** Please Note: Most of these forms are writable pdfs. You must first save the pdf file to your local computer. Then fill out the form, save, and email to the council.
Timeline Template (Word document)
Why earn the Gold Award?
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouting — and organizations around the country recognize this honor.
Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are eligible for scholarships, and girls who earn the Girl Scout Gold award may enter the four branches of the United States Armed Services at an advanced level and salary.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is more than a recognition. It sets a woman apart as a community leader. This lifetime achievement should be listed on a woman’s resume throughout her career.
What are the project requirements?
Girls must be a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador. Any girl who meets the grade level and membership requirements may work on her Gold Award. Project requirements may be found in “The New Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting.”
A Gold Award project should meet all of the following criteria:
- Meet community need outside of Girl Scouting.
- Be specifically designed for this award.
- Challenge a girl and contribute to her growth.
- A girl should design and carry out a project that builds on her previous experiences in Girl Scouting in a way that demonstrates her unique capabilities.
- You must present your Gold Award proposal to the Gold Award Committee
- Have at least 80 hours of the girl’s own time invested in the project.
- Printed pieces for the project should contain: Girl’s Name, Girl Scout Gold Award Project and The Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians.
- When you complete your Gold Award, you must do a final interview with the Gold Award Committee.
What steps should I take to “Go for the Gold?”
- Complete two Girl Scout Journeys.
- Choose an issue and research it.
- Get help from others – contact friends or an organization or group affected by the issue/project to ascertain their interest.
- Identify a Gold Award Project Advisor. Girl Scout advisors and parents are encouraged to help but should not be Gold Award project advisors.
- Submit a Girl Scout Gold Award proposal to the council office.
- Present the Girl Scout Gold Award proposal for approval.
- On approval, plan and implement the Girl Scout Gold Award Project with input from the project advisor. A girl must spend a minimum of 80 hours of her own time on the project to earn the award.
- Submit Girl Scout Gold Award final report and Girl Scout Gold Award biographical information sheet with a head shot for newspaper publication (school photo suggested) to the council office on completion of the project. A letter confirming that the project has been accepted will be mailed if/when the project is approved.
- Receive the Girl Scout Gold Award in the spring AND/OR conduct a ceremony arranged by the troop or service unit. Be sure to include individuals related to the benefiting group in the ceremony.
- The Gold Award final report, biographical sheet and a photo must be received by March 1 for the girl to be recognized in the spring of the same year.
- The Gold Award pin for the girl and the parent pin for a parent are both gifts from the council for a girl’s effort to earn the award. For individual girl or troop ceremonies, please contact the council office to make arrangements to receive your pins.
Gold Award 101 training is now available online!
This training is for Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts, their parents, mentors, and advisors; this training also takes the place of the in-person Gold Award 101 training offered by council staff.
Teen Programs staff will offer in-person training once in the fall and once in the spring and by request as needed. Senior and Ambassador girls are encouraged to watch this training and send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teen Programs staff also NOW OFFERS in-person brainstorming sessions for individual Gold Award girls or entire troops. We can help you increase community engagement, improve on your ideas, and help you consider sustainability and national or global impact. Take this training then contact us to schedule a GO GOLD brainstorming session at email@example.com!
Frequently Asked Questions
A Girl Scout has not yet finished the Girl Scout Gold Award project and is starting college. Is this allowed?
A girl has until she turns 18 or until the end of the Girl Scout membership year (September 30th) of her senior year of high school to finish her Gold Award project.
Cadette Girl Scouts who are bridging to Senior Girl Scouting will begin work on Senior Girl Scout activities in June. Can these activities count?
Yes. Girls can begin to earn the awards over the summer of the transition (or bridge) to the next Girl Scout level.
Do Journeys have to be earned as a troop?
No. Each girl may select and complete journeys on her own. 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.
An individually registered girl is interested in earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. Since she does not have a troop leader or Girl Scout advisor, where does she go to get started and receive guidance?
Contact your council service center. Staff will work directly with the girl to find a project advisor to provide guidance throughout the process.
Does a girl have to have earned the Silver Award to earn the Gold Award?
No. The awards are separate, but the Girl Scout Silver Award is a good foundation for earning the Gold Award.
What is the difference between a Girl Scout advisor and a Gold Award project advisor?
A Girl Scout advisor is a volunteer working with older girls that has been approved by the council, received training and serves as the registered leader for the troop. The Gold Award project advisor is the individual associated with the benefiting organization that will be the primary contact for a girl on her project.
Money and the Gold Award Project
From GSUSA publications.
One of the challenges facing every girl earning her Gold Award is financial. Often, when the planning gets serious, adjustments have to be made in the implementation. On the one hand, you are asked to meet a need in your community; on the other hand, you have some major constraints outlined in the Safety Activity Checkpoints and by the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians.
What’s a girl to do?
- You may not ask for money as a girl member of Girl Scouts. You may not ask for materials or services (technically called gifts-in-kind) either from the business community. This asking is considered fundraising by both the IRS and GSUSA policies – and for a lot of reasons, legal and otherwise, adults are the only people who can raise money for Girl Scouting.If you really need to get a donation of materials or need some funds to accomplish your project, work with your Girl Scout advisor to accomplish this. They have a Resource Guide, that has all the details and requirements for girls and troops related to money.
- You can’t raise money for another organization as a Girl Scout. That means you can’t have a car wash and tell people that you are giving the proceeds to a homeless shelter for meals, you can’t ask for pledges for a walk-a-thon to benefit breast cancer research, and you can’t hold a benefit dance to raise money for someone’s kidney operation.
What you can do
- Your troop can hold a car wash or birdhouse sale and can charge a fee to an approved event for your troop’s treasury. However, your troop must have council permission for any money-earning activity. Discuss with your troop the need for funds for your project and determine as a group if this is how the troop would like to spend a portion of their troop treasury. If there are several girls, the troop may decide to donate a specific amount to each girl’s project, but the decision is up to the troop as whole.
- Pay for the expenses associated with the project out of your own pocket.
- Get support by seeking materials from individuals such as friends, family, your church, school or other organizations you are a member of, rather than soliciting the business community.
So, what is the message GSUSA is sending about money and Gold Award projects?
Projects that may incur significant expenses or materials are not the best choices for girls. Girls need to select projects that utilize resources readily accessible to them such as their own time, talent, effort and that of other volunteers in the community.
How will the money component affect approval from the Gold Award mentoring committee?
Girls are asked to address financial needs for the project in the proposal. Girls should be prepared with all the details about expenses and have alternative plans should their first choice not work out. All these details need to be in the written proposal, and the girl should be prepared to discuss this with the committee.
Is it best to pick a project that does not require much money or supplies to accomplish, or that involves a material drive with individuals or community groups?
Resources for Girls Earning the Gold Award
Gold Award Project Advisor. This individual is generally the primary contact person for a girl at the benefiting organization. Girl Scout advisors and parents are encouraged to help but should not be Gold Award project advisors.
In addition, the following resources are available to assist girls earning the Gold Award:
- Girl Scout staff, at the council office, are there to assist girls with questions or challenges that earning this award may present. Call 1-800-474-1912 for more information.
- The Gold Award committee can be of assistance to girls prior to the proposal stage if particularly difficult questions arise. Contact the council office to submit your question to the committee. Call 1-800-474-1912 for more information.
- Each service center maintains Gold Award projects from the past. Girls, parents and advisors are welcome to schedule a time to review some of the past project details. Call 1-800-474-1912 for more information.
- Often girls who have earned the Gold Award are willing to meet with or speak to girls, parents and advisors about their experience. This can be very inspiring to girls and give them the chance to ask questions peer to peer.