Dear Girl Scout Family,
We have gone through the unimaginable, the unbelievable, and the unfathomable in the last three weeks. Those of us who are still standing have listened and watched as our friends, relatives, and fellow humans have fallen to the unrelenting destruction of COVID-19. In these changing times, I trust that you, your family, and your friends are staying healthy and staying well.
To those who have lost loved ones, you have my sincerest condolences. The Girl Scout community is also experiencing its share of grief. Earlier this week, we learned of the passing of one of our own Girl Scouts, Marilyn Siegel. Marilyn was the CEO of Rolling Hills Girl Scout Council. Though I did not know her personally, I understand from others who did that she was fierce, supportive, and the epitome of G.I.R.L. Strong here in NJ. May she rest in peace.
To those who have family, friends, and colleagues suffering from various stages of the virus, I offer overall well wishes. I especially salute those in our community involved in the health services, who are on the frontline, caring for and battling each day against the march of COVID-19. May we all continue to support them by adhering to the established CDC guidelines and otherwise helping them by offering a kind word, a smile over a video message, a food delivery--anything--that may help lift their spirits in these critical times.
Like many other Girl Scout councils across the country, Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey has been working remotely since March 16th, but as far as we may be, we are still here to assist and address our members' concerns. Do call or email us if you feel there is something you need clarification on or help with.
GSHNJ continues to monitor the recommendation of, and actions taken by, the local and national leaders and health regulatory agencies. We also continue to make decisions on a rolling basis, to keep our community safe and assist in “flattening the curve.” The following are important updates and information regarding council operations in May:
Programs and Events
All in-person programs, trainings, and rentals through May 31st have been cancelled.
The Gold Award Ceremony, originally scheduled to take place on May 16th, has been cancelled. Stay tuned for more information to come on how we will recognize the incredible achievements of our Gold Award Girl Scouts.
The GSHNJ Alum Event, originally scheduled for May 29th, at the Westfield Service Center, has also been cancelled. We are exploring opportunities to get together virtually.
As mentioned in a previous update, the GSHNJ Annual Meeting will take place via a virtual platform this year. A separate registration email notification will be sent next week.
Camp property rentals through May 31st will be cancelled. All event coordinators should expect direct contact from the appropriate Camp Director to discuss options including rescheduling or refunds.
Decisions regarding Summer Camp programs at Camp Hoover, Camp DeWitt, or The OVAL will be made on or about May 15th. Until then, we are accepting registrations, interviewing and hiring staff, planning programming, and preparing our camp sites.
Girl Scout Cookie Program
In coordination with GSHNJ service center closures, cookie cupboards will remain closed through May 3rd. Future Cupboard operations will be reevaluated along with office closures, and communicated as decisions are made.
GSHNJ has suspended all face-to-face cookie booths and does not recommend hosting cookie booths until after May 31st or until public officials declare it is safe to do so.
Digital Cookie will close on April 30th.
Broadway has announced the extended closure of all shows through June 7th, as per Governor Cuomo's request. As a result, GSHNJ is working with Disney Theatrical to confirm a new date for the previously scheduled Frozen on Broadway for late summer/early fall.
Troops are to credit cookies to girls and select final rewards by May 4th, and Service Unit Cookie Managers will need to submit final rewards by May 6th.
Any troops utilizing the Digital Cookie platform, who are in need of a reimbursement for cookies, will be reimbursed on May 12th.
The final ACH pull will happen on July 8th.
Please continue to check our COVID-19 web page for updates and information. If you have additional questions about how COVID-19 has affected Girl Scout activities, please read our FAQ and contact customer care at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 908-518-4400 during normal business hours.
While times may be uncertain, our colleagues and volunteers and the girls we serve continue to amaze us with their resiliency and innovation. Thank you for all you continue to do in support of our mission!
Be careful and be safe, Natasha Hemmings
Chief Executive Officer, GSHNJ