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Adult Recognition

Adult volunteers make Girl Scouting happen! Our adult volunteers help Girl Scouts unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker and leader) and make events possible for all Girl Scouts. Acknowledging the efforts of others, in a formal or informal way, is an essential part of Girl Scouts.

Looking to nominate someone you know? Check to see what recognitions they may have already received by viewing out listing by alphabetical order. Here is a guide to selecting the appropriate recognition. 

Award Descriptions

Appreciation Pin

Focus of Service: At Least One Service Unit or Association 

Girl Scouts of the USA Appreciation Pin

The Appreciation Pin was instituted in 1976 by GSUSA. It honors outstanding service performed by the candidate which benefits at least one service unit or association and which contributes to the goals and objectives of the council.

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council and owes no Council debt. 
Focus of Service: Benefits at least one service unit or association.
Impact of Service: Significant service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held.
Length of Service: Service will usually have extended over a period of at least three years.

Presentation of Award

  • May be given at association or service unit events.
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Council Recognition Panel

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • A troop leader who also served on the service unit team. Three years ago, he started and chaired a committee that organized service unit-wide events for Girl Scout special days and year-end bridging. He has continued to coordinate the celebrations, but has recruited other volunteers to chair individual activities, which has led to bigger and better events and more community exposure. These events have helped in girl recruitment, leading to a 10% increase in girl membership in the service unit over the past three years.
  • A service unit SHARE manager who has, over a period of four years, initiated innovative ways of increasing both participation in and contributions to the campaign. She makes frequent contact with the troop SHARE leaders and often visits parent meetings and troop events to promote SHARE.  Her service unit has had 100% troop participation for the past three years. 

Endorsements Required: 3

Capital Award

Focus of Service: Council 

Girl Scouts Nation's Capital Capital Award

The Capital Award is a singular award instituted by GSCNC in 1972.  It recognizes a distinguished degree of administrative performance by an adult whose superior contribution has created a positive and pronounced council-wide impact.

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council and owes no Council debt. 
Focus of Service: Benefits the entire council.
Impact of Service: Demonstrates a superior level of administrative leadership, which has created a positive and pronounced council-wide impact of the highest merit. 
Length of Service: Such service will have been given over a significant period of time.

Presentation of Award

  • Because of the significance and unique council-wide impact of this award, it must be given at the council annual recognition event.  The specific award is to be selected by the Council Recognition Panel.  Since 1993, the panel has given a crystal replica of the U.S. Capitol building and a silver pin engraved with the name of the award, the date given, and the Council.
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Council Recognition Panel

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • A volunteer who four years ago headed a task group to review the functioning of all council committees.  She researched and analyzed the workings of each committee.  She then made recommendations regarding restructuring and realignment to better serve the volunteers.  Her work to streamline efforts, clarify roles, and develop more efficient ways of work has helped create smoother functioning of all council committees.
  • A volunteer whose administrative leadership of the council family giving campaign over a six year period resulted in a significant expansion of the council’s funding base.

Endorsements Required: 3

Certificate of Appreciation & Plaque of Appreciation

Focus of Service: Any Girl Scout Group 

Girl Scouts Nation's Capital Certificate of Apprecieation and Plaque of Appreciation

Both the Certificate of Appreciation and the Plaque of Appreciation recognize a high degree of service and support to the Girl Scout movement by an individual, site or organization in or out of Girl Scouting.  The Plaque of Appreciation is appropriate for organizations, which have given service for more than five years or have had a council-wide impact.  

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council and owes no Council debt. 
Focus of Service: Benefits any Girl Scout group.
Impact of Service: Significant service to any group within Girl Scouting. 
Length of Service: Certificates of Appreciation do not carry a suggested length of service. For nominations for Plaques of Appreciation, service (and/or support) will usually have extended over a period of at least five years.

Presentation of Award

  • May be given at council, association or service unit events, depending upon impact of service. The Panel suggests that Certificates and Plaques of Appreciation that recognize council-wide impact be presented at the annual council recognition event.
  • The Council pays cost.

Approval Required

Council Recognition Panel

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • An organization whose in-kind sponsorship of a large event for girls ensures that high-quality program can affordably serve girls from all over the council.
  • A church whose facilities have been used for seven years for joint association events, council-wide older girl programs and council training blitzes.

Endorsements Required: 2

Honor Pin

Focus of Service: At Least One Service Unit or Association  

Girl Scouts of the USA Honor Pin

The Honor Pin was instituted in 1987 by GSUSA. It recognizes outstanding service performed by the candidate which benefits at least two service units or associations and which contributes to the goals and objectives of the council.

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council and owes no Council debt. 
Focus of Service: Benefits at least two service units or associations.
Impact of Service: Significant service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held. 
Length of Service: Service will usually have extended over a period of at least four years.

Presentation of Award

  • May be given at Council, association or service unit events.
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Council Recognition Panel

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • An association chair that has been in her position for five years. When she started, attendance at association meetings was poor. She has visited all service units every year, which has resulted in doubling attendance at spring and fall association meetings. Four years ago, she initiated an overnight event for older girls in her association that has become an annual event with emphasis on girl planning.
  • A volunteer who for the past three years has successfully directed a day camp serving several associations. She recruited a planning task group to expand the variety of activities included in the sessions, resulting in increased enrollment. Her diligence in seeking resources and training for her volunteer staff has encouraged three of them to become ongoing leaders, starting troops in previously unserved areas.
  • An individual who directs a membership outreach task force with positive results, either in membership or in targeted groups served.

Endorsements Required: 4

Jan Verhage Spirit of Leadership Award

Focus of Service: Troop 

Girl Scouts Nation's Capital Jan Verhage Spirit of Leadership Award

The Spirit of Leadership Award was instituted by the Council in 2010 in honor of Jan Verhage, the Executive Director of Nation’s Capital from 1985 - 2010. Jan’s commitment to the troop experience allowed many girls to reach their full potential through Girl Scout principals and tradition. Her legacy of selfless commitment has inspired many a girl and adult volunteer. To be honored with this award is to exemplify Jan’s outstanding courage, confidence and character in leadership.  

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council. The candidate owes no Council debt. 
Focus of Service: Served in capacity of a troop leader or assistant leader.
Impact of Service:

Demonstrated outstanding achievement in the following areas:

  1. Empowers girls to create and/or participate in meaningful program opportunities
  2. Inspires service to the community
  3. Leverages resources and programs available through the council and national offices
  4. Supports council goals with membership recruitment and growth
Length of Service: Service will usually have extended over a period of at least 5 years. It is recommended that the recipient first receive the Outstanding Leader or Volunteer of Excellence Award prior to receiving this award.

Presentation of Award

  • May be given at association or service unit events
  • Association or service unit pays cost

Approval Required

Association Recognition Committee

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • A long-standing Brownie leader who inspires her troop to make an impact on their community through service projects. Her Brownie troop participates in service unit events and consistently earns the highest level of awards and achievements including Honor Troop.
  • This flexible advisor has made Girl Scouts a place where all girls are invited to discover their leadership potential. The large, ever-changing group of teen girls is empowered by their advisor to find the delicate balance between “hanging out” and challenging themselves with diverse Girl Scout activities. The advisor is strong and confident. She’s open to ideas of others and understands the need for compromise and mutual support.
  • This volunteer troop leader was a steadfast leader for her daughters as they went through every level, and then returned to help the service unit by leading again with another troop of Daisies. She is a leader with a deep commitment to Girl Scouting, has faith in girl leadership and always takes time to listen.

Endorsements Required: 3

Knox Award

Focus of Service: Council or Entire Girl Scout Movement 

Girl Scouts Nation's Capital Knox Award

The Knox Award was introduced in 1988, and is named in honor of sisters Lucy and Irene Knox, and their sister-in-law, Alma Knox.  These amazing women showed lifelong dedication to this council and to the Girl Scout movement.  The Knox Award honors individuals whose continuous service to Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital exemplifies the spirit, dedication and enjoyment of Girl Scouting and the principles of Juliette Low’s movement. 

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council and owes no Council debt. 
Focus of Service: Unselfish, dedicated, continuous service to the council that has benefited and enriched the entire Girl Scout movement.
Impact of Service:

Continuous and outstanding service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held.  Exemplifies the Girl Scout Promise and Law in her/his daily life.  Demonstrates respect for the spirit of the movement.  Shares love of Girl Scouting through interaction with girls, adults, the council, and the community.  Is dedicated to the principles of Juliette Low’s Girl Scout movement.

Presentation of Award

  • Because of the significance and unique council-wide impact of this award, it may be given only at the council annual recognition event.  The Knox Award is a gold trefoil on a circular silver pin, engraved with the honoree’s name and date on the back.  Also, an engraved nameplate on a Knox Award plaque is displayed at the council office.
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Council Recognition Panel

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • A volunteer who has given lifelong service within this council.  She has been troop leader, service unit manager, association chair and chair of numerous large events. Through her initiative and efforts, Girl Scouting has been brought to communities previously underserved, including troops for girls at-risk. Her development of meaningful programs for girls has resulted in increased retention of girls.  She has also served as a member of council-wide task groups, where her ideas and efforts have kept the council responsive to the changing needs of the adult volunteers.
  • An individual who began as a leader in this council some forty years ago, and who stays current and in touch with the needs of girls today.  Her commitment is shown especially through her training, which reflects both the traditions of Girl Scouting and the issues contemporary society requires. Throughout her community, she is known as inspiration to countless girls and adults.

Endorsements Required: 4

Longevity of Membership

Focus of Service: Girl Scout Membership

Girl Scouts of the USA Longervity of Membership Pin

Longevity of membership is calculated by totaling years of girl and adult registration, in any Girl Scout or Girl Guide organization.

Membership numeral guards recognize the individual for combined years of membership both as a girl and adult member.  They may be purchased at the Girl Scout Shop.  It is wonderful for service units and associations to honor their members by presenting these pins at recognition events.  Association Recognition Committees are encouraged to keep records of service and longevity.

To nominate someone (or yourself) for twenty plus numeral guard, you must submit a Longevity Information Form.  This gives the Association Recognition Committee or Council Recognition Panel information, which may be used for recognition ceremonies.

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council and owes no Council debt. 
Focus of Service: N/A
Impact of Service: N/A
Length of Service: Beyond the General Criteria, member must have been registered the appropriate number of years.

Presentation of Award

  • Depending on number of years, award may be given at the service unit, association, or council level:

        5-15 years:  usually recognized at the service unit level

        20-25 years:  usually recognized at the association level

        30+ years:  may be recognized at the annual council recognition         luncheon, and then given subsequently at 5-year intervals.

  • For 30+ years, council pays cost.

Approval Required

For 20-25 years, Association Recognition Committee

For 30+ years, Council Recognition Panel

Examples of Possible Candidates

Any current members who have been registered the appropriate number of years.

Endorsements Required: 

Self-nominations are accepted for Longevity Awards only. 

Nation's Capital Pin

Focus of Service: At Least One Service Unit or Association 

Nation's Capital Pin

The Capital Award is a singular award instituted by Girl Scouts Nation's Capital in 1972. It recognizes a distinguished degree of administrative performance by an adult whose superior contribution has created a positive and pronounced council-wide impact. Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council and owes no Council debt. 
Focus of Service: Benefits at least one service unit or association.
Impact of Service: Significant service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held.
Length of Service: Service will usually have extended over a period of at least three years.

Presentation of Award

  • May be given at association or service unit events.
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Council Recognition Panel

Examples of Possible Candidates

 

 Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to: 

  • A volunteer who four years ago headed a task group to review the functioning of all council committees. She researched and analyzed the workings of each committee. She then made recommendations regarding restructuring and realignment to better serve the volunteers. Her work to streamline efforts, clarify roles, and develop more efficient ways of work has helped create smoother functioning of all council committees. 
  • A volunteer whose administrative leadership of the council family giving campaign over a six year period resulted in a significant expansion of the council’s funding base. 

Endorsements Required: 3

Outstanding Leader Award

Focus of Service: Troop

Girl Scouts of the Nation's Capital Outstanding Leader Award Pin

The Outstanding Leader Award, instituted in 1987 by GSUSA, is given to a leader or assistant leader at the service unit or association level. It recognizes leadership skills that include good communication and membership development.

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council and owes no Council debt. 
Focus of Service: Served in capacity of a troop leader or assistant leader.
Impact of Service:

Demonstrated outstanding achievements in the following three areas:

1. Leadership with girls (Girl Led)
2. Communication with troop, family, service unit, and council
3. Membership development (meeting or exceeding troop size agreed upon by the leader and service team in accordance with service unit’s membership goals)

Length of Service: Service will usually have extended over a period of at least two years.

Presentation of Award

  • May be given at association or service unit events.
  • Association or service unit pays cost.

Approval Required

Association Recognition Committee

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • An assistant leader whose girls include a girl who uses a wheelchair. The troop plans their activities so that everyone has a chance to succeed. She keeps the troop families informed of the troop's plans via a newsletter that includes articles written by the girls.
  • A leader who continually finds ways to involve parents and other community resources so that her troop continues to grow and thrive. She delegates responsibility but ensures that safety standards are always met.
  • A leader who works with a leadership team that rotates throughout the year. She maintains continuity but encourages each helping adult to take full responsibility for her or his turn. The girls plan their ceremonies and a portion of every meeting and have been successful in integrating new members into the troop throughout the year.

Endorsements Required: 2

Sustained Service Pin

Focus of Service: At least one Service Unit or Association

Girl Scouts of the Nation's Capital Sustained Service Pin

The Sustained Service Pin is given to an individual who has continued to volunteer at the service unit or association level an additional three years after receiving the Appreciation Pin. This award may be presented at the Annual Meeting. 

General: Candidate is a current registered member of the Council and owes no Council debt.
Focus of Service: Benefits at least one service unit or association
Impact of Service: Demonstrated outstanding leadership in the following areas:
1. Empowers girl participation in meaningful programs
2. Inspires service and community partnership for troops
3. Significant service above and beyond position expectations
4. Supports council goals increasing membership and expanding growth through recruitment 
Length of Service: Service will extend over a period of at least three years, after receiving the Appreciation Pin.   

Presentation of Award

  • May be given at council, association, or service unit events
  • Cost is paid by the Council

Approval Required

Council Recognition Panel

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • A volunteer who has continued to excel as service unit manager since receiving the Appreciation Pin three years ago, engaging more parents and leaders and adding several new events to the calendar. Membership and leader retention has improved due to teamwork and comradery in the group.
  • A volunteer who has stepped down from the SU SHARE role for which they received the Appreciation Pin but took on two new roles in the service unit. As SU Treasurer she/he initiated simple ways SU leaders could review event costs to improve budgeting. As encampment coordinator they recruited a committee and consulted service units nearby for additional ideas. The strategic planning and strong leadership resulted in annual encampments for four years, with increasing enrollment.
  • A volunteer who served as SU SHARE leader for four years and was presented the Appreciation Pin. Continuing as a SHARE mentor to the new volunteer, she/he also began to lead and organize the first Thinking Day in three years, and attendance has grown and parent/troop engagement has increased each subsequent year. 

Endorsements Required: 3

Thanks Badge

Focus of Service: Council or Entire Girl Scout Movement 

Girl Scouts of the USA Thanks Badge

The Thanks Badge was instituted in 1912 by GSUSA. It recognizes outstanding service that benefits the total council or the entire Girl Scout movement and is so significantly above and beyond the call of duty that no other award would be appropriate.

Criteria for Selection

General: See General Criteria for Official Recognition
Focus of Service: Benefits the council or entire Girl Scout movement.
Impact of Service: Continuous and outstanding service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held.  Exemplifies the Girl Scout Promise and Law in her/his daily life.  
Length of Service: Service will usually have extended over a period of at least five years in one or more adult positions.

Presentation of Award

  • Due to the council-wide nature of this award, the Council Recognition Panel strongly recommends that it be given only at the council annual recognition event. 
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Council Recognition Panel

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • A volunteer who served as a troop advisor and Campus Girl Scout coordinator for six years at her previous council. In the past five years at the council, she has contributed her professional expertise in financial management to a strategic planning task force and the Program Grants Panel. As a result, significantly more girls benefit from Girl Scout programs.
  • A volunteer who spearheaded a major council-wide service project event over the course of five years which has become an annual event, anticipated not only by Girl Scouts but by the community at large. It generated positive media coverage each year as well as support from many local businesses. Donations included event materials as well as other contributions.
  • An individual who initiates and successfully manages the extension of Girl Scouting to underserved populations within the council's jurisdiction, such as ethnic groups previously unserved, girls with disabilities or others.

Endorsements Required: 4

Thanks Badge II

Focus of Service: Council or Entire Girl Scout Movement 

Girl Scouts of the USA Thanks Badge ll

The Thanks Badge II was instituted in 1987 by GSUSA. It recognizes continued outstanding service given by a Thanks Badge recipient.  The quality of service performed is the same as that for the Thanks Badge:  “It is truly outstanding, benefits the total council or the entire Girl Scout organization, and is so significantly above and beyond the call of duty that no other award would be appropriate.” Additionally, this award might acknowledge outstanding performance that surpasses the earlier achievement.  It is a way of saying thanks again to an outstanding individual who has contributed greatly to Girl Scouting.

Criteria for Selection

General: See General Criteria for Official Recognition
Focus of Service: Benefits the council or entire Girl Scout movement.
Impact of Service: Continuous and outstanding service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held.  Exemplifies the Girl Scout Promise and Law in her/his daily life.  
Length of Service: Service will usually have extended over a period of at least ten years since receiving the Thanks Badge in one or more adult positions with sustained, continued service or increased services to the council or the Girl Scout movement.

Presentation of Award

  • Due to the council-wide nature of this award, the Council Recognition Panel strongly recommends that it be given only at the Council annual recognition event. 
  • Cost is paid by the Council.

Approval Required

Council Recognition Panel

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • The chair of a strategic planning task group whose leadership inspired a pluralistic, visionary plan for the Council.
  • A board member whose continuous strong leadership in fund development has resulted in greater financial stability for the Council.
  • Building on years of service since receiving the Thanks Badge, an individual who has used her skills and talents as a council trainer and has expanded her activities to include chairing the Council family giving program.

Endorsements Required: 4

Volunteer of Excellence

Focus of Service: Troop, Service Unit or Association

Girl Scouts Nation's Capital Volunteer of Excellence

The Volunteer of Award was instituted in 2013 by the Council. This award replaced Outstanding Volunteer from GSUSA. It is awarded to an adult in a position other than leader, or in addition to leader, whose outstanding service benefits the troop, service unit or association. The service is beyond the expectations of the position(s) such that it warrants local area recognition.

Criteria for Selection

General: The candidate is a current registered member of the Council and owes no Council debt. 
Focus of Service: Benefits the troop, service unit or association in a capacity other than troop leader, assistant leader or advisor.  A leader or advisor who also serves in other positions is eligible for the service offered in those other positions.
Impact of Service:

Significant service above and beyond the expectations of the position(s) held.  

Length of Service: Service will usually have extended over a period of at least two years.

Presentation of Award

  • May be given at association or service unit events.
  • Association or service unit pays cost.

Approval Required

Association Recognition Committee

Examples of Possible Candidates

Potential candidates might include, but are not limited to:

  • A service unit event director who has managed a successful area-wide event on three or more occasions.
  • A service unit product sales manager, who has efficiently promoted, managed and reported on at least two product sales.
  • A troop/group chair for SHARE who has increased participation and amount of support from the families each year.

Endorsements Required: 2

 

Award Recognition Criteria and FAQs

For updated recognitions information, please join the Adult Recognition Rally

For questions, contact Jira Churchill, jchurchill@gscnc.org