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In-Person Troop Meeting Guidelines

In-Person Troop Meeting Guidelines


In-Person Troop Meeting Guidelines

Updated: March 19, 2021

COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community. Take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, volunteers, and families. Girl Scouts of Greater New York encourage virtual troop meetings and the Virtual Girl Scout Leadership Experience. The main office remains closed, and staff continues to provide support virtually. Troops are strongly encouraged to meet virtually.

For virtual resources to run your virtual troop meetings, please check out our Troop Leader Blueprint resources. All parents and/or guardians must complete a Girl Health & Safety form.

In-person programs and events can be a wonderful outlet for girls; however, leading in-person activities during COVID-19 is optional. There are many ways to participate in Girl Scouts at home with virtual meetings, a badge in a box, and at-home activities. At-home activities are the safest option. Please follow your own comfort level, and if you participate in-person, please follow all safety guidelines to reduce risk.

At this time, troops are prohibited from indoor Girl Scout meetings in private homes.

Troops may meet in person with the following criteria.

  • Any in-person troop meeting must follow NYC COVID-19 Guidelines.
  • All girls and volunteers must practice social distancing, wear face coverings (masks), maintain 6 feet distancing of others, and follow safety guidelines outlined by the CDC.
  • Also:
    • Meeting Size: Meetings should include a group following the girl to adult/ratio, as outlined in the Leaders Guide to Success training, Volunteer Essentials for Safety, and the NYC COVID-19 large gathering guidelines for indoor and outdoor spaces. Girls should have an active membership, and adult leaders and troop support volunteers must be registered with a background check cleared.
    • Meeting Duration: Meetings should be an hour or less
    • Meeting Space: Only outdoor spaces that allow for social distancing are permitted for meetings. Indoor meeting spaces require enough space to maintain social distancing. Meeting in private backyards is prohibited.
    • Meeting Guidance: Troops and service units must maintain an Attendee Log for all Girl Scouts meetings and activities. As part of our civic responsibility, when a zip code area or borough is in "Orange or Red Zones," members in that area are expected to suspend in-person GS activities during that time.
    • Personal contact. Hugs, handshakes, “high-fives,” and 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.
    • Food and Beverage. Volunteers should not serve food at meetings. If girls wish to bring a water bottle, please make sure they are labeled with their names.
    • 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. Leaders should supply trash baskets or bags for meeting spaces if not already available. Make sure that the trash baskets (or bags) are easily accessible. Disposable or no-contact thermometers should be added to supplies if available and not cost-prohibitive. However, parents should check temperatures and allow their girl(s) to join group activities only when temperatures are normal (the same guidance applies to volunteers).
    • Volunteers and Families. Leaders should share these guidelines with troop families and collaborate with families based on comfort level, accessibility, and desired level of engagement.
      • Volunteers and families should assess their ability to comply with required guidelines. For example, younger girls may find it difficult to remain socially distant and/or wear masks. If girls cannot comply with guidelines, troop activities should remain virtual at this time.
    • Transportation. Individual parents drop off and pick up their own girls from meetings. Carpooling is prohibited. Public transportation should be avoided, where possible, to maintain social distancing. Parents/ guardians should wait in/at their car or in the area outside of the troop meeting space. Tagalongs are prohibited.
    • Pre-screening questions before attending each Girl Scout meeting or event:
      • Have you or anyone in your household (person(s) with whom you live) traveled either domestically or internationally over the past three weeks? If yes, which location(s) did you visit, and which airports did you travel through?
      • Check the NYC website for quarantine requirements for anyone who has recently traveled out of state.
      • Have you or anyone with whom you live experienced any of the following symptoms within the past two weeks?
      • Have you or anyone with whom you live experienced any of the following symptoms over the past 24 hours? To your knowledge, have you been in close, sustained contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with anyone showing any of the above-referenced symptoms or anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?
      • Please click the links above or go to the CDC for COVID-19 symptoms for pre-screening.
      • Volunteers should include these questions in each email confirmation they send to parents for meetings and events.
    • Troop Meeting Request and Requirements.
      • Leaders must submit a Troop Meeting Form 10 days before the meeting. Volunteer support will send confirmation within 5 business days.

Trips for Troop Meetings:

  • Any in-person trips/activities must follow NYC COVID-19 Guidelines for outdoor gatherings and location requirements.
  • All girls and volunteers must practice social distancing, wear face coverings (masks), maintain 6 feet distancing of others, and follow safety guidelines outlined by the CDC.
  • Leaders must submit a Troop Trip and Insurance Application form 15 days before the trip. The Volunteer Experience team will send confirmation within 10 business days.

Camp, travel, and overnight stays:

  • Trips, travel, and overnight stays are prohibited until further notice. This guideline will be reviewed as needed.

All above subject to change to comply with any NYC Health/COVID-19 regulations updates.

Have additional questions, view our FAQs for Returning to In-Person Meetings.