The Gold Award is the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA. Only 5.4% of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award. Awardees are honored at councilwide ceremonies.
The Gold Award is the first award that is exclusively for Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts.
Previously, the highest awards were:
First Class Award (1963–1980): a Cadette Girl Scout award
Curved Bar Award (1940–1963): for Intermediate Girl Scouts who had already received their First Class Rank.
First Class Rank (1938–1940)
Golden Eaglet (1919–1939)
Golden Eagle of Merit (1916–1919)
The Silver Fish (1912–1916) was originally the highest award achievable, but this was technically a Girl Guiding award and no American girl ever earned it.
Senior Girl Scouts aged 14–18 are eligible to earn the award. The guidelines are currently in transition to include the Girl Scout Journey program.
The new requirements take effect in fall of 2011. They include:
Complete two Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador Journeys or complete one Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador journey and have earned the Silver Award.
Plan and implement an individual "Take Action" project that reaches beyond the Girl Scout organization and provides a sustainable, lasting benefit to the girl's larger community. (Old project guidelines as described below still......