Why must girls complete Journeys before earning Girl Scout Bronze,
Silver, and Gold Awards?
Earning one of Girl Scouts’ highest awards challenges girls to be
their best. By first completing a “regular” Journey, girls learn what
it takes to successfully complete a Take Action project—so they’re
better prepared to develop, plan, and implement the more involved Take
Action project for their Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.
What do you mean when you say a girl’s Journey is "completed"?
We say a Journey is “completed” when a girl has earned the Journey
awards, which include creating and carrying out a Take Action project.
Are the guidelines for the highest awards the same as those for
As you might expect, there are some differences. Take Action
projects for a Journey have predetermined themes. To earn a Bronze,
Silver, or Gold Award, girls are required to come up with their own
Take Action project theme.
How many hours should it take to earn each of the highest
No two projects are alike, so the time to plan, share, and complete
a project will vary depending on the scope of the project, team, and
community support. The quality of the project should be
emphasized over the quantityof hours necessary to complete it.
However, after fulfilling the required Journey, the suggested minimum
number of hours is:
- Bronze Award: 20 hours
- Silver Award: 50 hours
- Gold Award: 80 hours
Can girls, or even an entire troop, work together on an award?
Girls working toward their Silver Award may work individually or in
small groups of four (4) or less.
Can girls get a head-start and begin working on their award
projects right after they bridge (transition) to the next level?
Absolutely. Once a girl bridges to the next level, she can begin
working on her award; this includes the summer months.
Is it possible to choose Girl Scouting itself as the focus of a
Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award?
The Girl Scout movement can be the focus of a Take Action project
for the Bronze Award, but not for the Silver and Gold Awards. Take
Action projects for the Silver and Gold Awards must into the community
to "make the world a better place."
Younger girls earning their Bronze Award are allowed to develop
their planning and leadership skills within the comfort of a smaller
group. Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors are ready to spread their
wings, work more independently, and develop projects with—and for—a
What happens when a girl moves to a new city, state, or country
while she’s in the middle of her award project? Can she still earn
Yes, but she may need to seek special permission. We advise a girl
in this situation to work with her new council and/or Overseas
Committee to complete the project. And we encourage councils and
Overseas Committees to be flexible and serve girls’ best interests.
Are adult guides just for council staff and volunteers? Or can
parents use them too?
Even though the guides are designed for volunteers working directly
with girls achieving their awards, any adult is welcome to use them.
What about girls with disabilities? Is there a different set of
requirements for them?
No. Because Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award work is to be done to the
best of a girl’s ability, there really is no need for special
requirements for girls with disabilities. We encourage advisors to be
flexible and to work with the girl individually as she earns her award.
How do you define “sustainable” when it comes to the highest awards?
Simply put, a sustainable project lives on in the community after a
girl’s involvement ends.
How do girls achieve that?
They might focus on education and raising awareness. Or they might
develop workshops and hands-on learning sessions that inspire others
to keep the project going. Working with local government, community
groups, nonprofit agencies, civic associations, and/or religious
organizations can also help ensure the project lasts beyond the girl’s involvement.
Does “sustainability” mean something different for different grade levels?
It’s more the degree of sustainability that differs from level to
level. We give girls tools to help them explore issues they may want
to address so that they can develop sustainable projects, as well as
measure impact on their community, target audience, and themselves.
Like many aspects of earning the highest awards, it becomes more
challenging as girls progress to the higher levels. Girl Scout Juniors
working on their Bronze Awards might think about how their projects
could become ongoing. But Cadettes working on their awards actually
plan for sustainability. Seniors and Ambassadors are required to make
sustainability an essential component of their projects in order to
meet Gold Award standards of excellence.
Do you have any advice on how to generate higher-quality projects?
A good first step is to make sure girls and their advisors
understand the difference between a one-time community service project
and a highest award Take Action project that serves an entire
community for an extended period of time. The troop/group volunteer,
council staff member, or Gold Award committee (for Gold Award only)
should also work closely with girls to ensure that every project meets
the quality requirements of the award.
How can we accurately measure the impact of a highest award
Check the award guidelines. We provide tools to help girls identify
project goals for their community, target audience, and themselves
using a “success indicator” matrix.