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Adult Awards and Recognition

We appreciate our volunteers and believe they deserve to be recognized for their contributions!

Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons is proud to offer awards for all levels of service with three tiers of Adult Awards: District, Council, and GSUSA. 

Council and GSUSA Award recipients are invited to receive their award at the Honoring Excellence Council Recognition event in June. 

District Award recipients receive their award at their local service unit recognition event held each spring or fall. 

Adult Awards FAQ
Who is eligible for the Adult Awards?

Any registered adult (except the Trefoil Award) is eligible to recieve an Adult Award. Most awards also require the person to be an approved volunteer with Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons.

What is a “service area”?

A service area refers to the areas in which a volunteer has had an impact.  There are six service areas for consideration:

  1. Community: Service that has an impact on the volunteer’s local community.
  2. Service Unit: Service that impacts the whole of the service unit with which the volunteer is a member.
  3. District: Service that has an impact locally. This refers to the region in which the volunteer lives or provides service. There are four districts within the Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons council.
    • Southeast (Eastern South Dakota and portion of Iowa and Minnesota)
    • Southwest (Western South Dakota)
    • Northeast (Eastern North Dakota and Western Minnesota)
    • Northwest (Western North Dakota)
  4. Council: Service of the volunteer had an impact on the entire council, which includes all four of the districts listed above.
  5. GSUSA: The volunteer’s actions had an impact on the Girl Scout Movement in the United States.
  6. WAGGGS: The volunteer’s service had an impact on Girl Scouting on an international level.
What are the types of adult awards?

We have three levels of awards to honor our volunteers. 

  1. District Awards: Recognize outstanding service in Girl Scouting on the local level.
  2. Council Awards: Have increased requirements and require a higher level of service and impact. 
  3. GSUSA National Awards: Highest awards that can be earned in Girl Scouting for volunteers. These are available to all volunteers in good standing throughout the council.
Is there a hierarchy for the awards?

We recognize that volunteers do amazing work and should be recognized when that work occurs. A volunteer can receive any award at any time* as long as they meet the criteria outlined in the award.

*The only exception is the Thanks Badge II requires the nominee to have previously earned a Thanks Badge.

Who can nominate volunteers?

District Awards
Fellow volunteers, girls, parents or Girl Scout staff members. A few extra rules apply if a staff member is assisting with the nomination process:

  1. If the staff member writes the nomination, the Letters of Endorsement must be from a non-staff member.
  2. If a volunteer writes the nomination, a staff member may only write one of the Letters of Endorsement.

Council and GSUSA Awards
Fellow volunteers, girls, and parents.

How can I nominate volunteers?

Before you get started, review the Adult Awards Nomination Checklist for details on nominating a volunteer. 

Complete the nomination and letters of endorsement forms as if the person reading the letter does not know the individual. Ensure basic details have been included about the person (volunteer position, volunteer activities, a brief introduction, personality traits, etc.) to be considered by the committee.

Who reviews and approves nominations?

A Volunteer Recognition Committee made up of staff and volunteers reviews each nomination. Name of the nominee is removed to ensure complete objectivity. Some awards require final approval from the Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons Board of Directors.  

When are nominations due?

All award nominations, letters of endorsement, and supporting materials are due by February 1.  Anything received after this point will not be considered for the current year. Nominations can be submitted any time of the year via the online forms.

How is the nominee and nominator notified with the results?

If approved, the nominee will receive a letter in the mail in late February/ early March notifying them about their award. The nominator is notified of the results via email. 

Nomination Checklist

Thank you for nominating a volunteer! We recommend that you start your nomination process early and highly encourage you to seek out individuals to complete Letter of Endorsement well before the deadline. It is the nominator’s responsibility to ensure the nomination form and all the required Letter of Endorsement forms are submitted to council by the deadline, February 1.  All adult award nominations are for the previous membership year. 

If you have any questions or need assistance, do not hesitate to contact your Member Support Specialist for help. We are here to support you and ensure volunteers are recognized for their hard work and dedication.

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Review and determine appropriate award for your nominee (District, Council and GSUSA).
  2. Click on the Nomination Form link for the award you selected.
    • Determine the number of Letter of Endorsement forms.
    • Review requirements and important information.
  3. Determine who could assist with the nomination by submitting a Letter of Endorsement form.  Request their assistance and be sure to send details including:
    • Link to the Letter of Endorsement Form
    • Name of the nominee
    • Name of the award, the description and the link to this webpage
    • Brief explanation of why you chose the nominee
    • Brief instructions on completion including your specific deadlines
    • Any customized details
  4. Complete the Nomination Form. You will receive an email confirmation once this has been submitted. 
  5. Follow up on completion and submission of the Letter of Endorsement to ensure all requirements are submitted by deadline of February 1.
District Awards

District Awards honor the work of volunteers at the local level. Whether it be indirect or direct, this category looks to those volunteers who are making the world a better place starting at home.

Requirements for District Awards include a nomination form and two Letters of Endorsements from fellow volunteers, parents, girls or Girl Scout staff.

Rising Star Award

Number Available: Unlimited
Awarded Multiple Times: No

Recognize a volunteer who has fully embraced their first year in a new role in Girl Scouts with energy and passion and has performed outstanding work in their first year.

  • This could be a first-time Troop Co-Leader, Treasurer, Helper, Fall Product Program Coordinator, Cookie Coordinator, or a service unit volunteer. 

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

Leading the Way Award

Number Available: Unlimited
Awarded Multiple Times: Yes

Recognize a volunteer whose outstanding service is inspiring to those around them and is an example of an ideal Girl Scout volunteer.

  • This could be a seasoned Troop Co-Leader, Treasurer, Helper, Fall Product Program Coordinator, Cookie Coordinator, or a service unit volunteer.  

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

Do-Dad Award

Number Available: Unlimited
Awarded Multiple Times: Yes

Recognize dads or other male figures who have provided outstanding service to Girl Scouts.

  • This could be a seasoned Troop Co-Leader, Treasurer, Helper, Fall Product Program Coordinator, Cookie Coordinator, or a service unit volunteer.  

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

Unsung Hero Award

Number Available: Unlimited
Awarded Multiple Times: No

Recognize a volunteer who provides excellent service in a supporting role whose efforts often go unnoticed. 

  • This could be an outstanding Troop Treasurer, Helper, or Service Unit Volunteer Mentor, Helper, or other volunteer role. 

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

Trefoil Award

Number Available: 1 per District
Awarded Multiple Times: No

Recognize a group in the community that has been consistently supportive of Girl Scouts.

  • This could be businesses or organizations that have provided meeting spaces, cookie storage or have helped further the mission in a meaningful way, locally.

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

Council Awards

Council Awards honor volunteers who have demonstrated a higher level of service that has had an impact on the entire council. These awards are for indirect or direct volunteers and reflect a volunteer who has grown in their service to Girl Scouts.

Requirements for Council Awards include a nomination form and two Letters of Endorsement from fellow volunteers, parents, or girls and one Letter of Endorsement from Girl Scout staff. Years of service are also required and vary by award. Council Awards require GSDH Board of Directors approval.

Global Voices Award

Number Available: 1
Awarded Multiple Times: No

Recognize a volunteer who honors Girl Scout traditions and history while embracing the interests of girls today.

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

Heritage Award

Number Available: 1
Awarded Multiple Times: No

Recognize a volunteer who honors Girl Scout traditions and history while embracing the interests of girls today.

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

Firestarter Award

Number Available: 1
Awarded Multiple Times: No

Recognize a volunteer whose leadership and enthusiasm for Girl Scouts has ignited a flame of excellence that is passed to members of the council. This flame sustains the passion for Girls Scouts among girls, volunteers and staff, and preserves Girl Scouting for years to come.

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

Centennial Award

Number Available: 1
Awarded Multiple Times: No

Recognize a lifetime of achievement by a Girl Scout volunteer.  This award demonstrates a volunteer who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for 20 or more years.

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

GSUSA Awards

The most prestigious of the three, the GSUSA awards honor volunteers who have had such a significant impact that no other award would be appropriate. The volunteers who have made significant impact throughout the council and meeting council goals are honored in this category. Each award has additional requirements. Please review the nomination form before completing.

Requirements for GSUSA Awards include a Nomination Form and 2-4 Letters of Endorsement from fellow volunteers, parents, or girls and 1-2 Letters of Endorsement from Girl Scout staff. Years of service are also required and vary by award.

Volunteer of Excellence

Number Available: Unlimited
Awarded Multiple Times: Yes

Recognizes volunteers who have contributed outstanding service while partnering directly with girls in any pathway to implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) through 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.

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

Appreciation Pin

Number Available: Unlimited
Awarded Multiple Times: Yes

Recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE).  This service, which had measurable impact on one service area, helps the council reach and surpass its mission-delivery goals for that area.

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

 

Honor Pin

Number Available: Unlimited
Awarded Multiple Times: Yes

Recognizes an individual’s exemplary service in support of delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE), which has had measurable impact on two or more service areas, allowing the council to reach and surpass its mission delivery goals.

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

Thanks Badge

Number Available: Unlimited
Awarded Multiple Times: No

Honors an individual whose ongoing commitment, leadership, and service have had an exceptional, measurable impact on meeting mission-delivery goals and priorities of the entire council or the entire Girl Scout movement.

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

Thanks Badge II

Number Available: Unlimited
Awarded Multiple Times: No

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.

NOMINATION FORM          LETTER OF ENDORSEMENT

Juliette Gordon Low World Friendship Medal

Number Available: Unlimited
Awarded Multiple Times: No

Awarded to individuals and councils who have enriched and leveraged the global understanding of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting to grow responsible global citizens. This prestigious national award is approved by the Girl Scouts of the USA National Board of Directors.

NOMINATION/INTEREST FORM

National President’s Award

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is the premier volunteer awards program, encouraging United States citizens or lawfully admitted permanent residents of the United States through presidential recognition to live a life of service. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens and lawfully admitted permanent residents of the United States who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period – or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime.  More information can be found here.

2021 Adult Award Recipients

    First Name

Award

Service Unit

Laurie Peters Council Centennial Award Sakakawea
Amber Prussman Council Heritage Award Brookings
Charles Friesz Do Dad Award Minot AFB
Joshua Callahan Do Dad Award Dakota Sunrise
Cynthia Lappegaard Leading the Way Award River's Edge
Corrie Mayher Leading the Way Award Sakakawea
Roberta Kottsick Leading the Way Award Sakakawea
Tara Heydt Leading the Way Award Sakakawea
Katie Friesz Leading the Way Award Minot AFB
Tamar Selmi-Young Leading the Way Award Minot AFB
Amber Jones Leading the Way Award Grafton County
Gloria Larman Leading the Way Award Grafton County
Judith Thompson Leading the Way Award Grafton County
Dottie Day Leading the Way Award Dakota Sunrise
Jessica McCroskey Leading the Way Award Dakota Sunrise
Hadley Thomposon Rising Star Grafton County
Emma Callahan Rising Star Dakota Sunrise
Waters Family Restaurant Trefoil Award Grafton County

 

Girl Scouts is proud to offer uniform options for our adult members to place their insignia and received awards. Check out the Adult Essentials Guide and contact Member Services to shop a local retail store or place an order. Online shopping is also available 24 hours a day.