Make sure that you understand the difference between Community Service and Take Action Projects
Think you understand ?
Learn how to use smart planning (click for resources)
Note: This resource uses Gold Award Examples, but the concept is the same)
Avoid these common mistakes
A Gold Award Project solves an issue in the community. This is why the first question in all the Gold Award Materials is "What is your issue?" not "What is your project?"
Be able to answer what your issue is in a sentence without mentioning what you are doing.
Girl Scouts, whether girls or adults, are not allowed to raise money for other organizations.
Issue & project not matching or ineffective approach
The project should address the root cause of the issue to try to solve it. The approach you take must address the root cause in an effective manner.
For example trying to change people’s lifelong habits with one meeting or choosing a target audience that isn’t related to your issue.
Collections are a onetime fix
(no matter how many times done
and considered community service. A collection can be part of your Gold, but not the whole award.
Fix /Build /Beautify It projects
A Gold Award is required to educate & inspire. Just fixing things up or planting a garden is community service. Nice, but not addressing an issue.
Using a garden you planted as a tool to be used as part of a program to train about planting drought resistant gardens or as a permanent food source for a shelter would give it Gold potential.
Be as detailed as possible in the application. The reader should have a clear picture of everything you are planning.
Too small in scope/impact
This is the most common. Think big !
Try to impact a large number of people in your community. Have multiple events or approaches. Involve more than one agency. Address the issue deeply in a lasting way. Do you think it will take at least 80 hours to accomplish your goals ? If not, how could you do more ?
No measurable goals
Measurable goals have tangible results. How much, how many, how often – use numbers !
My team will educate 150 high school students about distracted driving.
My team and I will conduct a city wide campaign to increase driving safety. My goal is to decrease the number of texting while driving accidents in my city by 20 percent.
No Team or weak team
It is not a solo venture, it is a leadership project. You are the boss ! Recruit a team to lead.
A good team is a combination of adults from the agency you are partnered with and peers beyond your troop.
Weak plan for sustainability
Your project must keep going and it’s up to you to train someone to take over for you and they have to agree to do it. Starting a website or blog or handing off a notebook of instructions & relying on that for sustainability don't meet the sustainability requirement in GSOC.
Websites, blogs, Instagram & Facebook & instruction manuals can be great tools to be used as part of a project, but a Gold Award Take action project is meant to be passed on train someone to take over for you and they have to agree to do it.
One Day Events
Setting up a single event. A Gold is meant to be solving a community problem. It is hard to have an impact with a one day event. Projects that pass with one day events are BIG events. Usually a series of events or monthly workshops will have greater impact & measurability.
What does a great Gold Award proposal look like ?
Sample Project Proposal from Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta
Some of the standards may vary by council, but overall this is a good example.
How do I know If my project is good ?