There is no better place for a girl to develop her independence and confidence than Girl Scouts! What makes Girl Scouts different? We connect girls with opportunities to develop their leadership skills at all levels, starting with our youngest leaders, Girl Scout Daisies, all the way through Girl Scout Ambassadors, our high school seniors! Girl Scouts can follow one or both paths of our leadership programs. Each path builds skills in different types of leadership.
Community Service Bar
Girl Scouts who are very active make a difference in their communities! To earn this award, girls choose a community organization to work with (check with Customer Care for approved organizations), receive instructions, and complete at least 20 hours of service.
Service to Girl Scouting Bar
Girls at this level often volunteer to help at special events at the service unit or council level with younger girls or other special projects. Once a girl completes at least 20 hours of service, she is eligible to earn this award.
There are two steps to earn this award—complete one journey and serve for one full term in a leadership position!
Girl Scout Cadette Silver Torch
Girl Scout Senior Silver and Gold Torch
Girl Scout Ambassador Gold Torch
These awards focus on mentoring younger Girl Scouts.
Read our Teen Mentor Leadership Guide to find out more.
Girl Scout Juniors can earn this mentoring award by making and completing a plan to work with Daisies or Brownies on one of their Journeys.
Leader in Action (LiA)
Cadettes earn the LiA award by assisting Brownies as they work on a Journey. There is a LiA award for each Journey. Complete requirements can be found on GSUSA’s website and in the Brownie Leadership Journey Adult Guides.
Program Aide Training
All council led In-person Program Aide Trainings can be found in Active Camp and Class Manager.
GSNI Program Team hosts Program Aide Trainings in the spring only at all 3 of our GSNI camp properties.
Program Aide Training In-a-Box
If your troop or group is unable to make it to an in-person training, request our Program Aide Training In-a-Box. This training should be completed with a minimum of five girls.
Program Aide Basic Training and Program Aide Outdoor are leadership programs that will prepare girls to work with younger girls in a Girl Mentor role. Serving as a Program Aide (often called a “P.A.” or an “Aide”) is a great way to share her experience with younger Girl Scouts!
Cadette Girl Scouts looking to earn the Cadette Program Aide Award will need to complete this training as part of the required three-step process.
Girl Scout programming is built on progression, and we believe that for Girl Scouts to have the best Girl Scout Leadership Experience they should be in grade 6 or above to complete Program Aide Basic/ Program Aide Outdoor Trainings.
Girl Scouts who are in or have recently completed grade 5 can start working on their LIA Award or finish their Junior Aide Award.
Cadette Program Aide Award
Earning the Cadette Program Aide pin is a three-step process. A Girl Scout Cadette must:
After completing the first two steps, girls will need to work directly with younger girls for a minimum of 25 hours or a minimum of 6 separate activity sessions.
Seniors and Ambassadors who would like to mentor a Daisy, Brownie, Junior, or Cadette group, outside of camp, can earn this award. There are three steps to this award—work with an adult mentor, complete a GSNI leadership course, and create and implement a program for girls based on a Journey or badge. The VIT project should cover a three-to-six-month period.
Girl Scout camp is the perfect place to take on leadership roles and become role models for younger campers! Since Girl Scouts is a premiere leadership organization, Girl Scout camp provides unlimited options to hone leadership skills. The Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program is a great way to learn about leadership, group dynamics, outdoor skills, program planning, and more! The CIT program is designed so campers participate in leadership training and apply those new skills with younger campers in the same week. In addition, CITs receive additional activity training such as ceremonies, outdoor skills, fire building, and more. Activities completed during the CIT program fulfill requirements towards earning the Counselor-in-Training Award. Sessions can be attended without earning the award.
Counselor-in-Training I (CIT)
Do you want the opportunity to advance your leadership and outdoor skills? If so, CIT I is for you! You’ll spend two weeks, including the weekend, with us to develop your skills as an outdoor leader. Not only will you help trained staff develop camp activities, but you will also implement them with younger campers. You’ll be shaping your leadership skills for the future! This program and award is geared for Girl Scout Seniors in 9th and 10th grade.
Counselor-in-Training II (CIT-2)
You’re almost there! Now’s the time to pull together all the camp development and leadership skills you developed over the years. Join us at Camp Dean or Camp McCormick—CITs will come together to plan activities for an upcoming weekend camp session based on your specialties and interests. They will also engage with camp administrative staff to see the behind the scenes on developing camp programming. The Counselor-in-Training 2 program and award is structured for Girl Scout Ambassadors in 11th and 12th grades.
How do I become a CIT with GSNI?
All NEW CITs must complete a CIT Application and be selected to participate in the CIT I or CIT II programs. Counselor in Training can be considered a first job, and like all jobs, potential participants need to apply. These applications will aid in understanding your CITs interests, strengths, and needs for this summer. Please do NOT register for these sessions until you have received approval from the council.
These award focus on the leadership skills of project management and team leadership and culminates in the Girl Scout Highest Awards of Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold. All three awards challenge girls to complete pre-requisites and then develop and implement a sustainable project to solve an identified problem in a community.
Girl Scout Bronze Award
The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest award a Junior can earn. Once a troop completes a Junior Journey, they can begin to plan and carry out their Bronze Award Project. As girls complete their project, they’ll develop more confidence, meet new people, and work with other Girl Scouts to make a difference. The minimum hours required to complete a Bronze Award Project is 20 hours per girl. A troop or individually registered girl who submits their final Bronze Award Project report will receive a GSNI Bronze Award Certificate for each girl.*
Girl Scout Bronze Award Final Report
Girl Scout Silver Award
Going for the Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Cadette can earn, gives girls the chance to show they are a leader who is organized, determined, and dedicated to improving their community. Cadettes can begin to work on their Silver Award project once they complete a Cadette Journey. Girls can work individually, or in groups of up to four girls, each completing 50 hours as they plan and implement their Silver Award project in their community. Once a girl submits her final Silver Award Project report, she will receive a GSNI Silver Award Certificate.*
Girl Scout Silver Award Final Report
Girl Scout Gold Award
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award an individual Girl Scout can earn. Earning the Gold Award has many benefits including scholarship opportunities and the ability to enter the military one rank higher. Once a Senior or Ambassador completes the prerequisites—completing two Journeys or earning her Silver Award and completing one Journey—she can begin to plan her individual Gold Award project. She must submit a project proposal before implementing her project plan. The proposal is reviewed by a volunteer Highest Awards Committee. The committee will meet with the girl to discuss her proposal. Gold Award projects must address the root cause of an issue, be sustainable, have a global impact, and be a minimum of 80 hours of one individual's time.*
Community Service offers many benefits in helping Girl Scouts to develop strong leadership skills. Identifying needs within a community and making a plan to address those needs is a skill used by leaders. Applying public speaking skills when networking and making connections with others are also key leadership qualities. Community Service helps girls to recognize and understand how to apply their own knowledge, skills, and resources to achieve their goals as well as develop their confidence in realizing they can do great things. In return, this service creates a positive connection between Girl Scouts and local communities.
Girl Scouts always step up to do what they can to improve their communities and the world.
All across our country and our world, Girl Scouts are leaping to the aid of others by engaging in wonderful acts of service and kindness. Whether by writing letters to senior citizens, honoring first responders, taking part in a citizen science project, or promoting voting and democracy, now your troop can get involved in these unique Girl Scout activities too.
For more information about National Service Projects, please visit GSUSA's Girl Scouts Activity Zone.
Days of Service GSNI is excited to offer several organized service events for Girl Scouts throughout the year.
GSNI Camp Service Days at Camp Dean, Camp McCormick and Mary Ann Beebe Center.
Enjoy a day at camp and prepare the property for the summer season! Join other camp fans to make a difference for the Girl Scouts outdoor experience. You might spruce up buildings, paint navigation signs, organize camp supplies, and more! Bonus: Troops with at least three Girl Scout members who attend will receive a $30 coupon code to use toward a future property reservation at any GSNI camp! (As this is a short event, Girl Scouts cannot earn Camp Service Rocker Patches by attending a Camp Service Day.)
All youth must be accompanied by an adult attendee during open house and troops must provide proper girl-to-adult ratios.
We love to know about the service projects you or your troop are completing within your communities. Tell us your story and you might be featured in a GSNI publication! Submit your stories and photos to email@example.com.