This week’s Member Essentials covers three important topics and updates. Please take a moment to learn more from GSWNY about our COVID-19 mask changes, Cookie Program updates, and available resources for our girls to cope with the crisis in Ukraine.
Message from Alison Wilcox, CEO
Dear GSWNY Members,
We are writing to provide you with a COVID-19 update. As promised, we have thoroughly reviewed recent public health guidance and changes in recommendations concerning mask requirements.
Due to the continuous downward trends in COVID-19 positivity rates throughout Western New York, and following public health recommendations, we are now ready to make some adjustments to our council’s safety guidelines.
Starting on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, masks will now be optional for all indoor meetings and events regardless of vaccination status. This shift aligns with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance, and New York State K-12 school guidelines.
The CDC has updated COVID-19 Community Spread Levels on their website. The Community Levels are determined by new COVID-19 related hospital admissions over the previous week, the percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the previous week.
The Community Levels are categorized as high, medium, and low. Universal masking indoors is recommended by the CDC when community levels are listed as high. Currently, as of 3/1/22, Cattaraugus County is listed as low, and all other GSWNY counties; Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming are listed as medium.
Following this guidance, GSWNY will not require masking indoors when our nine counties are listed as low or medium. However, be prepared that if GSWNY counties are listed as high, that masking indoors will once again be required. Please note that the CDC recommends that anyone at high risk for serious illness consult with their healthcare provider about wearing a mask and any other health precautions.
It’s important to be aware of a few things:
- The Community Levels could change at any time, which could also impact our council’s safety guidance
- Updates to GSWNY’s COVID-19 Safety guidance ONLY include the wearing of masks. Our council will still practice all other safety measures including social distancing for the time being
- If you are attending a troop meeting or a program where the vendor and/or facility requires a mask, you must adhere to their guidelines
- Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should not attend GSWNY programs or activities and should contact their doctor immediately for guidance
- The CDC is still updating their guidance including social distancing based on recent changes, and GSWNY will continue to monitor, assess and communicate any additional changes to our guidelines
- The CDC recommends vaccination for COVID-19 for all who are eligible; GSWNY encourages all members to consult with their healthcare provider for decisions on vaccination
We are expecting additional public health recommendations over the next few weeks regarding social distancing, isolation, and quarantine guidelines. COVID-19 is still a serious health risk, and we will continue to monitor recommendations and are prepared to make additional changes if needed.
For now, please click here for our updated GSWNY COVID-19 safety guidelines, which again is in alignment with public health guidance. We have also included conversation starters for you and your family to help navigate everyone in our council through this transition.
Please also understand every girl, member, volunteer, and staff member will need time to process this change. We know that some will choose to wear a mask, some will not, and some are still unsure what they will do. We also understand that some may choose to wear a mask when they are in close proximity to others or when in a large crowd.
We want to remind everyone that harassment or pressure about an individual’s choice to wear or not wear a mask will not be tolerated. Everyone should feel welcomed and comfortable making their own individual choice.
Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or call 1-888-837-6410. In an emergency, please call 1-800-882-9268.
I would like to thank all of our GSWNY members for your diligence over these past two years. I am proud of how our Girl Scouting community supports and cares for one another.
Thank you again for your dedication to ensuring safety standards and for all you do!
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Chief Executive Officer
Cookie Program Update Informational Meeting
As it is our continued promise to keep you informed with any and all updates regarding Girl Scout Cookie orders, we wanted to share the newest update from ABC Bakers regarding the Peanut Butter Sandwiches and the initial delivery.
Please join us for an informational Zoom Meeting tonight, March 1, 2022. You must pre-register for this meeting in order to obtain the Zoom Link to attend.
- When: Wednesday, March 1, at 7 p.m.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information and the link about joining the meeting. If you cannot attend, this meeting will be recorded and available on our website for viewing on Wednesday, March 2.
Register for Meeting »
We recognize that this may be an overwhelming time for our Girl Scouts, given the crisis in Ukraine. As the conflict in Ukraine is a dynamic situation, we want to ensure you that our council will continue to work with our girls, our local partners, GSUSA, and USA Girl Scouts Overseas (USAGSO) to support any of our Girl Scouts who may be impacted.
We understand the recent news may be difficult and traumatic for some. So, we would like to provide some resources below to help our girls and others across our council process the recent turn of events:
- Girl Scouts Raising Awesome Girls—When Violence on the News Shakes her World
- Talking to Children About Mass Violence
- Talking to Children About War
Our hearts are with all of those impacted by this crisis.
We’re creating a GSWNY time capsule about Girl Scouts and life during the pandemic from 2020 through today. The current target date for the time capsule to be opened is 25 years from now in the year 2047.
For more details, follow this link to the form. The submissions will close on March 31, 2022, at noon.
Programs & Events
Your input is needed
Our Volunteer and Girl Experience teams are currently looking for feedback from current Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors, as well as any Girl Scouts at these levels who may have lapsed membership within the last two years. Please feel free to take a look at and complete the appropriate survey below.
Anyone who completes our survey will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Entries must be received by March 11 and a winner will be selected the following week.
This Month: Buffalo Beauts Game
Date: Sunday, March 20, 2022
Location: Northtown Center at Amherst (1615 Amherst Manor Drive, Williamsville, New York 14221)
Time: Meet-and-greet with players at 12:15 pm in one of the upstairs banquet rooms at the rink. Gameday Events Manager Austin Shannon will direct members to the banquet room. The game starts at 1 p.m.
- All entrants into the rink need to wear a mask at all times while they are inside.
- Social distancing guidelines will be implemented for the meet-and-greet.
- Group photos with players are not permitted at this time due to COVID. However, the Beauts have a special giveaway for members at the meet-and-greet.
There’s still time to purchase tickets online at beauts.nwhl.zone/tickets and remember to use our 20% discount code: GSWNY22.
If you previously purchased tickets for the January 9 game, they are valid for the March 20 game.
Interested in a spring yoga class? View this flyer to learn more.
Camp & Outdoors
Off Seasonal Ropes Course Facilitators Needed! Do you like a challenge…are you an adventurous person…do you love the outdoors? Have you ever considered becoming a Off Seasonal Ropes Course Facilitator?
We are looking for adventurous people 16 and older who are interested in becoming an off seasonal ropes course facilitator for the Girl Scouts of Western New York. Training is provided as well as a daily pay for each program you facilitate.
If you are interested and would like more information please contact Janet DePetrillo, Director of Camp Administration at (716) 935 6063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shop Closing Reminder
On Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5, our shops will be closed to support the cookie delivery schedule. Please check out our additional shop hours/days at www.gswny.org/shop if you have any questions.
Cookie Retail Order Card
Need to place an order for your cookie booths? Fill out this handy order form and submit what you need today.
Get Connected to GSWNY
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com or 1-888-837-6410. In an emergency, please call 1-800-882-9268.