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Become a Gold Award Girl Scout

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Issues of the world, meet your match. 


Gold Award Girl Scouts are the dreamers and the doers who take “make the world a better place” to the next level.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable—it is proof that you are capable of making a lasting difference in the world around you.

Seniors and Ambassadors who earn the Gold Award tackle issues that are dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond. Think of the Gold Award as a key that can open doors to scholarships, preferred admission tracks for college, and amazing career opportunities.

Girl Scout Gold Award pin
You are ready to begin your Girl Scout Gold Award if: 
 
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You're in high school (ninth through twelfth grade, or equivalent) 
 

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You're registered as a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador
 

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You have completed two Senior or Ambassador Journeys OR earned the Girl Scout Silver Award and completed a Journey
 

How to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award:
 
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Find an issue in your community or the world that you care about.

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Learn everything you can about that issue through research and trusted sources.

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Form a team by identifying experts and people in your community who could help you.

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Think about the root cause of an issue, then make a plan of how you could tackle it.

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Submit your project proposal to your Girl Scout council for approval.

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Lead your team and carry out your plan.

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Reflect on the change you’ve created in your community and the world, share your story, and inspire others to make a difference, too.

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Celebrate!

 

Ready to get started?

  • Make sure you have completed 2 Senior or Ambassador Journeys -or- have earned your Girl Scout Silver Award and completed 1 Senior or Ambassador Journey (Prerequisite)

  • Sign up for and attend a Take Action Gold Award Training (Prerequisite) The Take Action Training is now required for all girls earning their Gold Award. You can find the training here.

  • Create an account with Go Gold: This is the platform where you will fill out and submit your project proposal and your final project report. This is where the council will be in communication with you. It is very important that all work done on a Gold Award be done on this website.

Hey Adults!

When you serve as a Project Advisor, a Girl Scout Advisor or a member of a Gold Award team, you will help girls grow their own power and make lasting change in the community you both love. Download information below to get started today.


Important Documents

Gold Award Rubric

Your Guide to Going Gold (Requirements) (PDF)

Go Gold Grant
Need help funding your project? GSHCC has a fund for that! Girls have the opportunity to apply for “seed money” for their Gold Award project. This grant money can be used to help jumpstart the project, purchase supplies, or reserve event space.  If you are interested in applying for the grant please login to your Go Gold account and fill out the form attached to the Go Gold Online Proposal.

FAQ

Who can earn the Girl Scout Gold Award?

Any registered Girl Scout Senior (grade 9,10) or Ambassador (grades 11,12) can earn the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Can individually registered girl members or Juliettes earn the Girl Scout Gold Award? 

 Any girl, who meets the grade-level and membership requirements, can work on her Girl Scout Gold Award.

What are the prerequisites to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award? 

 A girl must complete two Journeys OR earn one Journey and have earned the Girl Scout Silver Award. In our council, a girl must take Gold Award training before she begins her Gold Award project.

Does a Senior or Ambassador need to do the two journeys in any particular order?

No. She can complete two Girl Scout Senior level journeys, two Girl Scout Ambassador level journeys, or one of each, or the Silver Award plus one of either journey. She must do a Journey for the grade level she is in currently when she does the Journey requirements. 

How do girls know when a Journey is “completed?”

A Journey is completed when a girl has earned the journey awards, which include creating and carrying out a Take Action project.

Are girls required to take training to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award?

Yes. Girls are required to take Take Action Award: Gold Award training to become familiar with the process of earning Gold in our council and to fully understand the requirements. These provisions help to ensure that every girl who wants to earn the Gold Award will be given the greatest chance of success. 

When can a girl take her Gold Award training?

A girl can take the training any time after she is officially registered as a Senior Girl Scout but she must take the training before she begins her Gold project. Girls may complete their pre-requisite Journeys before they’ve taken Gold training. 

What is the GSHCC Highest Award Committee?

The GSHCC Highest Award Gold Committee is a group of volunteers from the community who want to help girls achieve Girl Scouting’s Highest Award. The Gold Committees  meet regularly to review girls’ Gold Award Proposals and Final Reports.

What is a Gold Award Project Advisor?

A Gold Award Project Advisor is someone in the girl’s community that has expertise or experience in the content area of the girl’s project. For example, if she is building a shade shelter, her Project Advisor may be an engineer or someone who manages construction projects. If she is starting a library, her Project Advisor may be a librarian or an educator. The Project Advisor may not be her Girl Scout leader or someone who is related to her. A girl needs both a Project Advisor and a Gold Committee Mentor to assist her with her Gold Award. 

What are the money guidelines that girls and troops need to follow? 

All of the established guidelines found in Volunteer Essentials should be followed by troops and girls working on their Girl Scout Gold Award projects. Of particular importance are these two:

 

1. Girl Scouts may not raise money for any other organization, in their roles as Girl Scouts. This means that Girl Scout Gold Award projects may not be about raising money for someone else. This is a guideline that is necessary to protect the non-profit status of our organization. 

 

 

2. Girls may raise money or request donations for their Gold Award project expenses, but need to follow all safety guidelines. Girls must have an approved Girl Scout Volunteer or parent or guardian with them at all times during any Girl Scout activities, and only adults may ask for donations on behalf of a girl’s project. Girls may explain the project to another adult, but then an adult – the leader, project advisor, or parent – has to actually ask for any donations of goods or services. For more clarification on this, please contact a GSHG council staff member. 

 

What Internet browser should I use to access GoGold?

Please use the latest version of Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari for the smoothest experience.

What is the submission deadline for proposals to be reviewed?

Gold Award proposals are reviewed on a rolling monthly basis. To be considered for that month, the project is due by 5 pm on the first of the month using GoGold Online. If the first falls on a weekend, the due date is the first business day after that weekend. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to complete the online Gold Award proposal. Do not wait until the last minute to begin. It can take up to a month to receive approval or feedback.

Does time spent working on the proposal count towards a girl’s final hour tally?

Yes, the proposal is considered a part of the planning process and can, therefore, be included in a girl’s final hour tally. Girls can include 10-15 hours of planning time towards their final tally, including time writing the proposal.

Do Girl Scouts have to complete a proposal before starting their project?

All new Gold Award projects must submit a proposal to the Higher Awards Committee for review. You can find the form here.

Why must girls complete Journeys before earning a Girl Scout Silver Award?

Earning one of Girl Scouts’ highest awards challenges girls to be their best. By first completing a “regular” Journey, girls learn what it takes to successfully complete a Take Action project—so they’re better prepared to develop, plan, and implement the more involved Take Action project for their  Silver Award.

What do you mean when you say a girl’s Journey is “completed”?

We say a Journey is “completed” when a girl has earned the Journey awards, which include creating and carrying out a Take Action project. 

How many hours should it take to earn a Gold Award?

No two projects are alike, so the time to plan, share, and complete a project will vary depending on the scope of the project, team, and community support. The quality of the project should be emphasized over the quantity of hours necessary to complete it. However, after fulfilling the required Journey, the suggested minimum number of hours for a Gold Award is 80 hours. Note that time spent working on Journeys does not count for the project.

Can girls, or even an entire troop, work together on an award?

The Gold Award is designed to be an individual leadership experience. This is not to say a girl cannot involve her peers in the execution of her project.  The girl must plan and develop their project. Again, once the planning is complete, she then can involve her peers in the execution of the project. 

Can girls get a head-start and begin working on their award projects right after they bridge (transition) to the next level?

Absolutely. Once a girl bridges to the next level, she can begin working on her award; this includes the summer months.

Is it possible to choose Girl Scouting itself as the focus of a Gold Award?

The Gold Award may choose Girl Scouting as a focus, however the issue addressed must be linked to a global or national issue.

What counts as hours?

Any time when you are working on your project, you can count it as hours. Brainstorming, finding an advisor, and speaking with your mentor all count as hours. Up to 25% of your hours can come from fundraising. At least 20% of your hours should come from leadership and working with others. Helping another girl in your troop with her project does not count as hours.

What happens when a girl moves to a new city, state, or country while she’s in the middle of her award project? Can she still earn her award? 

Yes, but she may need to seek special permission. We advise a girl in this situation to work with her new council and/or Overseas Committee to complete the project. And we encourage councils and Overseas Committees to be flexible and serve girls’ best interests. 

Are adult guides just for council staff and volunteers? Or can parents use them too?

Even though the guides are designed for volunteers working directly with girls achieving their awards, any adult is welcome to use them.

What about girls with disabilities? Is there a different set of requirements for them? 

No. Because the Gold Award work is to be done to the best of a girl’s ability, there really is no need for special requirements for girls with disabilities. We encourage advisors to be flexible and to work with the girl individually as she earns her award.

How do you define “sustainable” when it comes to the highest awards? 

Simply put, a sustainable project lives on in the community after a girl’s involvement ends. How do girls achieve that? They might focus on education and raising awareness. Or they might develop workshops and hands-on learning sessions that inspire others to keep the project going. Working with local government, community groups, nonprofit agencies, civic associations, and/or religious organizations can also help ensure the project lasts beyond the girl’s involvement. 

Does my project need to be sustainable?

Yes the project must include a sustainable aspect and the sustainability of a project and the sustainability must be made clear in both the project proposal and the final report. 

Do you have any advice on how to generate higher-quality projects?

 A good first step is to make sure girls and their advisors understand the difference between a one-time community service project and a highest award Take Action project that serves an entire community for an extended period of time. The troop/ group volunteer or council staff member should also work closely with girls to ensure that every project meets the quality requirements of the award. 

How can we accurately measure the impact of a highest award project?

Check the award guidelines. We provide tools to help girls identify project goals for their community, target audience, and themselves using a “success indicator” matrix. 

When is the project final report due?

The project Final Report is due before September 30th of the year a girl graduates 12th grade. For example, if a girl graduates 12th grade in June of 2022 then the report must be submitted before September 30th of 2022. There is no deadline for project proposals but they must be council approved before starting the actual project.

2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Looking for inspiration for your Gold Award? Check out the projects from our 2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Scholarship Opportunities for Gold Award Girl Scouts

GSHCC is proud to offer three scholarship opportunities to graduating girls who have earned their Girl Scout Gold Award. These scholarships are cultivated by GSHCC to support Gold Award Girl Scouts in pursuing continued education. Girl Scouts can apply the scholarship to 2-year or 4-year programs. Visit the applications for more detailed information on the requirements for each scholarship. Paper applications will not be accepted. The due date for all scholarships is April 13, 2022 .

  • The Girl Scouts Heart of Central California Board of Directors’ Gold Award Scholarship is for GSHCC Gold Award Girl Scouts who focused their Gold Award Projects on a Social Justice or Mental Health issue, and had direct impact in the community. This scholarship is looking for projects within all aspects of Social Justice, with a special emphasis on those that focus on equity and belonging within our communities, as well as projects pertaining to Mental Health. This $3,500 scholarship was made possible through generous donations from the GSHCC Board of Directors. This is a one-time scholarship. You can apply for this scholarship here.
  • The Kristin Anne Chapman-Elbon Memorial STEM Scholarship is for a Gold Award Girl Scout who will pursue an education in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering and math). The recipient of this scholarship will receive $2,500 every year for four years, contingent on continued enrollment in an institution of higher education.  This scholarship was made possible through a generous donation from the Kristin Anne Chapman-Elbon Memorial STEM Scholarship Fund. You can apply for this scholarship here.
  • The Go Gold Scholarship is offered through GSHCC, and any graduating Gold Award earner may apply for the scholarship. This is a one-time scholarship. You can apply for this scholarship here.
  • Join a century of women who have done big things. Learn more about Gold Award scholarships, the history of the Gold Award, and the benefits of going Gold. All proposed projects must be approved by one of our 5 Regional Gold Award Committees. Final Gold Award Reports submitted by March 1 each year for approval  are recognized by Council that membership year.

    


Getting Help

If at any time during the course of your project you think you may have hit a bump in the road, please do not hesitate to contact us at awards@girlscoutshcc.org.

If you are in need of a project advisor please contact the specialist, in that we may be able to help connect you with an expert in your project area.  

Visit girlscouts.org/goldaward for additional support and resources.