As we embark on another new school year, we know many Girl Scouts
and troops are eager to plan for a new year in their Girl Scout
journey. This year is beginning like none other than before. We have
heard from many that troops would like to meet in person, but are
struggling to find locations that will allow them on site. Our council
is prepared to move forward with opening our buildings and properties
to support volunteers and troops with meeting space. Please see below
for next step instructions on how to reserve a meeting place. We will
strive to accommodate as many requests as safely possible.
Additionally, we have further recommendations of how troops may
participate in in-person and virtual opportunities in their Girl Scout
This guidance is developed for Girl Scouts from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma council based on resources from Girl Scouts of the USA, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and state and local guidelines. Our recommendations are for now only and may change based on the ever-shifting impact of the virus.
MOST IMPORTANTLY each Girl Scout family must determine what is right for them. Not all recommendations will be appropriate and comfortable for everyone; families will decide what is right for their girl. Troop Leaders will want to connect with families to understand engagement levels as activities are being planned.
How and When to Return to Troop Activities
Troop Meetings Troops may meet in person or virtually. Use the
helpful information in the CDC’s How
to Protect Yourself & Others guide to minimize risk and
Each Girl Scout and volunteer will need to turn in a Release and Waiver of Liability form directly to Council prior to participating in any Girl Scout activities. The Council will only need one per active member for the 2021 membership year.
Virtual Troop Meetings Online meetings are a terrific alternative offering girls and troops lots of connections and benefits. Badge-earning programming and essential girl-to-girl connectivity can easily happen at Zoom meetings.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma has Zoom accounts available for troops to use at no charge for membership year 2021. To request your Zoom account information, email firstname.lastname@example.org with ZOOM as the subject of the email, and include the name of the primary contact for the account with the troop number in the body of the email.
In-Person Troop Meeting Locations Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings. Additionally, Girl Scout offices, program centers, and service centers are open for taking reservations for troop meetings. If you are interested in making a reservation for one of our properties, email email@example.com to check for availability.
GSEOK sites available for reservations:
|Ada Office||McAlester Service Center|
|Bartlesville Service Center||Ponca City Program Center|
|Eaton Lodge||Stillwater Lodge|
|Hardesty Leadership Center||Troop House|
For meetings held in public buildings, contact the facility ahead of time and ask:
- Is the space cleaned, and touch surfaces (i.e., tabletops, light switches, chairs, etc.) sanitized daily?
- Who else uses the space? Is the space cleaned between groups?
- What type of faucets/soap dispensers are available in the restroom (sensory or manual)?
Consider whether you can supplement cleaning practices. For example,
plan to bring sanitizing wipes to wipe down surfaces when you arrive.
If faucets are manual, take some time to show girls how to shut them
off with a paper towel. Use paper towels for doorknobs whenever
- Troop meetings may not be held in fitness centers or other facilities where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist.
- If your troop meetings in a school or church, check ahead to confirm if they are permitting outside groups to meet.
Troop Meetings in the Home Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma and
Girl Scouts USA does not currently approve of in-home meetings.
Transportation To and From Meetings Individual caregivers should drop off and pick up their own girls. Carpooling and public transportation should be avoided, where possible, to maintain social distancing.
Large Group Gatherings Currently the State of Oklahoma allows large group gatherings with recommendations of social distancing protocols. However, volunteers should consult with Council guidance before planning any gatherings with greater participation larger than their own troop. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with LARGE GROUP GATHERING in the subject line of the email. Council staff may consider approving large group gatherings after reviewing specifics.
Answers to the following questions will guide this decision:
- Do state and local law permit larger gatherings? How many people permitted?
- Is the event indoors or outdoors? (Outdoors is safer than indoors.)
- Can social distancing be maintained?
- What county will the event occur in? What is the local transmission rate of that county?
Day Trips and Activities In conjunction with Safety Activity
Checkpoints, follow the same guidance found in the Troop Meetings and
Hygiene sections of this document. Call ahead to the facility or
vendor to confirm that they are following CDC and state health
department guidelines. If activity of sporting equipment is being
provided, ask the provider if they wipe down equipment in between
uses. Make whatever appropriate accommodations are necessary. For
example, bring extra sanitizer if none will be provided for public use
at the activity location. If the trip will need to include plans for a
meal, it is best to eat outside and/or each girl bring a packed lunch
from home whenever possible. When not possible, an indoor eating
experience should be at a location where social distancing is
Overnight Stays Overnight Girl Scout outings are generally not permitted at this time. Some extenuating circumstances have been considered on a case by case basis.
Serving Snacks It is not recommended that snacks or food be served at Girl Scout meetings or activities. If deemed necessary to serve, only pre-packaged, individual serving food items should be used. Encourage members to bring their own individual snack or food item. Always follow hygiene safety guidelines.
Hygiene, First Aid and Face-Covering
Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation
It is important to continuously follow our state and local health organizations and the CDC in the latest recommendations to reduce the risk of transmission.
Place signs in meeting or activity space to remind girls and volunteers to engage in everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Signs should include:
- Stay home if you are sick or have a temperature.
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash or sanitize your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash hands if you do touch.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. Remind girls that Girl Scouts wear face coverings (masks) not only to protect themselves but to protect others and be a sister to every Girl Scout. Girls can bring their own face coverings. Have disposable masks on hand for those who need them. Some girls or volunteers may not be able to wear masks, due to medical conditions such as asthma. Contact Customer Care (email@example.com) for guidance on how to best handle these exceptional circumstances as they arise.
Be Prepared Be prepared with first aid supplies including
COVID-19 prevention items such as hand sanitizer (at least 60%
alcohol), tissues, disposable face masks, and disinfectants. Easily
accessible trash baskets or bags should be supplied for meeting and
activity space, if not already available. Disposable or no-contact
thermometers may be added to supplies if available and not
cost-prohibitive, however, parents should be checking temperatures and
allowing their girls(s) to join group activities only when
temperatures are normal.
Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched (i.e., table tops, markers, scissors, etc.). Use a household cleaner, or see the EPA’s list of effective cleaners approved for use against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.). See the CDC’s website for more on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities.
Personal Contact Hugs, handshakes, “high-fives”, and event
activities like the friendship circle or squeeze may transmit disease.
Instead, create a safe way for girls and volunteers to greet and end
meetings. Maybe your troop can develop a special secret wave that only
Prep Girls in Advance Share your plan for the first in-person troop meeting with families. Ask caregivers to go over it with their Girl Scout before the meetings so she understands that there will be some differences. For example, she may be asked to use hand sanitizer when she arrives at the meeting. If girls know what to expect it will be easier for them to adapt to the new troop meeting style.
The retail store is open at this time by appointment only. To set up
your appointment please contact 918-745-5252.
Prefer to have your items shipped? Order online at Girl Scout Shop and your items will come directly to your door. Free shipping is available at this time on most items.
Reporting COVID-19 Positive Incidents
Reporting and Communicating a Positive COVID-19 Test
For Volunteers and Girl Scouts.
In the event of a COVID-19 positive test result, promptly contact
the Oklahoma COVID-19 Hotline at 877-215-8336.
Department of Health Services (NOT volunteers), will be responsible for:
- Confirming and tracing the positive tester
- Contacting anyone who may have been exposed
- Notifying the facility where a troop has met
Let other volunteers and parents know that Oklahoma Health
Department, NOT volunteers, will notify parents and others about
a positive test result and that the tester’s identity is
confidential. Remember that girl and volunteer health information
is private and confidential and should only be shared on a need to
know basis with fellow members and Council staff.
If you or someone in your troop test positive for COVID-19 and had recently visited a Girl Scout property, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 918-745-5228 to discretely inform Council. Council does NOT need to know the individual who tested positive.
Acknowledgement of Receipt and Understanding
All participants of Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma acknowledge that COVID-19 is a contagious virus that spreads through person-to-person contact. As with any social activity, participation in Girl Scouts could present the risk of contracting COVID-19. While GSEOK takes every safety and preventative precaution, GSEOK can in no way warrant that COVID-19 infection will not occur through participation in GSEOK programs.