There are a variety of awards girls can earn throughout the year. Some are earned as a troop/group, but the majority are individual awards. They symbolize a girl’s accomplishments. Awards are only one part of the Girl Scout program and should never serve as the main focus of a girl’s experience. To learn more about placement of awards on the Girl Scout uniform, consult the Girl Scout Catalog, age level handbooks, or the GSUSA Web site, www.girlscouts.org.
Girl Scouts' Highest Honors
In 1980, Girls Scouts introduced the Girl Scout Gold Award for Girl Scouts 14-18 as its highest honor, along with the Girl Scout Silver Award for Girl Scouts 11-14. Girls must meet requirements and complete a special project benefitting their communities to receive these awards. The Girl Scout Bronze Award for Junior Girl Scouts ages 8-11 was introduced in 2001. These three awards are a highlight of the Girl Scout experience.
The Girl Scout Gold Award
The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting; it recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable take action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities and beyond. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to Go Gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world.
The Girl Scout Silver Award
The Girl Scout Silver Award symbolizes an 11- to 14-year-old Girl Scout's accomplishments in Girl Scouting and community activities as she matures and works to better her life and the lives of others.
The Girl Scout Bronze Award
The Girl Scout Bronze Award recognizes that a Junior Girl Scout has gained the leadership and planning skills required to follow through with a project that makes a positive difference in her community.
Bridging awards mark a girl's transition from one leadership level to the next. An exciting time in a Girl Scout's life, the earning of the award and completion of the activities are designed to emphasize the continuity of the Girl Scout program and to welcome girls to an anticipated "next level." For more information, visit http://www.girlscouts.org/program/basics/for_volunteers/bridging_awards/.
The national award program is explained in detail in the grade level handbooks and journey books. These are designed to recognize girls for achievement in learning, skill development and service to others.
Girl Scouts and Faith
Girls of all grade levels can now earn the My Promise, My Faith pin developed by Girl Scouts of the USA. This pin, which girls can earn once a year, complements existing religious recognitions and allows all girls to further strengthen the connection between their faith and Girl Scouts. For more information, visit http://www.girlscouts.org/program/basics/faith/.
Community Service Awards/Service Projects
Local, national, and global service and action are core elements of the Girl Scout experience. Community service offers girls a unique opportunity to help people in their communities. It is also an important element of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Girl Scouts learn important and valuable skills through community service which will help them develop into responsible citizens. Girls of all ages can discover ways to help people in their communities, connect with others for a greater good, and take action to change the world!
Presidential Volunteer Service Award
This award recognizes Girl Scouts for their community service efforts. It is a Presidential honor, initiated by President Bush in 2003, to recognize the valuable contributions of volunteers across the nation who answer the call to service to others through their volunteer activities. As a certifying organization, GSHPA will identify eligible Girl Scout recipients, verify their service hours, and distribute the award to outstanding volunteers. Hours of service are accumulated from January 1 - December 31. The deadline for submission of hours is February 28.
The Program Aide award is an opportunity for registered Cadette Girl Scouts in 6th thru 8th grades. The steps to earn this award are designed to give girls the experience of working directly with an Adult Volunteer to learn what it’s like to lead a group of younger girls through various activities. This is a National Mentoring award and the requirements are outlined in the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting for Cadettes. Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania offers the resources below to help guide Cadette Girl Scouts and the Adult Volunteers acting as their Program Aide Mentors through the award process. GSHPA will also offer periodic trainings on designated program specialties. For a current listing of upcoming Program Aide Webinars for girls visit http://www.gshpa.org/programs/councilrunprograms.html. Cadette Girl Scouts may also have the option of attending a training offered in their local Girl Scout Community.