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Returning to in-person Girl Guides: FAQs

In preparing the below Frequently Asked Questions, we have reviewed Victorian State Government guidelines and consulted with experts both internally and externally. The safety of our Youth and Adult Members and the wider community is at the forefront of all decisions.

While the FAQs are intended to serve as a guide, we have all observed during this crisis that there is no way (or possibility) of prescribing all activity. Therefore we encourage all Girl Guide members to conduct their future in-person Girl Guide activities in the spirit of the Guide Promise and Law to serve our community and be respectful and considerate, while also being optimistic and courageous.

If your question isn’t answered here please email it to Kate at services@guidesvic.org.au.

The below FAQs were published on 21 May 2020 and may be updated as circumstances continue to change.

 

General FAQs

Can my Unit return to normal indoor meetings?

No. Currently, all in-person Girl Guide activities are suspended. The limit of five friends or family members visiting at home or 10 people gathering for outdoor exercise does not include a return to activities like Girl Guides. We will continue to meet virtually and deliver Guiding in Your Pocket including GGTV and Guides@Home until the end of Term 2.

As circumstances continue to change, we’ll provide updates regarding any changes to delivering in-person Girl Guide activities. We’ll make sure to give plenty of notice and provide appropriate guidelines.

Can my Unit return to outdoor activities such as bushwalking, canoeing, and camping?

No. Currently, all in-person Girl Guide activities are suspended. The limit of five friends or family members visiting at home or 10 people gathering for outdoor exercise does not include a return to activities like Girl Guides. We will continue to meet virtually and deliver Guiding in Your Pocket including GGTV and Guides@Home until the end of Term 2.

As circumstances continue to change, we’ll provide updates regarding any changes to delivering in-person Girl Guide activities. We’ll make sure to give plenty of notice and provide appropriate guidelines.

Are you planning state-wide events? When will they be on?

Yes. We are planning a State Gathering in January 2021, subject to restrictions allowing this kind of event. The aim is to provide an opportunity for all members to enjoy the outdoors together once again when we are able.

When will Snoozefest take place?

It is likely that Snoozefest will happen again in 2021.

Are we able to start campsite and hall maintenance?

Campsite caretakers and hall contacts recently received official advice from the Emergency Response Team about attending properties to deliver essential maintenance. In the interest of protecting the health and safety of volunteers and the community, maintenance work must be approved by the CEO. If you require further information, please contact Kate at services@guidesvic.org.au.

One of my Girl Guide’s memberships has expired, what do I do?

Email Kerrie at membership@guidesvic.org.au so that we can process a membership renewal. This will ensure that your Girl Guide continues to be a member and is covered by our insurance during our fee free period.

 

FAQs for future in-person Girl Guide activities

When Girl Guides Victoria starts transitioning to in-person activities again, can we continue with online meetings if that works for our families and Leaders?

Virtual Girl Guides will probably continue for some Units because it provides a new level of flexibility and accessibility. Individual Leaders and Units will be able to decide if continuing with virtual Girl Guides some or all of the time will be beneficial for them. Leaders, families, and Girl Guides should talk with each other about what they would like to happen.

When returning to in-person Girl Guide activities, what safeguards will be in place?

Members and Volunteers may wish to download and activate the COVIDsafe app. As usual, Leaders will keep attendance, and make note of which parents pick up and drop off children. Girl Guide activities will practice appropriate social distancing and good hygiene.

Further advice will be given to members prior to in-person Girl Guide activities resuming.

Will new safety and cleaning procedures be enforced before, during, and after in-person Girl Guide activities once they start taking place?

Leaders and Units will need to follow government advice for reducing the risk of transmission. This may include:

  • Ensuring Units have adequate hygiene and sanitation supplies such as bleach, alcohol sanitisers, and hand soap,
  • Providing and encouraging the use of hand sanitisers for use on entering buildings,
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces regularly,
  • Opening windows to enhance airflow,
  • Promoting preventive actions amongst Girl Guide activity attendees,
  • Avoiding large indoor meetings and using outdoor venues, and/or
  • Planning for what to do if an attendee arrives sick at your location.

Current government guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting can be found here.

What if there is a need for both in-person and online meetings within a single Unit?

Virtual Girl Guides will probably continue for some Units because it provides a new level of flexibility and accessibility. Individual Leaders and Units will be able to decide if continuing with virtual Girl Guides some or all of the time will be beneficial for them. Leaders, families, and Girl Guides should talk with each other about what they would like to happen..

How do we encourage physical distancing?

While Leaders will design activities to allow for physically distancing, like with any school or community group setting it is difficult to guarantee adherence to physical spacing between attendees at all times, especially amongst children who often find this difficult.

We encourage parents to talk to their Girl Guides about the importance of physical spacing and hygiene, and ask that they continue to support their Unit in the endeavour to follow regulations.

 

FAQs for Leaders and Volunteers

Should I contact our Girl Guide Unit Hall Provider before planning on starting in-person Girl Guide activities?

Yes. It is important that our Providers give permission for attendance at Halls during this time.

What if our Girl Guide Hall Provider is not happy to have us back right now?

Please contact your District Manager to see whether an alternative location may be available for your use.

Does the size of our Girl Guide Unit impact if we can return to in-person Girl Guide activities? What if my Unit is too large to resume in-person Girl Guides?

Depending on State and Federal Government guidelines and the size of your Hall, some Units may exceed the number of people who gather together. This will depend on the restrictions, and further advice will be given to Members about this prior to in-person Girl Guide activities resuming.

Do I need to let anyone know if my Unit chooses to not resume in-person Girl Guide activities?

Please liaise with your District Manager, who will pass this information on to the Office. Managers, please contact Kate at services@guidesvic.org.au.

Can I use a Parent Helper if my co-Leaders are unable to attend in-person activities?

Yes. The usual guidelines for adult to youth ratios will apply. Please see “Ratios at a Glance” in Guidelines for more details.

Can I attend or facilitate in-person Girl Guide activities if I am in a high-risk category? What support is available if my co-Leader is in a high-risk category?

Currently, everyone needs to follow Government advice on Staying At Home, especially those in a high-risk category. When deciding to return to in-person activities, individuals in high-risk categories should continue to follow Government advice. Individuals also need to consider their own health and safety, and make decisions that will keep themselves safe and well. This may mean not attending in-person Girl Guide activities in order to protect their own health, or the health of their family or community.

Should you require additional help to deliver in-person Girl Guide activities, please contact your District Manager in the first instance. The State Leadership Team and the Joyce Price Centre Head Office Team will provide assistance to find suitable Volunteers for Units where Volunteers are not able to attend in-person activities.

 

If your question isn’t answered here please email it to Kate at services@guidesvic.org.au.

The below FAQs were published on 21 May 2020 and may be updated as circumstances continue to change.

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