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Highest Awards Extension

Gold, Silver and Bronze Award Girl Scouts are the leaders their communities need to create solutions to the new and ever-changing obstacles that arise from this global pandemic. As we navigate these new challenges, the projects they envision have never been more important!

Recognizing that many schools, youth activities and community gatherings have been suspended, and that we are navigating a period of rapid change, Girl Scouts is offering a national deadline extension through December 31, 2020, for all bridging Girl Scouts.

This extension will give girls the time and space they need to adjust to changes and, when they’re ready, safely harness their enthusiasm so they can facilitate meaningful solutions for their communities!

Moving Forward

The safety and health of our Girl Scouts is our top priority. We urge Girl Scout families to take the time they need to acclimate without the added stress of impending deadlines. Then, when girls are ready, they should flex their problem-solving muscles and adjust how they plan and implement their projects, rather than put their projects on hold.

Obstacles Vs. Barriers

As they proceed, girls should identify whether project changes are obstacles or barriers.

Obstacles provide productive problem-solving opportunities—they may include a girl losing in-person access to a site and/or their target audience. Girls may no longer be able to enter elderly centers to give classes, meet with their clubs in person during lunchtime, or provide in-person afterschool enrichment. But: all those people are still seeking engagement!

Barriers are showstoppers—what if a girl lacks access to computers or the internet? What if their community partner lacks the interest/resources to continue working with them right now and puts them on hold? What about funding or resource shortages?

How To Proceed

When faced with obstacles or barriers, girls should reflect on the following questions to demonstrate they are the leaders and change-makers we know they are. 

  • What? (What is happening/changing?),
  • So What? (So, what does that matter?)
  • Now What? (Now what do we do better/differently in these new circumstances?)
  • It may also be pertinent to add: “Who is this impacting and how?”

Through this framework, girls will analyze the situation and harness their leadership to develop new solutions that creatively meet their community’s needs. Just like in pre-pandemic times, digital solutions must address the root cause of a community issue with a sustainable and measurable impact. Girls should be able to say, “Here’s the change I wanted to make, and here’s how I know I made it”—and they should be able to provide proof that their solution made that meaningful change.

Working With Community Partners

Like all of us, community partners are also in a significant period of adjustment. They may lack the capacity or interest to continue supporting girls’ projects right now. And, project advisors may be too overwhelmed to give proper attention, guidance and support.

Girls should be patient and mindful that “right now” might not be the right timing and waiting a month or two may give community partners, project advisors and other team members time to adjust to their new normal and become receptive again.