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.
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.
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
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.
There is a two-year transition period. Girls will have from summer 2009, when the new guidelines are released, through September 30, 2011 to transition to the new guidelines. The guidelines will become official on October 1, 2011 (beginning of the 2012 membership year). If a girl starts working on the award in 2011 and the majority of work will be done during the 2012 membership year, the new guidelines should be used.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.