Updates for Girls and Families

Updated September 17, 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.


Your Provincial Stage

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

Updated September 15, 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 2 with a 150-person gathering limit for all regions. Multi-unit activities may occur provided they stay within the gathering limit.

British Columbia

*New* Outdoor 2, with regional gathering size limits of 100 for Interior Health and 200 for Northern Health.

Manitoba

*New* Outdoor or Virtual Guiding Only - Outdoor 2 protocols with a 500-person gathering limit. Multi-unit activities are permitted, provided they stay within the gathering limit.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Indoor 1 with a 50-person gathering limit for all regions. Outdoor activities follow Outdoor 2 protocols with a 50-person gathering limit. Multi-unit activities may occur, provided they stay within the gathering limit.

Overnight activities follow Overnight 1 protocols. Gathering limits must be followed.

New Brunswick

Indoor 1 with a gathering limit of 50% of the facility's capacity for all regions. Outdoor activities follow Outdoor 2 with a 50-person gathering limit. Multi-unit activities may occur, provided they stay within the gathering limit.

Overnight activities follow Overnight 1 protocols. Gathering limits must be followed.

Northwest Territories

Outdoor 2 with a 50-person gathering limit. Multi-unit activities may occur, provided they stay within the gathering limit.

Nova Scotia

Indoor 1 with a gathering limit of 50% of the facility's capacity (up to 150 people). Outdoor activities follow Outdoor 2 protocols with a 200-person gathering limit. Multi-unit activities may occur provided they stay within the gathering limit.

Overnight activities follow Overnight 1 protocols. Gathering limits must be followed.

Nunavut

Outdoor 2 with a 50-person gathering limit.

Indoor 1 for all regions with a 10-person gathering limit or 50% of location’s capacity.

Overnight activities follow Overnight 1 protocols. Gathering limits must be followed.

Ontario

Outdoor 2 with a 100-person gathering limit and Indoor 1 with a 25-person gathering limit for all regions. Multi-unit activities are permitted provided they stay within the gathering limit.

Prince Edward Island

Indoor 1 with a 50-person gathering limit for all regions. Outdoor activities follow Outdoor 2 protocols with a 50-person gathering limit. Multi-unit activities may occur provided they stay within the gathering limit.

Overnight activities follow Overnight 1 protocols. Gathering limits must be followed.

Quebec

*New* Outdoor 2 with a 50 person gathering limit.

Saskatchewan

*New* Outdoor 2 protocols with a 150-person gathering limit. Multi-unit activities are permitted, provided they stay within the gathering limit.

Yukon

Overnight activities follow Overnight 1 protocols. Gathering limits must be followed.

Indoor 1 for all regions with a 20-person gathering limit. Outdoor activities follow Outdoor 2 protocols with a 100-person gathering limit. Multi-unit activities may occur, provided they stay within the gathering limit.

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?

Government and local public health restrictions and recommendations are always consulted. Additional factors considered are 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. Girl Guides of Canada’s national office, with feedback from Provincial Commissioners, will make decisions about the Return to In-Person Guiding stage that each province/region is in. You’ll be able to find this information in two ways:

  • Online: each provincial/regional stage is posted on Member Zone and GirlGuides.ca for both Guiders and families to see. The chart will be updated within 24 business hours of a stage change taking affect.
  • Email: an email will be sent to each unit’s Contact Guider when or if a region’s stage changes.

(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 lock down 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

What is GGC doing to prepare units to meet in person? / 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 :

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?

Hand-washing 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?

Carpooling is considered an ‘indoor activity” and is only permitted for units in Indoor stages. Everyone in the vehicle (girls, Guiders, volunteers, family members, or other) must follow Indoor protocols for the duration of the journey, including masking. For units in Outdoor stages, only members from the same household may share a personal vehicle. In Outdoor stages, transportation using public transit, chartered bus, train, or plane is permitted, so long as members wear masks for the duration of travel and follow the transportation providers guidelines.

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.

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.

After completing the self assessment, I have questions about whether or not I can go to Guiding today. Where can I find more information?

Please take a look at Can I go to Guiding if…which answers most questions about whether or not you should attend an in-person meeting.

Registration

*Updated* Is registration open for 2021-2022?

Registration is now open for all current member girls returning to Guiding. We're excited to welcome her back for another great year in her Guiding journey! Check out the registration calendar and mark your calendars for when you can register.

*Updated* Are unit start dates and meeting locations finalized?

Our volunteers and staff work hard to finalize details for each unit. As we lead up to the start of the Guiding year in September, meeting details are tentative, and some start dates may be TBD.

We’ll be communicating 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 is managed centrally through our Customer Care Centre team. Get in touch with them at info@girlguides.ca. We also have a chat feature on the registration site for real-time support.

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