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Gold Award Frequently Asked Questions

Gold Award Basics

Do I have to earn the Gold Award?
It is up each individual girl to decide if she wants to earn the Gold Award. That decision does not make you a good Girl Scout or a bad Girl Scouts. It is just a choice, an option. The Gold Award is part of the Senior Girl Scout program. It is not the entire Girl Scout program.

I am a troop advisor and some of the girls want to earn the Gold Award but not all of them. How do I manage the troop?
There are many options. You can have a Gold Award planning meeting for the girls who want to earn the Gold Award, alternating with general troop meetings, to plan troop activities. The girls can meet online to discuss their progress on the award. Girls who choose to earn the Gold Award can take advantage of council sponsored programs to complete Gold Award requirements. It is important to keep records of Gold Award requirements for all the girls, in case some decide to complete the award at a later date.

How do you recommend troop advisors keep track of each girl's progress?
Troop advisors should keep a "working copy" of the Gold Award Application for each girl in the troop. Girls should also have their own "working copies" to record their progress. Activities and dates completed can be tracked directly on the form. Girls can then fill out a "clean" copy when they are ready to submit their application for approval.

There are two versions of the Gold Award. Which do I use?
As of September 2004, all girls who choose to earn the Gold Award, are to use the requirements in the Go For It: Gold Award Booklet.

Which books do I need to earn the Gold Award?
Each girl needs her own copy of the Go For It: Girl Scout Gold Award booklet, Interest Projects for Girl Scouts 11-17, Write Now Focus Book and an additional Focus Book of their choice. Girls do not need the A Resource Book for Senior Girl Scouts. The troop advisor just needs one copy for the troop because many Interest Project Award activities refer to the Resource Book.

Do I have to earn the Silver Award before earning the Gold Award?
No. The Silver Award is not a prerequisite for the Gold Award.

If a girl joins Girl Scouts for the first time in high school, or rejoins after several years of not being a member, can she still earn the Gold Award?
Absolutely! When a girl joins Girl Scouts, or bridges to the next level, she starts with a "clean slate" regarding awards. Work does not carry over from one level to another. Everyone starts in the same place as Senior Girl Scouts. Girls are not "punished" for leaving Girl Scouting at a young age and rejoining in high school, of for joining for the first time in high school. The Gold Award is an option for all Senior Girl Scouts, regardless of how many years they have been members, or if they are new members.

The Prerequisites: Gold Leadership Award, Gold Career Award, Gold 4B's Challenge

Gold Leadership Award

The Go for It! Gold Award Booklet lists several steps, or requirements. Do they have to be completed in order?
The Gold Leadership Award, Career Award and 4B's Challenge can be earned in any order. Girls can also work on their requirements concurrently. The Gold Award project is then implemented after the other requirements are completed and the application has been approved.

Can I use activities from school to complete Gold Award requirements?
Absolutely! Spend some time reviewing Interest Projects for Girl Scouts 11-17. Your class work may cover activities for IPAs such as Reading, Writing for Real or Computers in Everyday Life. If you are in the school play, you may completed some of the activities of The Play's the Thing or The Performing Arts IPA. If you are an officer of a club in school, you may have completed some leadership hours.

Can I use church activities, like singing in the choir or altar service to complete the Gold Award?
No. Activities that take place during church services cannot be counted for Girl Scout awards. You choose to attend and participate in religious services because you belong to a faith community, not as a member of GSUSA.

What can I do to earn leadership hours?
There are so many options available to you to complete leadership hours. Some ideas within girl scouting include running a try-it workshop, teaching outdoor skills to younger girls, planning and running your own troop's meeting. Outside of Girl Scouts, you can run activities for a vacation bible school, serve as an officer in a school club or captain a sports team.

Can you give me an example comparing leadership and service?
If a Senior contacts a Brownie leader about helping with the troop, and the leader has the Senior Scout pass out supplies, make and handout snack and help with "crowd control," the time she spent with the troop is service time. If the leader tells the Senior Scout that the troop would like to earn an art Try-It and the Senior Scout plans the Try-It activities and runs the meeting, the Senior is acting in the capacity of a leader.

I'm attending the Camp Aide program this summer at Camp Dewitt. Can I use my volunteer week as leadership time?
No. Girls who attend Camp Aide at summer camp and complete one week of volunteer service will be presented with the Community Service Bar for Contributions to Girl Scouting. "Double Dipping," or using an activity for two awards, is prohibited.

The Go For It Booklet says that I have to earn three IPAs that are related to different pieces of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. How closely related do they have to be? Can you give me some examples?
The IPAs you choose to earn should be broadly related to those sections of the Promise and Law. If you can explain to your troop advisor how the IPA is related, it should be acceptable. For example, the Law and Order IPA, Conflict Resolution IPA or Uncovering the Evidence IPA can be used for "respect authority." Emergency Preparedness IPA, Outdoor Survival IPA and Sports for Life IPA can be used for "courageous and strong". All IPA's require a service project, that allows girls to "help people at all times" and "make the world a better place."

Gold Career Award

Can I count babysitting as a paying job under the fast track option?
No. The purpose of this option is for girls to gain the skills that are used in the job hunt for the rest of their lives. This option allows girls to learn where to look for job openings, obtain working papers, fill out an application, obtain references, attend an interview, get on the job training, learn about income taxes and report to a supervisor. Paying jobs must be legitimate jobs that require you to fill out a W-9 and receive a paycheck.

Gold 4B's Challenge

What kind of goals are acceptable for the Become section?
You can choose any measurable goal, from improving a grade in school, to completing your leadership hours by a certain date, to learning a new skill like first aid and CPR.

The GSUSA website says that some hours from the 4B's Challenge may apply to the project, but this is not stated in the Go For It! Silver Award booklet. Could you please elaborate?
A minimal amount of time spent on the Challenge may apply to the project, if that activity relates directly to the planning and implementation of the project. For example, while researching an issue in your community, you learn about an organization that you would like to work with for your project and spoke that organization about what their needs are, or found a project mentor or project advisor, that specific time may be used for the project. The entire time spent in the Challenge does not count toward the project hours.

I've completed the Challenge. Do I have to use the project idea that I developed during the challenge?
No. The purpose of the challenge is to take you through the thought process of developing ideas from a project. These skills will be used in any project you complete.

The Gold Award Project

Can I work on my Gold Award project before the other requirements are finished?
You may not begin your Gold Award project until the Gold Leadership Award, Career Award and 4B's Challenge have been completed. The skills you gain by completing these awards will help you successfully plan and implement your project.

Can I work on the Gold Award project before the application has been approved?
No. It is very important that you wait until you have received your approval letter in case your project needs some revision.

Can more than one girl work on a project?
It is strongly encouraged that Gold Award projects are done on an individual basis. The Gold Award is a challenge and an opportunity for personal growth. If two girls would like to complete a project together, the following criteria must be met:

A past example of an appropriate group Gold Award project benefited a women's shelter. One girl organized a business clothing drive and offered a session to the residents about job applications, interviews, cover and thank you letters. The other girl collected donations of food and taught cooking lessons to the residents and their children. Both projects benefited the same organizations and were intertwined, but can stand on their own as worthy of the Gold Award.

Can my mother or troop advisor be my project advisor?
No. Family members and your own troop advisor may not be your project advisor. This is a conflict of interest. This has been put in place to protect you. Your leader and family members may help you as project mentors. The project advisor is an adult who is related the field of your project. If your project is working with children with disabilities, a special needs teacher or occupational therapist would be appropriate advisors. They may or may not be registered Girl Scouts.

How can I get additional insurance or a certificate of insurance?
If your project requires the purchase of additional insurance or a certificate of insurance, contact Bobbi Achtel, by phone at (908) 725-1226 x122, or by email at , at least four weeks before your project date.

If my application has been approved, can I change my project?
Yes. To change your project, first contact the Manager of Older Girl Program. Then you will need to resubmit page 4 of the Gold Award application. Include a brief cover letter with your new project advisor's information. If your project advisor is the same, please indicate that in your cover letter. You do not need to resubmit the entire application. Please do not start your new project until it has been approved.

The Gold Award Application, Final Report and Pins

How far ahead should I submit my application?
Applications are to be submitted six weeks before the date you plan to start the project.

I have also found a Gold Award application and final report on the GSUSA website. Can I use that one?
No. The version of the application and final report on the GSUSA website excludes some information that is asked for on the council version. This information is needed to assist the council staff in approving and processing Gold Awards.

When I submit my Gold Award application, do I have to hand in the Go For It! Booklet?
No. The Go For It Booklet is yours to keep.

I'm in Troop 2000. Who signs my application in place of the troop advisor?
A registered adult Girl Scout such as your service unit manager or level consultant may sign your application.

How will I be notified on the status of my application?
If the Manager of Older Girl Program needs more information about your application, or if your project needs some revision, you will be contacted by phone or by mail. When your project is approved, you will receive a letter by mail.

Do I have to meet with the Manager of Older Girl Program when I submit my application or attend an interview?
No. Interviews are not required. Applications may be mailed or dropped off at the council office. Faxed copies cannot be accepted. Original signatures are required. Always make a photocopy for your records.

I've completed my Gold Award project. What paperwork is required?
Each girl must fill out a Gold Award Report Form, Log and Summary Form. Project advisors and girls both sign and date the form. Forms are then mailed to the Council Service Center. Forms may also be dropped off in person. Faxed copies cannot be accepted. Original signatures are required.

Does the time I spend filling out the forms count towards the project?
No. Time spend planning and implementing the project itself counts towards the sixty-five hours required of the project. Filling out the forms is not part of the Gold Award project.

What is the deadline for submitting Gold Award paperwork?
The Gold Award Applications for graduating seniors and girls who wish to be honored at the June dinner are due no later than January 4, 2008. The Gold Award Final Reports for graduating seniors and girls who wish to be honored at the June dinner are due no later than April 1, 2008. Girls who have planned events that will take place between April 1 and May 1, 2008 must apply for an extension.

Gold Award applicants who submit final reports after April 1, 2008 may not receive a certificate packet in their Gold Award folders. Council can only request certificates from government and military organizations for girls who have filed Gold Award final reports at the time of the request. This is a policy by the certifying organizations. Gold Award applicants, who file reports after the April 1 deadline, will be provided with an organization list in their Gold Award folder and may directly request certificates from those organizations.

Gold Award applicants who are granted extensions and submit final reports after May 1, 2008 risk having their names excluded from the Awards Dinner Program Book. Names may appear in an insert to Awards Dinner Program Book.

How do I get my Gold Award pin?
Gold Award pins are given out once a year at the Annual Awards Dinner, held in June. If you choose not to attend, you may pick up your pin and folder at Council anytime after the dinner in June, during office hours.

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