side menu icon

Coronavirus Updates

Membership Update (3/20/20 4:41PM)

The Ohio Department of Health has prohibited mass gatherings (50 or more persons in a single room/space at the same time), and they strongly recommend avoiding unnecessary, non-family social gatherings of more than ten (10) people in accordance with President Trump’s coronavirus guidelines issued March 16, 2020.

As Girl Scouts we have a duty to do what we can to help prevent the spread of this contagious disease, and above all else we must prioritize the health and safety of all members, girls and adults. Cancelling troop meetings is not required; however, maintaining a sense of normalcy is so important right now for girls and their families.

Even as we all practice social distancing (avoiding close contact with people by staying home or standing at least six feet away from others when you do need to go out), Girl Scouts is still a place where girls can feel supported and share honest conversations about what they’re feeling. Check out this great resource from GSUSA to help you keep the Girl Scout spirit going strong when your troop can’t actually meet face-to-face.

Letter from the CEO (3/18/20 3:54PM)

Girl Scout family,

As a result of the rapidly changing dynamic around COVID-19, GSNEO is continually reviewing updates from the Ohio Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, and orders from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

Governor DeWine has placed a ban on mass gatherings of 100 or more people, and health care experts strongly discourage non-essential gatherings of more than 25 people. In addition, schools have been instructed to close beginning Monday, March 16 at 3pm through Friday, April 3.

Based on this new information, we have decided it’s in the best interest of our members to take some proactive measures that are outlined below.

At Girl Scouts, we take pride in being prepared, and we know that begins with each of us as leaders of this Movement.

Be assured that service to you will continue, just in a different way. As we will continue to monitor the latest recommendations, we will send updated announcements and make changes as needed.

Girl Scouts are flexible and resilient. Thank you for all that you do for girls and volunteers in Northeast Ohio. This is a challenging time for all of us as we prepare to navigate the disruptions to not only our business but to our lives.

If you have questions or concerns related to Girl Scouts, please reach out. Customer Care is available via email at customercare@gsneo.org, via Live Chat, or phone 1.800.852.4474 9am - 5pm Monday through Friday.

Sincerely,
Jane Christyson
Chief Executive Officer

COOKIE PROGRAM (3/20/20 5:15PM)

As you know, cookie booths throughout Northeast Ohio are postponed. But there are lots of delicious Girl Scout Cookies available! Now there’s another way members of our communities can help!

Help a troop, help a first responder, help yourself!

Treat them! Donations can be made to the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio “Cookie Relief Fund,” and we will make sure the cookies purchased from a Girl Scout are delivered to local non-profits, health professionals, and first responders. Visit gsneo.org/cookierelief.

The Cookie Relief fund was established to help reduce the inventory of cookies across our 18 counties by funding opportunities to donate troop cookies to area nonprofits, health workers, and first responders. Further information will follow on how to apply for available funds, if needed.

Do you know of a company or an individual who would like to support the cookie relief fund? Please connect them with Julie Weagraff, Vice President, Fund Development at jweagraff@gsneo.org.

Eat them! Cookie customers can fill out the Cookie Request form, and they will be connected to troops using the Digital Cookie Platform. From there, customers can order cookies, pay online, and choose a delivery option.

If your troop is interested in signing up to take orders via Digital Cookie, please use the link in the Help Center Tab in eBudde under Sign Up for Cookie Customers. Your Cookie Manager will be able to access this link.

Questions about the Cookie Relief fund or the Cookie Request form? Contact Customer Care at 1-800-852-4474.

Share our post on Facebook and LinkedIn to spread the word!

Back to top

 

PROGRAMS, EVENTS, TRAININGS (3/20/20 5:15PM)

As we continue to monitor orders and recommendations from the state of Ohio and the CDC, our team will revise decisions about registration and events accordingly. We will continually update programs showing cancellation notices on our event calendar. We will communicate directly with registered participants about any changes, cancellations, and refund information.

In order to stay up to date with the latest recommendations, we will continually look at least 2 weeks ahead for changes to upcoming programs. This will also allow us to process refunds in a timely manner. Currently, programs and events have been cancelled through mid-April.

As always, we will provide refunds for any programs cancelled by GSNEO. Refunds will be issued using the same method of payment used for the registration (credit card, pathway passes, etc.). At this time, Pathway Passes will be issued with an expiration date of September 30, 2020, allowing time to use these for fall program registration.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Debbie Kroupa, Director – Girl Experience at dkroupa@gsneo.org

And now, the GOOD NEWS!

We’ve been fortunate to be able to change the format for some programs and we have begun posting virtual program activities to keep girls engaged in the coming weeks! Natalie Lane (Disney) launched our first virtual activity with the Brownie Hiker Badge on Facebook Live Tuesday afternoon – with more than 2.9K views already! Catie Hewitt (Tink) prepped activities and recorded all the stories in the Daisy Journey: Five Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals! More activities are coming soon! We developed a page on our website to hold these resources – check it out!

We have a handful of programs with specific updates we want you to be aware of, including:

Cadette Summit

Registration for the Cadette Summit is currently postponed until April 15. We will continue to monitor updates from the state, and revise decisions about registration and the Cadette Summit event accordingly. The committee will continue to make plans for the event through virtual meetings with the Girl Leadership Team.

Goodwill Good Turn Day

In order to accommodate Girl Scouts and their families, most Goodwill Industries in our area will be extending Goodwill Good Turn Day over the next nine weeks. Girl Scouts may drop off their donations between March 21 and May 23, with varying hours and drop off methods depending on the location. Stores listed under Goodwill Industries of Akron will only be available for Good Turn Day on March 21 with a manager available for accepting donations. Please check this updated listing to confirm the information that we have available as of today (3/20/2020). Some sights are no longer able to participate and are indicated with a strikeout line on the updated list. As schedules may change over the next several weeks, please contact your local Goodwill to confirm times and dates before dropping off or follow your local Goodwill Facebook page for regular updates.

Help collect clothing and goods to support Goodwill Industries' employment placement and training programs. Collect three (3) bags of donations (try to fill at least 3 plastic grocery bags) to earn the Good Turn Day participation patch. Participate with the Goodwill location of your choice to receive your Good Turn Day patch!

College Knowledge

We’re revamping this program with our vendor to transition to a virtual program! Anyone registered for this program will receive email notification soon!!

Destinations

The GSNEO hosted Destination: Tall Ship Sail School scheduled for July 2020 has been cancelled for this summer. We are in communication with the US Brig Niagara team to schedule for summer 2021 if possible.

Business of Babysitting

Business of Babysitting programs and overnights are cancelled for March (Ledgewood) and April (Intergrove). We know this program is popular with our Girl Scout Cadettes and we currently have limited capacity for participation. We are revising our program delivery to allow for larger capacity programs to begin this fall. We’ll keep you posted on the plans!

Ohio State Fair

This is a great time to get involved with the Ohio State Fair. Information is posted on our website with details for patch design entries and much more! Check it out!

Gold Award

All in-person Go for The Gold workshops have been changed to videoconference formats. Anyone registered to attend the in-person workshop has received email with the login information for videoconference. The Highest Awards committee is conducting videoconferences for initial interviews for project proposals, as well as final report interviews with the girls. This will allow all girls to stay on track for launching their Gold Award projects.

We realize the current orders for closures and social distancing may have a severe impact on girls’ who are currently conducting their projects. We will be in communication with girls to assure them we will support them and be flexible with the timeline of their projects.

GSNEO Graduating Senior College Scholarships Application

It’s that time of year for our Girl Scouts who are graduating from high school. To remove as many barriers as possible for girls to apply, we have extended the application deadline to May 15, 2020. We hope this gives girls enough time to secure school transcripts and letters of recommendation. We have updated the application to electronic submission. You can access scholarship application on our website.

TROOP and SERVICE UNIT MEETINGS (3/20/20 4:41PM)

We know our volunteers and families have what it takes to support Girl Scouting at home and online! Did you know that you can use Zoom.us for free? Zoom is one of the top video conferencing apps out there, and you can use it for free to meet virtually with groups or meet one-on-one. We have heard many great stories on how successful troop leaders have been accomplishing badge work through virtual meetings, planning, and just having fun reconnecting.

Back to top

 

VOLUNTEER TRAININGS (3/20/20 4:41PM)

Many training classes have been cancelled or rescheduled for fall. If you signed up for a First Aid session, but your class is cancelled, your online portion is still good for 6 months. The Trip & Travel classes have been converted into online classes. Please check the gsneo.org event calendar for updates.

Back to top

 

RETAIL SHOP UPDATE (3/19/20 2:04PM)

GSNEO Retail locations have closed to in-person shopping as of 5pm on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and until further notice.

  • girlscoutshop.com is open 24/7, now with free shipping on all orders. At this time, the Girl Scout Merchandise Distribution Center will continue to be operational despite the GSUSA Headquarters offices being closed.
  • If you need something GSNEO-specific, please email shop@gsneo.org or call Customer Care 800-852-4474. These orders will be charged a small shipping fee.

Back to top

 

GSNEO Camps moving to Day-Only Visitors (3/31/20 10:53PM)

Warm, sunny weather will soon be here in Northeast Ohio – a perfect time to get outdoors for a healthy walk with your family! The GSNEO camp properties are open for Girl Scouts and their families to take advantage of our beautiful open-space sites. Think about a badge you can work on in the great outdoors. Do a nature scavenger hunt, start your Trail Adventure badge, or get creative with your Outdoor Art badges! Be sure to bring your water bottle and snacks, pack some wipes and hand-sanitizer, dress for the weather, and wear closed-toe shoes. Visits are limited to day-time only (9am to 7pm) at all GSNEO properties through April 30, 2020 and our buildings are not accessible at this time, so please plan accordingly.

Day Pass reservations can be made online at least 1 day in advance of your visit. Choose the camp you’d like to visit, click on Site Reservations, select the category Day Pass Requests, and pick your date! If you are not able to schedule in advance, no problem! When you decide “today” is a good day for a hike, just contact customer care at 800-852-4474 to place your request. Remember that passes are currently available throughout the week, not just weekends!

If your Troop or Service Unit Campout is scheduled for before June 1st and you would like to cancel or postpone, we are waiving the deadline for cancellations to get a credit or refund. Troops or Service Units that select to receive a credit will get first option to reschedule their campout. We hope to begin rescheduling these canceled events on May 1, but will reassess as we move forward. Thank you for understanding. If you have questions or feedback contact customer care or email registration@gsneo.org.

For Summer Resident Camp: Currently, GSNEO is planning for a great camp season and reviewing all kinds of opportunities to engage girls this summer! We are continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will be sure to keep you updated with any changes to the camp season. In the meantime, you may receive email notices about making payments toward your resident camp balance - these are automatically generated via the registration system and cannot be changed once registrations have been opened. We understand that some of you are waiting for Cookie Pathway Passes or may not be able to make a payment at this time. Please know, there is no penalty for not making a payment yet. If your outstanding balance is paid 3 weeks prior to your resident camp session, you will not lose your reservation. Our staff team is looking forward to seeing your girls this summer!

Back to top

 

Virtual Troop Meetings  (3/31/20 10:53AM)

We know it’s not possible for every troop to meet in a virtual space. That’s why the Volunteer Support & Services Team has created program age-specific virtual troop meetings to ensure that all Girl Scouts have an opportunity to engage in troop activities with their caregivers easily, and conveniently.

Participants do not have to sign up or log in, and they can watch the recording if they miss the FB Live. They are not required to be registered Girl Scout members. Although the group is public, it is run by background checked volunteers who will be monitoring comments. Girls under 13 will participate in the virtual troop meeting with their caregivers. We hope you and your girl will join us beginning in April!

Back to top

 

Volunteer Recognition Celebration (3/20/20 4:41PM)

The Volunteer Recognition Celebration scheduled for April 25, 2020 has been cancelled. We plan to do virtual recognition on social media during the month of April and expect that there will be multiple options for in-person recognition in the late summer/fall 2020. Alternative options will be presented as they become available. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to ensure that all of our awardees are given the recognition they deserve.

Back to top

 

Spring Renewal Campaign (3/20/20 4:41PM)

While you may renew in the system beginning April 1 for the 2021 membership year, our Spring Renewal campaign with all the same great incentives will begin on May 1 this year. We are hoping the extra time will allow our families to take care of more pressing matters first. The Spring Renewal webpage with all the great information will be updated by
April 1.

Back to top

 

Governance: Annual Meeting of the General Assembly (3/31/20 10:53AM)

As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis, the Annual Meeting of the General Assembly will be conducted via Zoom in two parts on Saturday, April 4.Voting members will receive two separate Zoom Meeting Invitations in advance of the advance of the Annual Meeting.

The presentation and recording of the meeting will be posted on our website afterwards.

Visit our Governance page for more information.

Back to top

 

Girl Scouts at Home (3/31/20 10:53AM)

Our GSNEO team has been AMAZED at the innovation and connection our volunteers and girls have shown during this challenging time of closures and social distancing. We look forward to the day we can gather again in person, but this doesn’t stop us from engaging in Girl Scouts right now! We have a new page dedicated to virtual programming. We are planning to add new content on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons around 3:00PM (in the absence of technology glitches!). Check it out!

Back to top