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Member Safety Guidelines

A Step-by-Step Guide to the new Girl Scout year

The COVID-19 crisis has required Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan to create new member safety guidelines for all programming. We are implementing a phased re-opening of programming, offices, and camp properties based on Girl Scouts of the USA, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Camp Association (ACA), and State of Michigan health & safety protocols.  As new guidance continues to be provided by the CDC and other public health experts, we will update our guidelines to be continually informed by the best available science.  Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan volunteers, members and community partners are required to adhere to these procedures when leading or participating in any Girl Scout programming (council, troop, camp, etc.). 

Promptly contact a member of GSHOM’s Help Desk at (800) 497-8688, helpdesk@gshom.org, or the afterhours emergency line (989) 399-7299 if applicable to report all COVID related incidents.   

In accordance with the MDHHS Emergency Order issued on Sunday, November 15, 2020 and in effect from 12:01 AM on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 until 12:01 AM on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, in-person Girl Scout gatherings are limited as follows:

  • Indoor Girl Scout activities cannot include individuals from more than two households, and cannot include more than 10 people.
  • Outdoor Girl Scout activities can continue as long as they do not include more than 25 people, with all social distancing and mask-wearing procedures being followed.

Table of Contents

Phase Plan Charts

GSHOM Phase Guidelines

GSHOM Phase Guidelines

GSHOM & State of MI Safe Start Phase Plan

PLEASE NOTE: The entire state of Michigan is currently in Phase 4.

To determine the current risk level in your county, please visit: https://mistartmap.info/county_risk_levels

Risk Map by Region https://www.mistartmap.info/

GSHOM Phase Plan Chart

Click On a Phase to Get Started

Phase Plan Charts

Please note: All phase guidelines are subject to change as new state and local guidelines develop. 

Phases 1, 2, 3

Program Area Phases 1, 2, & 3 
{1: Uncrotrolled Growth 2: Persistent
Spread 3: Flattening}
Troop  Virtual Only
Overnight Camping No Permitted
Volunteer Day Camp Virtual Only
Staff-Led Day Camp Virtual Only
Summmer Overnight Camp Virtual Only
Volunteer-Led Events Virtual Only
GSHOM Programs & Events Virtual Only
GSHOM Horse Program Not Permitted (Seasonal)
Adult Education Tranings Virtual Only
Camp Volunteer Maintenance By Invitation Only for Critical Maintenance
Camp Properties/Reservations Camps Closed/Reservations Temporarily Suspended
GSHOM Regional Centers Virtual Only
Retail Virtual Only/Curbside Pick-Up May Be Available at Specific Locations (in phase 3 only)
Treats & Reads Program Virtual Training and Sales. In-Person Delivery Temporarily Suspended.
Cookie Program Digital/Virtual Only. In-Person Delivery Temporarily Suspended.
Carpooling Not Permitted

Phase 4

Program Area                  Phase 4 {Improving}
Safety Protocols (Face Coverings) Required
Social Distancing Guidelines  Maintain a six-foot distance from others
when gathering with individuals outside
your household
Troop Activities

Virtual: Recommended when indoor social distancing guidelines and safety protocols cannot be followed.

In-Person: Volunteers and families must thoughtfully discuss if they are ready to
meet in-person. Caregivers/families not yet comfortable with activities in-person should be provided a way to stay connected to the troop.

Indoors: Gathering max 10 persons (2 unrelated adults and 8 girls) social
distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed. 

Outdoors: Maximum of 100 participants, social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed.  

Overnight Camping Limited Girl Scout family use, may be
further limited by location.
Volunteer Day Camp Virtual Only
Staff-Led Day Camp Virtual Only
Summer Resident Camp Virtual Only
Volunteer-Led Events

Virtual: Recommended when indoor
social distancing guidelines and safety protocols cannot be followed.

In-Person: Staff must thoughtfully
discuss if activity can be hosted safely
in-person

Indoors: Gathering max 10 persons (2 unrelated adults and 8 girls) social
distancing guidelines and safety
protocols must be followed.  

GSHOM Programs & Events

Virtual: Recommended when indoor
social distancing guidelines and safety protocols cannot be followed.

In-Person: Staff and program partners (if hosted) will thoughtfully discuss if activity
can be hosted safely in-person.  In person programs, will meet all state and CDC guidelines for numbers of participants,
social distancing, masks,  PPE, and
sanitizing requirements. 

GSHOM facility program participants
will be required to follow GSHOM
process for check-in and tracking
purposes.  

Program Partners facility size recommendations, and their safety requirements, will be adhered to. 
Participants will be notified of partner requirements in confirmation packets.   

Indoors: Gathering Max 10 Persons (2 Unrelated Adults and 8 Girls)
social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed.

Outdoors: Maximum of 100 participants, social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed.

GSHOM Horse Program Limited (Seasonal)
Adult Education Training/Learning

Virtual: Recommended when indoor
social distancing guidelines and safety protocols can not be followed.

In-Person: Staff must thoughtfully
discuss activity can be hosted
safely in-person

Indoors: Gathering Max 10 Persons,
social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed. 

Outdoors: Maximum of 100 participants, social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed.  

Camp Volunteer Maintenance By Invitation Only for Critical Maintenance
Camp Properties/Reservations Limited Availability
GSHOM Regional Centers Virtual /Limited Curbside Pick-Up Available
Retail Virtual (Zoom Shopping Appointments or Online Orders)/Curbside Pick-Up Available 
Treats & Reads Program Virtual Training, or small in person
SU training, meeting all social distancing
and State and  CDC guidelines. Virtual Sales and on-line store sales encouraged. 
In person sales and customer In-Person customer delivery restricted to following
all State and CDC guidelines, social
distancing and masks.  Porch drops encouraged
Virtual Sales encouraged
Volunteer Training when
In-Person: Maximum 10 Persons (indoors) social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed Drive through Nut Huts,
as per GSHOM product safety, guidelines. 
Cookie Program Virtual Training, or small in person
SU training, meeting all social distancing
and State and  CDC guidelines. Girls :
Virtual Sales and on-line store sales encouraged.  In person sales and
customer In-Person customer delivery restricted to following all State and CDC guidelines, social distancing and masks. 

Porch drops Volunteer Training In-Person: Maximum 10 Persons (indoors) social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed. Drive through cookie booths, as per GSHOM product safety guidelines.
Carpooling Permitted at the discretion of parents &
troop leaders

Phase 5

Program Area                  Phase 5 {Containing}
Troop In-Person: Limited safety protocols remain, and must be followed  
Overnight Camping In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
Volunteer Day Camp

In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed

Staff-Led Day Camp In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
Summer Overnight Camp In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
Volunteer-Led Events In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
GSHOM Programs & Events In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
GSHOM Horse Program In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed. (Seasonal)
Adult Education Training/Learning

In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed

Camp Volunteer Maintenance

In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
Camp Properties/Reservations In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
GSHOM Regional Centers In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
Camp Properties/Reservations In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
GSHOM Regional Centers In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
Retail In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed. Curbside Pick-Up Available 
Treats & Reads Program In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
Cookie Program
In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed
Carpooling In-Person: Limited Safety Protocols Remain and Must Be Followed

Phase 6

Program Area                  Phase 6 {Post-Pandemic}
Troop Gatherings Of All Sizes Resume, All Facets of Business Re-Open with Some Lasting Safety Requirements
Overnight Camping  
Volunteer Day Camp

 

Staff-Led Day Camp  
Summer Overnight Camp  
Volunteer-Led Events  
GSHOM Programs & Events  
GSHOM Horse Program  
Adult Education Training/Learning

 

Camp Volunteer Maintenance

 
Camp Properties/Reservations  
GSHOM Regional Centers  
Camp Properties/Reservations  
GSHOM Regional Centers  
Retail  
Treats & Reads Program  
Cookie Program  
Carpooling  

GSHOM and the State of MI Safe Start Guidelines {Detailed} 

Volunteers will complete the Participant Acknowledgment Waiver form below to submit to Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan.
Volunteers will require parents to complete this form and return to the troop leader for record keeping.

Participation Acknowledgment Waiver

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan (GSHOM) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and local health departments, and is committed to providing updated guidance for our girls, volunteers, parents, and staff.

For those who wish to resume in-person troop activities, meetings, and trips, you must read and agree to follow the GSHOM Return to Troop Activities Guidance & Resources and COVID-19 Member Safety Guidelines, posted in our website (GSHOM.org/coronavirus), and all applicable policies, standards, and procedures found in current versions of Safety Activity Checkpoints and Volunteer Essentials

AGREEMENT:  I have read the GSHOM Return to Trip Activities Guidance & Resources and the COVID-19 Member Safety Guidelines, posted in our website at GSHOM.org/coronavirus.

I understand:

  • COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily from person-to-person contact. As with any social activity, participation in Girl Scouts could present the risk of contracting COVID-19. It is my responsibility to discuss with my healthcare professional if I/my girl should return to in-person troop activities, meetings, and trips.

  • In-person troop activities, meetings, and trips are not required. Members and troops acknowledge that virtual meetings and activities are a critical part of GSHOM program offering and any girls or volunteers who prefer to meet virtually are encouraged to do so.

  • GSHOM may modify these guidelines as circumstances and health recommendations change, and updates will be provided on the GHSOM website. It is my responsibility to check the GSHOM website for updates prior to any in-person troop activity, meeting, or trip.

    I agree that I/my girl:

  • Will comply with the guidelines and more stringent directives from the CDC, MDHHS, or my local health department issues, if any.

  • Prior to any troop activity, meeting, or trip, I will monitor for symptoms associated with COVID-19, such as atypical cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, fever of a temperature of 100.4 or higher, or any other symptoms as outlined by the CDC, MDHHS, or my local health department. If I/my girl or anyone in my close contact has any of these symptoms, I/my girl will not participate in any in-person troop activity, meeting, or trip.

  • In participating in-person troop activities, meetings, and trips, I am fully aware and appreciate the risks involved in contracting COVID-19. I assume the risks of harm, injury, illness, or loss, that may occur to me, my girl, and/or any persons that I/my girl am in close contact with, as a result of COVID-19, and I agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless GSHOM and its program partners, as a result of such harm, injury, illness, or loss.
*
*
 
 

Requirements for All In-Person Girl Scout Activities

Health Assessment Tool

Health Assessment Tool

All participants (youth, volunteers, parents/guardians, and adult members) are required to complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Health Screening (provided below), 30 minutes prior to any in-person programming, volunteer activity, or training.

  • All volunteers are required to acknowledge & initial GSHOM’s COVID-19 participation waiver in advance of any volunteer led, in-person gathering.
  • COVID-19 Self-Assessment Health Screening If any participant answers Yes to any of the below questions, they should stay home and seek evaluation by their healthcare provider
  • In the last 24 hours, have you experienced any of the following new symptoms that cannot be attributed to another health condition or specific activity such as physical exercise?

o   Sore Throat Y/N

o   New Cough  Y/N

o   Shortness of breath Y/N

o   New loss of taste or smell Y/N

o   A temperature over 100.4°F  Y/N

o   Have you had contact with any confirmed Covid-19 positive patients in the last 14 days Y/N

Gathering Requirements

Gathering Requirements

The COVID-19 virus is primarily spread from person to person through respiratory droplets released into the air when talking, coughing, or sneezing. When indoors, you're more likely to inhale these droplets from an infected person, especially if in close contact, because you're sharing more air than you do outdoors. GSUSA has advised councils to host in-person programming outdoors.  GSHOM permits in-door gatherings with strict adherence to social distancing and safety protocols outlined in the current phase guidelines. All social distancing and face covering requirements must be followed. 

PLEASE NOTE: In accordance with the MDHHS Emergency Order issued on Sunday, November 15, 2020 and in effect from 12:01 AM on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 until 12:01 AM on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, in-person Girl Scout gatherings are limited as follows:

  • Indoor Girl Scout activities cannot include individuals from more than two households, and cannot include more than 10 people.
  • Outdoor Girl Scout activities can continue as long as they do not include more than 25 people, with all social distancing and mask-wearing procedures being followed.

Virtual: Recommended when indoor social distancing guidelines and safety protocols cannot be followed.

In-Person: Volunteers and families must thoughtfully discuss if they are ready to meet in-person. Caregivers/families not yet comfortable with activities in-person should be provided a way to stay connected to the troop.  All social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed when gathering in-person.

Limited capacity at residential gatherings. 

  • Indoors: Gathering Max 10 Persons (2 Unrelated Adults and 8 Girls) social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed
  • Outdoors:  Up to 100 persons, social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed. 

Limited capacity at non-residential gatherings.

  • Indoors: An indoor social gathering/organized event occurring at a non-residential venue is permitted only when:
    • Fixed Seating:  No more than 500 persons are gathered, and attendance is limited to 20% of the seating capacity of the venue. Social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed 
    • Without Fixed Seating:  No more than 50 persons are gathered, and attendance is limited to 20 persons per 1,000 square feet in each occupied room. Social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed.   
  • Outdoors: An outdoor social gathering/organized event occurring at a non-residential venue is permitted only when:
    • Fixed Seating: Attendance is limited to 30% of seating capacity and does not exceed 1,000 persons. Social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed. 
    • Without Fixed Seating: Attendance is limited to 30 persons per 1,000 square feet.   Social distancing guidelines and safety protocols must be followed.

“Gathering” means any occurrence where two or more persons from more than one household are present in a shared space.  Incidental, temporary gatherings (ex. at a store, airport or food service establishment) are exempt.  All gatherings must include 6 feet of social distance between households. 

If a participant becomes symptomatic during an event, separate the girl from other participants until a parent arrives. Follow all First Aid protocols until parent arrival.

Social Distancing & Face Coverings

Social Distancing and Face Covering Requirements

  • A minimum of 6-feet social distance should always be maintained by all program participants. We know that children are social, and interaction is an important part of their development, however this is critical to protecting against airborne particles.
  • Participants are required to wear face coverings while participating in all GSHOM activities.
  • Leaders are encouraged to have spare masks on hand and can use troop funds to support this effort.
  • Social distancing should be used to stagger restroom and hand-washing time, rotating between program areas to minimize groups being in the same space at the same time.
  • Due to medical needs, some participants may not be able to wear face coverings. All efforts should be made to accommodate virtual attendance.
  • Volunteers and staff are permitted to refuse member participation for in-person programming to those who are not wearing a face covering upon program arrival.
  • Resource: how to handle their face coverings
Travel & Car-pooling

Car-pooling & Travel

Carpooling is permitted at the discretion of troop leaders and parents. Whether parents and/or leaders make the decision to car pool or not, every accommodation must be made so as not to exclude any girl based on her and her family’s comfort level.

  • GSHOM recommends wearing facemasks whenever carpooling with others from another household. 
  • CDC guidance for ride shares and drivers for hire may be helpful as an additional reference when evaluating motor vehicle transportation: Ride Shares and Drivers for Hire
  • CDC guidance for transportation may be helpful as an additional reference when evaluating the use of public transit, paratransit services, personal bikes, walking, mobility assistive devices, etc.

Day trips, travel, overnight activities: In conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints, modified day trips and activities are permitted when Gathering (link) and Travel (link) Guidelines are followed.

  • Outdoor Trips & Activities Only: In conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints, follow the same guidance as Troop Meetings and Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation guidance in this document. 
  • Travel out of state or country is not permitted.
  • Overnights are not permitted until January 1, 2021. All parents and troop leaders need to be comfortable with troop overnights. GSHOM is working to provide for safe troop overnights at GSHOM properties beginning January 1, 2021. Reservations will be available beginning November 2, 2020. 
Source Program & GSHOM Events

Community Partner Programming/GSHOM Hosted Activities

Currently, GSHOM is authorizing Girl Scout in-person programming through community partners on a case by case basis (due to health & safety concerns).  When possible, programs may be converted to a virtual format. We will continue to monitor State of Michigan, CDC & GSUSA guidelines to determine when this is safe to resume our complete schedule of activities once again.  Please refer to the GSHOM Events page for continuously updated program opportunities and information. 

GSHOM Product Program

GSHOM Product Program

Fall Product Program
  • Girls will become online entrepreneurs (just like Amazon).
  • Virtual sales and M2 Digital platform are recommended.
  • Girl Scouts can create their own avatar and personalize their digital storefront.
  • Send emails to customers through the M2 system to share goals, photos or videos.
  • Customers place orders for items to be shipped to them directly (S&H fees apply) or for the Girl Scout to deliver them in-person, while following all social distancing and safety protocols (think socially distanced porch drops, just like Amazon). ​
  • All orders placed online, direct ship & girl delivered, are paid for online so there will be no exchange of currency. If currency must be exchanged, please consider Square, Venmo, CashApp, Zelle and other contactless platforms.
  • Troops participating in the program will receive additional information in training materials.
  • Door to door selling outside of friends and family contacts is not recommended until Phase 5.

Product Program activities will be conducted in accordance with state phasing guidelines and GSUSA directives. We will keep our membership informed as GSUSA issues more guidance and our retail partners hosting booth sales are better able to evaluate their participation. Our intention is to maintain as many elements of a traditional Treats & Reads Program as possible while taking steps to keep Girl Scouts, volunteers, and communities safe.

Cookie Program
  • Girls will become online entrepreneurs (just like Amazon)
  • Virtual sales using the Digital Cookie platform are recommended
  • Girl Scouts can personalize their digital storefront 
  • Send emails to customers to share goals, photos or videos.
  • Customers place orders for items to be shipped to them directly (S&H fees apply) or for the Girl Scout to deliver them in-person, while following all social distancing and safety protocols (think socially distanced porch drops, just like Amazon). ​
  • All orders placed online, direct ship & girl delivered, are paid for online so there will be no exchange of currency. If currency must be exchanged, please consider Square, Venmo, CashApp, Zelle and other contactless platforms.
  • Troops participating in the program will receive additional information in training materials
  • Door to door selling outside of friends and family contacts is not recommended until Phase 5.

Product Program activities will be conducted in accordance with state phasing guidelines and GSUSA directives. We will keep our membership informed as GSUSA issues more guidance and our retail partners hosting booth sales are better able to evaluate their participation. Our intention is to maintain as many elements of the traditional Girl Scout Cookie Program as possible while taking steps to keep Girl Scouts, volunteers, and communities safe.

Outdoor Program, Camp & Properties

GSHOM Camp Property Use (Phase 4)

GSUSA COVID-19 guidelines currently discourage overnight troop activities.

Camp Merrie Woode and Camp Linden open for troop day use. See Adventure Menu options on pages 82- 83 of the Source to select program options that meet the needs of your troop.  To schedule a visit, call Help Desk (800.497.8688) or email: Reservations@gshom.org.  You can chat with the camp expert to discuss which activities may be available based on your booking date, and help you which camp property might work best for your group.   

  • Girl Scout Family-Use Reservations can be made on a first come, first served basis.  Call Help Desk (800.497.8688)  or email: Reservations@gshom.org.
  • Only 1 household with no more than 10 people is permitted per site. Families will not share any facilities with other households.
  • One member of the household must have active Girl Scout membership for the 2021 membership year to secure reservation.
  • Some camp program areas may be restricted
  • Families are responsible for bringing their own first aid kit which should include thermometer. Touchless is best, forehead is good, oral is the most difficult to sanitize effectively.
  • Face masks must be worn when proper social distancing guidelines can not be followed (example: in proximity of on-site staff, passing others on trails, and when using bathrooms).
  • GSHOM site staff will provide soap and/or hand sanitizer within each day use area and will ensure surfaces are disinfected between user groups.
  • 14 Day COVID-19 at home Self-Assessment Health Screening 
  • COVID-19 Self-Assessment Health Screening Questions: If a member of your household answers Yes to any of the following questions, they and anyone in contact with them, should stay home and seek evaluation by their healthcare provider.
  • ONSITE (Arrival Day) COVID-19 Self-Assessment Health Screening , prior to check in, your group will be stopped and asked similar to the ones you’ve been reviewing at home through our self assessment Health Screening

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Health Screening

In the last 24 hours have you experienced any of the following new symptoms that cannot be attributed to another health condition or specific activity such as physical exercise?

  • Sore Throat Y/N
  • New Cough  Y/N
  • Shortness of breath Y/N
  • New loss of taste or smell Y/N
  • A temperature over 100.4°F  Y/N
  • Have you had contact with any confirmed Covid-19 positive patients in the last 14 days?
  • Have you traveled outside of the state?

 

If a member of your household begins exhibiting signs and symptoms of Covid-19 while at camp, your entire household will need to leave camp immediately. All members of your household should remain in the reserved site use area until you have gathered personal belongings and you are able to leave.

· If you must depart suddenly due to illness or COVID-19 symptoms, use the staff phone number provided upon arrival to notify camp staff.  

· Follow the reporting guidelines in the Reporting COVID-19 positive incidents section

Retail

Retail

  • Retail stores will maintain a customer log of all customers visiting the location in-person to assist with contact tracing if needed.  This information will only be shared with Public Health officials upon request.
  • Customer occupancy allowed at 30% or less of maximum building occupancy (not including employees).
  • Distance markers will be placed outside to ensure those waiting to enter remain at least 6-feet apart.
  • Face coverings must always be worn inside any GSHOM retail store.
  • Plexiglas (or the like) will surround reception/retail check-out areas to protect employees and public members.
  • Floors around entry points and workspaces will have clear markings to show 6-feet from any space in which employees and members spend regular extended amounts of time.
  • Chairs in waiting or lounging areas will be relocated to ensure a minimum of 6-feet distance between seating. Signs detailing handwashing requirements, illness precautions, social distancing, and proper use of face coverings will be posted prominently throughout worksites
Food, Dining, & Snacks

Food, Dining and Snacks

  • Ensure participants have washed their hands prior to eating.
  • Participants should bring their own food/snacks/condiments/beverages to eat and drink (bag lunch or dinner).
  • Participants should not share their food or drinks
  • Volunteers should not be managing the distribution of food, drinks, or snacks at any time.
  • Continue recommendation of at least 6-foot spacing during mealtimes.    

Additional Resources:

 

Hygiene & COVID-19 Risk Mitigation

Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation

GSHOM is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all members and relies on volunteers to support and follow all sanitation best practices. If providing in-person programming, the following sanitation measures are required:

  • Hand washing facilities and/or hand sanitizer, must be readily available for program participants, and hand washing should occur during the following program times:
  • Before and after meals and snacks (in separate sink from food prep sink)
  • After toileting
  • After handling or encountering body fluids such as mucus, blood, saliva, or urine
  • After outdoor play/activities
  • After handling face coverings
  • Prior to participants arrival volunteers and/or program lead will disinfect frequently touched surfaces (tables, supplies, etc.)
  • Participants are prohibited from sharing equipment or program supplies (computer, markers, glue stick, etc.) and need individual supplies. When program is complete, materials should be sanitized with alcohol-based cleaning agent.
  • Follow the resources developed by credible public health sources such as CDC and your local public health department.
  • Troop funds may be used to purchase cleaning/sanitation supplies.

                                                                                                                         

Drop Down Content header Personal contact: Hugs, handshakes, “high-fives,” and even activities like the friendship circle can transmit COVID-19 from person to person. Create a safe way for participants and volunteers to greet and end meetings instead (ex: foot taps, eyebrow lift, jazz hands, etc.). Note: Use culturally appropriate messages, materials, and resources.

Drop Down Content header Singing:  Singing and shouting both project germs farther than talking. If you normally close your meetings with a song, make certain girls and adults are all wearing masks.  

Restrooms

Restrooms

It is important to ensure there is a public restroom in proximity. Most public restrooms will regulate the number of people using the restroom at the same time, depending on the size.  If there is no regulator or signage, ensure participants take appropriate turns to maintain social distancing and that they wear their masks in the restrooms.  If automatic flushers and sensory faucets are not available, participants and adults should use tissue or paper towel to open doors and latches, and turn off faucets, touching as little as possible with their bare hands. If the restroom is large, participants should use every other stall and avoid using stalls directly next to another occupied stall at the same time. 

Clean Surfaces

Clean Surfaces

Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched (i.e., tabletops, 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.). Gloves are recommended when handling cleaning and disinfection products. See the CDC’s website for more on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities.

First Aid Supplies

First Aid Supplies

First Aid Supplies: Troop first aid supplies should include COVID-19 prevention items including hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol), tissues, disposable facemasks, and disinfectants. Trash baskets or bags should be supplied for meeting and activity spaces, if not already available. Make sure that the trash baskets (or bags) are easily accessible for girls. Disposable or no-contact thermometers may be added to supplies if available and not cost-prohibitive, however, parents/guardians should be checking temperatures and allowing their child to join group activities only when temperatures are normal.

COVID-19 Incidents

Identification and Isolation of Sick People

Identification and Isolation of Sick People

If a volunteer and/or participant is exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and is unable to leave the program site immediately, the following protocol should be followed:

  • Agreements should be made in advance with parents/guardians regarding how volunteers will manage symptomatic participants at in-person activities.

Option 1: Require all parents/guardians to remain on site (separate from program activities) throughout the duration of the meeting/event/program. This option allows for immediate pick-up and does not require isolation. If using this option, ratio guidelines, and PPE best practices must be followed and administered by volunteers.

Option 2: Require parents/guardians to be within a 10-20-minute range for participant pick-up. If using this option, isolation requirements, ratio guidelines, and PPE best practices must be followed and administered by volunteers.

  • It is strongly recommended that the parent/guardian should make every accommodation to be able to pick up their child immediately if exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Symptomatic volunteers or participants should isolate themselves in a designated isolation area that is removed from but within eyesight and ear shot of the program area to maintain required girl to adult ratio. Examples of appropriate isolation areas: a picnic table, covered shelter, etc.
  • Volunteer should immediately contact parent/guardian for pick-up.
  • A volunteer should stay with the symptomatic individual until parent/guardian has arrived.  Volunteer should wear gloves, mask and gown.  Those not providing direct care should stay six feet away.  Those choosing to provide in-person programming with parents/guardians not on site are required to have appropriate supplies on hand to provide any required care for a symptomatic participant. Items should be washed/sanitized or disposed of following use.
  • The symptomatic individual should wear a face mask/covering if able.
  • No one should enter the isolation area except for assigned volunteer and parent/guardian.
  • If possible, communication should be done via phone or text to address any needs of the symptomatic individual and assist with arrangements to have that person transported to get medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Follow sanitation procedures to deep clean any areas that person may have had contact with and notify all people who were in the area the person had access to that there was a symptomatic individual. See the CDC’s website for more on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities.
  • All parent/guardian(s) should be made aware of the isolation incident upon pick-up.
  • Volunteer should complete and submit an GSHOM Incident Report.
  • All volunteers must acknowledge & initial GSHOM’s COVID-19 in-person participation guidelines; this is mandatory for all volunteers to complete prior to in-person activities. 

Resources: PPE Kits & Supplies, PPE Kit, Disposable Gown (please note, Troop Funds can be used to purchase health & safety supplies)

Reporting COVID-19 Positive Incidents

Reporting COVID-19 positive incidents

Reporting and communicating a positive COVID-19 test must be managed by a GSHOM staff member.  Volunteers must not attempt to manage COVID-19 communication responsibilities. In the event a parent or volunteer receives notification of a positive COVID-19 test result, we must respect confidentiality regulations. Promptly contact a member of GSHOM’s Help Desk at  (800-497-8688)  or helpdesk@gshom.org or the afterhours emergency line (989-399-7299) if applicable.

You will be directed to a GSHOM COVID-19 Response Team Member and they will be responsible for:  

  • COVID-19 Incident report
  • Contact potentially exposed individuals (participants who may have been in contact within 2 days of the specimen being taken or symptoms experienced)
  • Notify any program facility that could have exposure risk
  • Alert the appropriate Health Department  
  • Remind volunteers that council staff and local health authorities (NOT volunteers) will notify parents and others about a positive test result and that the individual’s identity is confidential. Girl and volunteer health information is private and strictly confidential and should only be shared on a need to know basis with a council staff member.
  • Council staff will notify local health jurisdiction within 24 hours if there are 2 or more participants in the same activity who develop confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within a 14-day period.

                 

Previous Coronavirus Statements

Please note, the earlier communications on this list contain out-of-date information. Please refer to the most recent communications for current information and recommendations.

August 3, 2020
August 3, 2020 (still in effect as of September 2, 2020)
Weekly COVID-19 Update

At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, it is a priority to provide the most up-to-date information possible to our valued members. As such, we will be updating this website on a more frequent basis to ensure that everyone feels empowered with the information they need to move forward.

  • Troop Meeting Guidelines: The guidelines released as of June 24, 2020 are still in effect. We will post another update when those guidelines change.
  • Regional Centers are still closed to the public. Curbside pick-up from the Retail Shop is available. Please contact the Help Desk (helpdesk@gshom.org) or 1-800-497-2688 to place an order and schedule a pick-up time.
  • We encourage all members to renew their memberships for the 2020-2021 year. While Girl Scouting looks different right now, girls are still having exhilarating and empowering experiences both virtually and socially distanced. Renew your memberships today at gshom.org/renew.
  • Our daily virtual programming is still taking place every day on our Facebook page – Join us at 3:00 PM each weekday for a Girl Scout adventure right from home! 

No other updates are available at this time. If you have any questions, please know that we are always here to support you as we work together to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.If you have any questions, please reach out to the Help Desk (1-800-497-2688 or helpdesk@gshom.org). 

June 24, 2020
June 24, 2020
Returning to Troop Guidelines

We know that our girls and volunteers have been missing Girl Scouts, and we are excited that the state is beginning to re-open in phases. The Leadership Team of Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan has compiled guidelines for safely returning to troop activities. 

These guidelines are subject to change, and we will provide additional updates when/if any changes are necessary. Updates will be sent via email, posted on our website, and shared via Facebook

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Help Desk (1-800-497-2688 or helpdesk@gshom.org).

May 15, 2020
May 15, 2020
Summer Camp Updates

With the health and wellness of our members and staff in mind, we are reimagining summer camp. We will not be hosting overnight summer camp programs or Kalamazoo Day Camp. However, this does not mean that Girl Scout camp is cancelled altogether.

We are so excited to offer Virtual Camp over the course of five weeks. As a virtual camper, girls will receive a weekly subscription box that includes everything they need for that week of virtual camp, two daily Zoom calls, a camp counselor, and the opportunity to make new friends – just like they would at overnight camp or day camp.  More details about Virtual Camp will be coming soon.

We remain committed to getting girls and their families outside, and are opening our camps to girls and their families beginning July 3.  Families currently registered for summer camp will have an exclusive opportunity to hold their spot for family summer fun until May 27, 2020. 

Our camps are licensed by the State of Michigan and accredited by the American Camp Association, and as such we continue to rigorously clean and sanitize all program areas and cabins.  We adhere to all state and federal recommendations and those of our consulting physician.

All facilities will be sanitized frequently, especially between each rental. Health screenings will take place upon entry to ensure the safety of all guests. Camp activity areas such as boating, horseback riding, and target sports will be available for families to use. More details and sign up information will be available soon.

Those with camp registrations have a few options:

  • Support Girl Scout camps by donating the amount paid so far
  • Apply a portion of the fee to a virtual camp experience
  • Transfer the fee to a family camping reservation
  • Apply the balance to membership renewal for 2020-2021
  • Look forward to next year by requesting a credit for summer camp 2021
  • Apply the balance to future GSHOM programs
  • Any combination of the above


If you are currently registered for camp, please email campreg@gshom.org and let us know how you would like to proceed. If you would like to make a reservation for family camp, please email us as soon as possible so we can prioritize your reservation before opening to the public.  If none of the above options work for you, please contact us for a refund.

Cancelled Camp Programs:

  • Overnight Camp at Camp Linden
  • Overnight Camp at Camp Merrie Woode
  • Troop Samplers at Camp O’ the Hills
  • Me & My Guy at Camp O’ the Hills
  • Kalamazoo Day Camp


Please note: We are still planning to run one-day Horse Clinics at Camp Linden and Camp Merrie Woode. We have not yet made a decision about Jamboree at Camp Linden, Me & My Gal at Camp Linden and Camp Merrie Woode, and Golden Arrow Games at Camp Linden and Camp Merrie Woode.

We know that camp will look different this year, but we look forward to partnering with you to experience the magic of the great outdoors together, while physically apart. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate unchartered territories. If you have questions, please reach out to our amazing Help Desk at 1-800-497-2688 or helpdesk@gshom.org.

Update as of 4/10/2020: All programs, events, and camp reservations through May 25, 2020 are being rescheduled. We look forward to rescheduling when it is safe to do so.

Update as of 3/24/2020: In accordance with Governor Whitmer's Executive Order to Stay at Home, Stay Safe, all Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Regional Centers are closed. Please call Help Desk at 1-800-497-2688 or email helpdesk@gshom.org for assistance.

March 19, 2020
March 19, 2020
Product Program Updates

We deeply thank you all for what you do, and how you have stepped up at this crucial time. We are so impressed with your amazing hard work and dedication to Girl Scouting. All of you have been leaders in modeling the Girl Scout Law showing courage, confidence and character. We have seen you practice those good decision making skills we work so hard to convey, during the Girl Scout Cookie program. The safety of our girls and volunteers is so important to us. We have been monitoring reports from Governor Whitmer, the Michigan Department Of Public Health, and the CDC, and have been in contact with Girl Scouts of the USA, Little Brownie Baker.  As you know, effective March 16, GSHOM  canceled all cookie booths throughout our council. Individual Girl Scouts are still eligible to participate through a variety of ways, that keep girls safe. Please see below for more details.

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan is here to help and support you. We have tried to answer many of your questions through our GSHOM webpage. Links are listed below for specific questions you may have. Please reach out to us if you have further thoughts, ideas, or suggestions.

Stay healthy and well, Girl Scouts!

Your GSHOM Product Program Team

March 18, 2020
March 18, 2020
Updated Statement Regarding Coronavirus  

At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, and staff. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experiences at Girl Scouts. At this time, based on the guidance of the federal government, it is our recommendation to cancel all in-person Girl Scout activities including troop meetings. We have also made the decision to postpone our Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor Cookie Bake-Off and Junior Weekend at camp, and cancel the Adult Awards Ceremony and Juliette Weekend. As a reminder, all programs scheduled through April 18 are postponed.

All Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Regional Centers remain closed to the public, but we can offer free shipping from the online Girl Scout Shop, as well as curbside pick-up from our regional centers so that we can meet your Girl Scout shop needs. Girls have put a lot of planning to set goals and we all need to help them achieve them. Our Product Program Team is working diligently to come up with a plan and you’ll get updates soon. Cookie Cupboards are open by appointment only until further notice. Feel free to call us to make an appointment.

We know that people across the world are faced with challenges after so many things of great importance have been postponed or cancelled. Girl Scouts, however, is never cancelled. We view this time as an opportunity to rise to the challenge and make the most of the situation at hand. Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts have been there for every major event the country has faced for over 100 years. It is during these most challenging times that we exhibit the resilience and courage that we instill in girls on a daily basis. This time presents an opportunity to transition our Girl Scout activities to the virtual world, by hosting Troop Meetings online or working on badge requirements at home with parents.

Girls and families will need Girl Scouting more than ever during and after this crisis, and it is vital for us to focus on what matters most in this uncertain time. For 108 years, Girl Scouting has been a vital part of the fabric of this country, helping to prepare millions of girls and women to face adversity with resilience and creativity, innovation and compassion. Nationwide, Girl Scout Councils are committing our collective resources to being one of the assets embedded in this country that can step forward during incredibly stressful times to support families and communities with service in our hearts and optimism in our plans.

In the days and weeks ahead, we are funneling all our energy into being a resource for all families, not just for those who are current or former members. Please refer to the State of Michigan’s website regarding information about coronavirus. Please direct all inquiries to our amazing Help Desk Team at 1-800-497-2688 or HelpDesk@gshom.org.

Thank you for your cooperation, partnership, and understanding during this time.

March 13, 2020
March 13, 2020
Updated Statement Regarding Coronavirus  

At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, and staff. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have safe, fun, and one-of-a-kind experiences at Girl Scouts. Based on the governor’s closure of K-12 Schools effective March 16, we have decided that: cookie booths, Girl Scout camp reservations, and council programs will be suspended effective March 16. We will work with everyone with a property reservation to accommodate any rescheduling. All Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Regional Centers will be closed beginning Monday, March 16. We will have a small group of staff working at each office to offer support. Girls can deliver cookies, while ensuring minimal contact with their customers. We trust our well-informed, thoughtful leaders to make wise decisions regarding cookie booths this weekend. Our cookie cupboards will be open during regular cupboard hours for cookie returns on Monday, March 16. After that point, cupboards will be open by appointment only until further notice. Feel free to call us to make an appointment.

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Camps operate under a health services policy that is reviewed regularly by a licensed pediatrician. As we do at all summer camp programs, we are offering health screenings for participants as they enter camp as an additional precaution at the group’s request.

We are working on resources for girls, parents, and volunteers that include activities and badge work to complete at home while schools are closed. This is when Girl Scouts shines. During a potentially negative event, we make the most of it by educating girls around proper hand-washing procedures, how surgeons do surgical scrubs, learn about viruses and the science behind the situation at hand, and more. We have a recipe for hand sanitizer that is an opportunity for girls to learn about chemistry, recipes, and self-reliance. We included an educational and fun flyer for your convenience.

Communication with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan is crucial so that we can navigate the situation together. During this process, we are engaging in cooperative learning together, which is something we include in our Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

We will continue to monitor state-wide and county-by-county and we will communicate on an ongoing basis. Updates regarding specific events and programs will be sent via email to any registrants. Any updates will be posted on Facebook, our blog, and will be sent via email. If you have questions, please refer to the State of Michigan’s website regarding coronavirus. Please direct all inquiries to Help Desk at 1-800-497-2688 or HelpDesk@gshom.org.

Thank you for your cooperation, partnership, and understanding during this time.

March 12, 2020
March 12, 2020
Coronavirus Statement Update

At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, and staff. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experiences at Girl Scouts. Based on the recommendations of the Governor, we are rescheduling all events larger than 100 people through April 9th. We will continue to monitor state-wide and county-by-county and we will communicate on an ongoing basis. Updates regarding specific events and programs will be sent via email to any registrants. Any updates will be posted on Facebook, our blog, and via email.

Cookie Booths can continue at the judgment of the Troop Leaders and parents. We encourage volunteers and parents to engage girls in the decision-making process regarding cookie booths and all other troop activities, as the decision may vary from one region to another. Remember to consider the science-based information available during this decision-making process.

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Camps operate under a health services policy that is reviewed regularly by a licensed pediatrician. As we do at all summer camp programs, we are offering health screenings for participants as they enter camp as an additional precaution at the group’s request.

Communication with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan is crucial so that we can navigate the situation together. During this process, we are engaging in cooperative learning together, which is something we include in our Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

As a reminder, please stay home if you are sick or believe you have come into contact with a sick person, and make handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds a priority. Use disinfecting wipes such as Clorox and Lysol, and use sanitizer when hand washing is not an option. Individuals at risk of severe illness should stay at home and keep away from others who are sick. Encourage girls not to touch their faces or each other for the time being. This means that Troop Leaders should be flexible about traditions such as the Friendship Circle to reduce person-to-person contact.

This is when Girl Scouts shines. During a potentially negative event, we make the most of it by educating girls around proper hand-washing procedures, what surgeons do with surgical scrubs, how to learn about viruses and the science behind the situation at hand, and more. We have a recipe for hand sanitizer that is an opportunity for girls to learn about chemistry, recipes, and self-reliance. We will continue to monitor and update as needed. We’ve included an educational, fun flyer for your convenience. If you have questions, please refer to the State of Michigan’s website regarding coronavirus. Please direct all inquiries to Help Desk at 1-800-497-2688 or HelpDesk@gshom.org.

Thank you for your cooperation, partnership, and understanding during this time.

March 5, 2020
March 5, 2020
Coronavirus Statement

At Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and wellbeing of our girls, volunteers, and staff. Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experiences at Girl Scouts. As we closely monitor the coronavirus situation, it is crucial that we role model preventative safety and critical thinking for our girls. Our Regional Centers are equipped with cleaning supplies, disinfectants, and hand sanitizer to ensure a safe and healthy experience for everyone.

We are taking the following precautions:

  • Closely monitoring the recommendations and updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Michigan state officials
  • Communicating council-wide as we monitor developments of the virus
  • Encouraging girls, volunteers, and staff to engage in the following prevention measures recommended by health officials:
  1. Washing hands frequently, especially after sneezing, shaking hands/bodily contact with another individual, and before eating. Use soap and water for 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  2. Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like your phone or computer
  5. Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing then throw the tissue in the trash, or as a last resort cough into the elbow
  6. Stay home when you are not feeling well
  7. Get plenty of sleep, good nutrition, stress-relief, and exercise – a healthy body is the best defense against illness
  • Increasing cleaning and sanitization at all GSHOM properties

This situation can serve as an example of how Girl Scouts discuss and analyze the conditions of a circumstance and teach girls to understand the steps in decision-making and problem-solving. As Girl Scouts, we want our girls to learn the power of critical thinking skills, and the importance of adapting to specific circumstances. A calm, thoughtful dialog around and reaction to this issue allows us the chance to further model the 15 Outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience that are so important to girls’ development and future success.

This situation is also an example of the power of scientific knowledge and the importance of teaching girls how to find high quality, research-based information. Talking with girls about situations like this encourages them to think critically, and could inspire a girl to pursue her passion of science, medicine, or research.

When discussing coronavirus with girls, act with confidence so that she feels reassured. Ask how she feels without assuming that she is scared. Answer questions about things that she is observing, but do not be afraid to admit that you don’t know the answer. Instead, teach her how to find and assess information sources for their validity and trustworthiness. Talk with her about the recommended prevention measures mentioned above. Remind her that you are there to support her, and that you will continue this conversation as the situation evolves.

Keep in mind the three processes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience: girl-led, cooperative learning, and learning by doing. Below, we’ve outlined some steps to take when discussing this with your girls and families. Please remember to involve your girls in the critical thinking process so they can develop their skills and experience firsthand the value and importance they contribute in the decision-making process. Girl-led decision-making gives girls the chance to practice critical thinking skills and learn to maintain grace and composure during a time of uncertainty. Our job as leaders is to gently walk behind them to guide and encourage their engagement and thinking around these real-life scenarios.

Decision-Making Process

  • Step 1: Identify the situation. Realize the need to have a discussion and determine how to conduct a girl-led, cooperative learning dialog around the issue.
  • Step 2: Create a trusting environment for participants to identify and share their feelings about the situation.
  • Step 3: Gather relevant information and facts.
  • Step 4: Identify the alternatives and solutions to the problem.
  • tep 5:  Weigh the evidence and all  relevant data.
  • Step 6: Engage the group in dialog on how the facts impacted understanding of the issue, created clarity and thus impacted their feelings around the issue
  • Step 7: With the group, choose among alternatives and cooperatively decide on a course of action and the steps needed to achieve results.
  • Step 8: Decide cooperatively which members in the group will take action, follow up, and assist in details.
  • Step 9: Review your decision & its consequences.
  • Step 10:  Discuss which competencies the girls learned. Have each girl review the 15 outcomes sheet to discover what they learned and share with the group.

These moments give us the chance to involve girls in a way that builds many of these outcomes, further assuring the development of their future leadership skills.

Resources

                 

Troop Leader Resources

Face-to-face time is a great way to beat the isolation blues, take a look at our tips for how to engage your girls during stay-at-home orders. View

Then take a look at our instructions on how to walk you through hosting a virtual troop meeting. View

Supporting Girl Scouts experinces at home can be empowering for both you and your girl. Take a look at this toolkit on how to help her shine outside of her regular troop setting.

Thank you for taking steps to ensure the safety of girls in this difficult time. While, we cannot endorse or support specific online meeting tools for your use, we are aware of several tools that troops and Service Units are using for virtual meetings. We have provided a list of free and low-cost tools that may be useful to you. We encourage troop leaders to look at these and other options, and discuss wih parents and girls to determine what the best solution is for your troop's needs. 

Video and Audio-Conferencing Tools with Free Versions

       Note: Meetings durations maximum of 40 minutes in free version

       Note: Up to 10 participants free

        Note: Limited file and content sharing in free version

Chat and Collaboration Tools with free versions

Additional low-cost tools for collaboration and conferencing to consider if the above options do not meet your group's needs.

Product Program FAQs

Looking for safe ways to help girls continue to participate in the cookie program?

Goal Getters

Girl Scouts are welcome to continue to place goal getter orders through our Cookie Cupboards. In an effort to continue to provide cookies for you and our customers, we are following state and federal guidelines. You will need to contact your Regional Cupboards to make an appointment to receive cookies. We will be happy to accommodate you as needed at main regional cupboards. Some local cupboards may be participating, you will want to contact the volunteer cupboard manager for verification and appointment.   Girls are encouraged to only deliver cookies to customers, when an all clear message to return to normal social interaction is announced.  Before that adults may deliver cookies to a customer, on behalf of a girl, using social distancing practices.

Digital Cookie

Girls may continue to send marketing emails to Family & Friends through email and your Social Media Platform! This unique online platform will continue to be open through May 1st! Online purchases are paid online and shipped directly.  Customers may also wish to support Hometown Heroes, by selecting donate cookies. GSHOM Hometown Hero cookie packages from donations are currently being delivered to our local foodbanks, first responders and hospitals. Get Started Today!

Home Town Heroes

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan donates designated Hometown Hero packages of Girl Scout cookies to hospitals, food banks and first responders,  shelters, veteran organizations and facilities and to our local military units. Remember, customers may purchase donated cookies through your girl’s individual Girl Scout store. They are also welcome to pay you directly for any remaining cookies you may have on hand and designate to Hometown Hero program. Please see payment options for other ways to collect payments.

Don’t forget your Hometown Hero Receipt

Here is a sample message a Girl Scout has already sent out:

Jenny R via Facebook: March 14 at 7:07 PM.

"So I totally took this idea from someone else, but knowing just how hard all of our first responders and hospital staff are currently working and will be working, I want to donate all of these cookies. But I can't do it myself. I'll donate $50 of my own money to start it. I need your help! For every $5 donated, we will be able to gift a box to local first responders and hospital staff in our community. PayPal, venmo, cashapp, credit cards, check or cash.

3/16 Update: 181 boxes!!

(Thank you Kathy P of Owosso for sharing!)

Want to share your Cookie Commercial? Don’t forget to tag #GSHOM on Instagram and Facebook!

Business to Business

Business to Business is now open! Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan has identified prospective businesses for Girl Scouts to contact to support their Cookie Business. With help from an adult, a Girl Scout can contact the business they choose to see if they would be interested in sponsoring a case of Girl Scout Cookies as a part of our Hometown Hero Program or for individual purchase.

If your Girl Scout would like to continue on with her Cookie Business, she will be able use these links to access the lists:

Create your own Business Pitch with this helpful link from Little Brownie Baker!

Virtual Cookie Entrepreneur Pin

Earn your Cookie Entrepreneur Family Award Pin in 5 EASY Steps!

Continue to be creative and show your Girl Scout and her family can support her small business. We want to share with you GSUSA’s brand new award opportunity for every Girl Scout at every level.  Once you have completed your award, you will be able to order right away with GSHOM!

Order here from Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan!

ACH and Girl Scout Product Program Payments

Cookie Program

Soon we will be sending ACH payment information to troop cookie managers or troop leaders.  We realize some goal getter cookies may not have been delivered before the social interaction precautions began, and that booth season was still underway.  In order to help troops make ACH payments that work with their progress in the cookie program, we have options and reminders to consider before the next ACH pull. 

The next ACH payment for the remaining 25% of initial orders and booths that were held prior to the booth suspension, is  March 30th.  GSHOM will continue to work with individual troops on a case by case basis to delay ACH payments as needed.  We also remind troop cookie managers to complete Outstanding Money Reports for not yet collected goal getter or initial order funds. These reports reduce the amount of ACH funds to be pulled, ensuring your account balance is compatible with your funds. Lastly, if all funds have not been collected for goal getters and there is unease about person to person contact with customers an option being used by many troops is Venmo.  Please see all the information below for specifics on each of these options.   Please refer to your email regarding ACH for further communication regarding this payment date.

Uncollected Girl Payments- If you are a Troop Leader or Troop Cookie Manager with uncollected girl payments, please complete an Outstanding Money Report, click here for the form. Send your completed form by 3/27/2020 to collections@gshom.org.  If your troop has received a returned check, please complete the NSF Check Form found here.

Options to collect girl payments: Thank you Anna Mae of Ann Arbor for this information! Be sure to submit the Merchant Agreement form, if signing up for one of these services with your troop bank account. Link to Mobile Merchant form here.

Electronic Payment Options

Venmo: Anna Mae says "Our troop has been doing Venmo to collect payments from troop members and at booths. I collected some cash this weekend, but used venmo to send equivalent money from my bank account to my troop leader who deposited it. You can setup both your personal account and your troop account on your Venmo. I am not the troop leader, so I have not hooked to the bank account (I am an authorized user), but I send it to one of the leaders. We text screenshots when paying each other or transferring our own funds to the troop."

  • Fees - No fees when using bank accounts
  • Free Transfer Time: 1-3 days - my leaders say we often see this faster
  • Transaction Limits: $299.99 weekly limit until you verify your identity. Then it is $4999.99. 
    • Verifying my identity was easy - name, address, DOB, last 4 SSN & I was done & verified. It says sometimes you’ll need to send a photo of your drivers license. I honestly was expecting to because of my first name (MI Drivers license has a -, but it’s really a space). 
  • Who has Venmo - Venmo seems really popular with the college aged crowd…and their parents. We started using it at booths near UM campus last year & we use it all the time now. I’m seeing it more among parents. I paid swim team gift this way last fall.

PayPal

  • Fees - No fees when using bank accounts
  • Free Transfer Time: 1-3 days
  • Transaction Limits: $10k in a single transaction from what I see. I thought it used to be much lower
  • Who has Paypal - It’s more old-school, so your troop parents may be more likely to have PayPal than venmo

Zelle

 Another tip from a Product Manager “Personally I bank at Chase and use their quickpay through Zelle. I use it to pay myself from my business account, or to send payments to my parents or sister since we all use Chase. All within Chase, it is instant and I pay no fees. Is your account at TCF (ours is). They say they have Zelle, but I’ve never used it through them.”

Physically Getting Payment from Parents

  • Suggestions for physically transferring money. Do you have a garage? Open it when parents arrive and have them place it in the garage and then retrieve when they are gone. No contact needed. Or if they have a garage do the reverse.
  • As long as everyone is there, you can do a front porch exchange. They put it in an envelope on the porch while you watch from the window. You get it as soon as they walk away. Texting or calling to coordinate will be vital here.

You can then deposit money or checks using a drive through or at the ATM. 

Treats & Reads Program

The payment schedule for March 23 will remain unchanged. Troops will receive an email regarding their Initial Order payment.

Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan will continue with our payment schedule through bonus booths and continued goal getters on the 1st & 15th of each month for both Product Programs

Girl Scout Product Program Rewards

Cookie Program

GSUSA is working with the Bakers to see if there is a possibility of delaying rewards, however nothing is definite at this time.  We will keep you posted.  Until then date for Girl Scout rewards is March 25th. After this time, Girl Scouts will still be able to continue to work towards the 600+ and 1,000+ events. After March 25th, troops will earn an additional proceeds of $0.10/package up to $.95 per package. (Reward opt-out bonus). Please note, higher rewards items like the Pearl and American Girl Doll are purchased seperately by GSHOM, and we have some flexibility with those items. Contact your regional Product Program staff member directly if your Girl Scout is close to those higher items, and we can work with you.

Treats & Reads Program

Final date for Girl Scout rewards is April 8th. After this time, Girl Scouts will continue to be eligible to work towards the 600+ and 1000+ event requirements. Troops will continue to earn additional proceeds of 16% of sales after this time. (Reward opt-out bonus).

Five for Five

Our Five for Five contest is currently postponed until further notice. Please continue to collect these contest entry forms, cut them out and mail them into your local Regional Center. 

Thank you to our Girl Scout sister council, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, for sharing your COVID-19 graphics with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan.