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Girl Scouts' Highest Awards

Highest Awards

Bronze. Silver. Gold. These represent the highest honors a Girl Scout can earn.

All three awards give you the chance to do big things while working on an issue you care about. Whether you want to plant a community garden at your school and inspire others to eat healthily for your Bronze, advocate for animal rights for your Silver, or build a career network that encourages girls to become scientists and engineers for your Gold, you’ll inspire others (and yourself). 

Also a given: as you earn one of Girl Scouting’s highest awards, you’ll change your corner of the world—and maybe even beyond. The possibilities are endless.

Want to see what others have done to earn their award? For inspiration, check out examples of Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award projects via Girl Scouts of the USA’s Map It: Girls Changing the World.

Highest Awards FAQ's

Why are journeys prerequisites to earn the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards? 
The journeys give girls a full experience of what they will do as they work to earn the highest awards. The skills girls gain while working on the journeys will help them develop, plan and implement their award Take Action project.

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

What makes the awards' guidelines different from the journeys?
In contrast to journey Take Action projects, which give girls themes on which to base their journey Take Action project, the Girl Scout Award Take Action projects have no pre-designed theme. Girls select their own theme, design, and execute their Take Action project.

What are the suggested hours for earning each of the awards? 
Not all projects will require the same length of time to complete from planning to sharing and celebration. The time it takes to earn the awards will depend on the nature of the project, the size of the team, and the support of the community. Quality projects should be emphasized over quantity of hours. After the journey(s) requirement is fulfilled, the suggested minimum number of hours to use as a guide is: 

The Bronze Award -- suggested minimum 20 hours
The Silver Award -- suggested minimum 50 hours
The Gold Award -- suggested minimum 80 hours

Can a troop work on an Award together? 
Each award level brings a new progression of leadership development and each award level has different group guidelines. At the Bronze level girls must work together in a team setting. When girls work on their Silver Award they have the option to work individually or in a small group setting.
The Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting and girls must earn the Gold Award as an individual.

Can girls begin working on their awards the summer after they bridge (transition) from one Girl Scout level to the next?
Yes. Girls can begin to earn the awards over the summer.

Can Take Action Projects for the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards focus on Girl Scouting?
Final Take Action Projects for the Girl Scout Bronze Award may focus on service in support of the Girl Scout movement, while Take Action Projects for the Girl Scout Silver Award and Gold Award are expected to reach beyond Girl Scouting to "make the world a better place." The award progression is planned to offer our younger girls the opportunity to develop their planning and leadership skills within the comfort and familiarity of Girl Scouting if they so choose. As they mature within Girl Scouting, our Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors are ready to move beyond the Girl Scout family to share their leadership skills with the wider community. It is in fully exploring their communities that our older girls exemplify the Girl Scout mission to "Build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place."

If a girl starts working on her Take Action project and moves; can she still earn her award?
Councils and Overseas Committees are encouraged to be flexible to work and serve the girls’ best interests. If a girl moves, she should work with her council and/or Overseas Committees to complete the project.

Who are the adult guides for – council staff, parents, or volunteers?
Any adult is welcome to use the adult guides. The guides were designed for volunteers working directly with girls on achieving their awards.

Do we need a different set of requirements for girls with disabilities to earn the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards?
No. The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards are done to the best of a girl’s ability. There is no need to have special requirements for girls with disabilities — encourage flexibility and the recruitment of advisors that can work with the girl individually.

Is sustainability differentiated at each grade level?
The guidelines give girls tools to examine the underlying root cause of issues, develop a sustainable project plan and measure the impact of their project on their community, the target audience and themselves. There is progression. While Girl Scout Juniors working on their Girl Scout Bronze Award will reflect on how the project could be kept going, Girl Scout Cadettes plan for sustainability. Seniors and Ambassadors work to ensure the sustainability of their project in order to meet the Gold Award standards of excellence.

While Juniors explore an issue that affects their Girl Scout community, Cadettes create a community map of their neighborhood or school. Meanwhile Seniors and Ambassadors earning the Gold Award assess an issue and its effect more broadly by interviewing community leaders, research using a variety of sources and investigate other community’s solutions to a similar problem.

How can we make sure that Girl Scout Awards represent quality projects?
The best way to make sure that a girl is doing the best of her ability is to ensure that both she and her project advisor receive orientation about the award and understand the difference between a one time community service opportunity or event and a Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award Take Action project. It’s the responsibility of the troop/group volunteer, council staff member or Gold Award committee (for Gold Award only) to work with the girl to ensure that she meets the quality requirements of the award.

What does it mean to have a sustainable project?
A sustainable project is one that lasts after the girl’s involvement ends. A focus on education and raising awareness is one way to make sure a project is carried on. Workshops and hands-on learning sessions can inspire others to keep the project going. Another way to create a sustainable project is by collaborating with community groups, civic associations, non-profit agencies, local government, and/or religious organizations to ensure the project lasts beyond the girl’s involvement.

How does a girl measure project impact?
Girls identify their project goals for their community, target audience and themselves by developing success indicators using a matrix provided in the guidelines

What if a girl is 18 and graduating? Can she complete her project when she is in college?
A girl has until she turns 18 or until the end of the Girl Scout membership year (September 30th) when she is a senior in high school.

What if a girl graduates and is 18 and doesn’t have her project completed?
In this case the girl would have until September 30 of the year she graduates.

What if a girl’s project is not completed by the council ceremony time?
This is up to the girl. She might be recognized for her work in progress at the Girl Scout Gold Award Ceremony for her peers, or she can be honored in a separate ceremony or come back for the council-wide ceremony the next year. If the council has a set time for honoring Girl Scout Gold Awardees, this should be part of the orientation to girls planning their Girl Scout Gold Award. Girls and their project advisors are encouraged to work within the council timeline; however, the ceremony time should not dictate whether or not a girl is able to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award.


Questions about earning a Highest Award? We're here to help! Contact us at or 775-322-0642.