Working Together to Keep Our Hornets’ Nest Community Healthy
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Working Together to Keep Our Hornets’ Nest Community Healthy


OakSprings-46

Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council’s top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our girls, volunteers, families and staff.  Therefore, as a precautionary measure, we are suspending most Council-coordinated in person program activities while we closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our community.

All pre-scheduled GSHNC Council Sponsored programs, events, and encampments that meet in person have been canceled or moved virtually as possible. Additionally, as of Monday, March 16, the GSHNC Office and Girl Scout Shop closed to the public, but we will be maintaining business operations and our Council staff will remain available to help support your operations. 

Please see the most frequently asked questions below and as you have further questions, please email customercare@hngirlscouts.org, where staff will typically be able to respond quickly. You can also call at 704-731-6500.  

 

Troop Meeting FAQs

The Carolinas have lifted the Stay at Home Order, however Phase 2 continues to mean that we are Safer at Home.  At this time, Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council continues to limit in-person activities and are slowly and cautiously working with our volunteers and Girl Scout Families to move forward with a few activities that meet our goal to best serve our girls (ex. Hosting small Family Groups at camp, distribution of cookie rewards through touchless outdoor voluntary pick up, etc).  We strongly recommend that you proceed with caution before resuming any regular in- person meetings and require that all state, local and CDC guidelines are met. 

For complete GSUSA guidelines regarding in-person meetings, see here. Below is an abridged version.

Currently, if troop leaders, along with caregivers and girls request to meet beyond virtual technology, we recommend troops utilize outdoor meeting spaces where social distancing can be maintained accompanied by the appropriate sanitization materials and methods. Confirm in advance permission from the property owner, and ensure that the meeting space is cleaned and sanitized, and that soap or hand sanitizer is available at your meetings. Be prepared to wipe down surfaces before and after meetings, and make changes to your meetings that to allow your Girl Scouts to meet while maintaining social distancing from those outside their household.

Meetings may not be held in fitness centers or gyms, where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist. Schools or churches may not permit outside groups on premises, so check and confirm ahead of time. GSUSA strongly suggests no meetings in anyone’s home out of concern that there would be greater risk of exposure to other family members.

Troops are expected to meet following local restrictions for small gatherings. The GSUSA national guideline is a suggested maximum of 10 people (eight girls and two unrelated adult volunteers), however where local guidance is more restrictive, follow this local restriction. Meetings are also expected to follow all social distancing practices and preventative guidance, including face coverings and keeping all individuals six feet apart.

Carpooling and public transportation for meetings should be avoided as possible to help maintain social distancing.

Where these guidelines cannot be followed, either by troop size or due to lack of meeting space or resources, troops are encouraged to continue meeting virtually.

 

Program FAQs

Will you be canceling any programs? Will we receive refunds?

Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council-coordinated programs beginning on March 13, 2020 will be rescheduled or postponed as possible, and canceled if not.  A complete refund will be given for programs cancelled by GSHNC (please see our Activities page for the most up to date information about programs). 

Will you be requiring Service Units and Troops to cancel locally coordinated programs and events?

Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council recommends all Service Units and Troops cancel meetings, events, programs and encampments for the short term in support of public health.

For questions about specific Service Unit events, please reach out to Service Unit leadership. Questions about specific Troop-related activities (including Troop coordinated travel, regular Troop meetings, etc.) should be directed to your Troop Leader. All Service Unit and Troop coordinated events should follow guidelines from the CDC, U.S. Department of State, and state/local authorities in planning and operation.

What about summer & day camp?

We have made the difficult, but necessary, decision to suspend all camp activities at the Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus at Oak Springs and the GSHNC Service Center for summer 2020 out of an abundance of caution in light of the current and expected impact of COVID-19 on our community. Refunds or program credits are available for overnight camp, day camp, and overnight camp add ons for all sessions canceled by GSHNC.

In the meantime, GSHNC has launched a 7-week long Virtual Camp program that includes guided outdoor activities, dozens of online badge work programs, and twice weekly in-person Family Days at the Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus at Oak Springs. Learn more about this program here!

At this time, Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council also recommends all Service Units cancel in-person day camp programming for summer 2020. For questions about specific Serviced Unit day camps, please reach out to Service Unit leadership. Questions about specific Troop-related camp activities, including Troop coordinated summer experiences, should be directed to your Troop Leader.

See the email that went to all Girl Scout Families on April 28 regarding camp for more information here.

What about 3rd Party Events offered to Girl Scouts?

Program Partners who offer events and programs for Girl Scout members (like Discovery Place, First AID/CPR, Anne Springs Close Greenway) are able to determine their own cancellation and refund policy. We have suggested to these organizations that we postpone or reschedule planned Girl Scout activities, and encourage registrants to reach out directly to the hosting organization to inquire about their cancellation terms and policies. Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council cannot issue refunds for 3rd Party Events or Programming. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Will the Council Service Center and Store be open?

Beginning Monday, March 16, the Council Service Center and Store will be closed to the public, but we will be maintaining business operations and our Council staff will remain available to help support your operations. 

What about Council-owned property rentals?

For the foreseeable future, we will be suspending all Property Rentals. This includes the Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus at Oak Springs, Camp Holly Hut and the POD Village at our Service Center. Program Rentals will reopen when it is safe to do so, in adherence with suggestions and requirements from governmental agencies.

Will you be canceling in-person programs after July 17, 2020?

We will continue to reassess this date, extensions and further cancelations may be necessary, based on the latest public health information.   Please continue to check here for future COVID-19 related updates and our Activities page for the latest program information.  

 

Travel FAQs

Will you be canceling upcoming travel opportunities?

GSHNC is working to reschedule, postpone or cancel Council coordinated trips impacted by closurers and state or national guidelines to ensure comfort and safety of girls and chaperones.

GSHNC is recommending that Service Units and Troops follow updates from the CDC, U.S. Department of State, and state/local authorities when planning day trips. Look at all travel advisories and health department notifications for destinations. If utilizing a third party for travel planning, consult with them regarding cancellation, insurance, refund or credit inquiries. For any trip that does proceed, ensure to take every suggested precaution recommended by the CDC and U.S. Department of State in conjunction with all of the Travel/Trip guidelines in Safety Activity Checkpoints. Troop Leaders should have girl safety top of mind and engage them and their parents/caregivers in the decision making.

Important: please note that girls traveling to any international location identified by the U.S. Department of State as “Level 4 – Do Not Travel” is never allowed. New in this situation is that if there is any girl travel scheduled in the next 60 days to a U.S. Department of State Level 3 location due to COVID-19 risk, the trip should immediately be cancelled or re-routed. New guidance also prohibits travel to Europe and advises against cruises and long air travel.

 

Additional Resources

How can girls and volunteers best help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

The same steps that prevent the spread of seasonal flu viruses can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We encourage volunteers to enforce proper hand washing techniques at troop meetings and events. For the safety and protection of our Girl Scout community, please stay home and encourage others to do the same if you experience symptoms of the flu such as the fever, cough, and/or respiratory distress.

Additionally, this post on How to Talk to Your Kids about Coronavirus from Girl Scouts, USA, can be a resource to help minimize stress and worry in your Girl Scout’s life. 

If girls cannot attend troop meetings, what resources or technology can I use to keep Girl Scouts engaged and enjoying Girl Scout activities and fellowship during this challenging situation?

The opportunity to participate in “normal” activities and engage with one another will continue to be very important for girls, especially during this time of uncertainty for them. To keep girls actively engaged, consider creating take-home packets, choose a badge, Journey or patch program to work on individually then host group discussion/sharing video conferences, find a Facebook Live event to attend together, etc.

You can also consider hosting online or virtual meetings. Though we cannot endorse or support specific online meeting tools for your use, there are various tools to check into for virtual meetings and/or perhaps further engaging with council activities and other troops. We encourage troop co-leaders to look at these and alternative options and discuss with parents and girls to determine what the best solution is for your troop’s needs. *Make sure your girls complete the Internet Safety Pledge and have parent/caregiver consent.

See below for a list of free and low-cost tools that could be useful to you. We encourage troop leaders to look at these and alternative options and discuss with parents and girls to determine what the best solution is for your troop’s needs. 

Video and Audio-Conferencing Tools with free versions 

While all of these options have a free version, please note you may be prompted to consider their upgraded versions for a subscription fee.

  • Zoom - FAQ
    • Note: Meetings durations maximum of 40 minutes in free version
  • Skype - Support
    • Note: Up to 10 participants free
  • Webex – Help Center
    • Note: Limited file and content sharing in free version

Chat and Collaboration Tools with free versions

 

General Information

This page will be continually updated with additional questions and guidance as the situation changes in our footprint. Please check back regularly for updates.

This page was last updated on June 25, 2020.