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Adult Volunteer Recognition

Girl Scout volunteers inspire girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. And you do this every day in a variety of ways! It’s an honor to have Girl Scout volunteers, and we hope this webpage is helpful in honoring and awarding outstanding volunteers. Scroll through the page to learn about all the ways to recognize and honor volunteers.


Formal Recognition

Formal recognitions include awards established by GSUSA (Girl Scouts of the United States of America), as well as awards created by Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Generally, these awards are given out at annual Adult Recognition ceremonies in the fall. 

Appreciation Pin

Appreciation Pin

The Appreciation Pin was instituted in 1976 by GSUSA. It honors outstanding service performed by the candidate which benefits at least one service unit or program delivery audience, and which contributes to the goals and objectives of the council.

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council.
Focus of Service: Benefits at least one service unit, program delivery audience or committee.
Impact of Service: Significant service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held.

Presentation of Award

  • May be given at council event or service unit events.
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Adult Recognition Committee and Board of Directors

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • A troop leader who also served on the service unit team. Three years ago, he started and chaired a committee that organized service unit-wide events for Girl Scout special days and year-end bridging. He has continued to coordinate the celebrations, but has recruited other volunteers to chair individual activities, which has led to bigger and better events and more community exposure. These events have helped in girl recruitment, leading to a 10% increase in girl membership in the service unit over the past three years.
  • A service unit team member who has initiated innovative ways of increasing both participation in and contributions to the Family Partnership campaign. She makes frequent contact with the troop leaders and often visits parent meetings and troop events to promote Family Partnership.  Her service unit has had 100% troop participation for the past three years.

Endorsements Required: 2

Honor Pin

Honor Pin

The Honor Pin was instituted in 1987 by GSUSA. It recognizes outstanding service performed by the candidate which benefits at least two service units or program delivery audiences and which contributes to the goals and objectives of the council.

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council.
Focus of Service: Benefits at least two service units, program delivery audiences or committees.
Impact of Service: Significant service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held.

Presentation of Award

  • May be given at Council or service unit events.
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Adult Recognition Committee and Board of Directors

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • A committee chair that has been in her position for five years. When she started, attendance at meetings was poor. She doubled attendance at spring and fall Service Unit meetings. Four years ago, she initiated an overnight event for older girls in her area that has become an annual event with emphasis on girl planning.
  • A volunteer who for the past three years has successfully directed a day camp serving several service units. She recruited a planning task group to expand the variety of activities included in the sessions, resulting in increased enrollment. Her diligence in seeking resources and training for her volunteer staff has encouraged three of them to become ongoing leaders, starting troops in previously unserved areas.

An individual who directs a membership outreach task force with positive results, either in membership or in targeted groups served.

Endorsements Required: 3

Thanks Badge

Thanks Badge

The Thanks Badge was instituted in 1912 by GSUSA. It recognizes outstanding service that benefits the total council or the entire Girl Scout movement and is so significantly above and beyond the call of duty that no other award would be appropriate.

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council.
Focus of Service: Benefits the council or entire Girl Scout movement.
Impact of Service: Continuous and outstanding service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held.  Exemplifies the Girl Scout Promise and Law in her/his daily life.

Presentation of Award

  • Due to the council-wide nature of this award, the Adult Recognition Committee strongly recommends that it be given at the council annual recognition event. 
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Adult Recognition Committee and Board of Directors

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • A volunteer who served as a troop advisor and Campus Girl Scout coordinator for six years at her previous council. In the past five years at the council, she has contributed her professional expertise in financial management to a strategic planning task force.
  • A volunteer who spearheaded a major council-wide service project event over the course of five years which has become an annual event, anticipated not only by Girl Scouts but by the community at large. It generated positive media coverage each year as well as support from many local businesses. Donations included event materials as well as other contributions.

An individual who initiates and successfully manages the extension of Girl Scouting to underserved populations within the council's jurisdiction, such as ethnic groups previously unserved, girls with disabilities or others.

Endorsements Required: 4

Thanks II Badge

Thanks II Badge

The Thanks Badge II was instituted in 1987 by GSUSA. It recognizes the continued outstanding service given by a Thanks Badge recipient.  The quality of service performed is the same as that for the Thanks Badge: “It is truly outstanding, benefits the total council or the entire Girl Scout organization, and is so significantly above and beyond the call of duty that no other award would be appropriate.” Additionally, this award might acknowledge outstanding performance that surpasses the earlier achievement. It is a way of saying thanks again to an outstanding individual who has contributed greatly to Girl Scouting.

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council.
Focus of Service: Benefits the council or entire Girl Scout movement.
Impact of Service: Continuous and outstanding service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held.  Exemplifies the Girl Scout Promise and Law in her/his daily life.  

Presentation of Award

  • Due to the council-wide nature of this award, the Adult Recognition Committee strongly recommends that it be given at the Council annual recognition event. 
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Adult Recognition Committee and Board of Directors

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • The chair of a strategic planning task group whose leadership inspired a pluralistic, visionary plan for the Council.
  • A board member whose continuous strong leadership in fund development has resulted in greater financial stability for the Council.

Building on years of service since receiving the Thanks Badge, an individual who has used her skills and talents as a council trainer and has expanded her activities to include chairing the Council family giving program.

Endorsements Required: 4

Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

The candidate for this award has been an adult member for at least 25 years, has delivered service that far exceeds the expectation of any position, and has had a lasting impact on the Girl Scout organization. This award will be presented to only 10 people per year and may be awarded posthumously.

Endorsements: 4

Presentation of Award

  • Due to the council-wide nature of this award, the Adult Recognition Committee strongly recommends that it be given at the Council annual recognition event. 
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Adult Recognition Committee and Board of Directors

The President’s Award

The President’s Award

This group award recognizes the efforts of a service-delivery team or committee whose exemplary service resulted in significant impact toward reaching the council’s goals by achieving one or more of their unit’s goals.

Criteria

  1. All service delivery team members are registered Girl Scouts.
  2. The service delivery team has significantly contributed to meeting one or more of the council’s mission delivery goals.  (Includes girl membership goal, adult membership goal, product program goals, etc.)
  3. The service delivery team reflects the diversity of the target audience or area it serves in girl and adult membership.
  4. The service delivery team actively recognizes, understands and practices the values of inclusive behavior.

Any member of the service delivery team can make a nomination for the service delivery team.  Staff members verify the goals met and the nominations are shared with the President of the Board of Directors for approval.

D.A.I.S.Y

D. A. I. S. Y

The Dynamic and Incredible Staff of the Year award recognizes the outstanding service by a staff member that has resulted in the development of partnerships with volunteers and/or community leaders to at least one service unit of program delivery audience toward the achievement of the council’s goals, will benefit the entire council beyond the staff member’s tenure, goes far beyond the expectations of the employee’s job description and supports the achievement of the council’s goals and strategic learning efforts.  This award will only be presented to 3 people per year.

Submit Nomination plus TWO letters of endorsement—April 15, deadline.

Nomination for D.A.I.S.Y Awrad Form »


Awards Approved at the Service Unit/Committee level

These award nominations are submitted to the council by local service units or operational task groups comprised of Girl Scout volunteers.  The service team or designated volunteer committee reviews and approves these nominations and submits the list of approved nominees using the form on our website here.

These awards are provided free of charge and are usually available to pick up in the council shops or order online beginning April 1st.  Blank certificate templates are also available via email.  Please submit pin requests  here. Awards are usually presented at a local event or meeting.  These volunteers are also included in the annual Recognition Booklet and announced at the council-wide ceremony.

Community Awards

Girl Scout Hero recognizes an individual, group, or organization that has given meaningful, outstanding service at the council level. Girl Scout membership is not required. 
 
Girl Scout Enthusiast is an individual, group, or organization that has given meaningful outstanding service at the local/community level. Girl Scout membership is not required.  For example, a principal that has welcomed Girl Scouts into the school for troop meetings, a church that allows troops to utilize meeting space, or a local business that allows cookie booths.

Volunteer of Excellence

Volunteer of Excellence
 

The candidate is a registered Girl Scout adult who has contributed outstanding service while partnering directly with girls in any pathway to implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience through use of the national program portfolio or who have contributed outstanding service of the council’s mission delivery to girl and adults members.  Service Unit approves nominees and submits names of nominees using the form below.

Apply Here

New Found Treasure

New Found Treasure
 

The candidate is a registered Girl Scout adult for less than two years and has hit the ground running.  This volunteer has made a positive impact on Girl Scouting.  This person’s performance is so outstanding that it merits recognition by the Service Unit, program delivery or governance unit.  Service Unit approves nominees and submits names of nominees using the form below.

Apply Here

Hidden Hero

Hidden Hero
 

The candidate is a registered Girl Scout adult who embodies the Girl Scout principle to “help where I am needed”.  This volunteer is available to provide over and above assistance to special projects, ongoing tasks and support of Girl Scout programs in this person’s Service Unit, program delivery group or other operations or governance group.  This volunteer continually accepts assignments to keep Girl Scouts thriving.  Service Unit approves nominees and submits names of nominees using the form below.

Apply Here


Informal Recognition

Volunteers are the heart and soul of Girl Scouts and deserve to be appreciated for their dedication.  There are many informal recognition tools to share appreciation with volunteers.  We’ve shared some ideas below:

Just Say Thanks
Just Say Thanks

Help us recognize outstanding individuals all year round with our new "Just Say Thanks" initiative! Through the link below, you can identify outstanding individuals who should receive an expression of appreciation from the GCNWI CEO, Nancy Wright.

Just Say Thanks »

Check out our Pinterest page for fun, easy ways to thank volunteers every day! »


NOMINATING PROCEDURES FOR AWARDS REQUIRING BOARD APPROVAL

Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin, Thanks Badge I and 11, Hall of Fame, and D.A.I.S.Y.

The selection of recipients for board approved awards is made by the awards screening task group which is comprised of volunteers from across the council.  Please keep all submissions confidential—honorees and their nominators will be notified when the board approves the slate.  Likewise, if a volunteer does not meet the award criteria and is not approved for an award, the nominator will be notified. 

Award nomination and letter of endorsement forms are available online, with details about the criteria for each award here.

Submit completed nomination form and letters of endorsements as indicated within the award criteria on the council website.  Note:  the individual completing the award nomination cannot write a letter of endorsement for that nomination.

Submission deadline is May 1.
Examples of Potential Award Candidates

Potential Candidates for the Appreciation Pin could be the following:

  • A corporate volunteer who recruits coworkers to lead or sponsor troops or provide career mentors for girls from an under-served community in the council.
  • A community day camp director whose effective management results in an increase in participation by girls and adults over a period of time.

Potential Candidates for the Honor Pin could be the following:

  • A program volunteer who implements a series of events and activities that bring girls together from different parts of the council.
  • A district chair who has motivated volunteers to participate in governance resulting in broad delegate involvement in the council's democratic process.

Potential Candidates for the Thanks Badge could be the following:

  • The chair of the council's fund development committee who develops and implements a plan that significantly increases the percentage of adult-generated funding for the council.
  • The experienced volunteer advisor of council programming that results in increased extension and retention of older girls and significant positive publicity for the council.
  • The chair of a strategic planning task group whose leadership inspires a pluralistic, visionary plan.

Potential Candidates for the Thanks Badge II could be the following:

  • A council trainer who, after directing council wide training events, successfully implements a statewide or multi-state training event.
  • The experienced volunteer chair of an annual council extended trip that results in consistent increased extension and retention of older girls and significant positive publicity for the council.
  • An administrative volunteer who initiates a volunteer support system that successfully retains members in the council and which has been replicated in other councils.

Potential Candidates for Volunteer of Excellence could be the following:

  • An experienced leader whose troop earned the Bronze Award.
  • A leader whose troop, using the GSLE, progression and girl planning executed a significant Take Action project.
  • A member of the troop committee who has been the product sales manager for many years.
  • A registered parent who acts as chaperone for all troop trips and events.
  • A service team member who has taken on additional responsibilities.

Potential Candidates for New Found Treasure could be the following:

  • A leader in her/his second year who "hit the ground running" by introducing her/his troop to service unit activities, having a successful fall product/cookie sale.
  • A volunteer who uses the GSLE in providing program for the troop after which they are aware of how the Promise and Law are part of their everyday lives.
  • Makes Girl Scouting exciting and grows the troop from year one.
  • A new volunteer who takes on additional council wide responsibility in day camp, training or other pathways.

Potential Candidates for Hidden Hero could be the following:

  • An experienced leader who acts as a mentor to all new leaders in the service unit.
  • The fall product chair who takes on the responsibility of cookies when no one else will.
  • The person who comes early and stays late at meetings, events etc. to help set up and clean up without being asked.

A team member who takes on yet another responsibility to make the service unit work well in serving the girls and leaders.