Volunteers make Girl Scouting possible. Our adult volunteers help Girl Scouts unleash their incredible talent and make fun and exciting experiences possible for all Girl Scouts. The time and talent they devote to enriching girls’ lives is truly remarkable. Volunteers make a lasting impact on the lives of girls, our local communities and the world.
Save the Date: Recognition of Excellence - Sunday, May 21, 2023
Join us in honoring our most recent Adult Award recipients and Girl Scout Highest Awards.
To help honor the amazing women and men making a difference through the Girl Scout movement, please consider nominating a fellow volunteer(s) for a Girl Scout adult award to be recognized at the Girl Scouts Annual Meeting. Learn more about the awards below.
Please note that all the awards are for service within
the previous membership year!
We are currently accepting Adult Award nominations for outstanding volunteer service for the 2021-2022 program year! The nomination window will close on November 1, 2022. Nominations for the Spotlight Award continues to be open and awarded throughout the year.
People volunteer for countless reasons but, underneath it all, most volunteers are motivated by the quality of their experience. When volunteers know their time and energy are appreciated and that they are valued by Girl Scouts, they commit themselves to the organization. Volunteers also want to know that their service is helping the greater good – that together we make a difference in girl’s lives and, through our mission, make a difference in the world. Therefore, volunteer recognition is one of the most powerful tools for retaining the invaluable adult members who volunteer for Girl Scouts.
You can show your appreciation in many ways. An ideal volunteer recognition system includes a mixture of informal and formal methods to acknowledge all accomplishments, regardless of role or length of service.
Informal recognition is the day-to-day appreciation—the intangible benefits and heartfelt ways of saying “Thank you.” Our formal recognitions are the official GSUSA and Council Adult Awards that are presented annually.
Best Practices for formal award recognitions:
The desire to recognize all dedicated volunteers must be balanced with an obligation to preserve the value of the recognition. It is recommended that a volunteer be recognized when their service efforts have grown or their impact has shown growth from the work of their previous award. Sometimes this increased impact can take some time in between awards. Please consider using informal recognitions between awards to encourage great volunteers to continue serving while they grow in the Girl Scout organization.
As a general rule, a volunteer can receive each of our awards only once during their time with GSofSI. Exceptions may include the Volunteer of Excellence award, President's award, and the Spotlight award.
Girl Scout Leadership Experience: The engine for everything girls do in Girl Scouting. The experience identifies all the elements that need to be in place for Girl Scouting to achieve its mission; Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. When Discover, Connect, and Take Action activities are combined with the Girl Scout Processes of Girl-Led, Learning by Doing, and Cooperative Learning, girls achieve the desired and expected short-term leadership outcomes, ultimately resulting in Girl Scouting achieving its mission.
Inclusion: Girl Scouts has a strong commitment to inclusion and diversity, and we embrace girls of all abilities and backgrounds into our wonderful sisterhood. Inclusion is at the core of who we are; it’s about being a sister to every Girl Scout and celebrating our unique strengths. Part of the important work you do includes modeling friendship and kindness for your girls and showing them what it means to practice empathy. Girl Scouts welcomes all members, regardless of race, ethnicity, background, disability, family structure, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status.
Mission Delivery Goals: Relate to goals set with regards to membership, volunteer development, program, leadership and governance, fund development, and council support services (IT, customer service, merchandizing, marketing and communications).
Measurable Impact: Evidence that the service was successful. Examples: Specific feedback from those involved; increased retention of bridging girls; outside recognition (e.g., news outlets).
National Portfolio: The National Program Portfolio has two main parts, the National Leadership Journeys and the Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting. Complemented by the Girl Scout Cookie program, Girl Scout travel and Girl Scout awards, the National Program Portfolio is designed to help girls develop as leaders and build confidence by learning new skills. It also ensures that Girl Scouts at every level are sharing a powerful, national experience of girls together changing the world!
Tips from our Adult Award Committee
Be detailed! Let our committee know why the nominee is doing a great job with specific examples. For example: “She stepped up to volunteer with a second troop when it needed a leader and did such a great job that all 12 girls renewed their membership!” vs. “She is doing a great job!” OR “He volunteered to run stations at six of our Service Unit’s events this year, as well as co-hosted a Cookie Cupboard.” vs. “He helps a lot at events.”
Living Her Legacy
Requires only a nomination
The Living Her Legacy award recognizes a leader, co-leader and/or member of the leadership team (Troop Treasurer, Troop Product Program Manager- Fall, Troop Product Program Manager - Cookies) that started a troop as kindergarten Daisies and continued the same troop until the girls became graduated Ambassadors. This award is presented annually.
*This award only requires a nomination. Please make sure all members of the troop’s leadership team that qualifies are nominated for this award.
Sustained Service Award
Requires only a nomination
The Sustained Service Award recognizes a long-term Girl Scout volunteer who has continued to provide exemplary service at the service unit level for at least 10 years. This award is presented annually.
The Heart of Gold Award
Requires a nomination and two endorsements
The Heart of Gold award recognizes the long-term impact a volunteer has had on girls and adults in his/her community through involvement in Girl Scouting. The service of this volunteer has been an integral part of maintaining and recruiting new girls and/or adults in one or more areas of the council. This award is presented to one recipient annually.
Volunteer of Excellence
The Volunteer of Excellence Award recognizes volunteers who have contributed outstanding service while partnering directly with girls to implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) through the use of the National Program Portfolio or who have contributed outstanding service in support of the council's mission delivery to girl and adult members. This award is presented annually.
Possible candidates may include: Troop Leader, Co-leader, Troop Product Manager, Troop Treasurer, registered adult support member, etc.
Examples may include, but not limited to: A leader whose troop is earning many badges, creating excitement in the troop thereby increasing the retention and membership of the troop each year; A volunteer that has accomplished a variety of training to enrich the troop’s experiences outdoors; Troop product program volunteer helping the troop implementing ideas to increase their product sales each year; A leader who accepted the girls from a troop when a leadership team wasn’t established; a volunteer who stepped up as the product program person when there was a vacancy for this role; leader and troop held a Jr. Badge workshop for other troops in service unit, etc.
The Appreciation Pin recognizes an individual's exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). This service, which has had measurable impact on at least one service unit, contributes to expanding the council's reach and surpassing its mission-delivery goals for that area. This award is presented annually.
Possible candidates may include: Any registered volunteers who hold a role within the service unit or who support the activities of a service unit such as Service Unit (SU) Managers, SU Registrar, SU Product Program Managers, SU Treasurer, Day Camp Volunteers, Delegates, troop level volunteers, registered adult support members, etc.
Examples may include, but not limited to: SU manager whose leadership has increased volunteer participation and satisfaction in their service unit; SU Product Program Manager who had a highly successful product sale due to their leadership; Day Camp Director’s outstanding program resulted in an increase in participation of girls and volunteers over time; SU Registrar held registration events which increased membership and retention above council goals, etc.
The Honor Pin recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE), and has had a measurable impact on two or more service units, contributing to the goals of the council to reach and surpass its mission-delivery. This award is presented annually.
Possible candidates may include: Any registered volunteers who are involved with supporting 2 or more service units such as Day Camp Directors, Cookie Cupboard Managers, members of a short-term council committee, outdoor trainers, Service Unit Delegate, etc.
Examples may include, but not limited to: An Event/Day Camp Director who implements a series of events and activities that bring girls together from different parts of the council; Volunteer who serves on a task force committee; a council trainer who serves their service unit and adjacent service units; Cookie Cupboard Manager whose stock of product is available for all the service units in their region of the state.
The Thanks Badge honors an individual whose ongoing commitment, leadership, and service has had an exceptional, measurable impact on meeting the mission-delivery goals and priorities of the entire council or the entire Girl Scout Movement. This award is presented annually.
Possible candidates may include: Any registered volunteer that supports the entire council or the Girl Scout Movement such as Council Trainers, Council Committee Members, Council Delegates, etc.
Examples may include, but not limited to: Canoe certified volunteer who provides support at all council events that offer canoeing; a volunteer who is involved with fund development for our council; a Council Trainer who offers training throughout the council; a Delegate who represents the council at the GS National Convention; a volunteer who has served on the Gold Award committee for many years, etc.
Thanks Badge II
The Thanks II Badge honors a previous Thanks Badge recipient who has continued to provide exemplary service in a leadership role resulting in a measurable impact that benefits the entire Girl Scout Movement. This award is presented annually.
Possible candidates may include: Any registered volunteer that has continued to support the entire council or the Girl Scout Movement such as Council Trainers, Council Committee members, Council Delegates, etc.
Examples may include, but not limited to: A volunteer who continues serving on council committees over time; a volunteer who has added to their training certifications to give more support to the council training needs; an experienced volunteer whose leadership and participation has developed programs which were implemented council wide to increase membership and retention, etc.
The President's Award recognizes the efforts of a service unit team whose exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience surpassed team goals and resulted in significant, measurable impact toward reaching the council's overall goals. This award is presented annually.
Requires a nomination letter.
The Spotlight award recognizes multiple GSofSI volunteers per month. Any volunteer can nominate a fellow volunteer when you see them shining in the “Spotlight” doing something outstanding for the girls, troop, service unit or council. Please make sure you express to us in a few sentences in your nomination why you want this volunteer to be recognized.
Mary Anne Hopper, SU 211 | Waterloo
Penny Pejka, SU 201 | O'Fallon, Shiloh, Fairview
Carline Jung, SU 209 | Millstadt, Columbia, Dupo, Smithton
Mary Armes, SU 87 | West Frankfort
Katie Siemer Summers, SU 111 | Collinsville, Caseyville, Maryville
Sheila Jolly Scrivner, SU 30 | Jefferson County
Debbie Parker, SU 544 | Crawford, Jasper County
Susanna Mills, SU 85 | Wayne, Hamilton, White County