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A Letter from Lisa Hardin-Reynolds

As our community situation continues to evolve during the pandemic, the plans for Girl Scouts of Utah must shift accordingly. I want to share with you an important decision that has been made about our summer camps. We have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel all resident, troop, day, mini, and Service Unit camps through August 16, 2020.

See full letter below

Full Camp Cancellation Letter from CEO

Dear Girl Scouts of Utah Girls, Families, and Volunteers, 

As our community situation continues to evolve during the pandemic, the plans for Girl Scouts of Utah must shift accordingly. I want to share with you an important decision that has been made about our summer camps. We have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel all resident, troop, day, mini, and Service Unit camps through August 16, 2020.

Trust me when I say I completely understand how heartbreaking this news will be for our girls, families, volunteers, and staff. I began my career with Girl Scouts almost 30 years ago as an Outdoor Program Specialist, and Girl Scout camp literally changed my life.

At the end of the day, the health and safety of our girls and members always comes first. This guiding principle was at the forefront of our decision when we determined we could not guarantee health and safety in a camp setting during this pandemic. Even as the state guidelines are shifting, it is not possible to maintain social distancing restrictions, and adhere to other public gathering guidelines in a camp environment. In addition, we are not equipped to handle a resurgence of the virus should it happen at one of our programs. It was not a decision we chose to make, rather it was a decision we had to make.

Girl Scout camp is about sisterhood, developing a strong sense of self, encouraging each other, becoming resourceful problem solvers, and creating new and lifelong friends. Adhering to limited participant numbers and spatial distances constrains the high-quality experience we look to provide for our girls. The bottom line is that we are simply not willing to risk gathering Girl Scouts together before we know it is safe to do so. Our incredible Outdoor Program Team is developing new virtual camping programs for the summer, and we will continue to introduce additional online programs through our Girl Scouting at Home page. 

As always, we will continue to post updates on our website, social media, and through emails. Please see our full FAQ regarding the 2020 Summer Camp Cancellation. We will continue to post new updates about office, shop, program, and activities here.

Thank you for your love of our Girl Scout camps and our programs. We are excited about the future and what’s possible. We look forward to next summer’s camp, when we can gather together around the campfire under the stars with our friends. 

Lisa Hardin-Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Utah

2020 Summer Camp Program Cancellation FAQs

Is summer camp going to happen this year?

On May 1, Girl Scouts of Utah announced the decision to cancel all summer camp programs through August 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This includes the following: 

  • Summer Resident Camp 
  • Troop Camping at Camp Cloud Rim and Trefoil Ranch 
  • Minicamps 
    • Camp Rocks: 6/4-6/6 at Trefoil Ranch 
    • Camp Open Houses at Camp Cloud Rim and Trefoil Ranch: 6/20 
    • You and Me Introduction to Camp: 6/24-6/26 at Camp Cloud Rim 
    • Rafting on the Provo River: 6/27 at Trefoil Ranch 
    • You and Me Introduction to Camp: 7/15-7/17 at Trefoil Ranch 
    • Family Camp: 7/17-7/18 at Trefoil Ranch 
    • Rafting on the Provo River: 8/3 at Trefoil Ranch 
    • Archery and Horseback Riding: 8/14-8/15 at Trefoil Ranch 
    • Ropes and Rafting Adventure: 8/14-8/15 at Trefoil Ranch 
    • Archery and Horseback Riding: 8/15-8/16 at Trefoil Ranch 
    • Blade and Timber: 8/15-8/16 at Trefoil Ranch 
  • Service Unit-run Day Camps 
Why did GSU make the decision to cancel all summer camp programs?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines, it has been deemed unsafe to gather groups. The safety and well-being of girls, volunteers, and staff are always our top priorities.

The safety of everyone involved is always our top priority, and we are proud of the risk management and safety protocols we have in place at all times. This being said, we have been in direct contact with the Salt Lake County Health Department, who advised us adhere to the State of Utah’s Moderate Risk Phase guidelines. On May 1, the state entered the Moderate (Orange) Risk Phase, which guides behaviors for individuals and businesses. As part of this phase, groups should be limited to no more than 20 people, all practicing social distance guidelines (6 feet apart for people not living in the same household), and wearing a protective mask in public settings. In regards to recreational activities, social distancing must be maintained, and there should be no close contact. In addition, this measure includes the following in regards to children: do not attend school outside the home; do not arrange or participate in in-person playdates or similar activities; and do not allow children on public playgrounds.

When it comes to our Girl Scout camps, this phase would limit our ability to safely open our camps. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to keep groups of girls and staff to under 20, ensuring they are all six feet apart, and requiring everyone wear a mask at all times. While we are managing risk at all times when holding Girl Scout camp, the risk of COVID-19 at one of our camps is not a risk we are willing to take with our girls and staff.

What sessions are canceled?

All resident camps and minicamps, as well as all volunteer-run day camps and troop camping are canceled through August 16, 2020. 

Why now?

While there are still many unknowns about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our communities, the information we're getting from public health officials and the CDC indicate we are far from recovery and social distancing recommendations are going to be with us for several months. We also know many families, staff, and volunteers were looking to us to make a decision in order to reduce some of the uncertainty in their lives. Many factors impacted this decision, including managing risk and the staffing challenges given that our summer camp staff come from across the country and around the globe. 

Will I get a refund?

All registered campers will be contacted via email beginning next week concerning the cancelation of their indvidual camp sessions. Please look for this email before contacting our customer care team, as it will include detailed instructions on your options, alternatives, and refunds.

SUMMER RESIDENT CAMP 

Everyone who has registered for a summer resident camp program will receive an email, outlining the options for your camp payment. These options will include:  

  • Participate in a virtual camp experience.  
    • (More information coming the week of May 4) 
  • Turn part or all of your cash payment/deposit into a tax-deductible donation to the council. 
  • Receive a full refund of your cash payment/deposit. 

TROOP CAMPING AT CAMP CLOUD RIM AND TREFOIL RANCH 

Troop leaders who registered for troop camping at Camp Cloud Rim and Trefoil Ranch will receive an email, outlining the options for your camp payment. These options will include:  

  • Participate in a virtual troop camp experience.  
    • (More information coming the week of May 4) 
  • Receive a full refund of your cash payment/deposit. 

MINICAMPS (refer to list of minicamps above)

Receive a full refund of your cash payment/deposit. 

SERVICE UNIT-RUN DAY CAMPS 

Contact your Service Unit with questions, or Candice Olson at colson@gsutah.org 

I was going to use my Activity Credits to pay for camp, can I have them mailed to me now?
  • If you used 2019 Activity Credits, these will be refunded to you, and their expiration has been extended to December 31, 2020. 
  • If you indicated that you wanted your camp balance to be paid with 2020 Activity Credits, these will be refunded to you for use in future programs and in the retail shops. The expiration for the 2020 Activity Credits is August 31, 2021. 
  • Early Bird renewal is now open! You can use your Activity Credits to renew for your 2021 Membership. Check out our brand-new incentives for our Early Bird renewal! 
  • It will take a minimum of three weeks for Activity Credits to be reissued and received in the mail. 
I earned the 1000+ Cookie Party at Trefoil Ranch, what happens now?

We are currently working on alternate options for your reward. Look for details in the next couple of weeks.

If I received an Activity Scholarship, will it be good next year?

Activity Scholarship requests made for the 2020 summer camp season will not be processed. Because family circumstances change from year-to-year, you are welcome to reapply for an Activity Scholarship to support your camp experience in summer 2021.

Why did you cancel all summer camps instead of delaying the start of summer camp?

There are so many uncertainties in how COVID-19 will continue to affect our communities and our activities, and the safety of our girls, volunteers, and staff is our top priority.

Will you try to come up with some alternative camp options?

The Outdoor Program team is working to create new and different virtual camping options for girls, troops, and families. 

Virtual programs will have a fee and will include: 

  • Virtual experience every day Monday - Friday for 1-2 hours with the Camp Directors  
  • Age level-specific programs  
  • Hands-on outdoor skills instruction  
  • Weekly themed activities  
  • Exclusive patch  
  • "Camp in a box" supplies to support programming 

For more information on the different kinds of virtual camp:

What about Service Unit-run day camps, will they be canceled?

At this time, Service Unit day camps are also canceled. We encourage Service Units to consider virtual programming options instead of day camps. 

Contact your Service Unit with questions, or Candice Olson at colson@gsutah.org 

Are other summer programs canceled?

At this time, Girl Scouts of Utah has decided to cancel all in-person camp programming through August 16, 2020. We will continue to listen to local health departments and the State of Utah guidelines to make our ongoing decisions about all other programs. All updates will be posted on our website. As always, we’re focused on doing what’s best for the well-being of girls, volunteers, and staff.

I registered for a Leadership Program this summer, how does this affect my progression through the program in 2021?

If you registered for LIT, CIT 1, WIT 1, CIT 2, WIT 2, Junior Counselor, Junior Wrangler: 

In 2020, the Outdoor Program Team is offering ways for girls to participate in the Leadership Program they originally registered for through a virtual experience.  (Details to be revealed next week.)  We encourage you to register for the virtual equivalent of your Leadership Program this summer.  Whether you can or cannot attend the virtual option this summer, please register for the next Leadership Program in your Leadership Program track in 2021.  Example:  If you registered for Counselor-in-Training 1 (CIT 1) in 2020, you can register for Counselor-in-Training 2 (CIT 2). 2021’s curriculum will be slightly modified to cover anything missed from 2020.  Those participants registered for Leader-in-Training (LIT) this season will not need to take this prerequisite next season. 

What if I registered for Camp Rocks?

We will be reaching out to the Camp Rocks registrants directly beginning the week of May 4 to discuss alternatives.

Are current property reservations for this summer being canceled?

At this time, property reservations through August 15 have been canceled. Girl Scouts of Utah is continuing to assess and will determine if that needs to be extended.

If resident camp is not happening at our camp properties, will you open up reservations for troops or families?

Our camp properties will be closed to the public, for camping, reservations, and other activities through August 15, 2020.

What is the financial impact of this decision on Girl Scouts of Utah?

Like many individuals, organizations, and businesses, Girl Scouts of Utah is feeling a significant financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. While our council is financially stable and has used its resources wisely throughout the years, we still have considerable expenses in order to operate and maintain our facilities, programs, and services.  

Can I give my refund to GSU as a tax-deductible donation?

Yes, that will be an option for you to select.

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Ways to Camp

Camping is a great way for girls to explore leadership, build skills, and develop a deep appreciation for nature. We have a variety of beautiful camps and facilities throughout Utah for you to choose from. Create your own unique camping experience, make new friends, and have fun! Whether you’re interested in archery, swimming, watercrafts, hiking or adventure trips, you can have a great summer at Girl Scout Camp.

You don’t have to be a Girl Scout to attend. Camp is open to every girl, everywhere.

Camp Registration is open for Resident Camp, Troop Camping, You and Me Introductions to Camp, Camp Open Houses, and Camp Rocks and the Cookie Party! Log in to your UltraCamp account and register for camp here

Girl Scouts Soar in the Outdoors - 2019

This report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, supported by the Elliott Wildlife Values Project, summarizes findings from a 2018–19 study investigating the impact of outdoor engagement and national outdoor badge programming on girls—including the achievement of Girl Scouts of the USA’s outdoor outcomes (PDF).  Responses to 1,690 girl and 236 troop leader surveys were analyzed. Results showed that Girl Scouts is getting girls outdoors; exposing them to new and challenging experiences; and enhancing their outdoor interest, confidence, and competence. Girl Scouting is also building girls’ commitment to environmental stewardship, which will help them engage responsibly with nature throughout their lives. In short, outdoor adventure enriches the Girl Scout experience for girls.

Download Summary (PDF)