Yesterday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced new steps to combat COVID-19. Guidance in Minnesota is separated into several different categories including Social Settings, Child Care, Youth Programming, and more. Girl Scouts is categorized as youth programming.
One of the changes announced yesterday was a restriction for social gatherings, which now have a 10-person limit for indoor and outdoor gatherings and a limit of only three households or less, with social distancing and masks.
Girl Scouts River Valleys in-person activity guidance is informed by the COVID-19 Prevention Guidance for Youth and Student Programs from the Minnesota Department of Health and these guidelines have not changed. State of Minnesota prevention guidance includes a 15-person maximum per group or room for indoor programs and a 25-person maximum for outdoor programs, as well as recommending social distancing and mask wearing – all consistent with our guidance. We do not recommend meeting in private homes.
Because this information can be complicated and a little hard to decipher, we’ve come up with some new resources to help, found on our refreshed, reorganized, and easy to navigate web pages. Visit the COVID News & Resources page for up-to-date information and announcements, and the In-Person Girl Scout Activity Guidance page for guidance and resources specific to volunteers, including:
- Bullet-pointed high-level guidance for in-person activities
- New five-minute video walking through the guidance (easy to share with other volunteers and families!)
- New one-page infographic of in-person guidance (also easy to share!)
- Full In-Person Girl Scout Activity guidance in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali
- Forms, activity plans, templates, and other resources for planning COVID-resilient Girl Scout activities
All that said, cases of COVID are rising and some schools are moving from in-person and hybrid to distance learning. Now may be the right time to consider moving troop activities to virtual for the winter. Troop leaders have the authority to decide when and how troops meet, keeping everyone’s safety, inclusion, and responsibility in mind. At council we are here to support you in making the decision that is right for you and your troop.
Meeting virtually is a great option and we’re getting better at it all the time! Planning Your Troop Year: 2020 Style can help you get started on planning for a virtual year or season. You can use virtual council programs to help (some have built-in troop breakout time), find virtual activity plans by grade level, and help on how to set up and run Zoom meetings. And troop leaders, if you haven’t yet, make sure you request a free Zoom account.