By: Lime Green Giraffe Social Media Director, Avery B.   

It’s the highest honor in the Girl Scouting world, the pinnacle of years of hard work, the greatest award for any girl. The Girl Scout Gold Award is recognized worldwide and a source of great pride for all who earn it.  
The Girl Scout Gold Award is a special award but you have to earn it by completing many steps including finishing your Girl Scout Gold Award project! And the process to can be quite overwhelming. Coming up with a project, contacting people, leading all of it, funding the project, filling out all the paperwork… it can be scary! Luckily, we’re here with some tips on how to get started earning your award. 
  1. 1. Starting is the hardest part 
A piece of good news! Before you can start on your project, you are required to fill out paperwork to submit for approval. The paperwork isn’t just a few easy questions. Instead it’s designed so that when you are done filling it out, you will have your entire project planned. Once your paperwork is approved during your interview, the only thing you have to do is start your project. There really isn’t too much more planning to do, and you’re good to get started changing the world! 
  1. 2. Brainstorm! 
It can be incredibly frustrating, banging your head against a table as you rack your brain for the perfect idea for your project. I can promise you that the perfect idea won’t just come to you, it can take time and lots of changed decisions before you settle on your project. The best thing to do is just brainstorm. Get your ideas on paper and go from there. Gold Award Advisor, Karen Jenkins strongly encourages choosing to work with something you feel passionate about. “It will make all the difference in the world toward creating a successful project,” Jenkins said. Brainstorming issues you care about, activities you love to do, or even people you enjoy working with is a great starting point. 
  1. 3. Take the training  
Even though it isn’t required, the training helps give you strategies when thinking about your project and outlines step-by-step the process of earning your Gold Award. Gold Award Committee Chair, Mary Williams, recommends the training for those beginning to think about their projects. The information provided is incredibly valuable and helps set you up for success.  
  1. 4. Start early 
Another expert piece of advice from Mary Williams is to start your project early. A rule of thumb is to give yourself two summers to complete your award. One summer to complete the paperwork and planning, the school year to complete your project, and the next summer to fill out your final paperwork. Also, don’t wait until your senior year of high school to start. Final paperwork is due by September 30 if you want to be part of that year’s awesome Gold Award ceremony. If you wait too late, you also can’t put it on college applications or try to get scholarships. You will run into challenges, and if you give yourself some wiggle room, it will make it easier to be flexible and overcome them. Don’t forget to take into consideration when you are busy and when you don’t have as much going on. Plan around your schedule!  
  1. 5. Don’t stress yourself out too much 
At the end of the day, your Girl Scout Gold Award will be a project you feel passionate and excited about, and you shouldn’t stress yourself out too much about any of it. There are people to help you every step of the way and if you get stuck, they’ll help you to keep going. Don’t put yourself under too much pressure. You can do it!  

I can’t wait to see what amazing Girl Scout Gold Award projects all you readers come up with! I know you are all going to do such fantastic things, and remember, the hardest part is getting started! 

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