Bronze. Silver. Gold. These represent the three classes of medals professional athletes will compete for in the fast-approaching 2018 Winter Olympics.
They also represent the highest awards a Girl Scout can earn! Just as it is in the Olympics, the Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouts. It is the most prestigious award in the world for girls, and the most difficult to earn.
While the history of the Gold Award has changed over the years the principle has remained the same – to strive for excellence and to make a change and a lasting difference in the community, region or beyond.
In Middle Tennessee, girls get to celebrate their achievements and their reception of the Gold Award and other highest awards at the annual Salute to Outstanding Leadership Awards (SOLA) ceremony in April.
In order to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, girls must be a registered Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador (9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade), complete two Senior or Ambassador journeys, or have earned the Silver Award and completed one Senior or Ambassador journey.
After completing the journeys, 80 hours (minimum) is suggested for girls to complete the steps of the Gold Award process. To find out more about the Girl Scout Gold Award and what you need to go for gold this year, visit gsmidtn.org/programs/awards.
The deadline to submit your Gold Award final report for this year’s SOLA ceremony is February 15. The final report should be handed in after your Gold Award Project has been completed. If final report paperwork is submitted after the February 15 deadline, girls will be able to attend next year’s SOLA ceremony.
Check out some of these notable Gold Award Projects from last year:
K & C’s Closet | Kaitlynn, Troop 1711
Kaitlynn observed that when senior citizens in her community ran out of funds before their next Social Security check arrived, they had to go without medicine and other essential needs. Working with the manager of the Dickson Housing Authority Community Center, Kaitlynn set up and organized a storage closet at a local church with items to be included in monthly care packages. Information flyers were distributed listing the needs for this resource to benefit her community’s senior citizens and shared with the church community and local Girl Scout troops.
No More Boredom | Savannah, Troop 2289
After working with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Centennial Hospital for her Silver Award, Savannah knew she wanted to continue with a Gold Award project. The two family rooms on NICU floors were in need of light remodeling, so she created a tree-shaped bookcase, a toy chest unit, a wall mounted block table, and three storage crate seats for each floor. She also built a shelf to hold a DVD player for each of the televisions and was able to provide approximately 15 different DVDs for each room. Savannah created a blog to enlist support from the community, which resulted in a supply of donated books and toys for each room.
Butterfly Garden at St. Mary’s | Heather, Troop 1417
Just by their nature, butterflies have a global link. They inhabit every continent in the world except the Antarctic. Due to urbanization and the increased use of pesticides, herbicides, invasive and hybrid plants, butterflies have lost proper habitats. Heather created a garden habitat for butterflies using indigenous, perennial, self-propagating, seed bearing plants. The site was chosen because of its rocky, cavernous soil conditions, which means it will not be able to be developed.
For questions or more information, contact Poppy Lee at PLee@gsmidtn.org or (615) 460-0255.