Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland Silver Award Orientation
Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland Silver Award Orientation Why Earn it? The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. The award is symbolic of a girls accomplishments in Girl Scouting and community activities. The Girl Scout Silver Award project should benefit a girl's community, which can
include her school, city or town, or a more global community, and can be earned as an individual or as part of a group. Why Earn it? Gives girls the chance to show they are a LEADER! Leaders are organized, determined, and dedicated to improving their communities. Earning the award puts you among an exceptional group of girls who have used their knowledge and leadership skills to make a difference in the world.
History The Girl Scout Silver Award was introduced in You Make the Difference in 1980. This new award helped girls focus on four areas: skill development, leadership, service, and career exploration. Its roots are found in a tradition of leadership awards for Girl Scouts: The Golden Eaglet of Merit (1916-1919), The Golden Eagle (1919-1938), First Class (1938-1982), The Curved Bar (1940-1980). What is it? A Take Action Project: Is designed to identify and understand the root cause of
an issue. Example You can turn a clothing drive into a Take Action Project by recruiting a sponsor to organize and facilitate the event every year. Must be sustainable and the impact must be measureable. Measureable The success of the project can be determined based on the number of people the project helped, the number of people involved, a reduction in a communitys need, and other concrete numbers. Sustainable Ensure that the project creates lasting change and is not a one-time event. What it Isnt? A Service Project: A one time event designed to benefit a
single person or group of persons. ExampleCoordinating a clothing drive for individuals that are homeless. ExampleCommunity Clean-up ExampleChristmas Toy Drive ExampleSupply drive for an animal shelter. Steps Necessary 1. Go on a Cadette journey Journeys are a very important step that will help girls build the skills they need to take on a Silver Award project. They help girls understand how to
show leadership through the discover, connect and take action keys. Tip: Keep the journey(s) handy as girls work toward the awardthey might find it helpful to go back to it for ideas. Steps Necessary 2. Complete Silver Award Orientation Download the Silver Award Guidelines for Cadettes (adults there is one for you, too!) Identify issues GIRLS care about 3. Choose an issue Use girls values and skills to identify a community issue they care about.
Have the girls choose an issue they care about and begin to brainstorm the cause or reason for this issue. Interview professionals in the field, read books and articles on your issue, examine why it is that this issue as great importance to you. Root Cause Distracted Drivers Using Cell Phones Car Accidents
Drunk Driving Think about the root causes of the issue. In this example, one of the main causes of car accidents is using cell phones. Ask the girls, Why do you think people use cell phones while driving? What can be done to inform the public about the dangers of using cell phones while driving? Using the causes of the issue, draw out some solutions, connect those solutions to the issue. Ask the girls to develop concrete action steps to resolve the issue. Encourage the girls to visualize the connections between the root causes of the issues and the solutions. Steps Necessary
4. Build your Girl Scout Silver Award Team You can work with a group, or on you own Recruit family, friends, and others in your community to assist you Identify who in your network has specialized skill Examples: Reducing the number of stray animals - recruit a veterinarian or the director of an animal shelter. If your uncle is a carpenter are there skills that he can provide to assist you with your project? Remember! Your project advisor should be an expert in a field directly related to your project, not your parents or a troop leader. Solo
You are the project manager! You can create and implement a project on your own. However, you will still want to partner with others in your community (friends, neighbors, and business owners) in order to earn your award. After all, leaders like you know how to team up with others, even when theyre in charge. Small Group 3 4 girls work together as the project leads. You and your team will also partner with others in the community to
complete your project. Each girl must play an active role in choosing, planning, and developing the teams Take Action project. Keeping your team small ensures that everyone can participate fully. Small Group Build a team whose members ALL commit to: Respecting different points of view and ways of work Contributing to the project everyone needs to help out! Accepting constructive suggestions Working together to create and
develop a plan Resolving conflicts Steps Necessary 5. Create a plan: Pick your Take Action Project Choose a project based on what matters most to you or where you think you can create some positive change. Usually takes 6-12 months to complete Use Mind Mapping to help narrow down your project. Research, research, research!
Steps Necessary 6. Develop your project Before you start: What steps do we need to take to reach our goal? What special talents can each girl use to help make the project a success? What did we learn when we earned our Girl Scout Cadette journey awards that will help us make sure this project runs smoothly? Do we know enough to get started or do we need more background information? Where can we get that information? Which groups or organizations can we work with? Who can we ask for help? How can we get other people involved?
What supplies will we need? How much time do we need to finish our project? Is that timeline realistic? Steps Necessary 6. Develop your project Make it last Youll be investing a lot of yourself in your project, so of course youll want to develop it in such a way that it keeps going even after youre done. After all, this is a chance for you to make your mark in your community! Example-if you think the kids at your local elementary school need more interesting stuff to do at recess, you might plan a week of special activities. But then what? Well, how about planning team games that the fourthgraders can do with the second graders all the time!
Your Take Action project keeps going and going and going. . . . Remember to keep it simple! A clear, focused, and well-thought-out plan can often be more sustainable than taking on a huge project. Steps Necessary 6. Develop your project Find a Project Advisor Your project advisor is an expert who can answer specific questions about your issue. Look at your list of the people you met while researching issues. Is there someone who can serve as a project advisor?
If you have not yet met anyone who is familiar with your issue, talk to your troop/group volunteer. She or he might be able to help you identify experts in your community. Steps Necessary 6. Develop your project Make a Global Connection Think about others who may have worked on the same problem in the past, or check the Internet to see how others around the globe deal with your issue. What can you learn from their approach? Consider
how you may be able to extend the reach of your project into other communities besides your own. Are there ways to share your plan with other communities who are facing the same issue? Can you create a plan that other people could use to replicate your project in their own communities? Steps Necessary 6. Develop your project Youve come a long way to get to this point! Now that youve thought about the issues you care about and explored your community, its time to choose a project based on what youve learned. Many issues are big and complicatedand
hard to fix! It might be a good idea to narrow your focus. Pick just one aspect of your issue, and then develop a solution to that specific problem. Remember, you can always go back to your journeys for project ideas and examples. Steps Necessary 6. Develop your project - Creating a Budget Where will the money for your project come from? Remember time and talents are often more important than money. Example - one girl was worried about food waste at her school. She could have raised money to buy compost
bins. Instead, she used her advocacy skills to persuade school and town officials to set up a composting system. So be creative! You may realize you dont need that much money after all. Donations from family and friends, materials in-kind from local businesses (must submit the Donation Request form), FOS sales (must be agreed upon by the troop). Money Earning Activity Form (send a copy to your regional office). Steps Necessary 7. Present your Silver Award Project Proposal By this point, youre probably anxious to get started. But before you get going, take a step back and look at your project
one more time. You may need to narrow your focus a bit more or shift your approach slightly in order to make the project work. Taking some time to fine-tune your project now will make it easier to actually get it done. Ask other people for feedback, especially your troop/group volunteer. She or he will make sure your project idea is complete and meets all the requirements. Even though youve done a lot of work already, remember to be open to new ideas and suggestions. You may need to rethink certain parts of your project idea, but this will help you refine your project and make it better. Once your project idea meets the requirements, youll be ready to get started! Steps
Necessary 7. Present Your plan Using the online submission proposal form complete your project proposal (one for each girl). Submit the Silver Award Proposal Form electronically. It will be reviewed by a Silver Award Committee in your region for approval. Interview with your regions Silver Award Committee for approval, or advice on how to fine-tune your project to receive approval. Applicants will be notified of approval, approval with changes, or if they need to fine-tune and re-interview at the time of their interview. Create a binder that details all of your projects components.
Steps Necessary 8. TAKE ACTION! Take action to address the root cause of your issue and carry out your plan. Keep careful notes, and document everything in your Silver Award Hour Log. Take lots of pictures, journal, anything you can do to go back after your project is complete to reflect on what youve accomplished. Steps Necessary
9. Educate and Inspire As you wind down your project, remember to thank all the people who helped you along the way, from the people you interviewed to those who drove you around town! Share what you have experienced with others! Examples Create a blog or newsletter. Write an essay or an article for your local or school newspaper. Ask the council to write a press release on your behalf. At a workshop for community members, present what you have learned and what your project will do for the community, or do a presentation for a group of younger Girl Scoutsyou will definitely inspire them! Make a video about your project. Post it on YouTube.
Steps Necessary 10. Reflect These reflection questions may get you started: What did you discover about yourself? How did you connect with your local and global communities? What did you learn from others who worked to solve the same problem? What skills did you gain that help you as a person and a leader? What impact did your Take Action project have on your community? How did you live the Promise and Law?
Steps Necessary 11. Present your Silver Award Final Report Using the online submission Final Report form complete your final report. Submit your Silver Award Final Report Form with the Hour Log electronically. It will be reviewed by a Silver Award Committee in your region for approval. Applicants will be notified of approval via email. Girls in the 8th grade have until Sept. 30th to complete their Silver Award.
Steps Necessary 12. CELEBRATE!!! Congratulations, you have completed a project that makes a difference! Take some time to reflect on what you have accomplished. Demonstrating to an audience what you have learned sets the stage for even broader impact, and is sometimes the best way for you to recognize what you have accomplished and see how much you have grown. It will also help you get others inspired to act! Plan your Silver Award Ceremony.
Recognition Silver Award pins, letters, and certificates of recognition are mailed to recipients. Share your story with other Girl Scouts, Go to www.kansasgirlscouts.org/share to upload photos and tell us about your project. If you or your troop is interested in being on the Gold and Silver Award wall please send a 5X7 actual photo or- Digital (no cell phone pics). Please wear your uniform, on a white background (preferred). Please send a group photo if your troop worked on the Award as a group. Questions?
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