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1428_SD_GirlScouts_Finals   August 15, 2015.  San Diego, CA. Photo by Nancee E. Lewis
Girl Scouts SD Volunteer Conference & Celebration 2015, including flag raising, general session, lunch and workshops (hands on sessions). Networking with hundreds of Girl Scout volunteers, choose from 30 interactive leadership workshops and new merchandise in the Girl Scout store.   
© Nancee E. Lewis / Nancee Lewis Photography. No other reproduction allow with out consent of licensor. Permission for reproduction required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our adult recognition awards honor volunteers' contributions and years of service to Girl Scouting. These awards let recipients know they are noticed, appreciated and recognized!

Awards Overview

Why are there adult recognition awards?

Girl Scouts San Diego is privileged to partner with a dedicated group of volunteers who deliver programs and services to girls every day. The adult recognition awards honor volunteers' contributions and years of service to Girl Scouting. Volunteers do not give of their time and talent just to receive recognition. They come to Girl Scouts to work with girls, learn and grow themselves, make friends and give to the wider community. Our council promotes adult recognition as just one way to show volunteers how much they are appreciated.

How often are awards presented?

Since volunteers work year-round, they should receive recognition of their accomplishments throughout the year. Council-level awards are presented each membership year at the Volunteer Celebration. Volunteers who make outstanding contributions to their service unit are recognized at service unit recognition events.

Is there a prerequisite for the awards or an order in which awards must be received?

Candidates must have received the Thanks Badge before qualifying for the Thanks Badge II. Most other awards are not given in any predetermined order, and are granted based on the group receiving the service. If the criteria are met, an individual may receive a council level service award even if she/he has never been a leader or in a service unit.

How do I know what recognitions my nominee has received in the past?

Ask your service unit recognitions chair, or contact the Volunteer Recognitions Specialist at

I'm not sure if a volunteer should receive the Appreciation Pin or the Honor Pin. What is the difference?

The Appreciation Pin is awarded for outstanding service delivered in a single service unit or program audience. The Honor Pin is awarded for outstanding service that impacts two or more service units or program audiences.

What is the recognitions task group?

The Recognitions Task Group, or RTG, is a group of four to six outstanding Girl Scouts San Diego volunteers who review, discuss, and approve nominations for council level awards to be presented at the annual Volunteer Celebration. Learn more about the RTG.


Nominating Volunteers

Who should I consider for recognition?

Everyone! Any adult Girl Scout in any volunteer position, as well as families and organizations in the community who provide invaluable support to Girl Scouting.

How do I nominate someone for an award?

You will need to complete the appropriate nomination form and then recruit people to write letters of endorsement. Nomination and Endorsement surveys are available on the Volunteer Celebration page. Clearly and specifically state the candidate's personal achievements and how they meet the criteria for this particular award. When recruiting people to write endorsements, be sure to communicate when to submit the endorsement survey. A complete nomination includes one nomination and two endorsements. Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II nominations include one nomination and three endorsements.

Who can nominate? Can staff or parents nominate volunteers for an award?

Anyone who has knowledge of the service performed may nominate someone for an award. This includes parents, community members, volunteers and staff. The same requirements for the nomination process exist, no matter who does the nominating.

Can staff be nominated for awards?

No. These awards are for volunteer service of adult members of Girl Scouts of the USA. If you would like to recognize a staff member, a letter to her or his supervisor or the CEO is always appreciated.

When do I need to submit the nomination, and who gets it?

Completed surveys are due online by July 31, 2020. Check with your service unit recognitions chair for any deadlines she or he may have to review forms before turning them in to council. This gives the recognitions task group time to review the nominations, receive Board approval if needed, and order the appropriate award. Service units establish the due dates for service unit award nominations.

What should the endorsement letters say?

Be sure to share exactly what the volunteer has done, why it is outstanding, and how it meets the criteria of the award. Remember that this may be the reviewer’s only knowledge of the service and the nominee. Many volunteers have had numerous jobs within the service unit, region or council. Give relevant details that support the specific award being considered.


Membership Numeral Guard and Years of Service Recognitions

What is the difference between the Numeral Guard and Years of Service?

The Membership Numeral Guard is for the number of years a person has been a member of the Girl Scout organization, including years as a girl member. The Years of Service Award is given for the number of years of active volunteer service as a registered adult volunteer.

Both awards are provided by council in five-year increments, beginning at 15 years. Members with fewer years may purchase the pins themselves at each five-year increment, or the pins may be purchased and presented by their service unit.

Volunteers may request a new Membership Numeral Guard or Years of Service Pin at anytime by submitting a request to your volunteer recognitions specialist.

If I have been a volunteer for 38 years, am I eligible to receive the 35 Year Pin or the 40 Year Pin?

You would be eligible for the 35 Years of Service Pin this year. When you reach 40 years, you would receive the 40 Year Pin. It is always given in five-year increments to the last increment.

More questions? Contact your service unit recognition chair, or the Volunteer Recognitions Specialist at