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Volunteer Recognition & Awards

A culture of appreciation is one where anyone working towards the Girl Scout Mission feels respected and valued for her or his service and contribution. Remember the concept of Ubuntu: "I am me because we are we."

FORMAL RECOGNITION

The official awards are given to people who go above and beyond, who provide excellence in this big sisterhood of Girl Scouts. Who would offer excellence if they didn't feel valued and appreciated? 

Criteria for all formal awards: 
  • The candidate is an active, registered Girl Scout member
  • The service performed is above and beyond the expectations for the position held
  • The candidate actively recognizes, understands, and practices the values of inclusive behaviors
How to nominate a volunteer: 
  1. Review all award descriptions and requirements in the Adult Recognitions Handbook
  2. Recruit endorsers to complete and submit the required endorsements
  3. Complete and submit the nomination form (linked in each award description) along with its endorsements per the instructions on the form
Presented at Volunteer Awards Celebration
How are awards approved? 

The Adult Recognitions Committee is comprised of volunteers from throughout our nine county footprint who: 

  • Review each completed nomination individually, based on the award's criteria
  • Approve the nominee for the nominated award OR
  • Aprove the award for a different award category OR
  • Deny the award. In a case where this is no indication given that the candidate's service met the award criteria, the nomination could be denied

Then, the Committee recommendations will be sent to the GSEP Board of Directors for approval. Upon approval, nominators will be notified regarding the status of their nomination(s). 

Click here to see last year's recipients

For Individuals
Our volunteers make a difference in the lives of girls every day. The following awards are designed to recognize volunteers on an individual level, who defy expectations. 

Award Description Endorsements Required
The Go-Getter Award recognizes a volunteer who puts her/his goals into action, pursues leadership positions and perseveres through challenges. 2
The Innovator Award recognizes a volunteer who uses creativity to imagine and implement solutions.  An innovator brings new ideas that benefit a troop or service unit or provides a “spark” to enhance current activities or events. 2
The Risk-Taker Award recognizes a volunteer who seeks new adventures and experiences. They step outside their comfort zone to provide the best experience for girls or they take positive action on issues in the community. 2
The Leader Award recognizes a volunteer who listens to opinions and feelings different from her/his own.  He or she handles conflict with compassion and clear communication. A Leader works hard to bring positive change to the world and builds team spirit while bringing people together. 2
The Appreciation Pin recognizes an individual's exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE)  in at least one geographic area, service unit, or program audience in a way that furthers the council’s mission-delivery goals.  2
The Diversity Award recognizes a volunteer who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to promoting diversity in her/his community, service unit, or council. 2
The Super Service Unit Award recognizes a service unit volunteer who has gone above and beyond providing time, skills, and leadership in her/his role on the service unit team.  The candidate has actively served as a service unit team member for five years or more. 2
The Honor Pin recognizes a volunteer whose outstanding service has impacted at least two service units to further the council goals. 3
Bowl The Gertrude K. McGonigle Award recognizes an individual who has proven to be a positive role model while working directly with girls and has exemplified the values and traditions of Girl Scouting. This award is given in honor of Gertrude K. McGonigle by her daughter, in recognition of her mother’s long-standing interest and support of Girl Scouting in the Reading/Berks County area.   3
The Lights of Loyalty Award recognizes an individual whose long-term commitment and service to the organization and the mission are extraordinary and has spanned 30 plus years. 2

The Numeral Guard is a longevity recognition for an individual for their total years of registered membership, including years as a girl and as an adult member. Years do not need to be consecutive, and Numeral Guards are available in five-year increments.  25 years or more are presented at the council level.

Request Form

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The Years of Service Pin is a longevity recognition for an adult volunteer’s dedication to Girl Scouting. Years do not need to be consecutive, and pins are available in five-year increments. 35 years or more are presented at the council level.

Request Form

N/A
The Thanks Badge recognizes an individual who demonstrates ongoing commitment to leadership by providing exceptional service that benefits the total council or entire Girl Scout movement that is so significantly beyond expectations, that no other award is appropriate. 4
The Thanks Badge II recognizes a Thanks Badge recipient who has since provided continuing distinguished service benefiting the total council that significantly surpasses the original achievement. 4
The Girl Scouts of Eastern PA Award is GSEP's highest award for an individual whose remarkable dedication & service benefits the entire council and spans 10 or more years. 4

For Organizations & Businesses
Support from the community for Girl Scouting efforts is essential, from offering meeting or event space, to donating goods towards highest award projects, our communities help our girls meet their goals and improve the communities in which we live. 

Award Description Endorsements Required
Plaque The Friend of GSEP Award recognizes a company or organization (one per county) within council jurisdiction that supports GSEP by providing meeting space, hosting programs, providing financial aupport, or other means of visible support to the council.  2

For Service Units
Our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place, wouldn't be possible without strong leadership within our service units. The following awards are presented by GSEP and do not go through a nomination process. 

Award Description
Certificate The Leadership Knot is awarded to three Service Units who fully committed themselves and effectively assisted girls in their service unit in earning their highest awards
Plaque The Service Unit Growth Award is awarded to the service unit with the greatest girl membership growth in the previous membership year.
Plaque The Service Unit Retention Award is awarded to the service unit with the greatest girl member retention in the previous membership year.
Certificate and patches The CEO Award recognizes the efforts of a service unit in moving its assigned area toward GSEP's goals and objectives of service, learning, and growth.  
Presented by Local Service Unit

Service unit awards are a way to recognize your local leaders and community partners. They are typically presented at the service unit’s end-of-year recognitions event.

Nomination Form
Endorsement Form

Service units decide on their own timeline to approve and present awards and typically appoint a Recognitions Coordinator who will ensure that volunteers are recognized in their service unit!

Please do not send nominations for service unit level awards to the council offices.

Award Description
The Volunteer of Excellence recognizes an individual whose outstanding service extends beyond the role of troop leader, directly impacting girl experience or council goals.
Certificate The Friend of Girl Scouting Service Unit Award recognizes a company, organization, or individual that supports Girl Scouting in their community.

The Years of Service Pin is a longevity recognition for an individual for their total years of registered membership, including years as a girl and as an adult member. Years do not need to be consecutive, and Numeral Guards are available in five-year increments. 

Request Form

The Numeral Guard is a longevity recognition for an individual for their total years of registered membership, including years as a girl and as an adult member. Years do not need to be consecutive, and Numeral Guards are available in five-year increments.  25 years or more are presented at the council level.

Request Form

Did you know?
Service units can develop their own awards to recognize and honor their volunteers! These can range from awards for troop leaders, to parent helpers, and more. How about the “First Responder” who is the go-to Volunteer  who is always ready to go when needed; or “The Traveler” for the leader who submitted the most trip forms? Have fun, and be creative! 

Need a Replacement?

Did you receive a Volunteer Award, Numeral Guard, or Years of Service Pin, but lost it? Click here to fill out our Volunteer Award Pin Replacement form and we'll be in touch shortly to discuss next steps for replacing your pin!

INFORMAL RECOGNITION

Recognition - do it often and make it meaningful. Informal recognitions are day-to-day ways to say "thank you" to volunteers. Get creative, there are so many amazing ideas! These sincere expressions of appreciation are based on specific contributions and are given in a timely manner. Informal recognition is powerful and effective, because volunteers feel valued by a personal touch. 

Little Ways to Say "Thank You"

Informal recognitions on the troop/group and individual levels are great ways to say "thank you" to volunteers today! These sincere expressions of appreciation can be powerful when given with a personal touch. Examples of meaningful, informal rewards include: 

  • A welcome or thank you letter or card
  • Skill building learning opportunities (For example, how to use social media to network)
  • A recommendation for a promotion
  • Sending a volunteer's supervisor or CEO a letter recognizing her/his contributions
  • Complimenting a volunteer's work to a supervisor or co-worker (in the volunteer's presence)
  • Showing interest in a volunteer's personal life (such as asking about a volunteer's grandchild or weekend plans)
  • Girl Scout tokens - check the Girl Scout catalogue or visit a GSEP Retail Shop
  • Celebrate Leader Appreciation Day on April 22
  • Certificates
  • Personal handwritten note cards
  • Scrapbook
  • Telephone call
  • Electronic greeting cards
  • Flowers
  • Framed photo or picture collage
  • Themed recognitions (hearts, shamrocks, stars, angels)
  • Fun awards (wishbone, funny bone, backbone, hats, gems and rocks, hand, puzzle piece)
  • One minute praise to say thanks

If you have any questions about how to thank your volunteers, please email us