Council Response to COVID-19
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Council Response to COVID-19

Updated 03/23/2020 @ 3:48 p.m.

We appreciate your patience as we manage the fallout from COVID-19 on our council activity and Cookie Program. On behalf of every staff member and volunteer involved in the decision-making, we can assure you that YOU are front of mind in every decision we make.

As the CDC and multiple departments of health update recommendations, we are requesting that all troop, and service unit, meetings are suspended for at least the next two weeks. In addition, we are suspending the Girl Scout Cookie Program effective immediately.

The council’s Leadership Centers and Trefoil Trunk Shops are currently closed to the public, but council staff remain ready to serve members and their families. 

If you need assistance there are multiple ways to contact us:

  • Phone: 800-624-4185
  • Email: info@girlscoutshs.org
  • Chat: visit our homepage and look for the icon on the bottom right of the page

We are suspending the Cookie Program.

What does this mean? It means you must discontinue all public activity, including booths, effective immediately. We know many troops have already wrapped up their sale. We also know there are troops that strongly wish to continue selling. If this is your troop, we recommend you limit any activity to promoting online options like Digital Cookie direct ship and Troop 2 Troops.

We are in this together and will do right by our members, regardless of the financial implications to our council. On Friday, we gave troops the option to keep the current timeline, delay or extend their Girl Scout Cookie Program. We need all troops to make their selection by Monday, March 23 at noon. This will be incredibly helpful as we finalize our contingency plans for remaining inventory, troop sales goals and girl rewards.  

Cookie Program Extension Options
Current Cookie Program Option

Conclude their Cookie Program at the end date of Sunday, March 22, with final ACH payment being withdrawn on April 6.

>>>Download Current Calendar

Calendar:  

  • Sunday, Mar. 22             Last day of regular season
  • Monday, Mar. 23             Girls submit cookie balance to Troop
  • Monday, Mar. 23             Bling Your Booth submission deadline
  • Tuesday, Mar. 24            Troop eBudde Webinar – Finalizing     Your Sale/Q&A – 6:30pm
  • Thursday, Mar. 26            Troops submit Rewards Order in eBudde
  • Thursday, Mar. 26            Troops must have cookie balance deposited into troop bank account
  • Monday, Mar. 30            Volunteer T-Shirt Order Deadline to Council
  • Monday, Mar. 30            Red Wagon Submission Deadline
  • Monday, Mar. 30            Bling Your Booth online voting begins
  • Wednesday, April 1               Troop ACH Payment Shortage Information due to Council
  • Wednesday, April 1               Outstanding Balance Form deadline to Council
  • Monday, April 6           Troop ACH Final Payment from Troop Bank Accounts, minus proceeds
Delayed Cookie Program Option

Due to CDC, national and local departments of health, and in conjunction with GSUSA we have suspended all public activity.  With this change, we have eliminated the delayed option and moved all who selected this option to the Extended Cookie Program Option. 

Extended Cookie Program Option

Extend their Cookie Program to Friday, May 8, with three ACH payments being withdrawn on April 6 for 60%, and April 17 for 20% and on May 15 for the remaining 20%.

>>>Download Extended Calendar

  • Monday, Mar. 23              Bling Your Booth submission deadline
  • Tuesday, Mar. 24              Troop eBudde Webinar – Finalizing Your Sale/Q&A – 6:30pm
  • Thursday, Mar. 26              Troops must have cookie balance deposited into troop bank account
  • Monday, Mar. 30              Volunteer T-Shirt Order Deadline to Council
  • Monday, Mar. 30              Red Wagon Submission Deadline
  • Monday, Mar. 30             Bling Your Booth online voting begins
  • Wednesday, April 1                 Troop ACH Payment Shortage Information due to Council
  • Monday, April 6             Troop ACH 60% Payment from Troop Bank Accounts, no proceeds deducted
  • Sunday, April 12             Bling Your Booth online voting ends
  • Monday, April 13              Troops must have cookie balance deposited into troop bank account
  • Wednesday, April 15               Troop ACH Payment Shortage Information due to Council
  • Wednesday, April 15               Outstanding Balance Form deadline to Council Service Center
  • Friday, April 17            Troop ACH 20% Payment from Troop Bank Accounts
  • Friday, May 8                Extended Cookie Program ends
  • Friday, May 8                 Girls submit cookie balance to Troop
  • Monday, May 11                 Troops submit Rewards Order in eBudde – Troops locked out at Midnight
  • Monday, May 11                 Troops must have cookie balance deposited into troop bank account
  • Tuesday, May 12                SUs submit Rewards Order in eBudde –
  • SUs locked out of eBudde at midnight
  • Wednesday, May 13                 Troop ACH Payment Shortage Information due to Council
  • Wednesday, May 13                Outstanding Balance Form deadline to Council
  • Friday, May 15                Troop ACH Final Payment from Troop Bank Accounts, minus proceeds

 

Submit

Additional Cookie Program Information:

What about Cookie Rewards?
What about Cookie Promotions?

The council “Take 5, get 1” promotion has been suspended.  

Red Wagon Saturday and Bling Your Booth will keep promotion deadlines as previously stated.

Delivery and Porch Drop Offs

We have also been asked about friends and family efforts, “porch drops” and social media. We are realistic and understand some of you may continue selling cookies to friends and family or dropping off cookies on someone’s porch, but we ask you to first consider advice by local public health officials.

Regarding social media, please refrain from making broad asks for help on large audience sites. A post on your page asking friends and family to support your troop is okay. Posting to a marketplace or neighborhood site is not.

We are closing all cookie cupboards

We are so thankful to our cupboard volunteers and appreciate their willingness – and for many, the desire – to remain open. However, we are closing cupboards effectively immediately. Once the Cookie Program suspension is lifted we will explore re-opening certain cupboards based on volunteer need and facility availability.

Hometown Heroes Digital Cookie Donations 

Inspired by Girl Scouts who are donating Girl Scout Cookies to people on the frontline, like hospital staff, first responders and food banks, Girl Scouts Heart of the South is announcing Digital Cookie Hometown Heroes.

Hometown Heroes works a little differently that the typical Digital Cookie donation that is fulfilled by the council. Starting on Monday, March 23 all Digital Cookie donations will be fulfilled from troop inventory. This gives troops the option to select their own Hometown Heroes, rally their community behind their efforts and deplete their cookie inventory.

Hometown Heroes is only available to troops who have selected to extended their Cookie Program. These troops are automatically opted into Hometown Heroes. Read more about Hometown Heroes.

If you are concerned about your troop inventory…

We understand many of you are concerned about your troop inventory. Please be patient and allow us time to finalize additional plans. Please trust that our troops and members will be at the forefront of every decision we continue to make, and please understand it will take time for us to gather and finalize information.


Continue Girl Scouts at home with Girl Scout Digital Experience

Even though your girl’s daily routine may have changed, there are many ways she can still participate in Girl Scout activities and earn awards, even at home! Through Girl Scout Digital ExperienceGirl Scout Digital Experience we're offering Virutal Badge Labs, STEAM Series, trainings and at-home challenges and activities.

The following are available on the Girl Scout Digital Experience:

  • Virtual Badge Labs
  • Virtual STEAM Series
  • Virtual Trainings for Girls
  • Video Tutorials and Activities
  • At Home Challenges
  • Scavenger Hunts

 We invite you to follow us on Facebook where we are posting fun and free activities families can do together while at home.


Ways you can stay connected with your troop

It is unfortunate that COVID-19 is interfering with Girl Scouts’ ability to meet and learn together. Thank you all 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 troops and service units are using for virtual meetings. See below for a list of free and low-cost tools that could be useful to you. We encourage troop leaders to look at these and alternative options and discuss with parents and girls to determine what the best solution is for your troop’s needs.  Be sure to review the Safety Activity Checkpoints for virtual meetings.

While all of these options have a free version, please note you may be prompted to consider their upgraded versions for a subscription fee.

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.


Be a Source of Comfort and Calm for Girls

Girl Scouts of the USA has developed a helpful resource for How to Talk to Your Girl About COVID-19 to help minimize stress and worry in your Girl Scout’s life and give her a sense of calm and control.

Thank you for your help in keeping Girl Scouts a safe, fun space for everyone! If you have questions about how COVID-19 may impact Girl Scout activities, please reach out to us at info@girlscoutshs.org.

Additional information and resources about the Covid-19: