- This article is on the Girl Scout award.
The Gold Award is the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA and is considered comparable to the Eagle Scout rank of the Boy Scouts of America. The Gold Award emblem is presented as a pin resembling an eight-pointed gold star.
It replaced the First Class Award, which was GSUSA's highest recognition from 1963-1980. That award was preceded by the Curved Bar Award (1940-1963), and before that the highest recognition was the Golden Eaglet award.
Senior Girl Scouts aged 14-18 are eligible to earn the award. The requirements were updated in 2004 and include:
- The Girl Scout Gold Leadership Award, which requires girls to complete 30 hours of leadership work, as well as earn three Interest Projects and one Focus Book relevant to their project.
- The Girl Scout Gold Career Award, which requires girls to complete 65 hours of career exploration.
- The Girl Scout Gold 4Bs Challenge, which requires girls to assess their community and its needs, and develop a vision for change.
Once these steps have been met, girls use their vision for change to complete a service project that reaches beyond the Girl Scout organization and provides lasting benefit to the girl's larger community. It requires a minimum of 65 hours of work in planning and actually completing the project. Plans must be developed with the aid of an advisor, and a project proposal and final report must be submitted to the girl's local council before and after the project's completion.
Fewer than 6% of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the prestigious Gold Award.  Awardees are honored at councilwide ceremonies. By demonstrating their capacity for leadership, organization, and commitment to community, Gold Award recipients are expected to become lifelong citizens and leaders.
Gold Award recipients who join the US military may receive advanced rank upon enlistment. Also, some universities and colleges offer scholarships to Gold Award recipients. Yearly, GSUSA selects ten girls to be Young Women of Distinction based on their Gold Award projects.
Famous Gold Award Recipients
- Betsy Boze, Chief Executive Officer and Dean, Kent State University Stark
- Jan Hopkins, financial news anchor for CNN (earned the Curved Bar, a Girl Scout Gold Award predecessor)
- Morris, Rodger (1995). "Scouts-L Archives". Listserv 14.4. http://listserv.tcu.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind9511&L=scouts-l&T=0&H=1&P=48990. Retrieved 2007-01-01.