For the past few weeks, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana has remained optimistic that we would emerge from the impact of COVID-19 in time to run a full summer of activities for girls.
Today, it absolutely breaks our hearts to announce that we have made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person programming through Aug. 14, 2020 — including all day and resident camp sessions — due to the risks associated with COVID-19 exposure and transmission.
There are just too many unknowns, and too many concerns about everyone’s health and safety, to proceed with business as usual this summer.
This decision is incredibly painful for our entire council. Seeing girls laugh and learn in the outdoors is one of our greatest joys. However, we must do what is best for our girls, families, staff, and communities.
While right now Girl Scouting looks radically different than what we’re used to, our spirits, sense of adventure, and commitment to serve our girls remain higher than ever.
Though we will not be able to gather in person at our camps yet, our team is working relentlessly to develop and deliver creative, virtual experiences for girls to participate in now and throughout the summer months. New adventures, including backyard camping expeditions, activities and much more, will be rolled out and announced on Girl Scouts from Home.
And we will be there, ready, when it is safe to get back together in person again.
Your Support is Needed
As with so many non-profit organizations, this pandemic has left us vulnerable with a funding gap. In a time when we’re facing significant reduction in program revenues, your continued support can make all the difference.
We know this crisis is affecting so many. If you are able, please consider donating back your deposit or paid program fee to Girl Scouts GCNWI to enable us to continue to provide critical financial assistance to members in need, keeping Girl Scouting and future camp seasons accessible for EVERY girl, regardless of her family’s circumstances.
We also know that for some, especially now, donating is not an option. Therefore, we have outlined the process below to proceed with rescheduling, crediting your account, or requesting a full refund.
Next Steps for Paid Registrations
Families and volunteers who were planning to participate in any of our summer programs or activities have several options for next steps. Follow the link below to our form to indicate your preferences.
These options are regardless of reservation or registration type, and they include day and resident camp; all council programs (including outdoor and custom); adult training; council-sponsored travel; participation in a volunteer-led day camp; troop, group and family camping reservations through Aug. 14.
Make your selection by May 11 for how to allocate your paid registration fees:
- Donate all or part of your program payment to support Girl Scouting in challenging times
- Keep your payment as a credit on your account for future programs
- Reschedule a troop camp outing or custom program experience for after Aug. 14
- Receive a full refund (including the program deposit, which is typically non-refundable)
Every effort will be made to process all refund requests as soon as possible. Due to unexpected circumstances and high cancellation volume, there may be significant delays in refund processing. We will begin processing refunds after May 11.
You will receive your refund in one of two ways:
- If you registered on or after Feb. 3 for a program, outdoor program, or summer camp: requested refunds will be issued back to the credit card that you provided with your registration or you will be contacted by a Girl Scouts of GCNWI staff member for your card information if you do not have a card on file.
- If you registered before Feb. 3 for a program or event: refunds will be issued as a paper check in the mail.
We are here to provide comfort, suggest other virtual program options, hear your ideas, answer your questions, and help you select the option that best fits your family’s situation. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Commitment to You and the Future
Thank you for being part of our Girl Scout family.
We need each other more than ever, and we are committed to finding bright spots to celebrate in this challenging time. Show your support by renewing your girl and adult memberships when our annual renewal campaign kicks off on May 4. You will not want to miss what we are already planning for the year to come.
Today and always we are grateful and privileged to serve our girls, families, and volunteers – especially in moments they need a sense of community the most.
Nancy L. Wright, CEO
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana