How Girls Can Change the World: the Gold Award

Let’s take a trip back in time together. Are you buckled up? Okay. Let’s go. model-t-ford

The year is 1916. The highest selling car is the Model T Ford, although horse pulled carriages still outnumber automobiles. Long dresses graze the cobblestone, and after a long day of time travel, I say we should head over to the cinema and relax!

A night out at the movies will cost us around a nickel each- it’s my treat. “Talkies” aren’t really a thing yet, so the film tonight is going to be silent in black and white. Totally retro! Like all the other movies out in 1916, the major theme is going to be the damsel in distress. You won’t see a brave Katniss Everdeen or commanding Wonder Woman daring to write her own story. In fact, the leading lady will do little more than be rescued by the masculine hero and then fall into his arms. silent-movies

In 2016, it’s easy to say, “we support the empowerment of girls.” After all, women can hold public office, sit on the Supreme Court, be doctors, lawyers, or astronauts. But when the founder of Girl Scouts created the highest award in Girl Scouting, female empowerment was highly controversial.

In 1916, when women didn’t yet have the right to vote, Juliette Gordon Low created the Gold Award. The Gold Award has held several names throughout the course of a century; Golden Eaglet, Curved Bar Award, and First Class. But the mission and purpose of this award remains the same. The Gold Award gives girls the opportunity to be the hero of their own stories. They use the bravery, valor, and compassion of a hero to reach out and help others to do the same.


In the midst of WW2, Girl Scouts worked to collect scrap metal, grow Victory Farms, and operate bicycle courier services to aid in the war efforts.

Maybe you are reading this and you’ve never heard of the Gold Award before. Don’t worry, you are just in time to learn for the 100th Anniversary of the Gold Award! Let’s get started!

The first thing you should know is earning the Gold Award isn’t easy. Girls who pursue the Gold Award must spend at least 80 hours planning, presenting, and working their project.


Girl Scouts held “Speak Out” Conferences to aid the fight for racial equality.


What kind of project is it, you ask? Girls must identify a critical issue in their communities such as homelessness, illiteracy, domestic violence, or any number of issues.

Amber woods Gold

Local Girl Scout Alumni, Amber Woods, earned her Gold Award by building a privacy fence for a battered women’s shelter.


Once they find an issue they are passionate about, they take action to address the topic and make their community a better. Our Gold Award Recipients have established libraries, created after school programs, connected foster children with scholarships, and so much more.

We believe, and teach the girls in our program, that leadership is more than merely being “in charge” of others. A real leader takes risks, uses creativity, and always reaches back to make the world a better place. The Gold Award represents the heart of a true leader. That’s how Girl Scouts are changing the world; through revolutionary leadership. Through the Gold Award.

This year we celebrate the revolutionary vision of Juliette Gordon Low and the courage it took to follow her heart. We celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouts changing the world through the Gold Award. We celebrate 100 years of life changing

Now that we’ve taken you back in time to where it all started, we would like to invite you to our Gold Award Centennial Celebration. Whether the award you earned was named Golden Eaglet, Curved Bar, First Class, or Gold Award, we are so excited to honor you at our Gold Centennial Gala. The Gala will be held at the South Carolina State Museum on the 4th of November, and will begin at 7pm. We invite the entire community to come celebrate leadership at its finest.


Have you earned the Gold Award? We are in search of Gold Award stories that will inspire and encourage. If you have earned the Gold Award and want to tell your story, please reach out to me at I would love to hear from you!



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