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Volunteer Recognition

It’s important to honor adult volunteers whose services directly or indirectly support or enhance girl experiences in Girl Scouting.  The quality of the individual’s accomplishments is a key factor for recognizing someone.  Whether formal or informal, volunteer recognition is a way to honor and celebrate accomplishments in Girl Scouts. 


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.

GSUSA & GCNWI Awards - Board Approved | Nomination Deadline: April 22, 2021

Nominations for the awards below are due on April 22, 2021 annually. Nominations received after this date will be held for the following membership year. 

Appreciation Pin

This award honors a volunteer has provided outstanding service to at least one service unit or program delivery audience toward achievement of the council’s goals.

Nominate a Volunteer for the Appreciation Pin »

Submit a letter of Endorsement »

Dynamic and Incredible Staff of the Year aka DAISY

This 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 or 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.

Nominate a Staff Person for the DAISY Award »

Hall of Fame

This award honors a volunteer 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 may be awarded posthumously.

Nominate a Volunteer for the Hall of Fame »

Write a letter of Endorsement for both Hall of Fame and Daisy Awardees »

Honor Pin

This award honors a volunteer who has provided outstanding service to at least two service units or program delivery audiences in a way that furthers the council’s goals.  repeat links above

Nominate a Volunteer for the Honor Pin »

Submit a letter of Endorsement »

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. 

Nominate a group for the President's Award »

President’s Award FAQ » [WEB]

Thanks Badge

This award honors a volunteer who has provided exceptional, outstanding service that benefits the total council or entire movement.  The service is so significantly above and beyond the call of duty that no other award would be appropriate.

Nominate a Volunteer for the Thanks Badge »

Submit a letter of Endorsement »

Thanks Badge II

This volunteer has received the Thanks Badge and has continued providing exceptional, outstanding service that benefits the total council or entire movement.  The service is so significantly above and beyond the call of duty that no other award would be appropriate.

Nominate a Volunteer for the Thanks Badge II »

Submit a letter of Endorsement »

GSUSA awards require Board approval—the deadline for submitting nominations for these awards is April 22, 2021.

Service Unit Awards | Nomination Deadline April 1, 2021
Hidden Heroine

This award honors a volunteer who provides above and beyond assistance to special projects, ongoing tasks, and support of Girl Scout programs in the Service unit, program delivery group, or other operational or governance group. This volunteer continually accepts assignments to keep Girl Scouting thriving.

Each service unit should submit approved nominees using this form »

New Found Treasure

This award honors a volunteer who has made a positive impact on Girl Scouting in just a short time. This person’s performance is so outstanding that it merits recognition by the Service unit, program delivery, or governance unit. 

Each service unit should submit approved nominees using this form »

Volunteer of Excellence

This award honors a volunteer who has contributed outstanding service while partnering directly with girls 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 adult members.

Each service unit should submit approved nominees using this form »

GCNWI Service Unit Awards require Service Unit or local operating unit (for example, a committee), to approve and submit a list of nominees to Council by April 1, 2021. 


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

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! »


Award Breakdown | Nomination Deadline: April 22, 2021

 
Girl Scouts of the USA Board Approved Awards

APPRECIATION PIN 

The candidate is a registered Girl Scout adult who has provided outstanding service to at least one service unit or program delivery audience toward achievement of the council's goals. The service goes beyond the expectations of the position.

Submit Nomination Form plus TWO letters of endorsementApril 22, 2021 deadline.


HONOR PIN 

The candidate is a registered Girl Scout adult who has provided outstanding service to at least two service units or program delivery audiences in a way that furthers the council's goals. The service goes beyond the expectations of the position.

Submit Nomination Form plus THREE letters of endorsement —April 22, 2021 deadline.


THANKS BADGE 

The candidate is a registered Girl Scout adult who has provided exceptional, outstanding service that benefits the total council or entire movement. The service is so significantly above and beyond the call of duty that no other award would be appropriate.

Submit Nomination Form plus FOUR letters of endorsementApril 22, 2021 deadline.


THANKS BADGE II 

The candidate is a registered Girl Scout adult who has received the Thanks Badge and whose continued work once again has provided exceptional, outstanding service that benefits the total council or entire movement. The service is so significantly above and beyond the call of duty that no other award would be appropriate.

Submit Nomination Form plus FOUR letters of endorsementApril 22, 2021 deadline.



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 overall goals.

Members of the Service unit team submit the nomination form April 22, 2021 deadline.
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana Board of Approves Awards

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.

Submit Nomination Form plus FOUR letters of endorsement or testimonials—April 22, 2021 deadline.

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 22, 2021 deadline.
Service Unit Approved Awards

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 on our website here.

Deadline to submit is April 1, 2021.

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 on our website here.

Deadline to submit is April 1, 2021.

HIDDEN HEROINE

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 on our website here.

Deadline to submit nominations is April 1, 2021.
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 April 22, 2021.
NOMINATING PROCEDURES FOR AWARDS REQUIRING SERVICE UNIT APPROVAL ONLY

Volunteer of Excellence, New Found Treasure, Hidden Heroine

These award nominations are submitted to 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 will be available to pick up in the council shops or order online beginning April 1st.  Blank certificate templates are also available via email.  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.

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 Heroine 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.

Tips for Submitting Great Award Nominations

Writing Strong Award Nominations -- Why it Matters

Adult Recognition Awards: It's about the girls! The focus of adult recognition awards is impact on girls and the Girl Scout movement. The Adult Recognition Committee is serious about evaluating potential adult volunteers for the most prestigious awards a council may award to adult members. The committee relies on the completeness and accuracy of the nominations. Please be thoughtful as you describe the outstanding characteristics of the person you are nominating.

Nomination Guidelines: GSUSA has designed the guidelines and your nomination should support the guidelines by showing results oriented, measurable and real impact stories in support of your nominee.

This chart shows how a statement, with a little thought, can become a strong nomination statement for the Adult Recognition committee's review:

INITIAL STATEMENT:

THOUGHTFULLY 
CONSIDER:

STRONG NOMINATION STATEMENT:

"She has been a leader for a long time."

How many years? Through which levels?

"For 11 years, she has led a large troop from Daisies, persevering through the difficult middle school years, to their current level of Seniors."

"She is a great leader."

What kind of leadership qualities does she bring? What makes her stand out?

"She continually brings leadership opportunities to the girls. She encourages a girl-led approach by allowing girls to vote on and implement their activities."

"She always goes above and beyond."

Be specific! Tell a story about the great benefits those around her receive due to her efforts.

"Her troop voted to start the aMuse Journey. Because she has never considered herself a "creative soul" when it came to artistic endeavors, she recruited troop parents, artists and actors as resources for her girls to draw from. As a result, the girls have had a great time meeting community experts and discovering parent talent in their own troop! They now have several opportunities for Take Action projects because of these connections"

"He's a dad who helps whenever needed."

Be specific! Tell a story about the support given to the girls, and how the girls  benefitted.

"This Good Guy came to the rescue during a troop camp-out when the troops discovered a nest of baby rattlesnakes in camp! He kept both the girls and leaders calm as he assisted in striking camp, all the while educating the girls about the snakes and safety. The girls felt safe, and in control, thanks to good guidance from a Good Guy!"