Gold and Silver Awards

Resources
The place to go for the proposal, guidelines and final report is here on the San Diego Girl Scout Website Highest Awards page. Consuelo Quintanard is a former member of the Gold Award Committee and she’s a great local resource in Sunnytrails if you want to talk more about an idea or have questions about how to get it done. Please go to the council website for the most up to date information, guidelines and forms. This page just attempts to give you some guidance, one leader to another, and to give you some ideas of specific things that may help in the Chula Vista area.

Girl Scout Gold AwardGold Award App
We’re so excited to announce our new online Girl Scout Gold Award web app! This interactive resource walks aspiring Gold Award applicants through the entire process of planning, developing, and implementing their own Gold Award projects.Step-by-step instructions offer girls guidance and the ability to record every aspect of their Gold Award project as it progresses. The web app exactly mirrors the existing paper process that’s been in place for some time, and it’s available online 24/7 from any Internet-connected computer. The web app automatically informs councils of the project’s status and submits a request for approval directly to the applicant’s council when the project is completed. We think it will greatly streamline the entire process for girls getting their Gold Award. Check it out at www.girlscouts.org/mygoldaward.Networking
And don’t forget to join the Girl Scout Gold Award community on Facebook and read the conversations girls are having as they work on their Gold Award projects. Share your own stories and make new friends!History and Scholarships
Have you seen our pictorial history of the highest awards in Girl Scouting? See all the highest awards dating back to 1916, as well as some of the earliest recipients and ceremonies. Also, have a look at the exclusive scholarship opportunities available only to Gold Award recipients.

Training
There is lots to learn and the best place to start, after you’ve read everything about them, is one of the council classes. They give classes for girls and recently they’ve started giving classes for adults, so that everyone understands the process.

Practice – Discover, Connect and Take Action!
Before you begin working on an award you need to do a Journey at your grade level. The journeys take you through the same steps that you’ll take on a Gold or Silver award so they are great practice! Through the journey you’ll learn to Discover (that’s the part where you’re learning all about the issue, problems and needs) Connect (that’s the part when you’re learning about people who are involved with the issue on a global or national scale and you’re encouraged to connect with people at the local level to see what needs to be done in your community) Take Action (the take action project is like a mini-Silver Award. It should be measurable, attempt to solve a problem or serve a need in the community and it helps if you can think about how it could be sustainable meaning how can you pass the idea on to other people? and global, meaning how could you make it bigger?) More about those things in a minute.  A journey can  take a month or two or it can take a whole year! There are several journeys available in the council store. I found it was helpful to check them out of the resource room, let the girls take a good look at them and then choose one to work on together.

Find Your Passion
So you’ve finished your Journey Take Action Project and it’s time to come up with an idea for your Silver Award project. You want to pick something that you’re really interested in because that makes it more meaningful and fun. Begin by writing down a list of things you love and love to do:
animals, reading, children, sports, gardening, making things, talking to people, music, fashion. These are some of the things that the girls in my troop care about.

Discover – What’s the Problem?
Start thinking about issues & problems in our community that have to do with a few of those things that you feel passionate about.  If you take animals as a topic you might brainstorm that there are too many animals at the shelter, that animals get hit by cars when they roam free, that they poop on public sidewalks, that people need to learn how to take care of them better and that it makes kids really sad when they die.  If you pick reading as a topic then you might brainstorm that there aren’t enough good books at your school, or girls don’t know what to read, or parents and kids should read together more, or kids should read more current events, or there is a problem of illiteracy in our schools. Then you think about one or two solutions to some of the problems. We brainstormed some ideas that we thought might be Chula Vista Community Problems that might be the beginning of a take action, gold or silver award project. Maybe they’ll get you thinking.

Connect- With People in our Community
It might help to go on a field trip to the shelter and talk to the director or visit a veterinarian or a Pet Store or the Zoo and talk to an expert about some of the problems that you’ve discovered in the community, if you decided that you’re most interested in animals.  Ask them if this is really a problem.  Ask them about the root of the problem. If homelessness is a problem then collecting food to donate isn’t a long term solution. You want to look deeper than that. Ask them if they have ideas that might solve the problem. Ask them about any ideas that you have that might solve the problem.  If you’re having trouble thinking about problems in the community maybe you could talk to one of these people. This is a List of People working to make things better in our South Bay community and are hard at work on community problems.

Make it Real
You want to be sure that the solution that you’re building your award around is a real solution to a real problem. That’s why it’s so important to connect with the person who you’re hoping to help and ASK.  It really helps if they can write you a letter or email saying that you’ve got a good idea and that they think it will serve a need in the community!

Make it Measurable
So, you have an idea now for a solution to a problem that you feel some passion about, that gets to the root of a problem in the community. Hooray! Now you need to think through how you’re going to get it done. What are the steps? Write it all down (these are the parts that you’ll put in your proposal). The key is to make it measurable.  You’re going to recruit some people from your school to help..how many? how are you going to reach them? how many meetings will you have? You are going to make something..how many? how many times will you get together? Put numbers on everything, that way you’ll know that you’re done when you’ve done it! This is an excellent resource from council that helps you think through the different parts of your proposal and how to make sure that you’ve got all the parts!

Make it Sustainable
There are tips to help you with this in the Gold Award Guidelines on page 17. Think about who you can give the solution to once you’ve got it going..a club at school? the PTA? the Animal Shelter? a group at your church? Is there a group that you could educate about this? Education, workshops, training others, creating a book or a video is a great way to make something sustainable.

Make it Global
Now that you’ve got it working at your school or church or neighborhood, how can you spread the idea to other schools, churches, neighborhoods or cities? Writing up the plan, speaking to a city council, speaking to the congregation at another church, meeting with kids at another school are all ways to make the project bigger and more “global”. You can also write an article for the local paper, create a  website or blog, write on other people’s blogs,  make flyers to spread around and talk with others.

Evaluate
Finally you need to go back and see if you accomplished what you said you would. You have to ask the people you hoped to help if you actually did help them. You need to create some way of evaluating the project. You can collect feedback and letters or hand out something specific for people to fill out for you. You also need to do a little self reflection (this will help you when you go back to write about the project on college applications and scholarship applications!)

Examples of Projects
I think it always helps to see what other people have done. On the council website there is a list of what some Coast Gold Award recipients did.  I’d be interested in hearing what your troop did for a Bronze Award or what you did for a Silver or Gold Award Project! Leave a comment below and share what you’ve done to make the world a better place!

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *