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Girl Scouts earning their Silver Award

Girl Scout Silver Award

The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette can achieve. The award gives girls the opportunity to be organized, determined leaders who are dedicated to improving their community. Girl Scout Silver Award earners are part of an exceptional group of girls who have used their knowledge and leadership skills to make a difference in the world.

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Award Deadline: Final reports must be submitted no later than September 30 of a girl's ninth grade year.

Hour Requirement for the Award: Each girl must log 50 hours to earn the award. This includes research, planning, taking action, and completing the final report.

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Training

Troop leaders, parents, and adult volunteers take Silver Award training to learn how to guide girls through a successful Silver Award project. Register for an in-person Silver Award Workshop to get started. Contact us if you have questions or need assistance.  

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Prerequisites

Girls are ready for their Silver Award when:

  • They’re in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade (or equivalent)
  • They’re a registered Girl Scout Cadette
  • They’ve completed a Girl Scout Cadette Journey
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Steps

These steps provide a brief description of the Silver Award process and are covered more in depth in training.

Step 1: Go On A Cadette Journey

Girl Scout Journeys give girls opportunities to explore new things, connect with friends and the community, and make a difference in the world.

To see Cadette Journey options, visit the Award and Badge Explorer. Select “Cadette” as the grade level and “Journeys” as the topic to see Journeys. Print a PDF to share with girls, who can then chose the Journey they’ll work on.

Cadette Journeys are available to leaders and co-leaders in the Volunteer Toolkit. Parents and other volunteers assisting girls can contact us to gain access to Journey curriculum.

Step Two: Identify Issues

Girls begin by identifying issues that they care about. They explore why these issues are important and how the issues affect the community. 

Step Three: Build A Team

Girls can work in a small team or on their own for their Girl Scout Silver Award. Whether in a team or on their own, girls partner with the community to take action. 

Step Four: Explore The Community

Girls explore the communities to which they belong—small communities like the student riders on a school bus route and big communities like their neighborhood. They’ll use mapping tools to track their observations and note potential areas that could be improved or places that could benefit from their special talents and skills.  

Step Five: Choose A Project

Girls working in a team share the issues they’ve discovered in their community, selecting a few on which to focus. Girls working solo pick their top ideas. Then, they research and connect with community members to understand the root causes of their issues before selecting one for their Silver Award Take Action project.

What leaders or parents who are guiding girls can do:

  • Guide girls to ensure that the girls’ project idea meets Silver Award requirements (take the online or in-person training to learn more).
  • Help girls connect with community members to learn.
  • Organize trips that will help them learn about the community.
  • Discuss online safety and have girls take the Internet Safety Pledge before researching online.
Step Six: Make A Plan

Girls use what they learn in Step Four to answer questions in the Girl Scout Silver Award Guidelines and put together a project plan.

What leaders or parents who are guiding girls can do:

  • Encourage conversation between girls on a team as they develop their plan—making sure all voices are heard.
  • Help girls budget. Find funding information and financial info in Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 5: Troop Finances.
  • Guide girls to develop a realistic plan based on the award deadline, funding, and time.
Step Seven: Put The Plan In Motion

Girls determine tasks and use the Take Action Chart in the Girl Scout Silver Award Guidelines to assign responsibilities and set due dates. They carry out their tasks, discuss progress, and re-think tasks when needed.

What leaders or parents who are guiding girls can do:

  • Help girls connect with community experts who can help or provide information.
  • Organize trips that will help them carry out their project (i.e., a trip to get supplies, a meeting with a community member, etc.)
  • Take photos or videos to document the project.
  • Help girls re-direct to stay on track or work through an obstacle.
  • For teams, help guide girls so that each girl has a unique leadership role.
Step Eight: Spread The Word

Girls spread the word about their project and accomplishments in order to inspire others to make the world a better place. Girls can educate others as part of their project or they can share when they’re done. 

What leaders and parents can do:

Discuss with girls the ways they can share. If they choose to share their project online, suggest these sites:

Note: Remember to review the online Internet Safety Pledge and have girls take it.

Step Nine: Submit The Final Report

Each girl on the Silver Award team submits her own final report.

What leaders and parents who are guiding girls do:

  • Approve the award by signing off on the final report.
  • Submit a copy of the final report to Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore prior to the submission deadline.
  • Celebrate and plan to attend the awards ceremony!

 

FAQ

Can a girl earn a Silver Award on her own?

Yes. Girls can work in a small team or on their own.

How many hours are required for a Silver Award?

Fifty hours per girl. This includes research and planning as well as carrying out the Silver Award project and completing the final report.

What is the difference between a community service project and the Take Action Project required for the Silver Award?

Community service projects address a need “right now.” For example, collecting dog food for a shelter helps the dogs “right now.” In Take Action projects, girls ask: “Why is this issue happening?” to determine the root cause of an issue. They might end up raising awareness about the importance of adoption or spaying and neutering pets. Or, address another root cause of the issue. Girls then work to eliminate the cause or reduce it. Community service projects are also done for a community. Take Action projects work with the community. For example girls often consult community members or experts to understand an issue and address it.

Our troop wants to have a bake sale to raise money for the children’s hospital is that ok?

Girl Scouts cannot fundraise for another organization. This includes accepting money on behalf of another organization, having a bake sale and donating the proceeds to another organization, asking for donations for another organization. 

Also, keep in mind that a fundraiser rarely addresses the root cause of a community issue. Encourage your girls to ask, “Why does the children’s hospital need money?” The answer may lead them to a root cause.

Can I do my project to benefit Girl Scouts?

When you begin your Silver Award project, you’ll consider your passions and discover the root cause of an issue you care about. If Girl Scouts is a true and logical target audience for the issue you’ve chosen, your project can benefit Girl Scouts.

What if girls fall short on hours?

Follow the Silver Award Checklist to ensure that all award components have been completed. Encouraging girls to expand their project’s sustainability or talking with girls about the Gold Award “global link” requirement and discussing ways they could create a global link with their Silver project are a couple of ways to build time while increasing their knowledge of Highest Awards.

Do I need council to sign off on my troop’s Silver Award project?

Yes. The council's Silver and Gold Committee must review the project proposal prior to the start of the project. The committee also gives final approval for the award when they sign off on the Final Report.

Who is a project advisor?

A project advisor is an expert in the community who has knowledge of the area that Silver Award team addresses. Having an advisor can be a great resource for the girls—especially during the planning phase. For example, a troop working on a Silver Award that brings healthy food awareness to a school can consult a nutritionist as an expert. It’s best if the project advisor is not a parent associated with the troop. 

Where do I send my troops final report forms?

Email the Silver Award final paperwork to the council in a scanned digital format prior to the submission deadline. 

Do I need to keep a copy of the final report?

It’s a good idea to keep a copy of the final report for your own records. Girls should keep their own copy.

How are girls recognized for the Silver Award?

After the council's Silver and Gold Committee reviews and approves the final report, Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore will extend an invitation to a Silver Award ceremony to each new Silver Award recipient where she will be recognized with a Silver Award pin and certificate. 

Where do Silver Award Pins go—Cadette or Senior uniform?

Like other pins, the Girl Scout Silver Award pin can be moved up to the Senior uniform after bridging.

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Funding

Troops funds: Girls can use troop funds for Silver Award Take Action projects. Leaders create a letter for girls to sign indicating that all girls in the troop agree to use troop funds.

Money earning: Troops who have participated in both the Fall Product Program and the Girl Scout Cookie Program can plan a money-earning project (like a bake sale, rummage sale, holiday gift wrap station, etc.) to fund their Silver Award Take Action project. See “Money-Earning Projects” in Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 5: Troop Finances to learn more. 

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Get Help

We’re happy to help! Contact us with questions or to discuss a Silver Award Project idea before girls get going.

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Resources

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