Adult Awards FAQ
What Are Adult Volunteer Awards?
These are formal awards designed by Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) or Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys to be used to recognize exemplary volunteer service that goes above and beyond what is expected in a volunteer role.
When Should Adult Awards Be Used?
An effective recognition program is made up of informal and formal recognition. Formal adult volunteer awards are not intended to be used to honor or recognize annual service or good performance. Informal recognition should be used for recognition in these cases. Formal awards are to recognize exemplary service, not to recognize longevity. Nominate someone for a formal award when they have completed a project or year of service where they have made significant measurable contributions.
Who Can Nominate a Volunteer for Awards?
All Girl Scout volunteers, girl members, and/or their families can submit a nomination. River Valleys’ staff may also nominate a volunteer, but we strongly encourage Girl Scout members to nominate peers. Note to service units: It is helpful if you designate a contact person in your service unit and instruct volunteers and families to include that person’s name on the nomination application under the “designated contact person” field.
How Are Pins Distributed?
The Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin, Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II will be acknowledged at the River Valleys’ annual meeting. The nominator and/or recipients may choose to have the awards presented at a local event. All other awards will be forwarded to the nominator for presentations locally. Volunteers eligible to receive Membership numerals for 25+ years and Years of Service pins for 20+ years may choose to receive the pins at a local event or via mail.
When Are Nominations Due?
River Valleys accepts nominations for GSUSA awards (Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin, Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II) year round. River Valleys’ awards review committee will review submissions twice per year. Nominations for exemplary work completed between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 should be submitted by January 31, 2015. Nominations for exemplary work performed during October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015 can be submitted by June 31, 2015 for mid-year review or by January 31, 2016.
Nominations for Volunteer of Excellence and all other River Valleys’ awards are dependent on the date of the local recognition event. The April event’s due date is March 15; for May events the due date is April 15, and for June events the due date is May 15.
Can Adult Volunteer Awards Only Be Earned Once During Someone’s Girl Scout Volunteer Career?
No. One shift GSUSA is trying to make in the area of recognition is that volunteers receive these specific high awards for the contribution that they did (exemplary service) and not as a way to recognize the longevity of their service. As a movement, we have a large number of volunteers who continue to contribute for decades which can lead to many outstanding contributions. In GSUSA’s revised adult awards program, there is nothing stating that a volunteer cannot receive the same high award more than once; however, the adult awards and recognition committee will review each nomination very carefully to ensure that it effectively demonstrates that the applicant met the award criteria specific to the nomination. If you are not sure whether a formal award is appropriate ask yourself if you want to acknowledge the individual because they work hard, have a great attitude and/or have been volunteering a long time or if you want to recognize specific contributions the individual made that resulted in measurable impact. If you answered that you want to acknowledge hard work, then an informal recognition is appropriate. If you answered that you want to acknowledge specific measurable contributions, then a formal award nomination would be appropriate.
In the Past I Sent in a Nomination, But Was Told the Individual Didn’t Qualify Because the Service Was in the Current Membership Year. Are There Any Awards That Can Be Used to Honor Service in the Current Membership Year?
Nominations are now reviewed twice per year so nominations submitted for June 31 mid-year review can be for work in the current year. Nominations for exemplary work completed between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 should be submitted by January 31, 2015. Nominations for exemplary work performed during October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015 can be submitted by June 31, 2015 for mid year review or by January 31, 2016.
I Should Be Receiving a Years of Service Pin or Membership Numeral This Year. Do I Need to do Anything?
Our data is dependent on the number of girls and adult years a member puts on their annual registration form or annual lifetime member update. Annually, River Valleys will run a report from our database and all registered volunteers qualifying for 20+ years of service pins (in five-year intervals) and/or 25+ year membership numerals (in five-year intervals) will receive a letter with instructions on how to request their pin. You may choose to receive this pin locally or via mail.
Where Can I Find Detailed Information on Adult Volunteer Awards?
Find nomination forms, endorsement questionnaires and specific award information in each awards packet, found on our Adult Awards page.
River Valleys provides a fillable PDF questionnaire for use in submitting your nomination. The form will have a question and answer format and is designed to help nominators/endorsers in writing letters that will give the committee solid examples and descriptions of the work the volunteer has done.
What Help Is Available?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-845-0787 with questions or to discuss an individual’s service to see which, if any, award would be most appropriate. The adult award recognition committee members are able to provide service units, service unit managers, and/or recognition coordinators a tutorial on adult volunteer awards. Resources including award descriptions and endorsement questionnaires are available on our Volunteers page.
For more information about adult awards contact email@example.com or 800-845-0787.