Girl Scout Gold Award

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouting and can be earned by girls in grades 9 – 12. This leadership award involves earning all awards within two Senior or Ambassador Journeys (depending on the Girl Scout’s grade level), researching and identifying community issues, and developing and implementing a sustainable, 80 hour project that addresses a valid need outside the Girl Scout community. Girls must work on this award individually but can complete the Journey pre-requisites as a troop.  Before starting on the award project, a project proposal must be mailed to the Awards Program Specialist at the Program Center in Sacramento for approval; the process takes 6-8 weeks. After the project is completed a final report detailing the project must be submitted to the Awards Program Specialist. Girl Scouts HCC Council honors girls with their award pin at the Recognition of Excellence Ceremony every May. 

Steps to Earn the Girl Scout Gold Award

Starting October 2011, the requirements for earning this award have been changed by GSUSA. Girls now have to complete two Journeys as the pre-requisites for this award OR earn the Girl Scout Silver Award and complete one Journey. Once your Girl Scout has decided to earn the G.S. Gold Award, put the following steps in motion:

1. Girls should begin in 9th /10th grade by earning all awards within any two Senior Journeys.

2. Starting in 10th /11th grade girls will be ready to start identifying issues that affect their community and research those issues to discover the root cause, aka: what is causing the problem. Now is a good time to take the Take Action Award Training for girls and their advisors.

3. Over their 11th and 12th grade years girls should develop and implement an 80 hour take action project. Girls have until September 30th after graduating high school to turn in the final report.

GSUSA has created workbooks to help everyone stay on track as girls progresses through the award. Download the guides listed below for both girls and adults. Please be aware that these guides are put out by GSUSA and might not reflect all GSHCC council requirements for this award.

GSUSA Gold Adult Guide

GSUSA Gold Girl Guide

Required Paperwork

Girls are required to turn in a proposal packet to the Awards Program Specialist at the Sacramento Program Center for approval before starting on their project. Approval process takes 6 – 8 weeks so plan accordingly.

A final report needs to be turned in upon completion of their project to the Awards Program Specialist at the Sacramento Program Center.

After the award paperwork is received by council, girls are invited to attend an annual award ceremony held in May of each year. Reports received by March 20th are included in that year’s May ceremony.

Gold Proposal
Gold Final Report


If a Girl Scout is planning an event for her project, it is mandatory that she take the Prepare 2B Ready class.

• Risk management paperwork and an event intent form need to be turned in to their Membership Director AND the Awards Program Specialist at least 4 weeks before their event.

• Additional insurance is mandatory for any event that includes non-registered Girl Scouts and can be purchased using the additional insurance form. Insurance must be purchased at least 3 weeks before an event.

Need Additional Help?

Take Action Award Training classes give girls and adults a basic overview of the award requirements, ideas for building successful award projects, and guidance on GSHCC rules and regulations. This class is best taken after most of the pre-requisites have been completed. Classes are available starting September 2011.  To register as a girl go to Older Girl Training on E-council, as an adult go to Adult Training on E-council. Training is not required but highly recommended. 

Email or call 800.322.4475 and ask to speak to the Awards Program Specialist.

Important Deadlines!

October 1, 2011 – Deadline for transition to new Journey guidelines:

  • Girls using the old guidelines must be completed with the pre-requisites of the award (steps 1-4) by this date to continue earning the award under the old guidelines. You will need to submit proposal paperwork to the Awards Program Specialist at least 6-8 weeks before starting your project.
  • Girls just starting the award process must follow the new guidelines.

March 20th:

  • Deadline to turn in Girl Scout Gold Award project report in order to be recognized at that year’s May awards ceremony (reports received after this date will be recognized at a ceremony during the next Girl Scout year).

September 30th after graduating high school:

  • The absolute last day to turn in the Girl Scout Gold Award project report in order to be recognized as having earned the Girl Scout Gold Award by Girl Scouts of the USA.