The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. It is an endeavor and challenge that only Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors can pursue. When they reflect on their experience, our Gold Award Girl Scouts speak about the countless benefits of working on their Gold Award projects. The time and effort they’ve put into earning the award has prepared them for a lifetime of leadership.
The process might seem daunting—but really, when has changing the world been an easy path? Rest assured that there are many resources available to provide support and walk you and your girls through this journey! Read on for some recent updates to the Gold Award process, and how you can help if your girl decides to go for the gold.
What Hasn’t Changed
The Gold Award turned 100 in 2016—woot-woot! That means that for over a hundred years, girls have been digging to find the root cause of issues in their community and worked together to create a solution. The name of the award has gone through many identity changes through the years (read more about the amazing history of the award), but the core of the Gold Award has remained the same: Girls use their vision for change, all while building incredible time management, networking, and active leadership skills.
What is Changing
Girl Scouts River Valleys recently changed the ways girls can submit their Gold Award project proposals. Say goodbye to frustrations with downloading, printing, mailing in, and tracking your paperwork! Check out our Gold Award website, where we’ll direct girls to fill out and submit their proposal electronically through Girl Scouts of the USA’s platform: Go Gold Online. Girls will need to attach Girl Scouts River Valleys’ timeline and budget worksheets to their proposal when they submit through Go Gold Online.
Back by popular demand are the in-person Gold Award workshops. Workshops are a great way for both girls and adults to build a strong foundation and understanding of what components are involved in the Gold Award process. It’s also a good place to begin thinking about possible project ideas. Check out our events page to find upcoming workshop dates (and keep your eyes out for more workshops in the spring).
Girl Scout Community Involvement
Girl Scouts of the USA has officially announced that girls working on their Silver and Gold Awards may now conduct projects that benefit the Girl Scout community. In order to keep the integrity and prestige of the Silver and Gold Award, girls still need to meet the requirements that are key to taking sustainable action:
- The project makes a lasting difference in the local community, region, or beyond
- The project puts the Girl Scout Promise and Law into action
- The project includes provisions to ensure sustainability
- The project identifies national and/global links to the girl’s selected issue
- The project inspires others
What’s Your Role?
Your dedication as her troop leader brought your Girl Scout to this moment—you’ve shown her how she can use her voice to make an impact, and now it’s time to show the world what she’s made of! As difficult as it may be, now is also the time for you to step back and let her take the reins. This doesn’t mean you can’t be there on the sidelines to cheer her on, encourage her when she experiences setbacks, or listen when she’s trying to work out an idea. But it’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, this is her project to flesh out, collaborate on, and carry out.
Pro-tip: Review the Gold Award Guidelines with her so you both know what’s involved before she starts her project, and so you know your responsibilities as a troop leader.
If and when your girl decides to pursue the Gold Award, let us know how it went. We love hearing stories of girls changing the world!
Cara Johnson – Cara is a Program Coordinator at Girl Scouts River Valleys, where she supports girls working on their Highest Awards, and assists the program team in a myriad of ways (hello, event and camp emails and web pages!). She earned her B.A. from Hamline University. Before joining Girl Scouts River Valleys, Cara worked on social media for a non-profit and did event marketing with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In her free time, she loves watching movies (She feels like she sees one at least once a week!) and trying out new Pinterest recipes.