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Become a Silver Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts earning their Silver Award

Change the world and earn one of the highest awards in Girl Scouting. 

Hey, Cadettes, this one’s for you!

When you team up with a small group of Girl Scout friends to find an issue you care about and then make a difference in your community, you can earn the Girl Scout Silver Award-one of the highest awards in Girl Scouting.

You’ve got this, Girl Scout.

Girl Scout Silver Award pin
You can become a Silver Award Girl Scout if: 
 
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You're in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade (or equivalent)

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You're a registered Girl Scout Cadette 
 

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You have completed a Cadette Journey
 

How to earn the Girl Scout Silver Award:

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Find an issue you care about.

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Build your Girl Scout Silver Award team or decide to go solo.

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Explore your community and think of how that issue affects your community.

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Choose a Silver Award project that can lead to lasting change.

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Develop your project.

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Let your council know you want to earn it.

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Make a plan and put it into motion.

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Reflect, share your story, and celebrate.

 

Girls wanting to earn their Silver Award must first submit a proposal to the council. Be sure and submit your Silver Award Project Proposal for approval 1 to 1 ½  months in advance of beginning your project, to obtain Council approval. Once approval is gained, and you complete your outlined project, you must submit a Silver Award Final Report. Silver Awards are Council approved, reports received between October 1st, and September 30th will be recognized at the Girl Scout Silver Award Ceremony in December.

Looking for more support? Click here and your troop can be guided by a 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scout as they develop their community map. 

To request for online training click here.


Hey Grownups!

When you volunteer to help a girl earn her Silver Award, you take on an incredible role in her life. This Adult Guide to the Girl Scout Silver Award can help you be an even better mentor.

Download (PDF) English | Español


Girl Scout Silver Award Resources

FAQ

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 up to approximately 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 Silver 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.

Can my whole troop work on the same project? 
Up to four girls can work on one project. If working in a group, each girl must have an individualized role. Girls may also choose to work individually.

Why can only four girls work on one project?
With smaller groups, girls are more likely to take on leadership roles. In large groups, a few girls step up and take charge while others are just along for the ride. With smaller groups, girls are able to vocalize their opinions more easily and their decisions hold more weight.  

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 Silver 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 Silver Award is 50 hours.

Can girls, or even an entire troop, work together on an award?
Girls working toward their Silver Award may work individually or in small groups of no more than 4 people.

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 Silver Award? 
It is highly discouraged to pick Girl Scouting itself as a focus of a Silver Award. Cadettes are encouraged to go into the communities around them, connect with new role models, and make the broader world a better place.

If I’m working in a group, how do we count our hours?
If you are working in a group, each girl’s hours must be counted separately. You can only count hours spent working on your own portion of the project. An individual project should aim to have 50 hours. A group project with four girls should aim for 200 hours.

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 Silver 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 and no, we encourage girls to incorporate a sustainability plan into their project objectives, however it is not necessary to follow through with that sustainability plan. 

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 due?
The project Final Report is due before September 30th of the year a girl graduates 8th grade. For example, if a girl graduates 8th 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.