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Girl Scout Silver Award

2019 Silver Award Ceremonies

Thursday, May 2, 6:30 p.m. at Balboa Park Club
Sunday, May 19, 3:30 p.m. at Del Norte High School

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.

Note: Girls who wish to attend the current year’s Silver Award Ceremonies must submit their final reports by April 1. Those who miss the April 1 deadline can attend the following 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. For online training, signup and enter the code “awards2019” to begin. Or, register for the in-person Bronze and Silver Award Workshop. Contact training@sdgirlscouts.org for assistance.

Note: You must be 13 years or older to register for the online course. By clicking this registration link, you certify that you are at least 13 years old. This course is intended for adults. 

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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 volunteer’s assisting girls can contact training@sdgirlscouts.org to gain access to Journey curriculum.

Step 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: Make a Plan

Girls use what they learn in Step 4 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 7: 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 8: 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. See the Girl Scout Silver Award Guide to learn more.

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 9: 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.
  • Celebrate and plan to attend the awards ceremony!

Note: Leaders (or other adults in the role of guiding girls) determine when the project has been completed and if it has met award guidelines. Girl Scouts San Diego does not approve Silver Awards.

FAQ

Q: Can a girl earn a Silver Award on her own?

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

Q: 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.

Q: 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. To learn more, take the Silver Award training online. Signup and enter the code “awards2019” to begin. Contact training@sdgirlscouts.org for assistance.

Q: 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. See Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 5: Troop Finances.

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.

Q: 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.

Q: What if girls fall short on hours?

Leaders and other adult volunteers have final say about when the Silver Award project is complete. 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.

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

No. Troop leaders or parents of individually registered members determine when a Girl Scout Silver Award project has been completed. They give approval for the award when they sign off on the Final Report.

Q: 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. 

Q: Where do I send my troops final report forms?

The online final report will automatically route to Girl Scouts San Diego. Mail paper forms to:

Girl Scouts San Diego
1231 Upas Street
San Diego, CA 92039-5199
Attn: Bronze Award Specialist

Q: Why do I need to turn in a copy of my troop’s final report forms?

Girl Scouts San Diego uses the final report to track participation in Highest Awards and to recognize girls who have completed their Silver Award. Take Action projects may also be shared by Girl Scouts San Diego on social media to help inspire other girls. 

Q: 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.

Q: How are girls recognized for the Silver Award?

After girls submit their final report, Girl Scouts San Diego will extend an invitation to a Silver Award ceremony where they will be recognized by receiving their Silver Award pin and certificate. Cadettes must submit their final reports by April 1 to participate in one of the current year’s May ceremonies. Cadettes who submit their final reports after April 1 will be recognized in the following year’s ceremonies.

Q: 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 program and the cookie program can plan a money-earning project (like a bake sale, rummage sale, holiday gift warp 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 highestawards@sdgirlscouts.org with questions or to discuss a Silver Award Project idea before girls get going.

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