We hope our Girl Scout families and your loved ones are doing well in these trying times. Our thoughts are with all of you as we continue to deal with the ongoing health crisis.
As you can imagine, we have had to reassess every council initiative in respect to member safety and community guidelines for dealing with COVID-19 and there is no bigger initiative this time of year than Girl Scout Summer Camp. After thorough consideration and much deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 Summer Camp program offerings at all of our properties.
There were a number of factors that led to this ultimately unavoidable decision. Our #1 factor, as always, was our ability to ensure the health and safety of our campers and staff. Providing a safe experience for girls to experience personal growth is always at the forefront of our program plans and our current environment is just too unpredictable for us to be able to offer this assurance to parents.
Other key factors included:
- Social distancing requirements and group size limitations are ever-evolving. Even though we have recently seen some restrictions being lifted or lessened, it is nearly certain there would still be an impact on housing, mealtimes and program offerings designed to be interactive, team-building experiences that foster a spirit of sisterhood. And there is no clear understanding of what the guidelines will be in the months ahead.
- Scarcity of general sanitary and medical supplies is an ongoing problem and further limits our ability to confidently offer a clean, healthy environment that aligns with the guidelines set by the American Camp Association. Everything from toilet paper, soap and paper towels to the increased need for disinfectants, hand-sanitizers and other deep cleaning supplies is difficult to come by for a single family let alone camps housing hundreds each week.
- Lack of available medical supplies and adequate pre-screening would prevent our abilities to ensure uniform health standards for all attendees.
- The ability to offer adequate training time to camp staff in advance would be complicated with current restrictions. .
For those members who already made payments toward a 2020 Summer Camp session, they have the option for a full refund or fee transfer.
Since we can't bring girls to camp, we’re going to try and bring camp to girls!
In true Girl Scout fashion, we have been looking at how to make the best of this situation and will soon be launching our Summer Camp in a Box. This mix of physical activities, interactive opportunities and online sessions will allow us to offer components of a traditional Girl Scout Summer Camp experience to families in the comfort and safety of their homes. You can get up to 8-weeks of programming shipped directly to your home with a different theme to explore each week. The boxes are priced for members at $25/each (a $75 value) and for non-members at $75. We will also offer the opportunity to apply for financial assistance in the form of Camperships for a $10 discount per box ($15/each for members; $65/each for non-members).
We also recognize that many girls have earned their way to summer camp through different incentives like the Girl Scout Cookie Program. For these campers we have a number of options from holding those funds until 2021 Summer Camp to applying it to a Summer Camp in a Box experience to selecting a different reward.
The decision to cancel was not easy for any of us and we share your disappointment. Outdoor programs are a core part of the Girl Scout experience and Summer Camp is a big part of that. However, we are confident this was the right decision to make. As much as we would love to gather with you under the sunny Florida skies, the thought of even one girl who was entrusted to our care becoming sick is not a risk we are willing to take. We know this is the right thing to do and appreciate your support and understanding in this decision.
You should also know that the camp rangers are continuing to spend their days beautifying and improving our properties while we are all staying safe at home. We can’t wait for the day when we can open up the gates and have you all visit us again.
We have put together an FAQ if you have questions.