Friday, June 24, 2016

What Does it Mean to Earn the Gold Award?

Girl Scouting is full of unique, incredible, and life changing opportunities for all girls involved, but earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is a life changing experience in itself. Going for the Gold is so much more than earning a prestigious award; it gives girls the opportunity to find themselves while also making a difference/impact in their community. While the journey in earning the Gold Award is unique for every Girl Scout because of the many different take action projects, the skills, connections and feelings that come out of earning the Gold are very similar.

As a lifetime Girl Scout who earned her Gold Award as an Ambassador, I know from experience that earning the highest award in Girl Scouting is an enriching and unforgettable journey. It all started with an idea and identifying how I wanted to help my community. Over the course of a year and half I watched what started out as an idea, blossom into a project that helped make my community a better place, and that is what all girls completing the Gold Award aim to do. There is a great sense of pride and satisfaction in knowing you created a project that helped impact and change the lives of those in your community and beyond. Thousands of girls each year embark on the journey to earn their Gold Award, all looking to change their community and inspire change around the world.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is not an easy accomplishment; it takes hours upon hours of planning, brainstorming, communicating, and when ready executing and implementing the project. But the fact that earning the award isn't a smooth sailing, easy process, is what makes the award that much more meaningful.  Because the process is long and requires a large time commitment and a lot of hard work and dedication, girls who complete the award, learn about skills and qualities they had, but were not aware of prior to completing the award. In the midst of planning the project, communicating with advisors and community members to help with executing the project, girls are able to discover and learn about themselves in new ways. Earning the Gold Award allows girls to discover the leadership skills they may have been too shy to show before, the organization and planning skills they thought they did not have and the communication skills that showed them they have a voice that can make a difference. The practical life skills discovered in earning the Gold Award help build girls of true courage, confidence and character, and they are skills that can be use/applied beyond the Gold Award and Girl Scouting

While earning the Gold Award means something different to each Girl Scout, the thing that all Gold Award recipients share, is the strength that comes from completing their project and in earning their award. Earning the Gold Award leads to a stronger and more confident sense of self, in which girls feel empowered to make a difference. Their project does not end with them, but instead carries on to continue to reach their communities and inspire change. Because girls know they can use their voice to make a change as a result of earning the Gold Award, they are more likely to take on new projects and find new ways to help their communities, all while trying to make the world they live in a better place. The Gold Award is one example of the many amazing things Girl Scouts are capable of, but the journey in earning the award is a timeless and rewarding experience that all Girl Scouts are encouraged to complete.

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