Coronavirus Updates | Girl Scouts of North East Ohio
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COVID-19 Updates

If you need to report a positive COVID-19 test result for someone who has recently attended any Girl Scout-related programming, including Day Pass hikes on GSNEO property or small troop in-person meetings, please complete this form, or contact Customer Care at 800-852-4474 or customercare@gsneo.org.

From the start of this pandemic, Girl Scouts have proven themselves to be strong community supporters, going above and beyond to keep themselves and others safe. COVID-19 remains an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community. Volunteers should take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, themselves and families and to prevent additional community transmission.

Face Coverings. Volunteers should remind girls that Girl Scouts wear face coverings (masks) not only to protect themselves but to protect others. Face coverings are a civic responsibility and a sign of caring for the community. Girls can bring their own face coverings. Have disposable masks on hand for those who need them. Volunteers can teach girls how to handle their face coverings so that the coverings are effective. Some girls or volunteers may not be able to wear masks, due to medical conditions such as asthma.

Full GSNEO COVID-19 Guidelines on in-person Troop Meetings and Pool Reopening are available below.

GSNEO COVID-19 Guidelines:

GSNEO COVID-19 Guidelines for Troop Meetings

Click for the full GSNEO COVID-19 Guidelines for Troop Meetings, including mandatory and recommended measures to consider before, during, and after in-person meetings.

GSNEO COVID-19 Guidelines for Pool Reopening

Click for the full GSNEO COVID-19 Guidelines for Pool Reopening, including mandatory and recommended measures to consider before, during, and after in-person meetings.

GSNEO COVID-19 Guidelines for Troop Camping Reopening

Click for the full GSNEO COVID-19 Guidelines for Troop Camping Reopening, including mandatory and recommended measures to consider before, during, and after overnight camping.

Additional Resources

For the Girls:

#GSNEOPositivityProject

We see your girls and troops participating in community service to help others, lifting each other up, and spreading positivity, and we want to hear from you!

If you and your troop have innovative ways of providing community service or outreach in a way that respects social distancing, we’d love to hear about it! The easiest way to share pictures and stories with us is to email marketing@gsneo.org, post them on our GSNEO Facebook page, or send us a private message on Facebook. We will be posting these to our GSNEO social media, so please “like,” “comment,” and/or “share” to your networks!

To view Positivity Project posts, search the hashtag "#GSNEOPositivityProject" on social media platforms!

2020 Graduated Seniors Fund Usage Extension (Updated 7/10/20)

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of many programs and activities that 12th grade Girl Scouts had planned for spring/summer 2020 such as extended travel, bridging-to-adult ceremonies, camping, Gold Award projects, and other Girl Scout activities. Girl Scouts of North East Ohio is allowing a one-time extension for 12th graders to use money-earned funds to reschedule these activities into the next membership year. Specific guidelines apply for any 2020 graduated 12th grade girl troops who would like to use the extension.

For information on the guidelines for the 2020 graduated 12th grade girls fund usage extension, please contact Customer Care at 800-852-4474, customercare@gsneo.org, or via Live Chat.

Girl Scouts at Home

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!

GSNEO Virtual Troops

Whether your girl is meeting virtually with her own troop or not, we welcome her to join a GSNEO virtual troop, where she’ll have an opportunity to interact with even more girls and volunteers!

GSNEO has launched public Facebook groups for each Girl Scout program age-level, with two separate groups for Daisies, Year 1 (pre-K through 1st grade) and Year 2. These virtual troops were created to engage Girl Scouts in fun, safe, and meaningful ways. The groups, open to members and non-members, are meant to supplement any activities that your girl may already be doing from home or with her own troop virtually. Council trainers, troop and service unit volunteers, and others are posting content at their convenience, and we are so thankful! As an added value, we’re offering member-exclusive opportunities that are promoted in these Facebook groups and hosted using Zoom technology.

We would love for volunteers to lead virtual troop meetings on a regular basis, whether weekly or bi-weekly, to offer girls a consistent online experience. Each meeting would begin with the Girl Scout Promise and Law followed by an activity and girl-led discussion. Remember, girls need reassurance right now, and one of the best things we can do is foster a space where they can navigate their feelings. If you are interested in offering a virtual activity or serving as a virtual leader for any of the program age-levels, please reach out to Nicole Welsh.

Stay connected with these opportunities:

We’re continually updating and adding activities – so check back often!

Highest Awards Deadline Extension (Updated 7/10/20)

Recognizing that many schools, youth activities and community gatherings have been suspended, and that we are navigating a period of rapid change, Girl Scouts is offering a three-month extension from Sept. 30 to December 31, 2020, to provide flexibility for Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors earning Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards.

This is particularly relevant for 5th grade Juniors, 8th grade Cadettes, and 12th grade Ambassadors who will bridge to the next program age level officially on September 30, 2020 and typically would be no longer eligible to earn the Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, respectively. If girls decide to utilize the deadline, their Girl Scout membership must maintain current membership for the 2020-2021 membership year.

The safety and health of our Girl Scouts is our top priority. Girls should take the time they need to acclimate without the added stress of impending deadlines. When they’re ready, they can flex their problem-solving muscles and adjust their project plan and implementation, rather than put their projects on hold. We’re confident in their ability to be the change our community needs through this crisis.

If you have any questions, please contact Customer Care at 800-852-4474, customercare@gsneo.org, or via Live Chat.

National Service Projects

GSUSA recently launched two National Service Projects for girls and troops to participate:

  1. Letter-writing Service Project: girls write letters to people in nursing homes, senior residences, and assisted living facilities, including the dedicated staff and caregivers. This long-distance hug is a way to share your good thoughts with these vulnerable and loved community members.
  2. Mask-making Service Project: GSUSA has partnered with Feeding America to make it easy for girls to amplify their mask-making efforts. Now, with this nationwide mask-making campaign, all girls have the chance to step up to help their friends, neighbors, and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on how to get involved in National Service Projects visit girlscouts.org/serviceprojects.

Virtual "Introduction to Girl Scouts"

We are excited to continue welcoming new girls and their families through Virtual Introductions to Girl Scouts, where girls and their caregivers are invited to join us for an engaging activity and introduction to Girl Scouting. The marketing and recruitment team are hosting Zoom meetings twice a day Monday-Thursday that are promoted on Eventbrite and social media. When an interested family registers through Eventbrite, they’ll receive a confirmation email with any supplies their girl will need to participate in the activity from home. Each day of the week we offer a new themed activity for girls entering kindergarten through grade 5. Families that attend these virtual introductions will learn about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, program levels, associated costs, volunteer opportunities, and more.

We are now offering a chance for girls pre-k through grade 1 the chance to “try out” Girl Scouts! These virtual activities will be held Saturday, June 6 and Saturday, June 13 at 10:30am, and will offer girls the chance to participate in a fun activity about Making the World a Better Place. At the end of the activity, girls will earn their first Daisy Petal and a fun Daisy Launch patch!

After each virtual event, families will receive a series of e-newsletters that include additional virtual opportunities and a link to join. Girls and volunteers who join now will have the option to purchase an extended-year membership. The new member deal is $35 for 17-months of membership for pre-K girls and up.

Registration for Virtual Introductions to Girl Scouts and “Try It” Saturdays can be found here. If you know a girl who could benefit from a Girl Scout experience, ask their caregiver to visit gsneo.org/welcome.

For Volunteers:

Letter from the CEO

At Girl Scouts, we seek to instill in girls the fundamental values of respect for all, inclusivity, equity, and the belief that injustice anywhere is a slight to justice everywhere. As I reflect on current events, I remember the hours I spent as a girl member building my own magnetic board with felt characters to tell the story of “The Churkenduck” to younger Girl Scouts. It was a story of differences in an animal that had a kinship with many but acceptance by none. A simple tale that sparked discussion about being the other and how we all had a responsibility to draw our circles bigger to welcome in all those different from us.

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio abhors racism and we care deeply about giving all girls the opportunity to learn, through the Girl Scout program, how to use their voices for change. As an organization we are committed to recruiting a diverse board, and we’re continually working toward a membership that reflects our diverse community. Can we do better? Yes, we can and we should. Please know that I am looking for new alliances and resources that will make us stronger to continue our legacy of activism and changemaking.

I want to share some resources from Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). We will continue to share more as they become available.

Some of you may be wondering how to begin to have conversations with your children or your troop. Here's a resource.

You can be an agent of change. I am so pleased that Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) launched the G.I.R.L. Agenda Powered by Girl Scouts, a nonpartisan initiative to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls and those who care about them to lead positive change through civic action. Encouraging girls to speak up and advocate for the issues and ideas important to them is not new. In fact, even before women could vote in the United States, Girl Scouts could earn the Citizen badge by displaying their knowledge of government and how to get involved!

These Citizen badges—Good Neighbor, Celebrating Community, Inside Government, Finding Common Ground, Behind the Ballot, and Public Policy—engage girls in age-appropriate activities involving community service, public policy, government, voting, and more. Over time, the badges build girls’ knowledge of local and global communities and show them how their actions as citizens make the world better for everyone. We encourage every girl member to earn these badges to show your community what a Girl Scout can do.

Learn more about the badges using the Badge Explorer.

To learn how your Girl Scout troop can get civically engaged, visit GIRLagenda.org.

E-newsletter

Beginning Monday, GSNEO is making a change to the e-news schedule for the summer months.

Look for the GSNEO all-member e-news to begin Monday as a bi-weekly communication that includes council updates: COVID-19-related announcements as well as program, camp, property, and membership news.

The Monday GSNEO e-news replaces the Friday, COVID-19 updates and the Monday, Girl Scouts at Home e-newsletters.

This fall, we will resume the age-level-specific newsletters and the CEO blog.


Campfire Chats

Campfire Chats bring together powerful Girl Scout alums and supporters at the top of their fields to educate and inspire people who are striving for a better world. These virtual events showcase a wide variety of topics, from cooking to financial literacy and career advice.

Girl Scout Network

You know Girl Scouts as the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And now, there's a community of like-minded advocates who feel passionately about coming together in support of girls.

It's the Girl Scout Network: a powerful community of adults—Girl Scout alums and supporters from across the country—who believe in preparing girls to be the leaders of the future. 

Sign up now and you’ll receive:

  • A monthly newsletter via email, including inspiring alum profiles, savvy career advice from and for women, mentoring tips, and videos
  • Invitations to special local and national events
  • Networking opportunities with our vast community of Girl Scout alums
  • Discounts on personal stays at Edith Macy Center in Briarcliff Manor, New York
  • Links to the Girl Scout Legislative Agenda, with chances to support polices that foster leadership and educational opportunities for girls and youth-serving nonprofit organizations
  • Access to new merchandise designed especially for alums and adult supporters—plus 10% off your first purchase at girlscoutshop.com

>>Join the Girl Scout Network

GSNEO Offices

All GSNEO offices will reopen on June 1. Following the guidelines set forth by the governor, we will begin staffing at 50% or below. Please bear with us as we work out the nitty-gritty of how we get back to our work-spaces and function in our environment in a new way. There is information below regarding shop hours, probably the number one reason our members visit a council office.

As all of us slowly go back to an office environment or now permanently work remotely, we can’t lose track of the emotional impact. Although we have all been using words like “unprecedented” to describe the current situation, there are parallels to similar regionally impactful events, like hurricanes and floods. Scientists have studied these events, and although each is different, there are some predictable behaviors that emerge. GSUSA did a great presentation that they turned into a less than 8 minute video that speaks to this subject. It is very insightful in terms of examining and understanding the reactions of our members, volunteers, and those we love around us.

Red Cross Training

The Red Cross is now offering a FREE Mental Health First Aid for COVID-19 online-only course designed to help individuals build resilience and support themselves and lend support to others during and following the COVID-19 outbreak. The topics covered in this course will be:

  • Recognizing Stress in Adults, Teens and Children
  • Practicing Mental Health First Aid
  • Caring for Yourself
  • Supporting Your Family
  • Supporting Yourself and Coworkers at Work

Safety Activity Checkpoints Updated

In these days of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, many troops are engaging in virtual experiences that connect Girl Scout friends together. Safety is always at the front of our minds for all Girl Scout experiences, even when we’re meeting virtually. Girl Scouts of the USA has updated Safety Activity Checkpoints to include information on Coronavirus Safety in Girl Scouts and Have an Emergency Action Plan. A new chapter has been added for Virtual Troop Meetings and additions have been made to the chapter on Camping. This updated resource will be added to the Volunteer Resources page of our website as soon as we’ve made the necessary council customizations.

Safety Tips for Using Zoom

Zoom meetings are a great way to connect with troop members and individual parents. You can go to zoom.us and register for a free account that permits group meetings up to 40 minutes and one-on-one meetings for an unlimited amount of time. There are plenty of help videos on the zoom.us website that explains all aspects of Zoom. If you wish to register for a paid account, it is only $14.99 per month and offers group meetings of an unlimited length.

You may have heard stories about Zoom meetings being hacked, but these were generally public meetings where the link was widely shared. It is very unlikely that a small private Zoom meeting would experience any type of disruption.

If you want to be extra careful, here are some steps you can take by changing your Zoom meeting settings:

  1. Change screen sharing to "Host Only."
  2. Disable "Join Before Host" so people can't cause trouble before you arrive or enable “Waiting Room” so you can personally admit each invitee
  3. Require a password
  4. Disable "File Transfer" so there's no digital virus sharing.
  5. Disable "Allow Removed Participants to Rejoin" so booted attendees can't slip back in.

Even if you do not do these things, there is only a very tiny likelihood of trouble because you will be emailing Zoom invitations to people you know. Refrain from posting a Zoom link on Facebook or any other social media.

Zoom meetings provide a great online forum and are used by many small organizations, including GSNEO, churches, and many clubs, large and small.

Have some fun and try an online meeting using Zoom!

Spring Renewal (Updated 6/26/20)

Surprise Spring Renewal Incentive!
Earn an exclusive fishing experience with our CEO, Jane Christyson by renewing your girl’s membership by July 8!

Troops with at least 5 girls and 2 volunteers renewed for 2021 by the Spring Renewal deadline of July 8 will be entered in a drawing for the troop to have some fabulous fishing fun at Camp Ledgewood together this summer. Check eligibility requirements on our renewal page.

Renewal Mystery Gift Box
By renewing your girl today, her troop will also be entered into a weekly drawing to win a surprise mystery gift box with a gift for every girl in the troop! Visit our Renew page to view the qualifications for this drawing and all of the other incentives she can partake in.

Troop and Service Unit Meetings

There’s comfort in what’s familiar, and by continuing troop traditions, you remind girls that they’re still on solid ground. Depending on their ages, ask your girls how they’d like to connect outside their usual troop meeting. Don't worry if they’re using a web or social platform you’re not as familiar with, because you’ll learn alongside them!

If your girls are younger or looking for guidance about how to stay in touch, check out companies offering free webinar services for groups. Try services from Google, Adobe, or Zoom, among many others, and see what works best for your troop.

And if connecting virtually isn’t a possibility, you can still show your girls what it means to be a sister to every Girl Scout by giving them a quick phone call to let them know you’re there for them.

Check out these Girl Scouts at Home resources for families!


Troop Maintenance

Is your troop accepting new members? As we continue to welcome new families to Girl Scouts at a time when girls need us the most, they’ll be searching the Opportunity Catalog for troops that can offer their girl an experience now. If your troop is meeting virtually, please update your troop description! If you need to change your troop’s desired number of girls temporarily, please use the Troop Changes Form. This is also a good time to check your contact information and update school information, phone numbers, and address. You can do this by logging into MyGS or by contacting us at customercare@gsneo.org.

Based on feedback from customers, Girl Scouts is working to enhance our online member registration system. One of the new features for caregivers looking for a troop will be the ability to do an advanced search in the system for troops based on focus area, language, and association to schools or other community organizations. We are collecting this information now so we will be ready for the launch in December 2020. Please contact Customer Care or use the Troop Changes Form to add this new information for your troop.


Volunteer Recognition Celebration

The Volunteer Recognition Celebration originally scheduled for April 25, 2020 has been rescheduled for November 14, 2020 and will be held at the Chickadee Program Center at Camp Ledgewood. Join CEO Jane Christyson, GSNEO Board Chair Judy Matsko, Shayna Bartlett, and Kim Klima in celebrating GSNEO's 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awardees in this short, virtual ceremony.

As a surprise for our awardees we've created a Kudoboard with messages of gratitude from their nominators and endorsers! You can read and feel the love at https://bit.ly/volunteerrecognitionthankyou.


Volunteer Trainings

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.

Membership Update

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.

Programs and Camp Updates:

GSNEO Camps
Day Pass Visitors (Updated 6/5/20)

Just in time for the 80-degree days, we are pleased to announce that the Splash Pad at Camp Timberlane is open for use! The Splash Pad is open to anyone with a day pass for Camp Timberlane. Visitors have the ability to turn on the pad as needed. Adult supervision is required but a lifeguard is not necessary. Maximum capacity is 10 people at any one time. Please work together with your fellow Girl Scouts to share this common program space.

Additionally, we are opening a small section of the pool house. The two family, handicap accessible restrooms closest to the splash pad are open.

We will be monitoring the use of the splashpad and restroom facilities. Please follow capacity limits and social distancing recommendations. Remember, Girl Scouts leave a place cleaner than they found it.

Day Pass reservations can be made online for Camp Ledgewood, Camp Timberlane, and Camp Sugarbush at least one business 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.

For passes on the weekend, please complete your pass request prior to 3pm on Friday. Please remember that Customer Care is not available after 5pm or on weekends.

What you need to know about your trip to a Girl Scout camp property:

  • Day Pass is required (see instructions below)
  • Latrines are open, but buildings and indoor restrooms are not
  • Pets are not permitted on GSNEO properties
  • Follow social distancing recommendations around other visitors
  • Campfires are permitted in designated areas; an Outdoor Essential certified volunteer is required to be at the fire while it is burning
  • Wipe down surfaces before and after use, including benches

What to pack/wear:

  • Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper for the latrine
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Weather-appropriate attire and closed-toe shoes

If you are going to camp, please consider helping our properties by looking for and pulling Garlic Mustard.

Troop and Service Unit Camping

The Troop-only camping weekend for May 29-31 has been cancelled., and overnight camping for troops and Service Units is suspended until further notice. If your Troop or Service Unit Campout was scheduled to camp before June 1 you have the option 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 for the fall and will reassess as we move forward. Thank you for understanding. If you have questions or feedback contact customer care or email registration@gsneo.org.

Camp Open House Events

It’s that time of year! Time to gather the family, take a tour of camp, and get ready for summer fun! For some, it’s their first visit to camp. Others are seasoned campers who just want to enjoy another day at camp. To keep the fun going without gathering in person, we’re offering virtual open houses this spring. We’ll launch the open house on Facebook during the event’s regularly scheduled time (check the links below to attend). Can’t make it at 2:00 PM on Sundays? Watch the recording whenever it’s convenient for you. Be sure to gather your supplies for s’mores (you can use the microwave at home) and join us for each of the camp open house tours. Launching on Facebook at 2:00 PM and available after that at on our Girl Scouts at Home page.

Programs and Events (Updated 7/10/20)

We’ve been fortunate to be able to change the format for some programs and we’ve started posting virtual program activities to keep girls engaged in the coming weeks! Join Natalie Lane (Disney), Catie Hewitt (Tink), and more for fun Girl Scout activities at our Girl Scouts at Home page. Also, visit our Summer Activities at Home page and Event Calendar for many new opportunities for our Girl Scouts!

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 and continually update any cancellation notices on our event calendar. We will communicate directly with registered participants about any changes, cancellations, and refund information. We are looking a minimum of at least two weeks ahead for any changes.

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, any newly issued Pathway Passes, as well as those re-activated with a refund, will have an expiration date of March 15, 2021, allowing time to use these for our new summer options, fall and spring programs, and summer 2021 program registration.

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

Cadette Summit

A few weeks ago, we delayed registration for the Cadette Summit to April 15. As this date draws near, and we still have little confirmed information on when our stay-at-home orders will begin to lift, we now made the determination to further delay registration for this event. The Adult and Girl Leadership Teams are brainstorming alternative plans and date options for a Cadette Summit. We’ll keep you posted with information as soon as it becomes available. One question we know you will ask is “I was planning to attend Cadette Summit but will be bridging to a Girl Scout Senior this year. Can I still attend this year’s Cadette Summit?” The answer is YES, absolutely! More details coming soon!

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!

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

The Ohio Expositions Commission announced that it will cancel the 2020 Ohio State Fair, originally scheduled for July 29 – August 9 in Columbus. Members of the Commission expressed concern for public health, as well as the financial feasibility of hosting a socially distant fair that would adhere to social distancing protocols and its impact on the long-term viability of the Ohio State Fair.

Gold Award (Updated 7/10/20)

The 2020 Gold Award Celebration Event will be postponed to mid-July. We're currently working with our planning team to secure an exact date with a revised format to fit within the new guidelines for catering centers and banquet halls. Information will be shared directly with Gold Award Girl Scouts.

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.

Girl Scouts is offering a three-month extension from Sept. 30 to December 31, 2020, to provide flexibility for Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors earning Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards. This means that Girl Scouts working toward their Gold Award can continue their efforts until December 31, 2020, provided they maintain current membership for the 2021 year. For more information, see the Highest Awards Deadline Extension information above, or contact Customer Care at 800-852-4474, customercare@gsneo.org, or via Live Chat.

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.

G.I.R.L. 2020 Convention

We heard from many people who were planning to participate in the G.I.R.L. 2020/55th National Council Session that they were looking forward to being in Orlando, Florida, for convention—with several members asking if our next triennial convention could take place there. To that end, we have good news: the GSUSA board voted during its recent regularly scheduled meeting to hold our Movement’s next convention (2023) in Orlando.

We’ll share more details, including dates, as we have them, and we ask for your patience as we plan our first-ever virtual National Council Session for October 2020 and work with our partners in Orlando to start planning 2023. We strongly encourage everyone who was looking forward to our 2020 convention to stay connected with our Movement—we’re already excited about the possibilities for a memorable 2023 convention in Orlando!

Girl Scout Day at Cedar Point

Girl Scout Day at Cedar Point has traditionally been offered on the second Wednesday in June. This year, our June 10 event is cancelled. GSNEO and Cedar Point are monitoring and reviewing the possibility for a date to reschedule and will provide information as soon as it is available.

Playhouse Square Extravaganza: Frozen

Nearly 900 Girl Scouts were excited to attend this year’s Playhouse Square Extravaganza: Frozen. Playhouse Square had to make the difficult announcement for cancellation of this event, along with many other performances. GSNEO is currently processing refunds to everyone that was registered to attend. We expect the touring show to return to PHS for a future season!

Summer Camp

In lieu of traditional summer camp, GSNEO is excited to announce three different alternative summer camp opportunities for our girls and their families!

*Camp at Home: These themed camp programs are comprised of twice daily virtual sessions (Monday – Thursday) conducted on Zoom by camp staff and daily “YOYO” (You’re On Your Own) activities for campers to do away from their screens. A virtual all-camp campfire with songs and skits will be offered on Wednesday evening for campers to attend with their families. Specialty supplies needed to complete daily program activities will be provided in a “Camp at Home Kit” which will be mailed directly to camper’s home using the address provided during the online registration process. (Note: Daisies and Brownies require a chaperone during Zoom sessions to assist them with tasks such as arts and crafts and STEM activities.) Registration for the first two weeks of Camp at Home is NOW OPEN!

*Badge in a Box: Supplies to complete all 5 steps of a badge are included in these fun and exciting boxes that will keep girls engaged all summer. This is a self-led program so girls can work on them at their own pace. The badge is included in the box and can be added to a vest or sash upon completion. Boxes can be mailed directly to homes or picked up at the Macedonia Service Center or Camp Ledgewood. Registration is NOW OPEN.

Family Activity Kits: Families who want to share a fun summer camp experience together will love these kits that include activity supplies and fun patches. Themed boxes range from Luau Night, to Destination Relaxation, and more. These activities are not age level specific and are designed to be enjoyed by all. Boxes are designed for a family of 4 and can be mailed directly to homes or picked up at the Macedonia Service Center or Camp Ledgewood. Registration is NOW OPEN.

*Camp at Home and Badge in a Box options are Girl Scout age level specific.

Cancellation Notice (Updated 5/1/20)

Difficult decisions have been made, but we have good news too!

The health, safety, and well-being of our Girl Scout family is most important to us. We have been closely monitoring communication from the state of Ohio and the CDC for orders, health and sanitation requirements, responsible protocols, and projections for reopening businesses this summer, including camps. Currently, the summer season has many uncertainties related to large group gatherings, such as our summer camp offerings. To be respectful of our campers and their families, as well as our seasonal camp staff and volunteers, we felt it was important to make decisions and share these with you by May 1.

While these are difficult, heartbreaking decisions, we feel they are the most responsible decisions for our council and all of our members. All programs at our camps are cancelled for this summer: Resident Camp, CORE Camp, One-Day Girl Programs, Week-long Day Camp for Daisies & Brownies, and Family Camp events. In addition, our special overnight community camp, Camp Throwback, is cancelled this year. Volunteer-led Community Day Camps scheduled in the month of June are cancelled, and we will continue to monitor information to make a decision in the next few weeks for Community Day Camps scheduled in July.

Notification has been sent to all campers that were already registered for this summer. Refunds will be processed beginning the week of May 11 – and we appreciate your patience as we process refunds for more than 2000 campers. As always, refunds will be issued in the same manner that payments were made. Summer camp refunds will include an extended expiration date of March 15, 2021 for any reissued Pathway Passes. We want girls to be able to use these earned rewards to register for programs this summer or fall, or even for summer camp next year!

We know that summer camp is the highlight of the year for many Girl Scouts. They reconnect with campers and camp staff, meet new friends, sing songs along the trails, enjoy s’mores by a campfire, sleep under the stars, swim, play games, paddle canoes, and so much more. Summer camp makes memories to last a lifetime.

Of course, we don’t want girls to miss out on the fun – even if it has to be different this year! The good news? Our team is making new plans and we sincerely hope our campers join us for some virtual or at-home programs. To get started, we’ll offer a variety of weeklong Camp at Home sessions, engaging girls in a live virtual gathering each morning and afternoon, with activities for girls to do on their own throughout the day. Other options will be Badge-in-a-Box and Family Activity Kits that can be completed whenever you’d like. More details on each of these, along with registration information will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Watch your email, the GSNEO website, and our social media platforms to keep up-to-date!

Refunds for Cancelled Programs

Refunds will be issued to everyone who was registered for a Summer Camp-related program and any other recently cancelled program, unless you completed the separate form to elect to donate your deposit. We appreciate your patience as we work as quickly as possible to refund each individual registration. It is not necessary to submit a refund request if your program has been cancelled. You will receive an email confirmation once we have completed our processing, but it may take 3 – 5 business days for your bank to show the refund. If you haven’t received a confirmation of your refund by June 3, 2020, please reach out to Customer Care on or after that date.

Camp In Campout

Join Girl Scouts of North East Ohio for this multi-media celebration of a favorite summer tradition: camping out! Join us on June 17 starting at 5pm EST.

Girl Scouts from around the world are invited to participate in this virtual Camp In Campout Experience led on Facebook live by GSNEO camp staff.

Pitch your own tent or build your own blanket fort, try your hand at cooking favorite camp recipes, explore astronomy, hone your bird watching skills, make traditional camp crafts, and more! Document your camping fun by taking pictures and sharing them with your fellow Girl Scout sisters in the Camp In Campout Facebook event page.

Enjoy special guest appearances by GSNEO CEO Jane Christyson as she teaches you about practical knot tying and GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo as she reflects on her childhood camping experiences and answers your questions.

Prior to this event going live, you can write a letter to Oogly Moo and/or Schulie, the Camp Timberlane and Camp Ledgewood spirits! Your letter might even be shared by camp staff during one of the Facebook live broadcasts!

Be sure to download the Camp In Campout Activity Packet for a sneak peek of activities, a schedule of events, and detailed instructions for all camp activities.

Cookies:

Cookie Program

Over the past couple months, Girl Scouts have stepped up in amazing ways to stay connected, help one another, and make a difference in their communities. When cookie booth sales were suspended because of COVID-19, our troops got creative and encouraged cookie fans to buy or donate their favorite cookies online and have them shipped to their doors. Now, for a short time, troops that still have cookies to sell will be allowed to set up cookie drive-thru stations that follow specific safety instructions and CDC guidelines for social distancing. Here is the timeline:

  • May 30 – My Sales Drive Thru's can start, see best practice guidelines in eBudde
  • June 14 – Sale ends and Digital Cookie ends
  • June 22 – Troops submit everything in eBudde
  • June 29 – We start debiting again
  • End of July – Submit Council Rewards June 30; Service Units will receive them before the end of July

Troops, be sure to check the Cookie Exchange if you need additional cookies otherwise, reorders will be available at the Council offices.

Cookie Shipments

Spring is here and warmer weather is upon us. Although that’s good news for heading outdoors for some socially distanced active time, it’s less favorable for shipping Girl Scout Cookies. Our chocolate-coated cookies struggle when the weather is too warm, and as a result, they occasionally arrive to customers looking less than their best. Given rising temperatures, GSUSA has made the decision to end direct-shipped cookies for both bakers this coming weekend by May 31. Digital Cookie will still be available for Girl Delivery purchases until June 14.

Cookie Rewards

Due to the current circumstances and suspended operations of event locations, the following changes have been made to the 2020 rewards lineup:

  • 400+ Packages – Weekender tote OR 1 shoe donation. Either choice includes a $10 Pathway Pass
  • 600+ Packages – Cookie Shake Sack Blanket OR Portable Charger OR 1 pair of shoes donation. Any choice includes a $15 Pathway Pass
  • 800+ Packages – Kiwi Crate 2-month subscription OR 1 Girl Membership renewal plus $10 Council Shop credit OR 2 pairs of shoes donation. Any choice includes a $15 Pathway Pass
  • 1000+ Packages – String of Pearls Club and $25 Pathway Pass. In lieu of an event at the zoo, girls will be sent a special gift box including their pearl and some additional surprise items and will receive social media recognition
  • 1500+ Packages – Butterfly tapestry and Butterfly kit OR 3 pairs of shoes donation. Either choice includes a $25 Pathway Pass.

There are no changes to items below the 400+ or above the 1500+ package levels. All rewards items are listed on the back of the Order Card.

Final Steps

  • Please allocate all sold cookies to the girls who sold them. Instructions are on page 48 of the Cookie Manager Manual
  • Please record all payments received against each girl, instructions are also on page 48
  • Reach out to any families who had not been able to deliver/pay and see if their circumstances have changed. Notify Customer Care of any completed payments for girls who had been previously submitted on a Delayed Payment Report
  • Select Reward choices as applicable and submit Final Rewards, see pages 50-51
  • If you have unsold cookies, please consider posting on the Cookie Exchange Tab as other troops may still need inventory to fill orders
  • Unsold inventory may be sold until the expiration date on the package, September 1, 2020

FAQs

What about Pathway Passes earned during the Cookie Program?

Pathway Passes earned during the 2020 Cookie Program will expire March 15, 2021. Passes will be uploaded May 6 based on allocated cookie totals. Additional Pathway Passes will upload in June based on girl final numbers.

Is our Girl Scout council taking cookies back?

While we are not able to take the cookies back, we have expanded opportunities for troops to sell their inventory, including keeping Digital Cookie open and allowing for porch pickup/delivery while following CDC guidelines. We very much care about our members and want to see our troops be successful in reaching their financial and individual goals.

What is happening with the Cookie Relief Fund?

At the end of the Cookie Program, the funds raised will be used to assist troops that have remaining inventory. The donations will be used to purchase Cookies that will be donated to local non-profits, first responders, and health professionals. The funds will obviously be limited and we want to make sure that they are distributed in an equitable way. Troops should do all they can to help themselves first.

Retail Shop:

Retail
Curbside Pickup

We will continue to offer curbside pickup during the month of June on Tuesday – Thursday from 9:30am – 3:30pm. Call in your order during business hours 800-852-4474 X 0411 or fill out our online form to place your order and request a pickup time. Orders must be received at least 2 hours prior to the pick-up time. Credit and debit cards preferred, troop checks also acceptable.

Shop Reopens June 2

Beginning June 2, 2020 the GSNEO Shop and Unique Boutiques will open, and shopping will be by appointment only. Appointments are available on the following schedule:

Macedonia, North Canton, Lorain

  • Tuesday – Friday, 9:00am-4:30pm 
  • Saturday, June 13th 9:00am-1:00pm (Macedonia) 
  • Saturday, June 20th 9:00am-1:00pm (North Canton & Lorain)

Youngstown

  • Tuesday – Thursday, 9:00am-4:30pm 


Following Ohio health guidelines, we are limiting the number of people who can be in the retail location at one time. Families are asked to limit shoppers to one person per family. If you choose to show up without an appointment, you will be asked to wait in your car or in the lobby until an opening is available. For the safety of our staff and all customers, face coverings will be required while shopping. You can make your appointment by calling Customer Care or visiting us online.

We will continue to offer curbside pickup during the month of June on Tuesday – Friday from 10am – 4pm (Youngstown is available Tuesday – Thursday). Call in your order during business hours 800-852-4474 X 0411 or fill out our online form to place your order and request a pickup time. Orders must be received at least 2 hours prior to the requested pick-up time. Credit and Debit Cards preferred, troop checks also acceptable.

GSNEO Fun Patches

You can order using this link or order with your the rest of your order for curbside pick-up.