COVID-19 In-Person Troop or Group Meeting Guidelines
Last Updated: 4/19/2021
When deciding whether to host an in-person meeting, please consider the make-up and size of your troop or group, including possible attendees, their families, and their current comfort level with in-person activities. All members of the troop leadership team or service unit leadership team must be in agreement and willing to adhere to Girl Scouts of Central Texas (GSCTX) guidelines before resuming in-person meetings. We want to do our best to make sure all Girl Scouts, volunteers, and families feel included and safe throughout their Girl Scout experience and should not proceed with in-person activities that are not inclusive of all members of the troop or group.
Consider any recent updates from the state, the CDC, and local officials before you meet. If your local leadership has issued a stay-at-home order, please suspend in-person meeting until that order is lifted.
Virtual troop meetings and service unit meetings are still strongly encouraged. Safety Activity Checkpoints for virtual meetings and Internet Safety Pledge are available to ensure the continued safety and well-being of girls and volunteers while meeting virtually.
GSCTX troops and groups may hold in-person meetings provided they
follow the guidelines below:
- These safety guidelines must be provided to all participants, volunteers, and the caregiver/guardians of all girl participants before the in-person meeting takes place.
- GSCTX is incredibly grateful for the support of our volunteers and caregivers. Given state protocols and CDC information, GSCTX encourages individuals who may be more susceptible or at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 (including individuals age 65 and older or those with serious underlying health conditions) to carefully consider and weigh all risks when deciding whether participating through in-person meetings is appropriate at this time.
- Before attending, all volunteers must read these two sets of guidelines on appropriate cleaning and disinfection and hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
- One volunteer must be assigned to ask and document the responses to the screening checklist of all participants upon arrival. Use the log provided here. This record must be kept confidentially with health forms and permission slips. This volunteer must serve as the point of notification for any post-meeting incident of a communicable disease. Upon notice, this volunteer and affected girl/parent/caregiver must complete and submit the COVID-19 incident form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional guidance will be provided upon receipt.
- Participants should follow all specific rules or guidelines of the in-person meeting location or host site. In some cases, restroom facilities may not be available. It is strongly encouraged to hold meetings outdoors whenever possible.
- If a girl, parent/caregiver, or volunteer (or member of their household) is showing signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, they are not permitted to attend in-person meetings or gatherings until they are either: cleared by a medical professional, it has been 72-hours since signs or symptoms (without the use of fever-reducing medication), or it has been 14 days since the last date of a confirmed exposure to COVID-19.
- The maximum gathering size is 30 individuals. Volunteer-to-girl ratio must meet the minimum standard for program level. Girl participants must be currently registered Girl Scout members or in the process of joining Girl Scouts.
- Troops, greater than 10 individuals, can divide into pods (size of 10 or less) at meetings. The pods should socially distance and not intermingle with each other during a single meeting. For example, if a troop has 12 girls and 2 troop leaders, hold a meeting outdoors and divide the troop into 2 pods of 6 girls and 1 troop leader each. Ensure that the pods can see each other while separated. To allow girls to interact with different girls, rotate girls into different pods at each meeting.
- Gatherings of groups greater than 30
require approval from GSCTX. Volunteers are required to submit the
online Activity and Travel Application at
least two weeks in advance. How the group will adhere to health and
safety protocols should be explained. (For example, the group is
meeting in outdoor area where the individuals can safely maintain
social distance. All will be wearing masks, and cleaning protocols
will be followed.)
- All participants at in-person gatherings should provide a signed COVID-19 Waiver to the volunteer or coordinator.
- The meeting site should be cleaned and disinfected by adults, following CDC guidelines, before and after the meeting. Regularly and frequently clean and disinfect any regularly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, tables, chairs, and restrooms. Ensure sufficient on-site access to handwashing/sanitization, gloves, and disinfecting supplies for the meeting.
- All participants must wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the meeting site.
- During the meeting, all participants maintain physical distancing of 6 feet between members of different households. When sitting at tables, participants should try to all face one way and/or only sit on one-side of the table.
- In light of CDC recommendations and State of Texas protocols, GSCTX requires all participants to wear face coverings (masks).
- Other measures such as hand hygiene, cough/sneeze etiquette, cleanliness, sanitizing, and reduction of shared tools and supplies should also be practiced. If supplies or equipment need to be shared, they must be cleaned by an adult between uses.
- Meetings should include training of participants on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
- When transporting girls for a
meeting or outing, the driver and all passengers should be spaced
out within the vehicle and wear masks. Windows must be kept
partially open to provide ventilation. If this is not possible, the
driver and all passengers in each vehicle are limited to a single
- If providing a beverage, snack, or meal, food and drinks should be individually and commercially wrapped and distributed by an adult, not served family or buffet style whenever possible. Food and beverages offered at Girl Scout events should not be homemade or home prepared at his time. Bulk purchased items that are then prepared, individually portioned/wrapped, or distributed by an adult wearing gloves on site is acceptable. Beverages should be served and refilled by an adult wearing gloves. Girls should be encouraged to bring their own water bottles.
- GSCTX facilities (Service Centers and Scout Houses) remain closed to the general public through May 31, 2021. Some facilities' outside grounds are available by reservation.
- Camps Texlake and Kachina are available as options for troops to hold outdoor troop meetings of 30 or fewer people.
- If going on a troop campout, follow
the troop camping guidance.
- These guidelines will be adjusted and updated as additional recommendations and protocols are released.