Gold Award

Are you ready to make a difference in the world?

The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.

Open only to girls in high school, this prestigious award challenges you to change the world—or at least your corner of it. 

By the time you put the final touches on your seven-step project, you'll have solved a community problem—not only in the short term, but for years into the future—and you’ll be eligible for college scholarships.

Check out the seven steps below.

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Identify an issue.
Use your values and skills to choose a community issue that you care about.
 

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Investigate it thoroughly.
Use your sleuthing skills to learn everything you can about the issue you've identified.
 

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Get help and build your team.
Form a team to support your efforts and help you Take Action.
 

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Create a plan.
Identify the root cause of an issue, and then create a plan to tackle it.
 

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Present your plan and gather feedback.
Submit your Project Proposal Form to your Girl Scout council for approval.
 

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Take action.
Lead your team and carry out your plan.
 

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Educate and inspire.
Tell your story and share your results.
 


The Benefits of Going Gold
 

Girl Scout Gold Award recipients do well in life! They rate their general success significantly higher than their peers and report greater success in reaching their goals in many areas.

•  Higher education and career
o Distinguish yourself in the college admissions process
o Earn college scholarships
o Enter the military one rank higher

•  Life skills
o Be seen as a role model and distinguished leader
o Master time management skills
o Make the world a better place

•  Community
o Use your vision for change
o Tackle an issue, locally or globally
o Establish a lifetime network
o Create your community legacy with a sustainable solution to a problem

Source:  Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study , a report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, 2012

Download (PDF) Gold Award Guidelines  English| Español

Download (PDF) Gold Award Proposal

Download (PDF) Gold Award Final Report

Adult Guide: Girl Scout Gold Award

As a volunteer, you’ll encourage Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors working toward their Girl Scout Gold Award. Use this Adult Guide to help you support girls as they develop into tomorrow’s leaders.

Download (PDF) English | Español


Girl Scout Gold Award FAQ

Why are journeys prerequisites to earn the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards?
The journeys give girls a full experience of what they will do as they work to earn the highest awards. The skills girls gain while working on the journeys will help them develop, plan and implement their award Take Action project.

How do girls know when a journey is "completed?"
A journey is completed when a girl has earned the journey awards, which include creating and carrying out a Take Action project.

What makes the awards' guidelines different from the journeys?
In contrast to journey Take Action projects, which give girls themes on which to base their journey Take Action project, the Girl Scout Award Take Action projects have no pre-designed theme. Girls select their own theme, design, and execute their Take Action project.

What are the suggested hours for earning each of the awards?
Not all projects will require the same length of time to complete from planning to sharing and celebration. The time it takes to earn the awards will depend on the nature of the project, the size of the team, and the support of the community. Quality projects should be emphasized over quantity of hours. After the journey(s) requirement is fulfilled, the suggested minimum number of hours to use as a guide is: 

The Bronze Award -- suggested minimum 20 hours
The Silver Award -- suggested minimum 50 hours
The Gold Award -- suggested minimum 80 hours

Can a troop work on an Award together?
Each award level brings a new progression of leadership development and each award level has different group guidelines. At the Bronze level girls must work together in a team setting. When girls work on their Silver Award they have the option to work individually or in a small group setting.
The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting and girls must earn the Gold Award as an individual.

Can girls begin working on their awards the summer after they bridge (transition) from one Girl Scout level to the next?
Yes. Girls can begin to earn the awards over the summer.

Can Take Action Projects for the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards focus on Girl Scouting?
Final Take Action Projects for the Girl Scout Bronze Award may focus on service in support of the Girl Scout movement, while Take Action Projects for the Girl Scout Silver Award and Gold Award are expected to reach beyond Girl Scouting to "make the world a better place." The award progression is planned to offer our younger girls the opportunity to develop their planning and leadership skills within the comfort and familiarity of Girl Scouting if they so choose. As they mature within Girl Scouting, our Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors are ready to move beyond the Girl Scout family to share their leadership skills with the wider community. It is in fully exploring their communities that our older girls exemplify the Girl Scout mission to "Build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place."

If a girl starts working on her Take Action project and moves; can she still earn her award?
Councils and Overseas Committees are encouraged to be flexible to work and serve the girls’ best interests. If a girl moves, she should work with her council and/or Overseas Committees to complete the project.

Who are the adult guides for – council staff, parents, or volunteers?
Any adult is welcome to use the adult guides. The guides were designed for volunteers working directly with girls on achieving their awards.

Do we need a different set of requirements for girls with disabilities to earn the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards?
No. The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards are done to the best of a girl’s ability. There is no need to have special requirements for girls with disabilities — encourage flexibility and the recruitment of advisors that can work with the girl individually.

Can a troop or group do their Gold Award together?
The Gold Award is an individual girls journey. The Gold Award process requires a girl to take control of her leadership development and grow in new ways that a group setting cannot provide. This is a commitment she makes and completes as an individual.

Is sustainability differentiated at each grade level?
The guidelines give girls tools to examine the underlying root cause of issues, develop a sustainable project plan and measure the impact of their project on their community, the target audience and themselves. There is progression. While Girl Scout Juniors working on their Girl Scout Bronze Award will reflect on how the project could be kept going, Girl Scout Cadettes plan for sustainability. Seniors and Ambassadors work to ensure the sustainability of their project in order to meet the Gold Award standards of excellence.

While Juniors explore an issue that affects their Girl Scout community, Cadettes create a community map of their neighborhood or school. Meanwhile Seniors and Ambassadors earning the Gold Award assess an issue and its effect more broadly by interviewing community leaders, research using a variety of sources and investigate other community’s solutions to a similar problem.

Who can earn the Girl Scout Gold Award?
A girl must be a registered Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador.

Can individually registered girl members or Juliettes earn the Girl Scout Gold Award?
Any girl, who meets the grade-level and membership requirements, can work on her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Does a Senior or Ambassador need to do the two journeys in any particular order?
No. She can complete either two Girl Scout Senior level journeys, two Girl Scout Ambassador level journeys or one of each.

How can we make sure that Girl Scout Awards represent quality projects?
The best way to make sure that a girl is doing the best of her ability is to ensure that both she and her project advisor receive orientation about the award and understand the difference between a one time community service opportunity or event and a Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Take Action project. It’s the responsibility of the troop/group volunteer, council staff member or Gold Award committee (for Gold Award only) to work with the girl to ensure that she meets the quality requirements of the award.

What is the difference between a troop/group volunteer and a Girl Scout Gold Award project advisor in the Girl Scout Gold Award Process? Do girls need both?
Troop/Group Volunteer is the adult who works with an ongoing troop or group. Once a girl identifies her issue, the troop/group volunteer might help her identify a person in the community who could be a great project advisor.

A Girl Scout Gold Award project advisor is a volunteer that guides a girl as she takes her project from the planning stage to implementation. The project advisor is typically not a girl’s parent or a Girl Scout troop/group volunteer. The project advisor is typically someone from the community who is knowledgeable about the issue and who can provide guidance, experience and expertise along the way.

Why can’t a parent be a Girl Scout Gold Award Project Advisor?
Girls are encouraged to connect with their community when earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. That means working with a project advisor who is not her parent.

At what point should a Girl Scout Gold Award project advisor be identified?
The project advisor should be identified in the planning phase before the Girl Scout Gold Award Project Proposal is turned in to the council. The project advisor expands the network of adults and provides expertise for a girl’s project. If a girl has an idea before she starts any work on her Girl Scout Gold Award, she might want to identify her project advisor from the very beginning.

What is the role of the council’s Girl Scout Gold Award committee?
Some councils have developed Girl Scout Gold Award Committees to support Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors as they go through the process of earning their Girl Scout Gold Award. Girl Scout Gold Award Committees are typically comprised of community members, educators, key volunteers and young women who have earned their Girl Scout Gold Award. The Committee works with designated council staff.

The committee’s role is to ensure that girls’ projects meet the national guidelines. Generally, the committee reviews Girl Scout Gold Award Project Proposals, makes recommendations for project development and resources, reads the final report, and makes a recommendation to the council on whether to approve the project. In some councils the committee approves the project. If a girl’s project has not yet achieved its goals, the committee provides suggestions and tips to help her develop a high quality Gold Award project.

What does it mean to have a sustainable project?
A sustainable project is one that lasts after the girl’s involvement ends. A focus on education and raising awareness is one way to make sure a project is carried on. Workshops and hands-on learning sessions can inspire others to keep the project going. Another way to create a sustainable project is by collaborating with community groups, civic associations, non-profit agencies, local government, and/or religious organizations to ensure the project lasts beyond the girl’s involvement.

How does a girl measure project impact?
Girls identify their project goals for their community, target audience and themselves by developing success indicators using a matrix provided in the guidelines.

Can a girl earn the Girl Scout Gold Award even if she hasn’t been in Girl Scouts very long?
Yes! She just needs to be a registered Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador to begin her Gold Award project.

What if a girl is 18 and graduating? Can she complete her project when she is in college?
A girl has until she turns 18 or until the end of the Girl Scout membership year (September 30th) when she is a senior in high school.

What if a girl graduates and is 18 and doesn’t have her project completed?
In this case the girl would have until September 30 of the year she graduates.

What if a girl’s project is not completed by the council ceremony time?
This is up to the girl. She might be recognized for her work in progress at the Girl Scout Gold Award Ceremony for her peers, or she can be honored in a separate ceremony or come back for the council-wide ceremony the next year. If the council has a set time for honoring Girl Scout Gold Awardees, this should be part of the orientation to girls planning their Girl Scout Gold Award. Girls and their project advisors are encouraged to work within the council timeline; however, the ceremony time should not dictate whether or not a girl is able to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award.


100 Years of Extraordinary Projects from Extraordinary Girls

As a Gold Award recipient, you're part of an elite group of women. Starting in 1916, the best and brightest undertook projects that improved their communities—and the world. The Golden Eaglet insignia, the highest award in Girl Scouting from 1916 to 1939, marked the beginning of a long tradition of recognizing the extraordinary efforts of extraordinary girls. From 1940 to 1963, the Curved Bar Award was the highest honor in Girl Scouting. From 1963 to 1980, the highest award was called First Class. And since 1980, the Gold Award has inspired girls to find the greatness inside themselves and share their ideas and passions with their communities.


How to Go Above and Beyond

Become a National Young Woman of Distinction!

United We Serve

Prudential Spirit Awards honor outstanding youth volunteerism.

Girls can partner with their Girl Scout councils on small grants to support their Take Action projects. Contact your council if you plan on applying for a grant.

Youth Service America Service Wire

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