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Girl Scout Bronze Award

The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve. Girls work together to complete a Bronze Award Take Action project that is meaningful to them. Through the project, they’ll learn leadership, work with people in their community, build confidence, and develop skills—all while making the world a better place. 

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Award Deadline: Final reports must be submitted no later than Sept. 30 after finishing fifth grade.

Hour Requirement for the Award: Each girl must log 20 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 Bronze Award training to learn how to guide girls through a successful Bronze Award project. For online training, signup and enter the code “gobronze1” 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 Bronze Award when:

  • They’re in fourth or fifth grade (or equivalent)
  • They’re a registered Girl Scout Junior (in a troop or IRM)
  • They’ve completed a Girl Scout Junior Journey
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Steps

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

Step 1: Go on a Junior 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 Junior Journey options, visit the Award and Badge Explorer. Select “Junior” 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.

Junior 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 access Journey curriculum.

Step 2: Build a Team

Ideally, girls work in a team to complete the Bronze Award so that they get experience in teambuilding and cooperation. The team can be a whole troop or part of a troop, or IRMs and/or girls from one or more troops who have arranged to complete the award together.

Got a girl who needs a team? Ask at your service unit about other girls who might be looking to team up. Girls may also invite friends to be on their team. Note: Friends who aren’t Girl Scouts must be covered by non-member Girl Scout accident insurance during Bronze Award activities.

Step 3: Explore the Community

Girls explore their community using the mapping tools in the Girl Scout Bronze Award Guide. They learn about issues in their community that interest them. “Community” is broadly defined: girls can explore their neighborhood, their school, Girl Scouts, or a faith-based community.

Step 4: Choose a Project

Girls share the issues they’ve discovered in their community, selecting a few on which to focus. They research and connect with community members to understand the root causes of an issues before selecting one for their Bronze Award Take Action project.

What leaders and parents who are guiding girls do:

  • Guide girls to ensure that the girls’ project idea meets Bronze Award requirements (take the online training to learn more).
  • Help girls connect with community members to learn.
  • Discuss online safety and have girls take the Internet Safety Pledge before researching online.
  • Let girls know that they can't raise funds for another organization as part of their project. More info about this topic, and guidelines for other similar topics, like asking for donations, can be found in Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 5.
Step 5: Make a Plan

Girls use what they learn in Step 4 to answer questions in the Girl Scout Bronze Award Guide and put together their project plan.

What leaders and parents who are guiding girls do:

  • Encourage conversation between girls as they develop the plan—making sure all voices are heard.
  • Help girls budget. Find money-earning project info and financial guidelines in Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 5: Troop Finances
  • Guide girls to develop a realistic plan based on the award deadline, funding, and time.
Step 6: Put the Plan in Motion

Girls determine tasks and use the Take Action Chart in the Your Guide to Going Bronze to assign responsibilities and set due dates. They carry out their tasks, discuss progress, and re-think tasks when needed.

What leaders and parents who are guiding girls do:

  • Help girls connect with community experts who can help or provide information.
  • Organize trips that will help them learn or 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.
Step 7: 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 Your Guide to Going Bronze 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 8: Submit the Final Report

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

What leaders and parents who are guiding girls do:

  • They approve the award by signing off on the final report.
  • Celebrate! Help girls plan a ceremony or party.

Note: Leaders or parents of IRMs (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 Bronze Awards.

FAQ

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

Sometimes, a girl will want to earn a Bronze Award, but her troop will not. IRMs also want to earn Bronze Awards. Because the Bronze Award is a team project, we encourage solo girls to create their own team. Contact the service unit to see if she can team up with others. Or, have her invite her fourth and fifth-grade friends to be on her team—they’ll need to register as Girl Scout members, but they can earn the award too! Girls can earn a Bronze Award on their own, but it’s a last-resort option.

Q: How many girls are needed for the Bronze Award team?

There is no set minimum or maximum of girls on a team.

Q: My daughter wants to do a different project than the rest of her troop, can she work on her project on her own?

Because the Bronze Award is meant to be a team activity, we ask that girls try to work with their troop to come to a compromise first before deciding to do their own project. If your troop is interested in two different projects, consider suggesting to do one as the Bronze Award Project and the other as an additional Take Action project. It’s ok to do both!

Q: How many hours are required for a Bronze Award?

Twenty hours per girl. This includes research and planning as well as carrying out the Bronze 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 Bronze Award?

Community service projects address a need “right now.” For example, collecting dog food for a shelter helps the dogs “right now.” With 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 Bronze Award training online. Signup and enter the code “awards2019” to begin. Contact training@sdgirlscouts.org for assistance.

Q: What if girls fall short on hours?

Leaders and other adult volunteers have final say about when the Bronze Award project is complete. Follow the Bronze Award Checklist to ensure that all award components have been completed. Talking with girls about how they could make their project sustainable or what they could measure to show their impact can increase involvement.

Q: My troop is ready to go for the Bronze Award. But I have two new girls who haven’t done a Journey.  What should I do?

It’s possible for girls who are new to a troop to work on Journeys and not be excluded from the troop’s Bronze Award project. Check community partners for those who offer Journey workshops. Or, post to San Diego Girl Scout Leaders and Volunteers Facebook page and inquire about Journey Workshops that others are holding that your new girls may attend. Parents can also work with girls to complete a Journey. 

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

No. Troop leaders or parents of individually registered members determine when a Bronze 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 Bronze 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 Bronze 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 Bronze Award with a certificate and formal letter of recognition. Bronze 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. Council cannot return copies to your troop. 

Q: How are girls recognized for the Bronze Award?

After girls submit their final report, Girl Scouts San Diego sends each girl a certificate and letter of congratulations. 

Q: Where do Bronze Award Pins go—Junior or Cadette uniform?

Like other pins, the Bronze Award pin can be moved up to the Cadette uniform after bridging.

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.

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Funding

Troops funds:  Girls can use troop funds for Bronze 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 wrap station, etc.) to fund their Bronze Award 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 Bronze Award Take Action project idea before girls get going. 

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