The Bronze Award requires 20 hours from each individual Girl Scout working on the project.
The Silver Award requires 50 hours for each individual Girl Scout working on the project.
The Gold Award requires at least 80 hours from the Girl Scout leading the project.
Please note that each project should be emphasizing the quality of the work over just filling the hour requirement. Just because there is an hour requirement does NOT mean that a Girl Scout should be doing her project in isolation. The projects emphasize leading a team and working with the community, so remember to involve others in your efforts. You can include the time it takes you to make phone calls or the emails you send when organizing your team when calculating your hours.
For the the Bronze Award, Girl Scouts can work together as a whole troop, as a smaller group, or as an individual.
When working toward their Silver Award, they have the option to work individually or in small groups of up to three other Girl Scouts.
The Gold Award is earned by individual Girl Scouts.
Yes, they can start earning their prerequisite Journeys and then work toward their award requirements over the summer if they are bridging from one level to the next.
However, Girl Scouts should not be working on two different awards at the same time.
For example: A Girl Scout bridging from a Junior to a Cadette could continue to work on her Bronze Award over the summer in order to complete it by the September 30 deadline OR that Girl Scout could begin to work on her Silver Award over the summer as she’s starting her first year as a Cadette but should not be working on both projects concurrently.
No. Earning a previous Girl Scout level’s award is not a requirement for any of the awards. You can still earn your Silver Award without earning a Bronze Award and you can earn your Gold Award without earning either your Bronze or Silver Award.
However, if you do earn your Silver Award, you need to complete one Senior or Ambassador Journey before starting on your Gold Award. If you have not earned your Silver Award, you would need to earn two Senior or Ambassador Journeys before starting your Gold Award.
Journeys let Girl Scouts experience what they’ll do as they work to earn the highest awards in Girl Scouting. They’ll discover an issue they’re passionate about, connect with experts in their community, and take action to make the world a better place. The skills Girl Scouts gain while working on Journeys help them develop, plan, and implement take action projects for their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.
A Journey is complete when a Girl Scout has earned the Journey awards, which include creating and carrying out a take action project. Girl Scouts working on their Gold Award should be prepared to discuss their Journey and take action project during their initial interview.
In contrast to Journey take action projects, which provide themes on which to base projects, Highest Award take action projects have no predesigned theme. A Girl Scout selects their own theme, then designs and executes a take action project.
Girl Scout Seniors (9th - 10th grade) and Ambassadors (11th - 12th grade) are eligible to earn their Gold Award. You can work on your project until the end of the Girl Scout membership year (September 30) following your Senior year in High School.
Girl Scouts who are seniors in high school must submit their proposal by February and interview by March of their senior year. Their final report must be turned in by September 1 to allow time for committee review and to schedule a final interview.
Your Gold Award may take a year to a year and a half to complete. You should remember to include all stages of the project in your timeline when considering your plan, not just the implementation. Researching the issue and writing the proposal take time, as does writing the final report.
Additionally, committee review can take one and a half to two weeks, depending on the time of year. Our committee members are volunteers and it can take some time for them to properly review a submission on top of their daily schedules.
Start early so that if you need to take a break from working on your project while you have a busy week at school or a packed sports season, you can do so without falling into a time crunch.
Project submission process:
The Program Specialist at GSU will receive a notification when your project has been submitted in GoGold; they will send it to the Gold Award Committee for their review.
The committee will use the Gold Award Rubric to determine if the project will be approved or if any improvements need to be made.
The Program Specialist will communicate the committee’s feedback to you and schedule a time for your initial interview.
Interviews are done via Zoom and are typically scheduled to last about an hour. We recommend you wear your Girl Scout uniform or professional attire.
Questions vary from the initial to final interviews; you will be asked about all aspects of your project plan or, alternately, what you have accomplished through your project.
Our Gold Award Committee members are volunteers, so scheduling interviews can sometimes take a few extra days in order to match both the Girl Scout and committee members’ schedules.
The final deadline for Ambassadors graduating high school to turn in their final report is September 1 to allow time for the committee to review the final report and to schedule a final interview prior to the September 30 deadline. However, we strongly recommend turning in final reports and scheduling final interviews much sooner in case there is additional work required on the project and to account for the graduated Girl Scouts that will be busy starting college or other new endeavor during that time period.
After you identify your main issue, you need to dig a little deeper to get to the root cause. The root cause addresses why something is happening, and there may be more than one root cause for some issues. Identifying the root cause will help you focus your project and provide a true solution to the issue, rather than just addressing the surface-level symptoms.
Example: You might notice that the local food pantry in your town has a large amount of customers and that the supply cannot keep up with demand. After doing some research, you learn that this section of town is mostly made up of minimum wage workers and that this area is considered a “food desert” because the nearest grocery stores are too far for most families to easily get to. The root causes of this issue is that most people in the area cannot afford food and that the food sources are too far away.
Instead of organizing a donation drive, which would really only be a short-term fix and doesn’t address the actual cause, you could educate others about the issue and then advocate for an area of town to be zoned for an affordable grocery store. If families have closer food they can afford, then they will not need to continue to rely on the food pantry.
It’s important to identify the root cause before deciding what your solution will be; otherwise, your solution might not really fit the problem and the problem will continue, rather than being a sustainable fix.
Do some research on the issue or go out and actually observe/interact with the community to really learn about what the root cause of an issue is.
Check out page 5 of Your Guide to Going Gold to learn more about a root cause.
Your Gold Award must be sustained beyond your involvement! For example, your project can:
Your Gold Award is also a take action project. A take action project:
NOTE: The video “Take Action to Higher Awards” (found in the resources below) outlines how to take action.
Check out page 6 of Your Guide to Going Gold for more information on how a project can be sustainable.
Think of all of the things that you will need:
Your budget should be balanced, meaning that expenses and income are equal. A Gold Award project should not earn more money than is necessary for expenses and any expenses need to have a way that you will be paying for them. You need to make sure you account for everything in your budget, even if it was donated.
Your plan needs to follow GSU’s money earning policies and be approved by council. Any changes in the middle of your project will need to be approved by council. Check out page 16 of Your Guide to Going Gold for more information on money earning.
A project advisor should be an expert in an area related to your project's focus.
Be clear with your project advisor that you will need them to be a resource for you as you work towards your goals: someone you can ask questions, who can connect you with others in the field, or someone who can help direct you when barriers come up (because barriers will come up).
Think outside of your comfort zone, beyond friends and family and Girl Scouts. Who can you network with? Who can help you meet new people and learn new things?
The Gold Award Committee is comprised of volunteers dedicated to helping every Girl Scout who wants to earn a Gold Award reach that goal. Many people on the committee have either earned their Gold Award, raised Gold Award Girl Scouts, or simply have a passion for helping every Girl Scout realize their potential.
The committee will work with each Girl Scout throughout the process, including providing feedback on ideas, conducting interviews, and mentoring an individual through their project. Committee members are trained on the Gold Award standards and will approve projects based on the guidelines provided by GSUSA.
If you know someone who would make a great committee member, please contact email@example.com.
While earning the Gold Award has numerous benefits that can set you apart in general scholarship applications, there is an additional scholarship through GSUSA specifically for Gold Award Girl Scouts. This scholarship has taken on different names throughout the years and may be applied differently than it was in the past.
Each year, GSUSA offers every Girl Scout council the opportunity to recognize one of their Gold Award Girl Scouts as their National Gold Award Scholarship Recipient. Applications for the scholarship open in April. Any Girl Scout that earns their Gold Award between April 1 of the previous year and March 31 of the current year will be eligible to apply for the current year’s scholarship.
Applications are done through GoGold and any eligible Gold Award Girl Scouts will be invited to apply when the application period is open. Girl Scouts that have earned their Gold Award, but have not yet graduated high school, will still be eligible to apply but will defer the dispersal of the scholarship funds until they graduate.
Recipients are chosen for projects that exemplify the core components of the Gold Award and for demonstrating extraordinary leadership to drive lasting change in their community and beyond.
Recipients will receive:
To have a successful project, Girl Scouts graduating from high school need to keep the following deadlines in mind.
Girl Scouts graduating from high school must interview by March of the year they are graduating so they have enough time to work on their project before final deadlines.
A proposal must be completed through GoGold and submitted to the Gold Award Committee for their review before being invited to an interview. The committee may request additional information be included in the proposal before you are asked to interview.
Make sure to submit your proposal early enough so you can meet these deadlines and have some wiggle room for any additional work prior to approval.
Your project's final report is due by September 1 of the year that you graduate to allow enough time for the Gold Award Committee to read your final report and for you to attend your final interview.
All projects must be completely approved by September 30, meaning no additional work remains on the project, the final report has been turned in, and the Girl Scout has attended their interview. Note these are final deadlines.
It is highly recommended that you turn in your final report earlier to allow for any additional requests for information and accommodate busy schedules. Remember graduating Girl Scouts will be starting college during this period, which can make it difficult to finish the final requirements for your project.
While the Gold Award Committee would like to do everything possible to help you earn your Gold Award, it is still your responsibility to plan an appropriate timeline for your project so you can meet your deadlines.
You are your Girl Scout’s cheerleader, sounding board, proofreader, and advocate. It is her project; she will build it and she will be responsible for it. All communication will be directed at her and, when possible, will include her adult support team.
Just enough to keep your Girl Scout supported and motivated. Please understand that sometimes a Girl Scout’s plan will get derailed. You can be instrumental in helping get them back on track with your patience and understanding.
There is a Parent/Caregiver Guide and a Troop Leader Guide you can read to learn more about your specific role in the process. You are also welcome to complete the Gold Award Training with your Girl Scout and read Your Guide to Going Gold to better understand the requirements.