Updated: June 18, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented time for everyone. From the onset of this pandemic, Girl Guides of Canada’s (GGC) first priority has been the health and safety of our members and the greater community.

We know that many families will have questions about Fall 2020, the impact to girls joining Guiding, and future planned activities. We’re working to get answers for you as the situation evolves, and we’re updating this page as more information becomes available. Please continue to check back for updates regularly.

2020-2021 Guiding year

When is registration open for 2020-2021?

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

Why is GGC opening registration now?

We’re optimistic that we’ll be able to meet in-person in the fall, so we are planning for that – even if we have some interruptions from time to time. We also recognize that the realities are different in communities across the country and after conducting research we have made the decision to open registration for the 2020-2021 Guiding year now. Please remember that once a phase launch day comes, the registration system is open and stays that way through the Guiding year so can always register at a later date!

What is your plan for meetings in the fall?

In true Guiding tradition, we are prepared for whatever 2020 brings. We are very excited to resume in-person unit meetings this fall and are committed to ensuring every girl in Guiding enjoys her membership all year long. We know that during the 2020/21 Guiding year, we may be asked to practice physical distancing from time to time, wherever we may live, so we are focused on a safe, regional approach to delivering the fun, friendship and connection of Guiding all year long!  We are working with GGC’s amazing Guider volunteers to prepare for whatever your year brings and will have more details soon – stay tuned!

Does GGC 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.

With the GGC offices closed, how will staff support parents with registration issues?

Our Customer Care Centre staff are working and ready to answer your questions. We know how important it is to support parents through the registration process – whether you have technical or Guiding-related questions. While staff are working remotely from home, they’re still available to support you.

All online and email inquiries will be centrally managed through the Customer Care Centre (info@girlguides.ca) and any phone inquiries will be directed to this team. We'll also have a new chat feature for real-time support.

I’m unable to use the online system because I have a special circumstance, how are you supporting special registration situations like this?

We are happy to help in any way that we can to get your daughter registered for the upcoming Guiding year. Please contact our Customer Care team with any questions or special circumstances at info@girlguides.ca.

Are unit start dates or meeting locations finalized?

We know that this is going to be an imperfect system this year, including that start dates may be later than normal. Where we have received information about confirmed details for next year, they will be updated in the system – you’ll be able to see meeting information from your family dashboard once your daughter is registered or from the Unit Finder.

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

What if restrictions on the size of public gatherings impacts my daughter’s unit?

We’ll be following any government and public health advisories that are in place when we start the Guiding year. But because we don’t have that information yet we’re going to proceed as we typically do – we’ll adjust unit sizes as we go if that becomes necessary.

Will my unit be meeting in-person in the fall? What if regular in-person meetings are interrupted due to public health concerns?

We’re optimistic that we’ll be able to meet in-person in the fall, so we are planning for that. However, we know that regulations may vary and change across different provinces and that there may be interruptions to regular in-person meetings. We’ll be following any government and public health advisories that are in place to ensure that your daughter(s) can enjoy Guiding safely. And in case of any interruptions to in-person meetings Guiding will still be available through alternative methods to ensure that your daughter can enjoy her full year of Guiding. We are working on some great ways to bridge this through virtual programming opportunities to ensure girls can still actively participate – stay tuned!

Is Girl Guides replacing in-person meetings with virtual Guiding?

Face-to-face connection and real-life adventures have always been a core part of Guiding and that won’t change. But given the current realities, we have had to adapt for the health and safety of our members and the community. This has meant moving to virtual meetings, activities, and events for the time being. The good news? There’s still lots of ways for girls to connect, explore, and jump into new experiences through virtual meetings.

We’re optimistic that we’ll be able to meet in-person in Fall 2020, but are also planning to provide amazing virtual experiences in the event that in-person Guiding is interrupted. We’re as eager as you are to get back to in-person Guiding and will be monitoring the situation to address regional contexts this fall.

Will there be any additional safety measures in place?

Yes, we will be rolling out a comprehensive set of guidelines ahead of our first in-person unit meetings. These guidelines will include information about gathering size, hand washing/sanitizing, and equipment use. Training and support on the new guidelines will be available to all Unit Guiders.

Help with online registration can be found here.

2019-2020 Guiding year

Will Girl Guide activities resume this summer if restrictions relax in my region?

We are focused on establishing appropriate protocols, systems, and supports to safeguard our members before in-person activities resume. Information about best practices for in-person gatherings continues to evolve and it will take time to ensure we have appropriate policies in place. To allow for adequate time to establish these protocols, in-person Guiding activities will not resume this Guiding year – which extends through to August 31, 2020.

Are there ways for girls to still participate in Guiding and do fun activities?

Yes! Check out Guiding @ Home, where girls can participate in Girl Guide activities on their own and from anywhere. With Guiding @ Home, all girls – not just Girl Guide members – can challenge themselves, dive into hands-on activities and get creative. There are a variety of activities for girls of all ages covering the kinds of topics they want to explore – from arts and science, to nature and more.

You can also visit the Events page for upcoming events and recordings of past events that girls and families can join online. There are virtual campfires, talent shows, and other activities girls can follow along with from home. Guiding @ Home is your one-stop shop for engaging activities designed just for girls, all on an easy to navigate website. 

Keep checking Guiding @ Home to see what’s new. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see when we’ve added something new your daughter might want to explore.

Why is GGC cancelling all trips and special girl events and camps until the end of 2020?

Trips, camps, and special events require advance planning, decision-making and deposits in order to proceed. There is an enormous amount of uncertainty about how long pandemic protocols will remain in place for both travel and social gathering. The risk of placing further financial burden on the organization is too great so we have had to make this very difficult decision.

My daughter has signed up for a trip or special event that is now cancelled. What happens next?

Our staff and volunteers are working through many logistics and we’ll be reaching out to you as soon as we can about your cancelled trip or event.

What is happening with cookie sales? What if my daughter kept cases to sell at a later date, when it’s safe to do so?

Where government protocols allow in-person selling while still keeping physical distancing protocols in place, girls can sell cookies.

If your daughter has kept back cases to sell from this campaign, please make sure that you have communicated your selling plan for these cookies with her Unit Guider(s). To practice safe selling while COVID-19 protocols are in place, your daughter can use the pre-order form (Excel | PDF) to sell to family and friends. Porch pick-ups or drop-offs of cookies can be arranged as long as physical distancing guidelines and provincial protocols are followed. Any money collected for these sales or previous sales should be provided to the Unit Guider for deposit into the Unit account.  

What about Cookie All Stars?

Unfortunately, the Cookie All Stars program has been cancelled for this year. With the disruption to the Classic 2020 campaign, meaning that not all girls received cookies, there was no way to make Cookie All Stars fair and equitable for all girls. That’s why we made the very difficult decision to suspend the incentive program at this stage. We know that many girls are working towards a specific reward level and that this may be disappointing. But it’s also important to ensure girls aren’t concerned about trying to reach their cookie-selling reward levels at a time when physical distancing is critical.

It has been confirmed that this decision will not be reversed, and that cases girls sold during the Fall 2019 campaign will not be applied to the program. We thank you for your understanding for the challenging decision that had to be made.