Updates for Girls and Families

Updated March 3, 2021

Endless fun, new activities and the chance to connect with friends – that’s what girls will experience in Girl Guides this year. You can be confident that Guiding will be there for girls – with in-person, virtual and anytime activities and all the safety protocols you’ve come to expect from us.  

Girl Guides of Canada has always been a leader in safety. Our Return to In-Person Guiding protocols are informed by recommendations from Ministries of Public Health across the country and we are continually monitoring current COVID-19 data in every region. 

Quick link: COVID-19 Self-Assessment Check List

Please complete the check list before every weekly unit meeting. A Guider will confirm that you have completed the Self-Assessment when you arrive at the activity. You do not need to bring a paper copy to the meeting.


Quick link: Can I go to Guiding if...

Our goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy. Use this document to answer commonly asked questions about whether you can attend in-person Guiding activities or if you should stay home.


Quick link: COVID-19 Waiver

Please complete the waiver before your daughter's first in-person activity of the year, and bring a copy to the activity.


Your Provincial Stage

For detailed information see the Return to In-Person Guiding protocols.

Updated March 3, 2021
(Updates to this chart occur Monday - Friday. If there is a discrepancy between an email you received over the weekend, or in the last 24 hours, and this chart, please follow the direction of the email.)

Alberta

Outdoor 1 for all regions. 10-person gathering limit for all activities.

British Columbia

Outdoor 1 for all regions. Adult gatherings are not permitted at this time.

Manitoba

*New* Effective March 5: Outdoor 1 with 10-person gathering limit for all regions. Until March 5: Virtual and Anytime for all regions

Newfoundland and Labrador

Virtual and Anytime for all regions.

New Brunswick

Outdoor 1 for all regions.

Northwest Territories

Indoor 1 for all regions – Outdoor activities follow Outdoor 2 protocols.

Nova Scotia

*New* Indoor 1 with a 25-person gathering limit for Halifax, Hants and Lunenburg Counties.

Indoor 1 for all other regions - Outdoor activities follow Outdoor 2 protocols.

Nunavut

Indoor 1 for all regions with 50-person gathering limit or 50% of location capacity - Outdoor activities follow Outdoor 2 protocols.

Ontario

To find your health unit please visit the Government of Ontario website.

*New* Outdoor 1 with a 25 person gathering limit for Algoma Public Health, Brant County Public Health, Chatham-Kent Public Health, Eastern Ontario health Unit, Grey Bruce Health Unit, Haldimand-Norfolk Health unit, Haliburton, Kawartha, Middlesex-London Health Unit, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Huron Perth Public Health, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington, Lambton Public Health, Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, Northwestern Health unit, Ottawa Public Health, Peterborough Public Health, Porcupine Health Unit, Public Health Sudbury and Districts, Renfrew County and District, Southwestern Public Health and Timiskaming Health Unit

Virtual and Anytime - Porch Pick-Ups & Drop-Offs ARE NOT Permitted for
North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, Peel Public Health, and Toronto Public Health. Guiding members in these regions are not permitted to utilize porch drop-offs or other methods of contact-less exchange to deliver program supplies. Members should not engage in any activity which encourages people to leave their homes for anything other than essential activity.

Virtual and Anytime - Porch Pick-Ups & Drop-Offs Permitted for
Durham Region Health Department, Halton Region Health Department, Hamilton Public Health Services, Niagara Region Health Department, Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services, Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit, Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, Windsor Essex County Health Unit, York Region Public Health.

Prince Edward Island

*New* Virtual and Anytime for all regions.

Quebec

Virtual and Anytime for all regions.

Saskatchewan

Virtual and Anytime for all regions.

Yukon

Indoor 1 for all regions – Outdoor activities follow Outdoor 2 protocols.

Unit meetings

How often are the Return to In-Person Guiding stages reviewed?

We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation across Canada and will make updates to the stages when needed. Your Unit Guider will keep you up to date on any changes to meeting location, format or requirements.

What factors are taken into consideration when reviewing the Return to In-Person Guiding stages?

Among the factors considered when reviewing stage changes: case numbers and trends, rates of community transmission, testing positivity rates and testing turnaround times.

How will I know what stage my unit is in?

We’ll make sure that you’re informed every step of the way. You’ll be able to find what stage your unit is in in two ways:

  • Online: each provincial/regional stage is posted at the top of this page for families to see.
  • Email: an email will be sent to each unit’s Contact Guider when or if a region’s stage changes, who will then communicate this information to families in the unit.

(Updates to meeting locations can also be found on the Unit Finder, as well as your family dashboard).

When possible, we’ll make sure that units have notice of a change to their provincial/regional stage so that they can prepare. But, in some circumstances, a unit may have to move to a more restrictive stage quickly; for example, if their province enters a lockdown period.

What do girls do in their Girl Guide unit meetings?

No matter what, girls can still count on Guiding as a place where they can connect with friends and explore their interests in all the ways they love, whether that’s through hands-on experiments, getting outside, playing games, or trying new challenges. We have fun options available for three different Guiding formats:
  • In-person Guiding: Girls connect in-person (whether indoors or outdoors), with appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • Virtual Guiding: Girl connect in real time using online meeting platforms
  • Anytime Guiding: Girls connect through email, mail, telephone or social media

Safety

How has Girl Guides of Canada prepared units to meet safely?

Our Return to In-Person Guiding protocols provide a flexible framework for units, using a regional approach. Based on the realities in your region, your daughter’s unit will progress through these stages :

COVID-19 stages: virtual anytime, outdoor, indoor, camping and sleepover, multi-unit activities, travel over 72hrs

The stages are grouped in broad categories, depending on the type of activities that are allowed in each stage. This allows units in different provinces or regions of the country so girls can enjoy Guiding using protocols that are most in-line with their public health guidelines.

Are the same safety guidelines in place across Canada, or is there a specific approach for my region?

We are focused on a regional approach to safety that allows girls to experience the fun, friendship and connection of Guiding all year long. Girl Guides of Canada’s national office in cooperation with Provincial Commissioners will assign a stage to different provinces or regions of the country, by taking into account feedback from our provincial representatives, the different COVID-19 risks, community transmission rates, and public health guidelines across the country..

Do girls need to wear face masks for unit meetings?

In many cases, girls and Guiders will be required to wear masks to Guiding meetings. It will depend on the Return to In-Person Guiding stage your province/region is in.  

Members who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons are not excluded from participating in GGC activities.

Even if your unit is not in a stage that requires masks, girls and Guiders are always welcome to wear masks if it makes them or their families more comfortable.

If you have questions about GGC’s mask guidelines, please email safeguide@girlguides.ca

What if a member of the unit is unable to wear a mask?

Members who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons are not excluded from participating in GGC activities.

Members who are exempt from wearing a mask based on the Return to In-Person Guiding protocols do not have to share the reason or provide proof as to why they are unable to wear a mask.

While face shields are NOT a replacement for masks, they may be worn by people who are exempt from wearing a mask under the Return to In-Person Guiding protocols.

Why do girls need to wear masks outdoors in the Outdoor 1 stage?

Wearing masks outdoors has been encouraged by Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer. Girls may not be experts at physical distancing and adding mask wearing helps to mitigate some of the risk.

Can a face shield be used instead of a face mask?

No. Face shields do not provide the same protections as face masks. However, using a face shield is an option for individuals who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons. 

Will girls need to physically distance during unit meetings?

In most cases, girls and Guiders will need to physically distance (maintain a distance of 2m or more) during unit meetings. It will depend on the Return to In-Person Guiding stage your province/region is in. We’ll make sure you have advance notice of which stage your unit is in and what the protocols are for this stage.

Guiding activities have easy modifications for units that need to physically distance.

What hand hygiene practices will units be following?

Handwashing or hand-sanitizing is important for health and safety. We’ll make sure that all girls, Guiders, volunteers and families are provided with information about proper hand hygiene.

For in-person meetings, all participants (both girls and adults) will need to wash or sanitize their hands, at minimum, when they arrive at the meeting, before leaving the meeting, before and after eating or drinking, before and after touching their face, and after using the washroom.

How will transportation to/from activities work?

Transportation will be carefully considered depending on what stage your unit is in. Girls should not travel in a private car with other girls who are not in their household or social bubble/circle. If travelling by bus, physical distancing between girls and Guiders will be practiced. Please note that siblings or members of the same household do not need to physically distance during transportation, although physical distancing must be maintained during activities.

What will happen if someone in my unit has symptoms of COVID-19?

Our first priority is the health and safety of our members and the greater community. No one may attend an in-person activity if they are sick and/or present symptoms similar to COVID-19.

All girls, Guiders, volunteers and adult members attending activities are required to complete the Girl Guides COVID-19 Self-Assessment Check List prior to each in-person activity. If someone from the unit develops symptoms, the Unit Guiders will follow the direction of their local public health unit.

If someone has a negative test, can they return to in-person meetings?

Yes, if you have been symptom free for 48 hours and have not had contact with someone who has tested positive.

Can I attend a meeting while waiting for a test result?

No, girls and adults may not attend meetings while they wait for test results. Exceptions are made for members receiving routine tests as required for work (e.g. healthcare or shelter workers).

If someone who lives in my household or a close contact of mine is waiting for test results can I attend in person meetings?

No, unless the testing is part of routine screening as required by work (e.g. healthcare or shelter workers).

I have received negative test results but still have symptoms e.g. a runny nose. Can I attend in person meetings?

No. You must be symptom-free for 48 hours. If you have had close contact with a positive case you must wait 14 days from the last contact you had with them before returning.

How will self-assessments work?

To prioritize the health and safety of our members, all girls and volunteers attending unit activities are required to complete Girl Guides’ COVID-19 self-assessment prior to each in-person activity. Guiders will confirm that your family has completed the self-assessment prior to each in-person activity when your girl is dropped off. Any girl who has not completed the self-assessment or had the self-assessment indicate that they need to be tested or to self-isolate, will not be able to attend in-person activities.

All girls, Guiders and/or adult volunteers MAY NOT attend in-person activities if:

  • They, or a close contact (family member or a member of their social bubble), test positive for COVID-19
  • They or a close contact is told to self-isolate by Public Health
  • They or a close contact are awaiting COVID-19 test results

Do I need to bring a copy of my girl’s self-assessment to each meeting?

No. You are required to complete the self-assessment with your girl prior to each in-person activity but do not need to bring a copy to the meeting. When your girl arrives at an in-person activity, a Guider will confirm that they completed the self-assessment and will then clear them to attend the meeting.

Can frontline workers who work with people who are suffering from a respiratory illness or symptoms still participate in Guiding? (For example, healthcare workers, paramedics, shelter workers, etc.)

Yes. Members who work with or who have family members who work with people who have respiratory illnesses or symptoms of an illness may participate fully in Guiding, provided that they wear full PPE at their workplace and take all the precautions deemed necessary by their employer.

What other safety measures will be in place?

Commonly used hard surfaces such as light switches, tables, door handles etc. will be wiped down at the beginning and end of each in-person meeting. Shared equipment like markers or balls will also be wiped down before and after use.

For more information about Girl Guides’ safety measures, please see the Return to In-Person Guiding protocols.

Registration

Is registration open for 2020-2021?

Registration for 2020-2021 is now open for all girls. Register now.

Are unit start dates and meeting locations finalized?

We know that so much is up in the air right now so not everything can be confirmed just yet. We’re working to firm up these details as soon as possible. We’ll be communicating with you more frequently as we solidify information, including confirming unit details once they are finalized – these details will be visible on your family dashboard and the Unit Finder.

Does Girl Guides offer membership fee assistance?

We want every girl to have the chance to be part of Guiding – Girl Guides of Canada is proud to offer a membership fee subsidy program to help make Guiding accessible to more girls. You can apply for financial assistance with the membership fees directly through our girl registration system! (Look for the “Apply for Subsidy” button).

You will be asked a few short questions and the system will instantly let you know if you are approved. All approved subsidy amounts will be deducted automatically from your daughter/ward’s membership fee at checkout. You’ll be prompted to pay the remaining balance using Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal to finalize the registration.

How can I get support with registration issues?

Our Customer Care Centre staff are ready to answer all your questions. We know how important it is to support parents through the registration process – whether you have technical or Guiding-related questions. Our teams are ready to support you, no matter what the year ahead brings. We look forward to hearing from you.

All online, email and phone inquiries will be centrally managed through our Customer Care Centre team. Get in touch with them at info@girlguides.ca. We also have a new chat feature on the registration site for real-time support.

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