Girl Scout community,
Everything has changed: Your daily routine, your physical connections, for many people their ability to make a living, and for many others their health and well-being. At this time of global crisis, we lean (virtually and figuratively) on one another. The Girl Scout community has a solid history of coming together, of taking the lead when things get tough, of showing compassion for those in need and being resilient when facing challenges.
This pandemic is no different. We’ve seen troops and Girl Scouts staying connected virtually, trying new things at home and earning badges, and dreaming up ways to help her community through this crisis.
I’m so proud of the Girl Scout Movement – the caring, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and innovation is evident at all levels. From the Girl Scouts who tied white ribbons around trees at Littleton Adventist Hospital in a show of support for health care workers, to the troop that set up a no-contact sandwich stand (including Girl Scout cookies) in Rocky Ford for truckers to grab a bite and know we appreciate their work, acts of kindness like these have been bright spots in this crisis.
Our staff and volunteers have pivoted quickly to provide the Girl Scout Leadership Experience virtually. Our team at Sky High Ranch had a 2-week virtual spring break camp ready to go the first Monday after schools closed. It attracted more than 500 participants from 30 states and three different countries! We quickly put together resources to guide parents and troop leaders in badge and patch activities that can be done at home. Our virtual programming task force is planning much more to come. While many organizations cannot offer their activities online, Girl Scouts can be a stable, consistent support for girls and their families. This week, GSUSA launched a new, interactive website to bring the fun and exploration of Girl Scouts home when we cannot meet in-person.
Taking care of business
Our physical offices are closed but our entire staff is working remotely, ensuring that our volunteers and members have the support they need during this time. The Girl Scouts of Colorado emergency response team had a plan in place to make sure we were prepared. Because girl safety is always our top priority, we canceled all in-person events beginning March 13 through May 17, and set up all employees with telecommute access in February. As good stewards of our resources, GSCO is able to ensure that all of our staff will be paid normally during this time and they have the tools they need to perform work remotely throughout Colorado.
We feel lucky that our Girl Scout Cookie Program wrapped up just before COVID-19 arrived in Colorado and we’re hopeful that troops will begin putting their cookie proceeds to use helping their communities, celebrating with one another, and trying new things as soon as this crisis has passed.
In addition we have:
- Extended the deadline for Women of Distinction nominations to April 6.
- Extended the deadline for volunteer award nominations to April 30.
- Extended the deadline for bridging Girl Scouts to complete Highest Awards projects to Dec. 31.
- Continued to take and fulfill online orders at our retail shop.
- Kept abreast of new federal laws and how they affect our workforce.
We are working on:
- Developing meaningful, virtual ways to honor Highest Awards recipients this spring and considering when/how we might honor Gold Award Girl Scouts in-person.
- Looking at rescheduling some large scale spring events (such as Daisy Flower Garden and statewide bridging) to the fall.
- Creating additional virtual resources for current members and to show non-members what Girl Scouting is all about.
- Updating our spring renewal timeline and incentive program.
- Evaluating whether it will be safe to hold summer camp.
I have joined GSUSA and other philanthropic leaders in lobbying our U.S. Senators, asking for their support of nonprofits in the economic relief and stimulus package.
I have no doubt that our society will come out of this forever changed. I know that Girl Scouts will rise to the challenges and continue to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re all in this together.