Prerequisites

The requirements for applying to earn your Girl Scout Gold Award are simple.
You must:

  • Be in 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades
  • Be a registered Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador
  • Have completed two Senior or Ambassador Journeys OR have earned the Girl Scout Silver Award and completed one Journey
Register now

Preview of Gold Award Steps

Step 1: Choose an Issue

Use your values and skills to identify a community issue you care about.

  • Live the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
  • Demonstrate civic responsibility.

Step 2: Investigate

Research everything you can about the issue.

  • Use a variety of sources: interview people, read books and articles, find professional organizations online. Remember to evaluate each source's reliability and accuracy.
  • Demonstrate courage as you investigate your issue, knowing that what you learn may challenge your own and others' beliefs.
  • Identify national and/or global links to your community issue.

Step 3: Get Help

Invite others to support and take action with you.

  • Seek out and recognize the value of the skills and strengths of others.
  • Respect different points of view and ways of working.
  • Build a team and recruit a project advisor who will bring special skills to your Take Action project.

Step 4: Create a Plan

Create a project plan that achieves sustainable and measurable impact.

  • Lead the planning of your Take Action project.
  • Work collaboratively to develop a plan for your project that creates lasting change.

Step 5: Present Your Plan

Get feedback. Sum up your project plan for your Girl Scout council.

  • Submit a Project Proposal to your council that is concise, comprehensive, and clear.
  • Describe your plan including the Girl Scout Leadership Outcomes you want to achieve and the impact you plan to make on yourself and the community.
  • Articulate your issue clearly and explain why it matters to you.
  • Accept constructive suggestions that will help refine your project.

Step 6: Take Action

Take the lead to carry out your plan.

  • Take action to address the root cause of an issue, so that your solution has measurable and sustainable impact.
  • Actively seek partnerships to achieve greater community participation and impact for your Take Action project.
  • Challenge yourself to try different ways to solve problems.
  • Use resources wisely.
  • Speak out and act on behalf of yourself and others.

Step 7: Educate and Inspire

Share what you have experienced with others.

  • Reflect on what you have learned when you present your Girl Scout Gold Award Final Report to your Council.
  • Summarize the effectiveness of your project and the impact it has had on you and your community.
  • Share the project beyond your local community and inspire others to take action in their own communities.
Gold Award Facts and Figures
  • Gold Award recipients spend between one and two years on their projects.
  • The average age of Gold Award recipients is 17.
  • In nearly 100 years, one million girls have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent.
  • Gold Award recipients who join the armed services enter at one rank higher than other recruits.
  • University research indicates that adding Gold Award to a college application is a critical element in the admissions-decision process.

Tools and Resources

Stay organized and keep track of your ideas, contact information, appointments, and plans with the Girl Scout Gold Award Tools and Resources.


This toolkit includes a standards of excellence tracking sheet, tips, planning guides, and advice to help with each step of your Take Action project. Use these tools as you need them-and don't forget that your journey(s) include tools and ideas, too!

Gold Award History

The Golden Eagle of Merit, the highest award in Girl Scouting from 1916 to 1919, marked the beginning of a long tradition of recognizing girls who make a difference in their communities with a prestigious award. The names have changed, but the meaning stays the same:

  • 1916-1919 Golden Eagle of Merit
  • 1919-1939 Golden Eaglet
  • 1938-1940 First Class
  • 1940-1963 Curved Bar
  • 1963-1980 First Class
  • 1980-present Gold Award