Thank you for your ongoing attention to our council’s communications
regarding the ways we are adapting to the Coronavirus situation.
Within our large jurisdiction there are varying degrees of impact and
we ask for your understanding as we establish guidelines based upon
the most up-to-date information and what is in the best interest of
our entire council.
The state of Florida, as well as some areas within our council’s
jurisdiction, are continuing to experience above-average occurrences
and impacts due to the Coronavirus situation. Some local governments,
such as counties and cities, have implemented additional ordinances
that are specifically related to the impact Coronavirus. Members,
volunteers, girls, and families are required to follow these local
directives in such areas while participating in Girl Scouting.
Please read our guidelines carefully so CDC guidelines, as well as
state and local ordinances, can be followed. We remain hopeful that we
can welcome back wider varieties of in-person programs, meetings, and
activities, but will only proceed when it is deemed safe to do so.
The following information is current as of the date indicated above
and may be shared with volunteers or used when answering questions:
Virtual Troop Meetings: Based on the risks surrounding
COVID-19, utilizing virtual tools is the recommended way to keep
troops meeting regularly and maintain engagement in the Girl Scout
experience. Volunteers should review the Safety Activity Checkpoint
Troop Meetings in private homes: GSUSA suggests no troop
meetings be held in private homes out of concern that there would be
greater risk of exposure to other household members. We understand
that due to COVID-19, the schools and community locations where troop
meetings often take place, may be less available. Troops that wish to
have a periodic in-person meeting, must submit a Troop
Meeting Change of Location form to ensure accurate records in
the event of an accident. Additionally, we recommend the in-person
troop meeting in a private home, is held outside, and all safety
guidelines must be carefully adhered to in accordance with CDC, state,
local health authorities and as outlined council COVID-19 guidance.
Volunteers should remind girls that Girl Scouts wear face coverings
(masks or face shields) not only to protect themselves but to protect
others. We recommend having disposable masks on hand for those who
need them. Follow the CDC Guidelines to teach girls how
to handle their face coverings so that the coverings are
effective. Based on the risks surrounding COVID-19, GSSEF recommends
the use of virtual tools to keep troops meeting regularly and maintain
engagement in the Girl Scout experience.
Activities, programs and events: Girl Scout one-day activities,
including troop meetings, and events sponsored by our council may
occur, at the discretion of all participants (and program partners)
involved when participants can safely and consistently maintain a
social distance of at least 6 feet. Girl-to-adult ratios must
be maintained and face coverings (masks or shields) are required for
participants. It is strongly recommended groups meet outdoors as
opposed to indoors, and only when social distancing can be maintained.
When planning an activity, 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
wipe downs in between uses for equipment at the gym. Make whatever
appropriate accommodations that are necessary. For example, bring
disposable masks and extra sanitizer or disinfectant wipes if none
will be provided for public use at the activity location.
Troop Travel and Applications: GSSEF Volunteer Policies and
Procedures require volunteers to secure travel approval using the
council’s travel applications. Approval for a troop activity outside
of the regular troop meeting is required to ensure member access to
the Girl Scout supplemental accident insurance, in the event of
accident or injury to a registered member participating in an approved
Girl Scout activity. Further, GSSEF Volunteer Policies and Procedures
require approval of an activity to utilize troop treasury funds to pay
for the costs associated with the activity. Volunteers are required to
submit the appropriate travel application for the activity and secure
council approval in advance of the activity. Travel applications can
be found in the Forms section of www.gssef.org; each form lists
instructions for submission, including timelines. In addition, troop
leaders must secure parental permission for participation for each
individual activity/excursion using the Parent/Guardian Permission
Form. Universal or blanket permission forms for multiple activities
are not allowed.
Overnight trips (domestic and international) are not permitted
at this time; we do not have a definite timeframe as to when we will
be able to permit them. Troops are welcome to submit Overnight Troop
Travel permission forms to firstname.lastname@example.org, with
future travel dates so they can be reviewed at such a time that our
council is permitted to process and approve them.
Transportation (car-pooling): Based on the risks surrounding
COVID-19, and due to the proximity within a confined space of
carpooling and/or public transportation, GSSEF strongly discourages
any shared transportation. Individual families should provide required
transportation for the girls in their own household.
At this time individual parents should drop off and pick up their
own girls from meetings.
CPR and First Aid Certifications: GSUSA sets the requirements
for CPR and First Aid trainings in the Safety Activity Checkpoints:
- A general first-aider is an adult volunteer who has taken Girl
Scout approved first-aid and CPR training that includes specific
instructions for child CPR, as well as AED (Automated External
- Caution: First-aid/CPR training
that is available entirely online does not satisfy Girl Scouts’
requirements (Safety Activity Checkpoints 2019, p. 13).
two largest certifying organizations, the American Red Cross and the
American Heart Association, have issued CPR and First Aid expiration
date extensions and are beginning to resume in-person trainings
within our council jurisdiction.
The following information is for volunteers holding a current
certificate that has, or will soon expire:
American Red Cross card-holders: The American Red Cross
requires existing certification holders to complete a FREE online
extension course. This enables a certificate holder to extend any
base level American Red Cross certifications that expire between
March 1st - September 30th that were acquired through instructor-led
or blended learning classes. Please note that this extension does
not apply to Instructor certifications, instructor trainer
certifications, online only classes or the recently released
provisional certifications. To utilize this extension
certificate, it must be presented with the expired
certificate. If you are holding an American Red Cross CPR and
First Aid certificate please visit
their website to complete the requirements to extend your
certification expiration date. You will need to provide both the
extension certificate and the expired/expiring card with your travel
app in order to secure approval of your assigned First-aider.
American Heart Association card-holders: As previously
shared, AHA Provider and Instructor cards that expired in March and
April, and those expiring at the end of May and June can renew their
card for up to 120 days from the recommended renewal date on their
card. In an update, the AHA has indicated that in affected areas
with restrictions still in place into July and August, the AHA will
allow Training Centers, at their discretion, to consider extending
cards that have a “Renew By” date of July or August to no further
than October 2020. Because of the size of our jurisdiction and
varying local ordinances and restrictions, we as a council will
honor any American Heart Association cards that have expired, or
will expire through the end of August, until October 31, 2020.
If a certification was issued by an organization not mentioned here,
please check with the organization directly to see if they are
offering an extension. If they are, please advise our team by
contacting email@example.com and
provide any additional documentation that will assist us in recording
a temporary extension. Again, only the issuing organization can extend
a certification, we cannot without their express approval.
For volunteers without a current CPR or First Aid
certification/those seeking first-time certification: The
American Heart Association in our jurisdiction has resumed in-person
classes, with limited availability and small class sizes. Each
participant will be provided and work only with their own training
mannequin and social distance will be maintained. Volunteers can visit
www.cpr.heart.org and enter
their zip code to find classes in their area. GSUSA requires both CPR
and First Aid certification. These classes are offered
separately or through a combined class option at the American Heart
Association. GSSEF recommends volunteers select the Heartsaver First
Aid CPR AED combined class to fulfill the requirement.
Questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.