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COVID-19 Response

COVID-19

Have a question? Contact us at 1.855.213.8555 or info@gsnypenn.org.

August 27, 2020

Council Properties Closed Through November 1
Our offices, stores and properties remain closed to members and visitors—this date is extended through Sunday, November 1. Staff is working a combination of at-home and in-office hours due to limitations on building capacity under NYS reopening guidelines.
 
Updated Interim Guidance for In-Person Troop Meetings & Activities
The latest edition, dated August 26, includes updates regarding meeting locations, food and restrooms. Of note: at this time GSNYPENN will not approve troop meetings in the home due to concern of a greater risk of exposure to family members. Guidelines are available for review here, and all supporting documents are located in the menu at the bottom of our Volunteer Support page.  

As always, we're here to work with you during these challenging times to help answer any questions or concerns you may have and to find reasonable solutions to help you continue to deliver the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us for support: 1.855.213.8555 or info@gsnypenn.org

June 29, 2020

Phase 4 Operational Updates

  • Service Centers
    Council offices remain closed to members and visitors through at least Labor Day (September 7). Staff will work a combination of at-home and in-office hours due to limitations on building capacity due to COVID-19.
  • Stores
    We will continue to offer Tuesday-Thursday curbside pickup by appointment only of preordered merchandise in Cicero, Horseheads and Johnson City. Click here for complete details.
  • Camp Properties
    Properties remain closed to members and visitors; however, we’re offering scheduled Family Camp opportunities in July and August. Learn more, check out the FAQ and register at gsnypenn.org/summercamp.
  • Programs
    We’re offering virtual programs via council and partners. Check out our event calendar, GSNYPENN Live and our new community partners page for further information. Future in-person council programming is being determined, we will have more information to share as we get closer to the fall.
  • Resuming Troop Meetings/In-Person Activities
    Interim guidance was provided in last week’s email. All supporting documents and guidelines are located in the menu at the bottom of our Volunteer Support page at gsnypenn.org/volunteersupport.

Last Chance for Virtual Programming Survey
Don’t forget! We want to hear from ALL members about future programming. Simply click here. Survey closes tomorrow, June 30.

Early Bird Renewal Ends July 31
All members who renew early receive the More to Explore 2020-21 patch and Sage Scholars Tuition Rewards. All troops that renew 75% girl membership and 2 co-leaders, AND complete the year-end report by June 30, receive the Bag of Tricks. This quality reusable tote has resources for indoor/outdoor on the fly activities to enhance your meetings. Bags will be distributed at Fall 2020 Kick-Offs held at local Service Unit meetings. Renew now at gsnypenn.org/renew.

2021 Cookie Program Girl Rewards Ballot
We need your girl’s help selecting rewards for the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie Program. Every vote counts and matters! Click here, ballot closes Sunday, July 12.  

June 22, 2020

As our council regions across New York and Pennsylvania move through phased re-opening, we’ve created guidance for returning to in-person troop meetings and activities. This guidance is being provided as an interim plan for when your geographic area enters Phase 4 (NY) and Green Phase (PA) when a COVID-19 vaccine has not been made readily available. 

We recognize that returning to in-person troop meetings and activities is a decision to be made with careful consideration and one that will happen when the time is right for you and your girls. Please note that we may modify this guidance from time to time and as circumstances change. 

COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community. Please take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, volunteers and families. 

Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Returning to In-Person Troop Meetings & Activities
All supporting documents and guidelines are located in the menu at the bottom of our Volunteer Support page at gsnypenn.org/volunteersupport. This covers COVID-19 guidance for volunteers, how to access our online COVID-19 Incident Report and printable signs for troops to display at in-person gatherings. For the time being, we’re recommending groups of 10 people total (8 girls and 2 non-related volunteers) during the start of Phase 4/Green Phase. Please refer to these documents to review all aspects and then work with your Regional Support Manager to help answer any additional questions or concerns you may have. 

Early Bird Bonanza Concludes June 28
This week is your last chance to earn special rewards just by renewing your annual membership. All qualifying troops that renew by this Sunday, June 28 will receive 2-for-1 co-leader renewals! (That's a $25 ACH back to the troop account.) Learn more and renew now at gsnypenn.org/renew

Register for Family Camp 
Our awesome staff will lead your entire family in classic camp activities at all four properties this July and August. Extend your experience into an overnight for an additional fee. Please remember: Family Camp is not a drop-off program. Staff is on-site to provide instruction, not supervision. Learn more, check out the FAQ and register now at gsnypenn.org/summercamp.
 
Virtual Programming Survey
Don’t forget: we want to hear from you about future live/virtual programming. Our survey is open, click here. We want to hear from ALL members! Survey closes Tuesday, June 30. 

2021 Cookie Program Girl Rewards Ballot
We need your girl’s help selecting rewards for the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie Program. Every vote counts and matters! Click here, the ballot closes on Sunday, July 12.  

Save the Date: 2020 Women of Distinction 
Our March 31 breakfast celebration to honor Diane L. Brown, Executive Director of the Community Foundation for South Central New York, has been rescheduled. The new date is Tuesday, September 15 from 7:30-9 a.m. at Traditions at the Glen in Johnson City, NY. This will be an outdoor event under a tent. Seating is limited due to the venue change and adherence to COVID-19 guidelines. Cost is $45 per person. Registration opens Monday, July 6 at gsnypenn.org/WOD. A lifelong resident of the Binghamton area, Diane has been involved in nonprofit & community service for over 40 years. 

June 15, 2020

We hope that you’ve enjoyed keeping in touch via these weekly updates and that the information included has been helpful to you. We will return to our previous NYPENN News of Note e-newsletter format beginning in July. That communication will be sent twice a month on the 15th and 30th with a special section for any COVID-19 related updates. We plan to return to a monthly newsletter sent on the 15th of the month with the start of the new member year in October.

Early Bird Bonanza Continues
Remember: incentives are cumulative—the earlier you renew, the more you get. Renew by this Sunday, June 21, and all qualifying troops receive an extra penny per package during the 2021 cookie program. Plus, 50 qualifying troops will receive early access to a first cookie booth selection and special “bling” (cookie money bag for troop and buttons for girls). View all incentives at gsnypenn.org/renew.

Camp Comstock Game Night
Missing your favorite camp counselors? Join us for a free camper and staff game night on Zoom this Wednesday, June 17, from 6-7 p.m. Reunite with your camp favorites while having fun, too! Register in advance here. After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. We can’t wait to see you!

Family Camp in July and August 
Our awesome staff will lead your entire family in classic camp activities* including boating, swimming, archery and fishing at all four properties starting in July! We’ll provide everything you need to experience camp the way it’s meant to be. Note: activities may vary based on NYS re-opening guidelines; at least 1 member of your family must be a registered Girl Scout; groups limited to 10 or less immediate family members

Extend your experience into an overnight for an additional fee and you’ll get a whole unit to yourselves. We’ll provide outdoor cooking equipment and an arts and crafts bin. (Families must bring their own food.) Staff will be onsite to help you with anything you might need and to make sure you’re comfortable, happy and safe.

  • Day Activities Fee: $20 per person; children 4 and under free*
    Activities run Thursdays-Sundays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    *Campers under age 4 are unable to participate in all activities due to safety guidelines
  • Overnight Fee: $45-$140 per family per night
    Based on unit and property choice* 
    Check-in at 2 p.m., check-out at 10 a.m. the next day
    Register for 1-4 nights, Thursdays-Sundays

    *Overnight fee does not include activities, must pay per person day fee to take part; Hoover is limited to Fern Lodge only
  • Registration begins at 9 a.m. this Thursday, June 18!
    Visit gsnypenn.org/summercamp at that time for full details, FAQ and registration link.

We can’t wait to see your whole family and to experience the magic of camp! Questions? Contact summercamp@gsnypenn.org or call 1.855.213.8555. 

Virtual Programming Survey
We want to hear from you about future live/virtual programming! Our anonymous survey is now open, click here. Even if you haven’t taken part in our virtual programs or interacted with us on GSNYPENN Live, we still want to hear from all of our members to create the best programs based on your input. The survey closes on Tuesday, June 30.

June 8, 2020

We hope that everyone is doing well and looking forward to the conclusion of the school year. 

New Hartford Update 
At this time, we’ve decided to not renew the lease at this service center location. This does not change our commitment to deliver excellent service and support to all of our girls, volunteers and families in this area. As our staff continues to work remotely due to COVID-19, and we have been in the process of looking for a new location, we felt this was the most fiscally responsible decision to best serve all members.

It’s important that we continually evaluate our organizational opportunities to improve our effectiveness and assure we are using resources wisely to deliver girl programming and volunteer support across our entire council footprint. We must evolve and stay flexible to serve not only today's Girl Scout families but those who will become our members in the future.

We will be out of the building by the end of this month. We don’t expect this to impact troops or programming in the area. We will continue to look for better and more appropriate space to best serve our members and staff. We look forward to moving into a new location as soon as the right space becomes available! 

Early Bird Bonanza Continues 
Remember: incentives are cumulative—the earlier you renew, the more you get. Renew by this Sunday, June 14, and all girls renewed will receive a “Year of the Outdoors” bucket hat. NEW: girls who selected the $15 Cookie Dough Certificate reward at the 275+ level during the 2020 cookie program may use this toward 2021 membership renewal. Troops will receive a $15 credit back. (GSNYPENN will verify reward was earned before credit is processed.) View all incentives at gsnypenn.org/renew

Camp Appreciation Week: June 8-12
Join our camp staff on each property’s Facebook page for games, giveaways and other fun stuff! Staff will post at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, Monday-Friday this week. 

Amahami Adventure Center
Hoover Adventure Center
Trefoil Adventure Center
Comstock Adventure Center

Virtual Information Sessions for Non-Girl Scout Families
Know a girl or family interested in learning more about our program? We’re holding a series of free virtual information sessions now through the end of the year so they can get to know Girl Scouts! Daisy Discovery programs include the opportunity for girls to earn their first patch. We’re always looking for new girls and volunteers to join our Movement, so please share these links! 

June 1, 2020

It’s Early Bird Bonanza!
Earn exceptional rewards for exceptional times! Incentives are cumulative—the earlier you renew, the more you get. Renew by this Sunday, June 7 and all qualifying troops receive the Girl Scout Pocket Song Book, plus 10 lucky troops will be selected for a FREE, exclusive Troop Core Camping experience at Amahami in June 2021. Visit gsnypenn.org/renew.

Final Cookie Program Deadlines
The 2020 program officially concluded yesterday. Thanks for all of your hard work this year! A detailed email regarding a few updates to our reward and experience offerings, due to COVID-19, was sent via eBudde on Friday.

Remaining dates of note:  

  • NEW DATE! Friday, June 5: Last day for troops to update eBudde girl reward selection (extended to ensure enough time to select from any updated rewards)
  • Friday, June 5: Caregiver collections due, send completed form to jlang@gsnypenn.org
  • NEW DATE! Sunday, June 7: Last day for SUCC to update eBudde
  • Monday, June 8: Final ACH for any remaining balance
  • Mid-July (estimated): Rewards ship to SUCC, rewards earned will have an extended use date so they can be redeemed when safe to do so

Virtual Recruitment Program
Our Community Recruitment Managers are excited to announce our new Virtual Recruitment program. Adult volunteers are invited to join us in presenting programs throughout the year. If interested in assisting, contact Senior Director of Community Development Aletha Rollins at arollins@gsnypenn.org. Training will be provided.

Information on free, upcoming virtual recruitment sessions is on Eventbrite and will be added to our online event calendar and social media shortly. Be sure to share these sessions with your non-Girl Scout friends so they can register to learn more and join our Movement!  

Virtual Programming Survey
Our survey is in the works and will be delivered electronically under separate cover to all members when ready. Thanks for your patience! We can’t wait to hear your ideas about how best to improve GSNYPENN Live and our virtual programs.

May 22, 2020

Please note: council staff are off Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.

With phased reopening, our council regions in NY and PA are allowing retail entities to provide curbside pickup, which means we have updates for our stores and cookie program.

Curbside Store Pickup
Beginning May 26, we will offer Tuesday-Thursday curbside pickup (by appointment only) of pre-ordered and prepaid merchandise from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at our stores in Cicero, Horseheads and Johnson City. Orders must be made online via Shopify (select curbside) or emailed to store@gsnypenn.org with store location preference. Payment will only be taken by credit card online or over the phone with a store associate. Staff will contact you to schedule. Locations are the front entrance of Cicero and Horseheads Service Centers and the main Oakdale Mall entrance (by Ruby Tuesday) in Johnson City.

Contactless Cookie Sales
Adult members may set up curbside drive-through sales to help eliminate remaining inventory in conjunction with community partners. Please work with your local restaurant and retail establishments, drive-ins, etc., offering curbside service. (Girl members and small children are NOT permitted.) Remember to follow social distancing guidelines, wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart, wash your hands often and stay home if you don’t feel well. Questions? Email Jaclyn at jstrazzulla@gsnypenn.org.

Cookie Return
We’re accepting full case returns this weekend by appointment only. Troops must sign up for a drop-off appointment through eBudde under the Booth Sale tab. See complete details under May 15.

Cookie Program Ends May 31
Please ensure your information in eBudde is correct. If you need help, reach out to Customer Care. Thank you for your hard work during this very unconventional cookie season!

Remaining program dates:

  • Sunday, May 31: Digital Cookie closes (including Girl Delivery), program ends
  • Wednesday, June 3: Last day for troops to update eBudde girl reward selection
  • Friday, June 5: Caregiver collections due, send completed form to jlang@gsnypenn.org
  • Monday, June 8: Final ACH for any remaining balance
  • Mid-July (estimated): Rewards ship to SUCC, rewards earned will have an extended use date so they can be redeemed when safe to do so

Virtual Programming Survey, Camp Appreciation Week June 8
Season 1 on GSNYPENN Live concludes today. We’re pausing briefly to regroup based on your feedback. A survey link will be sent via email and posted in the live group next week. 

Season 2 kicks off Monday, June 8 with Camp Appreciation Week. We’ll have videos from staff, giveaways and the best part: The Great GSNYPENN Camp In Camp Out. See details below.

The Great GSNYPENN Camp In Camp Out
Join us Saturday, June 13 (National Get Outdoors Day) for our first-ever virtual campout! Build a blanket fort in the comfort of your home or pitch a tent in your backyard. Our evening starts with an opening ceremony and concludes with star gazing and songs around a virtual campfire! You’ll participate in all-camp activities, choose your own adventure, make some crafts and snack on s’mores. Basic registration is $5 per person and includes a patch. Add-on kits for an enhanced experience are available for an additional fee plus shipping. Register today at gsnypenn.org/campinoutThis is a virtual program that requires a Zoom account and internet access to participate.

Girl Scout Voices Count
Surveys opened May 6. We care about your opinions and experience and need your help to understand what’s working and what’s not. Check your email for your personal invitation. We use your feedback to help improve our services and programs. Survey closes June 3. (Service Unit volunteers will be surveyed in June.)

May 15, 2020

Nine weeks ago, we began weekly updates to keep you informed as our world shifted. We’ve had lots of details to share as we navigate adjustments to our operations and program delivery. As we continue moving forward, we’re making a few changes to better serve you. Please be sure to read through all updates below.

Weekly Updates Moved to Mondays
Next week, May 22, will be the final Friday update. There will be no issue on May 29. We will move to Mondays beginning June 1.

Town Hall Meetings Conclude
Our final weekly meeting is Monday, May 18. We’ll address any last questions or concerns you may have. Future meetings will be scheduled as needed when we have important news to share. Thank you for taking the time to be with us! See complete access details in the April 17 update below. 

Virtual Programming Update
Season 1 via GSNYPENN Live will conclude Friday, May 22. We’re pausing to reevaluate, rethink and retool based on your feedback! We want to offer the most enriching and exciting programming we can, and we need your help. Look for a survey link in next Friday’s update—we want your opinion on what we should offer during Season 2. (We’ll post the survey link in the live group, too.) Season 2 kicks off the week of June 8 with a special Camp Appreciation Week. We’ll have lots of fun videos from staff, camp swag giveaways and the best part: a virtual camp in/out on National Get Outdoors Day—Saturday, June 13. Stay tuned for more details!

New & Improved Early Bird Renewal
We’ve launched fresh, new incentives for our “Early Bird Bonanza”—four special weeks we’ve designated in June. We retooled our offerings, so incentives make more sense given our current landscape. These are exceptional rewards for exceptional times! Incentives are cumulative—the earlier you renew, the more you get. Check out full details at gsnypenn.org/renew. Remember: renew when you’re ready—we’ll be here for you.

Cookie Program Ends May 31
Next ACH is today (May 15) for another 50% of the outstanding balance as listed on the eBudde Sales Report. The program officially concludes Sunday, May 31. Final ACH on Monday, June 8, will pull any outstanding amount listed. Please ensure your information is correct in eBudde. If you need help, reach out to Customer Care.

Cookie Return Options
We’re aware that some troops may still have many unsold cases of cookies due to social distancing. To prevent any financial burden on troops and girls, we will take back any remaining unsold full cases of cookies.

Here's how:

  • We will take back only complete cases of 12 packages per case. Cases of mixed varieties and individual packages will not be accepted. Cookies must be in the case of their variety. (i.e., Samoas must be in a case marked Samoas and cannot be in a Tagalongs case)
  • In previous messaging, we asked troops to assign cookies to girls even if the cookies have not yet been sold. Now that we’re taking back unsold cases, the number of cases returned must also reflect the actual packages sold by girls in the Girl Order tab. If your troop plans on returning 5 cases of cookies, you must remove 60 (5 cases x 12 packages per case) packages from inventory assigned to girls.
  • Troops will not receive proceeds for any returned cases. We’re taking back cookies so that troops are not responsible for paying for cookies. This is unique to this year’s program and is not a typical cookie program policy.
  • Troops must sign up for a drop-off appointment through eBudde. Log in and click the Booth Sale tab. Select the date/time/location of your choice. Locations listed in green are the only locations open for returns.
  • To ensure the safety of everyone, appointments are every 15 minutes. Only troops with appointments will be served. Masks must be worn at all times.
  • If a troop is not close to a service center, please donate full cases of cookies. Acceptable donation recipients include local food pantries, police/fire departments, essential workers, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Proof of donation (photo of donation recipient and signed receipt) must be provided to remove inventory from your troop’s account. Send proof to jstrazzulla@gsnypenn.org no later than Friday, May 29.
  • GSNYPENN reserves the right to refuse the return of cookies if they are not suitable for redistribution (odor, wet, damaged, partial cases, mixed cases, etc.).
  • Once a return is approved, it is the troop’s responsibility to update the Cookie Exchange in eBudde.

Important Items for Volunteers

  • Bridging: We want to help Service Units recognize local members’ bridging and achievements.During June, our staff will help celebrate with any SUs hosting a bridging. (This should be a parade/drive-by type of formation for the health and safety of everyone.) Send us your information via this form. We can’t wait to see you and be part of the fun!
  • Finance Reports: We’ve moved the deadline for year-end reports to June 30. As always, troops will complete the report in the VTK Finance Tab. Troops will need to upload the bank statement—including May 31, 2020.
  • Volunteer Appreciation, Fall Kick-Offs: We’re sad to report our annual dinners and kick-off events have been canceled. We’re working to arrange local kick-offs in partnership with SUs. We plan to bring an evening of fun, resources and prizes right to your neighborhood this fall.
May 8, 2020

Service Centers/Camps/Stores Closed, In-Person Events Cancelled or Postponed Through June 30
We will continue to work remote and monitor pandemic response guidance to come back together when it’s deemed safe to do so.

Summer Camp Update
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve rapidly, so must we. We have made the difficult decision to cancel all 2020 summer camp programs.

We’re heartbroken that we won’t be able to create the magic of camp this year. We know how important the camp experience is for our girls; please know this decision was not made lightly. Given this unprecedented situation, cancelling camp is the most responsible choice to protect the health and safety of our communities.

Anyone who was already registered for summer camp should have received a detailed email at 8:30 a.m. this morning. We know this decision may raise many questions and have done our best to address any anticipated concerns you may have.

Please consult gsnypenn.org/summercamp for complete information. Should you have further questions or concerns, please contact Customer Care at 1.855.213.8555 or summercamp@gsnypenn.org.

We also invite you to our live Town Hall Meeting with CEO Julie Dale on Monday, May 11 from 5-6 p.m. on Zoom and via livestream on our Facebook page. The topic will be summer camp. See complete access details in the April 17 update below. 

In the meantime, here are some tips to help your girl process the loss of summer camp, as well as other losses she may be experiencing during this challenging and unprecedented time.

We appreciate your understanding during this time. As the classic camp song “Linger” says, “This is goodnight and not goodbye.” We look forward to gathering around the campfire with you when this is all over.

May 1, 2020

Schools are closed for now and activities are canceled due to the pandemic—but Girl Scouting never stops! While your family practices social distancing, girls can take part in online and at home programming, national and community service projects, and virtual field trips as they continue to earn their badges all while keeping safe.

Girl Scouting at Home
We’ve created a new online repository of resources to help our troop leaders, caregivers and girls navigate ways to keep Girl Scouts going during this challenging time. Visit gsnypenn.org/gshome to learn more. We hope you find this useful!

Troop leaders: having trouble establishing a virtual meeting space? Feeling intimidated by all the platforms? We’re here to help! Contact us at 1.855.213.8555 or info@gsnypenn.org for support. We’re all in this together!

Honoring Our Volunteers
Yesterday was the conclusion of National Volunteer Month, during which we take time to celebrate and honor our more than 6,000 volunteers. This year, we’ve had to virtually recognize our hundreds of special award recipients via social media in lieu of our typical recognition dinners. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of Girl Scouts. They are the ones out in our communities, directly making an impact in girls’ lives. We can never thank them enough for all they do! We look forward to when we can come together to honor them in person. For now, please take a look at this recent press release highlighting our 2020 award recipients. Job well done, Girl Scouts!

Cookie Program Update
The next ACH is Friday, May 15. That is for another 50% of the outstanding balance as listed on the eBudde Sales Report. If your troop transfers cookies in/out or receives additional online sales this will adjust the amount owed. On Monday, June 8, the final ACH will pull any outstanding amount listed. Please ensure your information is correct in eBudde. If you need help, reach out to Customer Care at the number and email above.

Carrying the Torch 2020 Postponed
We’ve postponed our July 18 event in Seneca Falls due to the uncertainty of when we will once again be able to gather together safely. Refunds will be issued to those who pre-registered. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Care or email program@gsnypenn.org. A rescheduled date and program will be shared at a later time.

Early Bird Renewal: April 1-July 31, 2020
We might have to be physically apart right now, but our Girl Scout connection is more important than ever. As life keeps changing, we’ll be here when your girl needs us the most; and we’ll continue to adapt to her needs. Renew for Member Year 2020-2021 when you’re ready! By renewing early, you receive great incentives and enjoy the Girl Scout Leadership Experience year-round. Check out the Sage Scholars Tuition Rewards Program for additional incentives. Please note: a revised incentives plan for our “Early Bird Bonanza” scheduled for June will be included in the May 15 weekly update. We appreciate your understanding as we revise our offerings due to the pandemic and future planning.

April 24, 2020

National Council Session in October Moved to Virtual Meeting
This week, GSUSA’s National Board held a special meeting and voted to hold the 55th National Council Session virtually. The board also voted to cancel some upcoming in-person GSUSA events, including G.I.R.L. 2020 and the Global Roundtable. GSUSA will refund all registrations in full (100%) for NCS, G.I.R.L. 2020 and other convention-related events and activities made directly through GSUSA via registrants’ original payment method. They ask that you please do not contact them and ask for a refund, as it will slow down the process. It will take a few weeks to process all refunds. Visit the GS Blog for complete information. If you have any questions for council, please contact Angela Smith at asmith@gsnypenn.org.

Cookie Program Update
Thanks for your patience and continued participation in the cookie program. We received a great response to the early/optional ACH request on April 15. Funds were pulled from only those troops that completed the request.

Any troop that has an outstanding balance reflected on the Sales Report in eBudde will have a 50% ACH pull on Monday, April 27*Please ensure that your information is correct in eBudde as soon as possible.* If you need help, please reach out to us at info@gsnypenn.org or call 1.855.213.8555.

Example: If your troop has an outstanding balance of $1,000 as of today, GSNYPENN will pull 50% of the balance on April 27. The amount pulled will be $500, leaving a new outstanding balance of $500.

*The next ACH set for Monday, May 4 will be moved to Friday, May 15.* That is for another 50% of the outstanding balance as listed on the Sales Report. If your troop transfers cookies in/out or receives additional online sales this will adjust the amount owed.

On Monday, June 8, the final ACH will pull any outstanding amount listed. Hopefully this clarifies any confusion!

Town Hall Meetings: Mondays at 5 p.m. 
The topic for Monday, April 27 will be NCS/G.I.R.L. 2020 and closing out the cookie program. Remaining meetings will be held on May 4, 11 and 18.

To join, visit girlscouts.zoom.us. You can join from a computer, smartphone or call-in from any phone. Note: We have found that it works best to have Zoom downloaded and ready prior to getting on the call.

We are also live streaming these on our Facebook page

See complete call access information in the April 17 update.


April 17, 2020

We hope you continue to be well and that you’ve been able to find some “bright spots” during this time. We really miss seeing you and your girls in-person!

Service Centers/Camps/Stores Closed, In-Person Events Cancelled or Postponed Through May 15
We will continue to work remote and monitor local/state/federal guidance related to pandemic response to come back together when it’s deemed safe to do so.

Cookie Program Update
Thank you to those troops who were able to have funds ready for yesterday’s ACH. Final date for the initial order ACH is April 27. Please check in with us if you’re unable to continue to sell, raise money to donate or need to transfer cookies to another troop. Email info@gsnypenn.org or call 1.855.213.8555.

Town Hall Meetings Moved to Mondays at 5 p.m.
We’re moving our live meetings to better accommodate schedules. There will be NO meeting this evening. As we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 19-25), our April 20 meeting will focus on “shouting out” all the wonderful things our leaders and adult volunteers are doing to keep Girl Scouts engaged during this challenging time. We can’t wait to see you!

To join, visit girlscouts.zoom.us. If you don't already have an account, you'll need to create one and will then be prompted to download and install the app. A basic account is free.

Meetings will be held on Mondays at 5 p.m. on April 20, April 27, May 4, May 11 and May 18.

Due to the schedule change, we’ve had to update our Zoom invitation access details. You can join us from a computer, smartphone or call-in from any phone.  
 
Website/App
Meeting ID: 990 2226 2003
Password: thinmints

One Tap Mobile
+19294362866,,99022262003#,,#,612543# or +13126266799,,99022262003#,,#,612543#

Dial by Location
+1 929 436 2866 or +1 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 990 2226 2003
Password: 612543

11th Annual Meeting: May 9
Join our board members, council staff and Service Unit delegates for our first-ever virtual annual meeting on Saturday, May 9 from 1-3 p.m. You must register in advance. After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom meeting. Register now at gsnypenn.org/annualmeeting.

GSNYPENN Live Update
We continue to provide at-home programming via GSNYPENN Live. To better serve you, we’re now devoting each day to a different level. Daily schedules are posted the evening before and morning of for pre-planning, and programs are labeled by level. Feel free to share with friends, family and neighbors. You don’t have to be a Girl Scout to participate!

Monday: Daisy/Brownie
Tuesday: Brownie/Junior
Wednesday: Cadette/Senior/Ambassador
Thursday: Volunteer Support
Friday: Friday Fun

April 10, 2020

Summer Camp
We're actively preparing for a fun, safe summer and currently plan to operate camps as scheduled. We are monitoring recommendations from the CDC, NYS State Department of Health, local/federal governments and GSUSA. Ultimately, plans are subject to change based on all factors, but right now, our plan is to operate as normal. We're preparing to intensify management of health care and sanitization protocols above and beyond current processes, based upon recommendations from the County Department of Health and American Camp Association. Staff training and program development will delve further into these topics to enhance what we already practice, and COVID-19 specific measures will be introduced as recommended. Please visit our FAQs at gsnypenn.org/summercamp or email summercamp@gsnypenn.org for further questions and/or assistance.  

Cookie Program Reward Experiences
With the uncertainty of when things will clear up, we’re postponing the LUSH and CEO Broadway Reward Experiences. Girls at the 750+ level who select LUSH as a reward will receive the earned gift card, the store experience date will be rescheduled at a later time. We will work with show availability once Broadway is back up and running to determine a new date and performance for girls at the 1350+ level who earn the CEO Broadway Experience. Note: events are subject to change, including substitutions. For troops with a 275+ PGA, we’re working with the three locations (The Wild Center, Seabreeze and Greek Peak) to ensure tickets will have an extended redemption time. We will also extend redemption dates on camp voucher rewards. We will share more with members directly when details are more final. (We are communicating regularly with cookie program volunteers via eBudde. View the most recent email here.) 

Cookie Program Payments

Parents and caregivers, please make sure to check with your leaders and pay for all cookies your girl has sold to-date. We’re working with individual troops to make payments as soon as next week on April 15. Final date for the initial order ACH is April 27. Please don’t delay. Many thanks for your assistance! (See all revised program dates in March 26 update below.)  

April 3, 2020

As we continue to navigate this “new normal,” I will be holding a series of LIVE town hall meetings on Zoom every Friday at 5 p.m. starting today through May 15.
 
Council staff and I will be there to help answer any questions you may have, and just to connect “face-to-face” and say hello during this challenging time. 
 
To join the meeting, visit girlscouts.zoom.us. If you don’t already have a Zoom account, you’ll need to create one and will then be prompted to download and install the app. You can join us from a computer or smartphone. A basic Zoom account is free. 
 
Meeting ID: 873 595 887
Password: thinmints
 
Meetings will be held at 5 p.m. on the following Fridays:
April 3
April 10
April 17
April 24
May 1
May 8
May 15

We hope you will join us. We’re all in this together!

March 31, 2020

Service Center, Camp & Store Closures, In-Person Events Cancelled/Postponed Through April 30
We have further extended this date based on local/state/federal guidance. We will again re-evaluate as we get closer to April 30 based on current mandates related to pandemic response. Be well!

March 26, 2020

We recognize that this is a crazy time for everyone and appreciate that each girl, volunteer, family, troop and Service Unit has a different set of circumstances. We are all in this together!

If you can, please join our CEO Julie Dale at 12 noon today, March 26, on our new 
GSNYPENN Live group on Facebook for a “Town Hall Q&A.” I’ll be there to chat and answer any questions you might have. (See below for more information about this new platform.)

Service Center, Camp & Store Closures, In-Person Events Cancelled/Postponed Through April 15
We have extended our original April 1 date to April 15. We will re-evaluate this date as we get closer based on current federal, state and local mandates.

Cookie Program Closeout
With all of this in mind, we are working through how to close out the 2020 cookie program and providing you with ways to get cookies off your dining room table and into the hands of those who could really use them right now. We are also giving you the option to stop participation in the program and just learned that GSUSA is also working on a national endeavor as well.

  • Parents & Caregivers: (Girl Delivery/Girl Orders): Only half of all eligible GSNYPENN girls have set up a Digital Cookie site. If you haven't done so yet, here's a chance to use your time inside and at home to practice new online skills. If you encounter any problems setting up your DOC, please message our Customer Care team using the Let's Chat feature on our website and they will help you. Use your girl's personal link and share her story with friends, family and neighbors through the end of May. It's easy! There is also now discounted shipping on 8 or more boxes.

  • Troop Leaders: If you need cookies to deliver (when restrictions are lifted), leaders can use "Cookie Exchange" in eBudde to find troops that have available cookies. Once you find a troop that has what you need, reach out to them to make the connection and reach out to your SU Cookie Coordinator (SUCC) to facilitate the troop to troop transfer in eBudde. You can also reach out to our cupboards and arrange to pick up more cookies if the cupboard still has inventory available. (To be clear: this is for when mandates are lifted, and it is deemed safe to do so.)

  • Troop Inventory: If your troop is interested in having companies pay for your inventory, and you don't mind them reaching out to you, make sure to fill out this form. We are promoting it on our website and will use it to help customers/businesses find cookies locally.

  • Donations: If you know people who wish to help, but you don't have cookies available, please send them to our donation page . We’ll use these funds to donate any cookies that can't be sold directly through troops.

  • Public Support: Many people do not know a Girl Scout and can’t leave their homes. GSUSA is working with all councils to create the One Movement Cookie Campaign where people from across the country can type in their ZIP Codes and purchase from a local council. Cookies will be shipped directly to homes. Proceeds from this site will be used to help as many troops as possible close out their inventory. There will be national advertising support behind this campaign. We’ll share the link as soon as it’s ready!  

  • End Participation: If any circumstance prevents you from participating in the cookie program further, please contact us at productsales@gsnypenn.org. 

Extended Dates for Cookie Program & Payments
If you have problems with these dates, please reach out to us at productsales@gsnypenn.org and we'll work with you. We want you to be in a position where your troop has resources when we return to some normalcy but understand that it may be challenging for some to collect funds when you are required to shelter in place. You may consider using peer-to-peer money-sharing apps to have parents/caregivers pay for individual girl’s orders as they are able. 

Revised Cookie Program Dates:

  • April 27: 50% of current outstanding balance due
  • May 4: 50% of current outstanding balance due (if you’ve continued to participate)
  • May 31: Digital Cookie closes (including Girl Delivery), program officially ends
  • June 3: Last day for troops to update girl reward selection in eBudde (by 11:59 p.m.), reference page 31 in your Cookie Manual for Volunteers
  • June 5: Last day for SU to finalize/update program in eBudde (reference your SUCC Guide)
  • June 5: Parent collections due
  • June 8: Final ACH payment withdrawal for any remaining balance due to GSNYPENN
  • Mid-July (estimated): Rewards will ship to SUCC, any rewards earned will have an extended use date so that they can be redeemed and enjoyed when it is safe to do so

Virtual Programs 
Yesterday, we launched virtual at-home programming via our council Facebook page. We’ve created a new group there called GSNYPENN Live. Please join our staff for some great sessions! You can find a schedule and events right on the page. Feel free to share this group with your friends, family and neighbors. You don’t have to be a Girl Scout to participate. (Videos will be archived here to watch at a later date, too.) 

Final Report Deadline Extended for Highest Awards
Recognizing that many schools, youth activities and community gatherings have been suspended, and that we are navigating a period of rapid change, Girl Scouts is offering a three-month extension from September 30 to December 31, 2020, to provide flexibility for Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors earning Girl Scouting’s Highest Awards. This is particularly relevant for 5th grade Juniors, 8th grade Cadettes and 12th grade Ambassadors who will bridge to the next program age level officially on September 30 and typically would no longer be eligible to earn the Bronze, Silver or Gold Award respectively.

During this time of uncertainty, please know that Girl Scouts remains here for you and your girl. We will take on this challenge together and lead, as we always do. 

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 1.855.213.8555 or info@gsnypenn.org. 

March 21, 2020

We continue to monitor the rapidly changing developments and recommendations put out by the CDCNY and PA state governments and counties across our council footprint in response to COVID-19. PLEASE make yourself familiar with your state and local mandates.

NO ONE should be continuing to hold ANY in-person events at the council, troop or SU level per social distancing requirements being asked of everyone across our nation during this pandemic.

We are working on next steps for the cookie program, virtual programming and council operations post-April 1. At this time, we don't yet know what that will look like because the situation continues to evolve daily. We plan to post at minimum weekly updates here and across our social media and email messaging systems to keep you informed.

Please be sure to bookmark our dedicated webpage; like and follow us on social media and turn on notifications; and ensure contact information in your member profile is up to date so we can reach you via email, voicemail (coming from 315.698.9400), or text message (coming from 31279) when new information becomes available.

We appreciate your understanding and continued patience as we all face this unprecedented national crisis together. Be well! 

A message from GSNYPENN CEO Julie Dale:

Hello, amazing Girl Scouts! It is so inspiring to hear about all the great virtual activities our girls are leading right now. I want to share that we are in this together! Our team is working hard right now to find creative ways to sell cookies, provide online programming and host virtual Girl Scouts. We will not let you down! Thank you for all you do to support G.I.R.L.s!

Very sincerely,
Julie

March 15, 2020

All GSNYPENN staff will be working remotely through April 1. You can still reach us via email and phone during business hours. All council service centers and stores are closed until April 1.

Council will be using a number of platforms to keep our members informed during this period. In addition to email, website and social media, we will be using the phone number 315.698.9400 to distribute voicemail messages and 31279 to send any text messages. Please be sure to note and save these numbers as recognized, trusted contacts.

PLEASE cease and desist ALL booth sales for the sake of our communities. We know we have leaders who feel that they are healthy and safe and have secured permission from stores and parents. We appreciate that everyone would like to take advantage of the good weather. We understand your enthusiasm and desire to sell your remaining inventory, but we must ask you to finish up whatever you are doing today, pack up and go home, even if you feel fine and wish to continue. It's the right thing to do.

We also ask members to stop calling and messaging us with violations. We do not have the bandwidth to police booths nor the ability to impose sanctions on troops who are just trying to sell their cookies. We want everyone to be safe, but please act like a Girl Scout. Refresh yourself with the Promise & Law, be responsible for yourself and those you lead. We got this, don't report other troops.

We will have plenty of opportunity to move inventory in the coming weeks, and will extend payments to reflect the reality of the situation. Thank you for remaining calm and for complying with this request.

March 14, 2020

We have learned that several school districts in our council territory have closed through mid-April. We will provide updates to our guidance for members and troops, including participation in the cookie program, as soon as we are able to make appropriate adjustments to our schedule. Thank you for your continued understanding and patience as we work through this unprecedented situation.

March 13, 2020

Thank you for working with us as we do our best to help slow down the transmission of the virus in our communities. Given the current local impact of COVID-19, we are making the following changes, recommendations, and updates for the remainder of the 2020 cookie program:

1.    Cookie Booth Sales: Effective immediately, we are suspending all booth sales. 

2.    Events: GSNYPENN is postponing all council events and programs until April 1, at which time we shall share an updated calendar with options for participation. Please comply with all local regulations and postpone or reschedule any planned troop events in accordance with CDC recommendations.

We strongly recommend volunteers suspend any and all local Service Unit/troop activities—including troop meetings, camporees and any other events or gatherings through April 1 and then reevaluate based on local conditions. 

Please note that all Girl Scout event insurance remains in effect as before. However, keep in mind that this is liability insurance and will cover injuries resulting from an accident. Girl Scout insurance does not cover healthcare or illness.

3.    Extension of Cookie Program: We will extend cookie season in order to allow girls, troops, and families to finish the program in a way that they feel comfortable. At this point, the 2020 program is extended through Friday, May 1.

4.    Digital Cookie (DOC): At the request of fellow volunteers, we have extended girl delivery through the DOC to Friday, May 1. Girls/families may consider contacting their customers and dropping off cookies at doorsteps at an agreed upon time.

We are also implementing a discount for customers who wish to have their cookies shipped to them. The change must be made by GSUSA. When it is ready to go, we will notify you. This change gives an extra incentive for customers to purchase from girls from the safety of their homes and does not require an in-person sale or delivery.

No shipping discount for 7 or fewer boxes

8-9 boxes, get $5.00 off shipping

10-11 boxes, get $7.00 off shipping

Buy or donate any 12 boxes, get up to $10.00 off shipping

5.    Remove Cookie Booths in eBudde: We are working with Little Brownie Baker to remove all scheduled cookie booth locations in eBudde.

6.    Cookie Cupboards Closed: Council cupboards will be closed until April 1. We will consolidate inventory from local cupboards starting next week.

7.    Important 2020 Cookie Program Closeout Dates: We have changed the dates of the program and will proceed as scheduled:

March 16: 50% of all girl order payments from Initial Order are due

April 13:  50% of current outstanding balance is due

April 20: If you’ve continued to participate, 50% of current outstanding balance is due

April 28: Last day for troops to update girl reward selection in eBudde (by 11:59 p.m.), reference page 31 in your Cookie Manual for Volunteers

April 30: Parent collections due

May 1: Digital Cookie closes, girl delivery ends, program officially ends  

May 4: Final ACH payment withdrawal for any remaining balance due to GSNYPENN

Early June: Rewards will ship 

8.    Cookie Program Reward Experiences: This year, we offered two new reward experiences to girls. In an effort to reduce contamination, Broadway has suspended shows through April 12. Many businesses who serve customers in the skin care area have suspended live experiences where customers touch their faces. We intend to deliver the Lush and Broadway experience as promised and will keep you informed when we can confirm details.

We will continue to take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have a safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experience with their sister Girl Scouts. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we all do our part to limit community transmission of coronavirus in New York and Pennsylvania.

FAQ

Q: If a troop is concerned about sales decreases in their communities, can cookies be returned?

A: The option to end sales is to address the health-related concerns of troops and families and is not intended as a safeguard against decreased sales. GSNYPENN continues to review public health recommendations and will provide any new updates, should they come to light. Troops can hold on to some inventory for friends and family sales. However, the packages kept with the troop will remain the financial responsibility of the troop/family and cannot be returned at a later date. 

Q: Will delivery of cookies to our Sweet Support partner, Meals on Wheels, continue as planned?

A: At this time, we do not have dates scheduled for the delivery of the donated cookies. We intend to deliver on our promise and will work with troops selected to meet with local MOW representatives in May.

March 11, 2020

The safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers and girls is always our number one priority. The Girl Scout Law requires us to be courageous and strong and to be responsible for what we say and do. We believe our members can best assess what is right for their families and can make sound decisions based on fact, not hype.

Like you, we are closely monitoring the spreading COVID-19 contagion and the remedies put in place to slow down the spread of the virus. While there are no official cases reported to date in our council area, we encourage everyone to take precautions and follow the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, if soap and water are not readily available use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow
  • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay home when sick

We encourage volunteers, caregivers and girls to use their best judgement when determining cookie booth locations, holding meetings and attending events. Should it become necessary to cancel planned events, we will do our best to keep you informed via email, social media and telephone.

Please follow all health and safety guidance from the CDC and other official sources, which we will continue to make available as we learn more.