Girl Scout Highest Awards

The highest Award in Girl Scouting, the Girl Scout Gold Award has had several names since its debut in 1916 as the Golden Eagle of Merit. It has also been known as the Golden Eaglet, Curved Bar, First Class, and the Girl Scout Gold Award. It marked the beginning of a long tradition of recognizing the outstanding achievements of extraordinary girls.

Starting in 1916, the best and brightest improved themselves, their communities and the world—and earned the Golden Eaglet, the highest award in Girl Scouting from 1916 to1938, which was originally the Golden Eagle of Merit from 1916-1918. 1938 to 1940 marked years when the First Class award was the highest award. From 1940 to 1963, the Curved Bar award was the highest honor in Girl Scouting. From 1963 to 1980, the highest award was called First Class, as it was prior to the Curved Bar. And since 1980, the Girl Scout Gold Award has inspired girls to become leaders, and share their ideas and passions with their communities.

Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are part of an elite group of women who embody community leadership leaving behind a sustainable legacy. When Juliette Gordon Low was alive, she made it a point to present every award personally. See the slideshow below for some historical examples.

Trefoil Completing Your Award

  • Earning the previous award (i.e. Girl Scout Bronze Award before Girl Scout Silver Award; Girl Scout Silver Award before Girl Scout Gold Award) is not a pre-requisite of earning an award. Girls who have completed previous awards may find the skills they developed along the way helpful in earning their next award.
  • You cannot work on two awards at the same time. Girls can only earn awards for the program level that they are at.  For example, a Cadette can only work on the Silver Award, and a Junior can only work on the Bronze Award. Once girls bridge or age into the next program level they can no longer earn awards from any previous program levels.
  • For more information about Highest Awards, contact Shannon Shea or call (800) 338-5248 ext. 6813.
  • Check the Program Guide for upcoming workshops and information sessions.  

Trefoil Girl Scout Bronze Award



Trefoil Girl Scout Silver Award


Trefoil Girl Scout Gold Award

  • Girl Scout eniors and Ambassadors in grades 9-12 can work on the Girl Scout Gold Award
  • Girl Scout Gold Award Girl Guidelines, FAQ, forms and more
  • Girls may not start the Girl Scout Gold Award Project without the approval of the Teen Awards Volunteer Team 
  • We encourage all girls to complete the Gold Award Public Relations form so we can submit her project information to her local paper
  • Upon completion of the project, the girl will receive one Girl Scout Gold Award pin
  • Girl Scouts OSW will send out announcements applauding her accomplishment to local, state and federal dignitaries
Get started on your Gold Award! You can begin your project using the My Gold Award app at The app will walk you through the whole process: pre-requisites, tracking, proposal and final report - and it will automatically send your paperwork to GSOSW. Cool, huh?

Prefer not to use the app? That's OK! You can find all the paperwork on Girl Scouts USA's website:
Either way you want to manage your project is fine - we recommend the app because it's more interactive and can help answer many of your questions. Plus, it saves trees!

Trefoil Helpful Forms

Optional forms to help you complete your project, track hours and stay on budget.

service unit
and click "GO"

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© 2014 | Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington | 800-338-5248