Time needed: 45–60 min
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable. Through the Gold Award, Girl Scouts change the world by tackling issues they’re passionate about to drive lasting change in their communities and beyond while they learn essential skills that will prepare them for all aspects of life. As a bonus, the Gold Award opens doors to a variety of scholarships, preferred admission tracks for college, strong networking and amazing career opportunities, and much more.
The Gold Award is a Take Action project that must include five elements: a root cause of an issue that you feel passionate about that has a national or global link. Through your actions, you must demonstrate leadership while also creating a sustainable and measurable impact.
Explore sample Gold Award efforts, and before you start, check in with your council—it will ensure you have completed the prerequisites and can provide additional training and resources that set you up for success.
In step 1, you identified a community issue or two that you’re interested in exploring further. You’ll need to narrow down the issues to their root causes for your project and then connect with issue experts to partner with. By addressing the root causes of your issue and involving your community in the solution, you’ll be primed to make a sustainable difference.
Notice that the community issue "lack of arts education in schools” is placed in the center and the things that trigger it, like funding, public policy, public perception, and curriculum structure, are explored further. When you explore further, you find root causes. In this example, the root causes are found in the outer prongs. For example, the root causes of the public’s perception of lack of arts education in schools include not enough awareness about its proven benefits and not enough awareness about career opportunities in the arts.
Once you’ve identified root causes, take your research further to make sure:
Get online. Check news and organizations’ sites related to your issue. Explore how the media in other countries cover your issue.
Go to the library. Find books that offer in-depth analysis of your issue, read your local newspaper, and look for magazine articles that offer different perspectives.
Interview experts. Talk to friends, neighbors, teachers, business owners, community partners, and others who can offer information or insight about the issue you’ve chosen.
Troop Leaders: The instructions for all badge steps are available free of charge in the Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit.