Monday, June 13, 2016

Hard-earned: No one wins a Gold Award

Girls celebrated earning the Gold Award in Cranberry in May.
The mistake is understandable. The Girl Scout Gold Award is an award after all, and awards are often won. That makes sense. Doesn’t it?

Not when it comes to the Gold Award. Girls earn this distinction—the highest achievement in Girl Scouting—through hours of research, planning, community organizing and relationship building. The recommended minimum number of hours for girls to spend on their take-action projects is 80. That means that the 97 Girl Scouts who earned the Gold Award this year logged a minimum of 7,760 hours making the world a better place.

The word “win” also implies that someone else—maybe several people—lost.

No one loses when Girl Scouts answer the call to “go Gold.” Girls gain valuable leadership skills and the experience can set them on a path of community service for life. Also, some universities and colleges offer scholarships for award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. armed forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their Gold Award achievement.

Communities win, too, because through the Gold Award process, girls seek out the work that needs doing—whether that’s creating a garden for a local food bank, developing programs to help more girls explore STEM careers, or building a wheelchair-accessible playground. 

So when you meet a Gold Award recipient, congratulate her on her hard work. She’s earned it.