We have made the difficult, but necessary, decision to suspend all Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) camps for the summer of 2020 out of an abundance of caution considering the current and expected impact of COVID-19 on our community. This is a difficult decision given the importance of outdoor experiences as part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE), but the safety and wellbeing of our girls, volunteers, and staff is our top priority.
Like you, we have an emotional connection to camp. It’s not just the time outdoors among friends. It’s part of who we are. It was a tough decision, but it was the right decision. At Girl Scouts, we must always lead with the health and safety of our girls, and that health and safety would unfortunately be in jeopardy if we delivered camp programming this summer. We know you have many questions, so we have compiled this frequently asked questions document to try and provide answers. If you have additional questions that are not answered in this FAQ, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-837-6410.
Which camps are cancelled?
Camp Piperwood Day Camp, Camp Timbercrest Resident Camp, Camp Seven Hills Resident Camp, and Camp Windy Meadows Day Camp.
Camp is what we look forward to every summer. What were the factors that went into this decision?
We look forward to camp too. It’s part of what makes Girl Scouts great. We looked at several factors. As mentioned, the health and safety of our campers and some 160 staff members and volunteers comes first. This is a guiding point in all decision making at our council, and we could not satisfactorily protect every campers’, volunteers’, and staffs’ health and safety in a camp setting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have already paid for camp. When can I expect my refund?
We will begin processing camp refunds on May 13; refunds will come by credit card if your CampDocs account had one stored or by check through the mail. Please allow up to 30 days for refund processing and receipt.
If you are able, we hope you will consider donating a portion of your refund to help support sister Girl Scouts who are experiencing hardship at this time. A donation to the Council Opportunity Fund helps fund memberships, uniforms, badges, program supplies, and more to ensure every girl has the opportunity to participate fully in Girl Scouts. Please donate at www.gswny.org/donate
Also, although summer camp may be cancelled, the Girl Scout experience she enjoys and depends on is still happening – and we are looking forward to continuing our program in new and innovative ways throughout the summer and into the fall. If you’re ready to renew for next year, you can qualify for incentives during our June Renewal campaign. Watch for more details later in May!
I purchased a 2020 Girl Scout Membership when I registered for camp. Will this be refunded?
Your Girl Scout Membership will not automatically be refunded. Girl Scouts of Western New York has many ways that your daughter can still participate this summer even though summer camp has been cancelled. Check out our Girl Scouts at Home resources on our website and stay tuned for more details on upcoming summer programming options. If you feel you don’t want to continue with Girl Scouts, you may contact email@example.com or 1-888-837-6410 for a refund of your membership dues.
My daughter earned Program Reward Cards during the 2020 cookie program that she was planning on using for 2020 summer camp, what happens with that?
The Program Reward Card has been extended to Sept 30, 2021. It can be combined with next year’s Program Reward Card and used for programs and or summer camp.
What happens if part of my camper’s fees were paid with financial assistance?
For camper’s registration paid via financial assistance, those dollars will simply go back into our Campership Fund.
I already purchased a Camp Care Package. Can I get a refund?
Yes, you will receive a full refund for your Camp Care Package.
What if we wanted to do Troop Camping if limitations on gatherings are lifted?
If restrictions are lifted, GSWNY will follow the guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, WHO and our state and local governments and will update you as to the type of troop camp events (troop camping, SUCO or day events) that would be allowed.
Are GSWNY camp facilities also closed?
Right now, we have cancelled property reservations through August 31. We’ll take it month by month and if the situation changes so that we can safely accommodate small gatherings and larger groups, we will do our best to accommodate property reservations.
Are all council events for the summer cancelled?
This is a fluid situation and we are doing our best to plan with many unknowns. All council events for June have been cancelled. We will closely watch recommendations by experts as we get closer to July-August events and communicate cancellation updates accordingly.
Can my troop or Service Area visit one of our GSWNY properties as a group or to host an event this summer?
Right now, property usage is unavailable through August 31. The council made this determination based on the best information from the CDC and county health departments. We cancelled camp sessions now because our planning time is much longer than a few weeks. It is our hope that troops and Service Units will be able to have activities this summer—especially outdoor activities at our beautiful GSWNY properties! If we need to extend the restrictions on property usage beyond August 31, we will communicate that as soon as possible and continue to process full refunds on reservation fees paid.
Will there be camp next year?
Camp is one of the cornerstones of Girl Scouts. We remain committed to preserving and protecting our camp properties and summer camp programs. Although we cannot predict how this virus will impact next summer’s programming, rest assured that we are planning for Summer Camp 2021. All of our Girl Scout camps will run again next summer if we can do so safely.