Scouts.

Girl Programs

For events AFTER May 11, 2020 please follow Girl Scout’s refund policy, which is as follows:

Requests for refunds must be submitted in writing to memberservices@gsep.org at least 4 weeks in advance of the program date for consideration.

We do understand concerns of COVID-19 and would like to also offer the following options for program cancellations occurring less than 4 weeks in advance:

  1. Transfer to a program at a later date
  2. Consider donating your program fees as a tax-deductible gift as the effects of the coronavirus situation have placed extraordinary financial stress on small nonprofits  
  3. Be issued a refund for the program If you would like to cancel your registration outside of the 4 weeks, that is within our regular refund policy. Please use the e-mail below and be sure to include the names of the registrants you would like a refund for.

Please contact memberservices@gsep.org with questions. 

Facility Rentals

COVID-19 Communications in regard to GSEP troop or SU Facility Rentals

  • All trips happening between now and May 11 will be canceled and either issued a full refund or have their balance transferred to a future booking.
  • For trips happening after May 11, it is up to the troop or SU leaders discretion to cancel or postpone.
  • All sites are being deep cleaned between visits.
  • Currently we are adhering to the refund schedule on page 6 of our Facilities Guide but understand there may be special circumstances due to the nature of COVID-19 situation.

Cancellation Policy

If the site or Activity you have reserved is closed by the Council due to weather or maintenance problems, a credit for a future site rental or a full refund will be issued. All other Cancellations must be made in writing prior to the below deadlines in order to qualify for a refund.

  • Girl Scout Service Units. Cancellations must be received in writing 12 weeks prior to the reserved date.
  • All other troops/groups. Cancellations must be received in writing 4 weeks prior to the reserved date.

We are happy to work with troops and SUs to rebook their trips for a later date so that they do not have to cancel and lose their money.

Please direct all inquiries to Eevans@gsep.org /267-422-1316. Emily is happy to field questions and would prefer to work directly with the groups to rebook.

Volunteer Training

Due to growing local and national public health concerns about COVID-19 and Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania’s responsibility for the safety of our council, the news has been shared that we will be cancelling all trainings and programs from now through May 11. We are communicating with participants of trainings that have been cancelled.  If you have any questions about upcoming trainings, please email memberservices@gsep.org.

History Museum

Because of the on-going COVID-19 situation, the History Museum at the Valley Forge Service Center will no longer be open for second Saturday's into the forseeable future. 

      

March 20, 2020

Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania (GSEP) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, for each of our nine counties and cities within our council boundaries.*

Girl Scout events are similar to schools, and we are paying close attention to local guidance around school closures. Per the CDC, children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus. As much as possible, children should be allowed to carry on with their education and normal activities. We understand that some children have underlying health conditions that put them at a higher risk, and caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home.

Here are the additional things we are doing to keep our community clean and safe: 

  • We are keeping our properties well-stocked with supplies needed to reduce the spread of germs
  • All staff members who are ill will be sent home
  • We are encouraging all members who are sick or are at a higher risk for serious illness to not attend Girl Scout meetings, programs, or events
  • We advise all Service Units to follow CDC-recommended hygiene measures at their large group gatherings
  • We advise our Service Units and members to consider buying cancellation insurance for any upcoming large Girl Scout event or travel

Girl Scout large gatherings: 

  • As of now, the public health departments within our nine-county footprint all have individual discretion or no restrictions for public gatherings, and as a council, we are proceeding with an abundance of caution with all programs and property reservations. We understand that COVID-19 is a serious concern for our members and leave the final decision to participate in Girl Scout events up to families. If circumstances change, we are prepared to follow the recommendations of the CDC and local health departments to ensure the health and safety of our members. 
  • The council is reviewing the status of Council sponsored programs and events. Decisions to postpone, reschedule, and/or cancel any events will be made two weeks prior to each event.
  • For Girl Scout events managed by outside vendors (i.e. Girl Scout Day at the Philadelphia Union) check with the vendor regarding cancellations or refunds. 

Increase hygiene at Girl Scout events, such as: 

  • Try to maintain at least 6-feet of physical space between you and other people.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used in a pinch. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Do not cough into your hands and always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing if you use a tissue.

Be a source of comfort and calm for Girls

  • Girl Scouts of the USA has developed a helpful resource for How to Talk to Your Girl about Coronavirus to help minimize stress and worry in your Girl Scout's life and give her a sense of calm and control.
  • Thank you for your help in keeping Girl Scouts a safe, fun space for everyone! If you have any questions about how Coronavirus may impact Girl Scout activities, please contact Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania at memberservices@gsep.org or 215.564.2030 - we're here for you.

For current information* on COVID-19 in GSEP's nine-county footprint visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health

*This information is subject to change based on the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 virus in your respective communities.