Why must girls complete Journeys before earning the Girl Scout
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 Silver Award.
What do you mean when you say a girl’s Journey is
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 Silver Award 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 Silver Award, girls are required to come up with
their own Take Action project theme.
How many hours should it take to earn the Silver Award?
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 quantity of hours necessary to complete
it. However, after fulfilling the required Journey, the suggested
minimum number of hours is 50 hours.
Can girls, or even an entire troop, work together on the Silver
Girls working toward their Silver Award may work
individually or in small groups.
Can girls get a head-start and begin working on their Silver Award
project right after they bridge (transition) to the next
Absolutely. Once a girl bridges to the next level,
she can begin working on her Silver Award; this includes the summer months.
Is it possible to choose Girl Scouting itself as the focus of a
The Girl Scout movement can not be the
focus of a Take Action project for the Silver Award. Take Action
projects for the Silver Award must reach into the community to
"make the world a better place." Cadettes are ready to
spread their wings, work more independently, and develop projects
with—and for—a larger community.
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 Silver 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
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 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.
Do you have any advice on how to generate higher-quality
A good first step is to make sure girls and
their advisors understand the difference between a one-time community
service project and a Silver Award Take Action project that serves an
entire community for an extended period of time. The troop/group
volunteer or council staff member 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 Silver 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.