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Dear Girl Scout Families,
It’s been a while since my last message, and I wanted to reach out with a few updates for our Girl Scout families. This email will cover current Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa (GSGI) news, including COVID-19 updates, expanded shop hours, the Girl Scout Cookie Program, and we’ll end on a warmer note to help us think summer – Girl Scout Summer Camp!

My first update is related to COVID-19 and guidelines in place for our council. You can view this page, where we have current information about our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus. Our current guidelines allow troops to meet in person while following public health guidelines for face coverings and social distancing. We have recently removed the restrictions on group size for troop meetings – at this time, as long as troops can maintain social distancing and everyone in attendance wears a mask, there is no limit to group sizes. As Girl Scouts, we have a responsibility to our community to help limit the spread of this illness and set an example for others. Some troops are choosing to meet virtually or using a hybrid method, depending on family needs and preferences.

You might have noticed our retail locations have expanded hours to serve you. You can view the hours here. We have had more visitors in our shops recently and with that, we’d like to remind everyone to wear a mask, sanitize their hands upon entry to our buildings, and have patience as we work with additional traffic. There may be times where we have to limit the number of people in our shops – we still offer curbside pickup and online shopping as alternatives.

Cookie Season is in full swing – I’ve been hearing stories from troops who are getting creative with virtual cookie booths, drive-thru booths, and community donation programs. Even though the weather has not been our friend so far this season, it’s not deterring girls from working hard towards their goals. Online selling is especially popular for many families this year - customers can have 6 packages of cookies directly shipped to their door for $36 – or $40 to send a special gift box!

We also have a quick reminder for Girl Scouts who participated in the Cookie Program in 2020 – Cookie Dough earned last year expires on March 15, 2021. (If your Girl Scout was in grade 5 and up when selling last year, her Cookie Dough will be automatically saved for future use.) If you don’t have a plan for your Girl Scout’s Cookie Dough yet, check out our at-home programming opportunities. Registration for our Spring Discover Box subscriptions closes on Wednesday, February 24. Launched last Fall, Discover Boxes are monthly at-home kits delivered right to your door. You can see a sneak peek of one of the kits on our Facebook page. Another option for girls in grades K-5 is Club Invention. In this program, girls will receive their very own robot in the mail, with tools to complete challenges and earn a robotics badge, plus optional live workshop sessions on Zoom – all for just $15. Don’t wait – registration closes on Sunday, February 21.

And last, but certainly not least, during these subzero temperatures, let’s think about summer camp! Sometime in the next few weeks, you should see the summer camp edition of GSGI’s Like a Girl Scout Magazine arriving in your mailbox! You can already register for camp sessions on our website – and we just posted registration links to some of our favorite sessions including Mom & Me and My Guy & I. We’re watching COVID-19 guidelines and will continue to update those, especially for summer camp, as we get closer to our first sessions. We hope to see your Girl Scout there!
We’re at just about eleven months since Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, along with businesses, organizations, and families across the country and around the world started to feel the impact of the global pandemic. Last March, I never imagined I’d be writing to you today while wearing a mask and talking about social distancing guidelines. I never imagined we’d be at almost a year since I’ve been able to interact with troops and girls in person – yet, here we are. Thank you for sticking with Girl Scouts through this challenging year, and for helping innovate and pivot to make sure your Girl Scout has access to the friendships and support of Girl Scouts. Warmer, brighter days are coming, and I can’t wait to connect with you then.
Stay safe, be kind, show love. 

Beth Shelton (GSGI CEO, Troop Leader to many, Mom to a few)
Copyright © 2021 The Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, All rights reserved.

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