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Dear Girl Scout Family & Friends,

We remain hopeful that New Jersey’s roll out of COVID-19 vaccines will stop the spread of the coronavirus in our communities so we can return to some level of normalcy in 2021.

In the meantime, Girl Scouts continues to closely monitor coronavirus updates from the state, local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control. We will adjust our guidelines accordingly to ensure the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, council staff and friends.

Recently, we updated our guidance for troops and service units to make it easier to navigate New Jersey’s COVID-19 safety protocols, while still providing an engaging Girl Scout leadership experience.

The good news is that Girl Scout troops and groups may gather in person but must follow all restrictions, including wearing facemasks, always staying six feet apart, and limiting group sizes. While we strongly recommend meeting in outdoor spaces, gatherings in public buildings such as schools or churches is allowed.

Over the past year, we have learned a great deal about what works for our girls in our new virtual world and we will continue to provide fun and innovative options to keep Girl Scouts connected and engaged virtually.
We had a strong kick off for the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie Season and look forward to seeing our girls continue to overcome challenges of the pandemic with safe and creative ways to deliver and sell cookies to achieve their goals.

Please review the information below for the most recent safety updates from Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore.


Healthy regards,

Eileen Higgins
CEO, Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore

GSJS Recommendations for Troops and Girls

For troops who are looking for ways to reconnect in person, we have put together a list of recommendations based on the current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the covid19.nj.gov.  

Before resuming Girl Scout activities, Troop Leaders must complete this short online form acknowledging their understanding of the GSJS Guidelines for Troop Activities and intention to educate and enforce the safety protocols for all in-person troop activities. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community and volunteers should take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, volunteers, and families. These guidelines are in effect until further notice.

Troop Meeting Size

Meeting Spaces

  • Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended.
  • Volunteers must ensure meeting spaces are clean and touch surfaces (i.e., tabletops, chairs, etc.) have been sanitized.
  • At this time, troop meetings in homes are not allowed out of the concern for greater risk of exposure to other family members. Additionally, meetings may not be held in fitness centers or gyms, where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist.

Safety Actions

  • Participants should stay at least 6 feet away from others. Mark six foot intervals when possible. This means that physical touching, including hugs, holding hands, or friendship circles should be avoided.
  • Teach and reinforce the use of cloth face coverings. Wearing cloth face coverings is most important when physical distancing is difficult.
  • Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used.
  • Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible. For example, have each girl bring her own supplies, or limit the use of supplies and equipment by one group at a time and clean and disinfect between use.
  • Make sure swimming pools and slides are cleaned and sanitized and avoid using pool type toys at this time. Lifeguard(s) are required for swimming and should not be responsible for monitoring hand washing, face covering and social distancing.  Another responsible adults(s) should be responsible for the monitoring of hand washing, face covering and social distancing.
  • Consult the Safety Activity Checkpoints for guidance on virtual troop meetings and troop activities.
  • Use this updated Parental Permission Slip for all troop activities.

Transportation

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

Monitoring and Preparing

  • Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore covers Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Please refer directly to NJ state and county public health departments for the most up-to-date information and guidance.
  • Communicate with families about when their girls should stay home. Anyone who is sick or had close contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days should stay home.
  • In the event of a COVID-19 positive test result within your troop, please contact GSJS, and a council staff member will be responsible for contacting anyone who may have been exposed. To report a positive test result contact customercare@gsfun.org or call us at (800) 785-2090 and let us know that you would like to report a COVID-19 case, so that you can be referred to the appropriate staff member. Due to the confidential nature of personal health information, do not contact families or troop members directly.
  • Every registered Girl Scout is covered by a basic accident insurance plan. The plan is designed to help pay medical expenses if an accident occurs during a supervised Girl Scout activity. Girl Scout insurance does not cover healthcare or illness. 
  • At this time, overnight trips and travel are not allowed. The current guidance for overnight youth activities includes considerations that would be difficult or impossible for most troops to manage. Once we have more information and guidance for safe travel, we will share additional resources for the next phase of troop activities.

Troops are also encouraged to continue participating in virtual, no-contact activities, and may choose to continue only in virtual spaces at this time. Join us for leader trainings in August to learn how to successfully stay connected with your troop members.

If your troop does choose to resume in-person activities, some families may choose not to participate at this time. Please consider creating ways to help keep those girls involved as members of your troop.

Thank you for being thoughtful, conscientious, and resilient Girl Scouts as you make decisions about troop activities.

Virtual Program Activities

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore has always been committed to providing leadership opportunities and activities to all girls. As we face a health emergency that forces us to be apart, we believe it’s essential for all children to interact and remain social for their overall health and well-being.

To keep ALL girls connected and engaged, we are excited to share virtual activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Girl Scout Shop

While council shops are closed, curbside pickup is available in Toms River or Farmingdale for some items. Send an email to our shop team or leave a message at (800) 785-2090 and we'll contact you to complete your order and arrange pickup.

You can also order council-specific items, uniform components and gifts from our council store. General Girl Scout merchandise is available from GSUSA's web store

Zoom for Troops

Staying connected to your troop members and their families — and each other! — is easier than ever with Zoom for Girl Scouts!

gsZoom licenses are now available for purchase through GSJS for troops that want to meet virtually. Troop leaders with an active membership and current background check are eligible for this offer. With gsZoom, your girls and their families can stay connected, continue building their skills, and have a blast no matter where they are.

Troop Leaders can choose from two different types of Zoom accounts.

Basic Zoom account

  • Cost: FREE!
  • Attendees: Up to 100
  • Time limit: 40 minutes for 3 or more participants
  • Self-created, directly from Zoom

Licensed gsZoom account

  • Cost: $36 for the year, plus processing fee
    (Prorated to September 15, 2021)
  • Attendees: Up to 500
  • Time limit: None!

Get Started

By signing (or acknowledging the agreement) below, you attest that you have read the GSUSA Zoom License User Agreement and Zoom Terms of Use.

are available to provide additional information.

Please allow 5 –7 business days to complete the registration process. Any person who uses a GSUSA Zoom license will be deemed to have accepted GSUSA’s Zoom user agreement.

Additional COVID-19 Information

We recommend that members regularly visit the COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and federal, state and local public health departments.