by: Julia H.

All Cadettes have the option and are highly encouraged to complete the Silver Award, a service project that is the highest award a Cadette can earn. First, you have to complete a Cadette journey (the MEdia journey, the Breathe journey, or the aMAZE journey). These journeys will help you start to recognize your surroundings and identify what needs to be helped in your community. Then, it is time to start your Silver Award!
            Before you start your award, you need to plan what you want to do. There are three steps that can help you find out what you want to do for your Silver Award. Service, Self-Passion, and Sustainability are guidelines that can help you find out what to do and how to do it.
            The first guideline is Service. Whatever you do, it has to have an impact on the community. The project can be in your Girl Scout community, your school community, even internationally.  Look around in your community and find what there is a need for. If you notice trash on the side of the road, start a trash pickup team. If you know of some elementary school kids who need access to tutoring, start a tutoring program. Every community has different needs, so look into what you can do.
            The second guideline is Self-Passion. When you are deciding on a project, you need to enjoy what you are doing. Different people will bring different skills and connections so think about what you and what others can do. If you notice that there is a need in the community, but it doesnt spark a passion, dont feel like you have to do that, just pass along the idea. Girl Scout Troop 29345 leader Vonda Malbrough says, When selecting a project for the Silver Award, girls need to find an issue that is important to them.  If you like what you are doing, you will be more likely to work on your award and you will be more committed to your project. If you are passionate about gardening, you could create a garden at your school.
            The last guideline is Sustainability. One of the rules for the Silver Award is that your project must be sustainable. That includes making something that you or others can carry on or giving people knowledge that they can remember and possibly share. One example is starting a program that will keep going annually or informing people about an issue that you care about. You could also do something such as designing information packets for new Daisy Girl Scout leaders. This will be sustainable because the leaders will then grow into better leaders.

            Overall, when you are choosing your Silver Award, you should try to follow all the guidelines. Without service, what is the point of your project? Without self-passion, how will you enjoy your project? Without sustainability, how will your project truly make a difference? If you follow all of these steps and remember to always love what you do and make a difference, you are guaranteed to have a great Silver Award project and have a great time doing it. 

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