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Silver Award Training
Transcript of Silver Award Training
The Girl Scout Silver Award is recognized as the second highest award in Girl Scouting. It represents a girl's accomplishments in Girl Scouting and her community as she grows and works to improve her life and the lives of others.
Girls must be bridged as a
Cadette Girl Scout
A girl cannot begin to work on the Silver Award until they have bridged to Cadettes.
Work started prior to bridging to a Cadette Girl Scouting may not be applied toward this award.
Girl Scout Silver Award Guidelines
The project must be completed and approved by council before September 30th of the year they complete 8th grade.
Complete the Online Training
Troop Leaders for any girl working on the GS Silver Award MUST complete the GSSI Girl Scout Silver Award Training before girls start on steps 2-8.
Complete a Journey
Girls must complete a GS Cadette Journey before identifying an issue for their topic. A single Journey may take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to complete. A Journey is considered completed once all the awards for that Journey are earned.
Check out the
Navigating the Girl Scout Cadette Journey Guide!
Address a Community Need
Girl's projects should provide a needed service to others and must reflect some aspect of community service, along with sustainability (how the project can continue on even after they are finished with it). Projects should be done within your own community.
Submit a Project Intent
After developing a project plan, girls MUST turn in a GS Silver Award Project Intent Form before starting their project. Girls will not be able to start the project until they get approval from council.
Project intent forms can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Girl Scout Silver Award, #4 Ginger Creek Parkway, Glen Carbon, IL 62034
50 Minimum Hours
Once a girl completes her GS Cadette Journey, the suggested minimum time for earning the GS Silver Award is 50 hours for each GS Cadette. Girls may begin counting their hours at step 2 (after completion of the Journey). These suggested hours are a guide, not a rule. Not all projects will require the same length of time to complete. The time it takes to earn the award will depend on the nature of the protect, the size of the team, and the support of the community.
Quality of Work
Girls should do the best work possible. Shortcuts, hurrying through and bending the rules not only defeat the purpose of the project, but they are not in keeping with the meaning of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. It is rewarding for girls to challenge themselves and do things well.
Girls should keep a record of all of their work. It is their responsibility to keep track of all the documentation. It is recommended that they keep another copy of the paperwork for safe keeping.
Follow Fundraising Guidelines
GS Silver Award projects should be designed so that they are realistically within the girl's/troop's financial resources. Projects which require financial support from the girl's family are not recommended.
If a troop is doing fundraising to raise funds for their troop, they must follow the GSSI guidelines for Troop Fundraising, which includes partcipiating in cookie sales.
Steps to Completing a Girl Scout Silver Award
Go on a Girl Scout Journey
The first requirement for earning the Girl Scout Silver Award is completing one Cadette Journey.
Identify Issues You Care About In Your Community
Think about what matters most to you.
Do you find yourself reading articles about endangered species?
Do you worry about where homeless children sleep at night?
Do you wish that younger students had a cheerful place to stay after school while waiting for their parents to pick them up?
If so, what connections can you make between the issues that you care about and the issues in your own community?
Start by jotting some issues that concern you, why the issues are important to you, and how does the issue affect your community.
Build your Girl Scout Silver Award Team
There are two ways you can earn your Girl Scout Silver Award: You can work with a small team of two to four girls or you can create and implement your own project.
Small Team Model: Each girl must play an active role in choosing, planning, and developing the team's Take Action project. Each person on the team MUST have her own responsibilities for the project. Working in groups should only be considered when the scale of the project is so large that one girl could not accomplish it on their own.
Solo Model: You can can create and implement a project on your own. If you choose the solo option, you still will want to partner with others in your community (friends, neighbors, and business owners) in order to earn your award.
Explore Your Community
Communities are groups of people who have something in common. You belong to many communities: your school, for example, is a community. Other communities include your neighborhood, your place of worship, your town, and so on. Think about and list the communities that you belong to.
After you've listed your communities, thank of ways to "map" them. A community map is a drawing that shows the community's needs and recources, including contacts who might help you when you start work your Silver Award Project. The key to making a community map is obersvation. Because a community is made up of people, you'll be looking for what people need--that is, what will improve their lives, help them out, or make them happier.
Now it's time to talk to people to get in-depth information about community issues. As you conduct interviews, you'll improve your communication skills, begin to see how your time and talents can make an impact, and build a network of contacts you may need when you do your Silver Award Project.
Start by talking to people you know, such as neighbors or teachers, and then ask them to introduce you to other people in your community, such as business owners, neighbors, teachers or school officals, religious leaders, council members, police officers, and staff members at community centers.
Prepare your questions ahead of time so you can use your interview time wisely. Here are some questions to get you started;
I'm interested in doing a project that will help the community. What are some of the issues affecting our community? Do you know about how people have tried to work on these issues in the past? What worked? What didn't work?
Can you suggest a project I could do to address one of these issues?
How could I make an impact on the community for years to come?
Pick Your Take Action Project
Review your issues chart, community map, and interview notes.
If you are working with a team, do this together. If you are on your own, pull a few people together to help you sort through all you have gathered.
Choose a project based on what matters most to you or where you think you can create some positive change, but please remember that your project should meet an "expressed" community need. That means that someone in your community who is an authority figure or leader can confirm that your project is providing a service that is needed and is not being provided in any other way. If you have a hard time deciding, write a pro/con list for each choice.
The project you choose must be a volunteer project. You cannot get paid for any of the work you are doing. If you work with an organization who regularly uses volunteers, make sure you are involved in the planning, so you have a chance to display your leadership skills and so your personal influence is apparent in your project.
Many issues are big and complicated--and hard to fix! If your project seems too large for everyone in your group to handle, it might be a good idea to narrow your focus. Pick just one aspect of your issue, and then develop a solution to that specific problem.
Remember each person in your group, if you are working in a team, must have their own responsibilities within the project.
Remember not to select something that would be too hard to find the financial resources for. We suggest a project within your troop's or your financial resources. A Silver Award project should not be a financial burden on you or your family.
Keep in mind that the minimum time for earning your GS Silver Award is 50 hours per girl working on the project. You should have begun counting hours at Step 2, but please make sure that your project is large enough for each girl to accumulate close to the suggested hours, if not surpass it. The amount of time you spend on your project will depend on the nature of the project, size of the team, and the support you find in your community.
Develop Your Project
Now that you've chosen a project, it's time to make a plan. Before you start, use the following questions to think through your project.
1. What steps do we need to take to reach our goals?
2. What special talents can each girl use to help make the project a success?
3. What did we learn when we earned our Girl Scout Cadette Journey awards that will help us make sure this project runs smoothly?
4. Do we know enough to get started or do we need more background information? Where can we get that information?
5. Which groups or organizations can we work with? Who can we ask for help?
6. How can we get other people involved?
7. What supplies will we need?
8. How will we earn enough money for our project, if necessary?
9. How much time will we need to finish our project? Is that timeline realistic?
Silver Award Project Intent Form
When you have completed Step 6, you can fill out your GSSI Silver Award Project Intent Form located at the link below.
be approved before you can begin working on your project.
Make a Plan and Put It in Motion
Once you have received approval, it is time to get started!
Build a list of what you need to do and how it can be done, and then figure out who will be doing what. Remember that you're a team, so one or more girls can volunteer for each task. Also decide when each task needs to be finished. Then write all the information in a Make a Plan chart like the one that follows.
When your steps are identified and your plan is set...DO IT! Keep a record and fill out your hours in the GS Silver Award Log Sheet. Also, as you go, take photos, shoot a video, and document the process. Not only will it make it easier to share your story when you are finished, but it is a lot of fun!
Reflect, Share Your Story, and Celebrate!
Congratulations! You have completed a project that makes a difference. Take some time to reflect on what you have accomplished. These questions may get you started:
What did you discover about yourself?
How did you connect with your local and global communities? Who do you know now that you didn't know before?
What did you learn from others who worked to solve the same problem?
How did that help you make the project better?
What skills did you gain that helped you as a person and a leader?
What impact did your Take Action project have on your community? How will it go on past your involvement?
How did you live the Girl Scout Promise and Law?
Share Your Story
Demonstrating to an audience what you have learned sets the stage for even broader impact, and is sometimes the best way for you to recognize what you have accomplished and see how much you have grown. It will also help you get others inspired to act!
Here are some ideas for how you can share your story:
Create a website or blog about what you have learned and how your project helps your community.
At a workshop for community members, present what you have learned and what your project will do for the community. Or do a presentation for a group of younger Girl Scouts-you will definitely inspire them!
Make a video about your project and post it online. Invite friends, community leaders, and people from other organizations that are tackling a similar issue to watch and share your videos with others.
Write an essay or an article for your local or school newspaper.
At this point, you must fill out the GSSI Silver Award Final Report Form and turn it in with your GSSI Silver Award Time Log Sheet into council. You will not have officially earned the GS Silver Award until you are approved and receive your letter.
Once you have received your approval letter you are a Girl Scout Silver Award Recipient! You will be invited to the annual All That Glitters ceremony where you will receive your certificate and Silver Award pin. If you can't make the ceremony, let us know and we will get your certificate and pin to you and you can celebrate with your troop.
and Your GS Silver Award Project
One of the challenges facing every girl going for the Silver is financial aspect. Often, when the planning gets serious, adjustments have to be made in the doing. On the one hand you are asked to meet a need in your community; on the other hand, you have some major constraints outlined in Volunteer Essentials, Safety Checkpoints, and by your council. So what's a girl to do? Reality first, then some possible ways to approach it. Think of those who have gone before you. They figured it out, and so can you!
You can't ask for money as a girl member of Girl Scouts.
You can't ask for materials or services (gifts-in-kind) either. This asking is considered fundraising by the IRS and Girl Scout policies and for lots of reasons (legal and otherwise), adults are the only people who can raise money for Girl Scouting.
What you can do:
Since adults can solicit money, work with an adult partner if you really need to get a donation of materials or need some funds. You can describe your project to others, write a letter, create a PowerPoint presentation or write the grant, but an adult has to do the actual ask and sign on the dotted line.
You can't raise money for another organization as a Girl Scout.
That means you can't have a bake sale and tell people that you are giving the proceeds to a homeless shelter for meals, you can't ask for pledges for a walk-a-thon to benefit breast cancer research, and you can't hold a benefit dance to raise money for Sally's kidney operation.
What you can do:
This is where it gets a bit tricky. Your troop/group can hold a bake sale or birdhouse sale and can charge a fee to an approved event that you put on to earn money for the troop/group's activities. However, your troop must have council permission for any money earning activity. Your troop/group may then decide to use that money toward the completion of a Girl Scout Silver Award Project, such as the purchase of materials. It must be a troop/group decision on how to allocate the funds, which can be used for group or individual projects.
If you are an individually registered member, things are slightly different. You cannot earn money as an individual Girl Scout for yourself. The money you earn must go to an account held by a group (troop/group, service unit, or your council). Next, you must present your need for funding to that group. There is no guarantee that you will get back the amount of money you earned for the group, as the dispersal of funds will be a group decision. We suggest you first check with the Awards Program Manager about the options open.
More on Money
Reminder: All Girl Scout activities should meet Safety Checkpoints, other council guidelines, and be approved by council.
Sell Girl Scout Cookies! Think big--arrange for booths at sports events or college dorms or sell cases of cookies to businesses for special treats for their staff.
Provide childcare at special events during the holiday season or community events.
Recycle aluminum cans. Host a community can-a-thon involving small businesses as well as families.
Put on a gigantic garage sale. Don't forget to make refreshments to sell!
Offer clown activities and face painting at family events or malls.
Wrap gift packages at holiday fairs.
Provide classroom or home birthday parties (cupcakes and games) on order.
Do NOT Engage in the Following Kinds of Activities:
Girls cannot raise money for another organization as Girl Scouts. This means girls cannot have a bake sale and tell people they are giving the proceeds to a specific organization.
Product demonstration parties, raffles, drawings, games of chance.
Girl Scouts of the USA might be perceived as endorsing a product or political viewpoint. This includes getting paid to pass out flyers for political candidates or freebees at a business opening. When in doubt, double check with council.
Selling items on the Internet as a Girl Scout. Unless your are using Digital Cookie or Nut and Candy, you cannot sell items on the Internet.
Q: Can I use my own money on the GS Silver Award Project?
A: Yes. If you want to use your own money, you can. You my receive help from your family, too. However, we encourage you to work with others to earn the money. That's part of the process.
Q: Can I ask friends and neighbors for help?
A: You shouldn't ask for donations of money, but with the help of an adult, you can ask for donations of time and stuff, such as clothing for a clothing drive or that pile of bricks left over from your neighbor's backyard project.
Q: What if what I want to do costs too much?
A: It's better to succeed with a smaller project that is within your budget than to be unable to complete a larger project because it exceeds your budget. Be realistic about what you can and can't do. Work with your adult advisor to develop a reasonable budget for your project. If your resources are not sufficient for you to realistically accomplish your goal, then you need to rethink the project.
Q: Is it all right to seek help from other organizations when doing my GS Silver Award?
A: Yes, with some qualifications. Many service organizations have budgets for community projects. You can use their interests as leverage to support your project and get volunteers to help you. Do some research on local service organizations. Even some businesses give workers time for community service hours and projects. However, remember the rule about having the adult doing the "ask" for actual money and gifts-in-kind, and clearing our joint approach with your local council.
Q: I know you can't raise money as a Girl Scout for other organizations, but can I do it on my own?
A: As an individual, you can volunteer for other organizations, but you should not identify work that you do to raise funds for another organization as part of your time going toward the GS Silver Award. Additionally, you may not present yourself as a Girl Scout to the public in this process since you are a volunteer for another organization.
Q: Can we charge for a Girl Scout event to earn money?
A: If it is a service project, a fee can be collected to cover the cost of materials. The project ceases to be a service project if you are charging a fee for the event above cost, in which case the hours cannot go toward service hours in any award. If your actual project is an event for the public you can charge a fee to cover the event.
Girl Scout Silver Award Forms and Reference Material
Congratulations! You have completed the
Silver Award Training. Visit the link below to confirm completion.
The Girl Scout Silver Award Forms can be found at the link below.
Contact the Awards Program Manager with any questions regarding your project.