Are you ready to start planning your Girl Scout Gold Award? Do you need some help getting organized? If so, you are in the right place. I have two daughters that were Girl Scouts and I was a Girl Scout leader for many years. I helped several girls get to the point where they could start their Gold Award and I would like to help you as well.
There are so many components to planning the Gold Award project. I truly believe that Notion can help you get organized and stay on top of all of the tasks you need to complete. If you haven’t used Notion before, don’t worry. I will give you a template to get started.
Easy Steps for Planning the Girl Scout Gold Award with Notion
1. Understand the Girl Scout Goal Award Requirements
Before you do anything, you should visit your Girl Scout Council website and find the requirements for the Gold Award. Girls Scouts USA also has some general requirements for the award, but your local council might have some additional steps that you need to take. Here are a couple of links that will be helpful:
When you find your local council website, you might have to do a little digging to find their specific information on the Gold Award. They will have their own set of deadlines and guidelines that you will need to follow. It will also likely be your local council website where you will find a Gold Award rubric and guide. Definitely download that info!
2. Download Notion
Assuming you still want to give the Gold Award “a go”, my next step is to download Notion. Having Notion to start will help you have the big picture and see the areas in which you will need to drill down. Notion doesn’t give you that specifically, but my free template lays out all of the areas you need to consider.
Notion is an online workspace that allows you combine task lists, notes, calendars, and databases in one location. At the time of this writing, it is FREE to use, and it syncs across all of your devices. I have been using Notion for several years and they continue to make worthwhile improvements.
Notion is a collection of “blocks” that can be linked and moved around. Pretty much everything is a block – text, headers, pages, images, databases, etc. I don’t plan on going into detail on how to navigate around the workspace in Notion here, because there are lots of great YouTube videos out there that will give you the basics. If you are new to Notion, I recommend checking out the Thomas Frank Explains YouTube channel.
3. Download my FREE Girl Scout Gold Award Notion Template
Now that you have installed Notion, you just need my Girl Scout Gold Award template to get started. You can use this template for FREE! There are 8 sub-pages include to help you see all of the different pieces of your project.
This template includes the following pages:
- Brainstorming Ideas
- Girl Scout Council Deadlines
- Project Timeline
- Project Team
- Requirements Checklist
- Promotion & Marketing
Make sure you install Notion first and then click here to download/duplicate the template into your own Notion workspace. After you duplicate the template, if you just see a table listing of the different pages, click on the “Gallery” tab to see it in a gallery style view.
4. Brainstorm Project Ideas
Now that you have the template, you can start keeping a log of your project ideas in the Brainstorm Project Ideas page. You can add additional columns as needed. For instance you might add a “Pros and Cons” column, to help you narrow down which project is the best.
The whole purpose of this page is to help the best idea to rise to the top. It’s good to start with several projects and start to drill down what projects will best fit the Girl Scout Gold Award rubric.
There are 3 predefined “inactive” filters on the Brainstorm Project Ideas . To “activate” the filter, you will need to click on the filter button at the top of the table and select the option you want to view. You can change the filters as well, if a different one would help you in your analysis. Just click the “+ Add filter” at the top of the database table.
Just so you know there are also ways to sort and group rows in the tables, so you can slice and dice the data in many different ways. Not sure if you will really need that in this Notion database, but I wanted you to know that feature is available.
5. Research Gold Award Requirements and Prerequisites
As I mentioned in the beginning, there are certain prerequisites and requirements that need to be met for a Girl Scout Award to be accepted before you to even get started. Check out the two links in step 1 and keep all of them on this page. This page is also designed to help you keep track of the status of each requirement.
Please note: This template does not have a comprehensive list of all of the prerequisites and requirements. You will need to research this and create the list yourself. The sample tasks in the template are only examples of potential items.
6. Create Project Timeline and Find Council Deadlines
All large projects need a project time. In fact, Girl Scouts requires you to submit a timeline to get your project approved. Make sure you account for all of your local Girl Scout council deadlines.
I’m guessing you also want to complete this before you submit college applications. So make sure you give your local council plenty of time to review your project idea. It might take them a month for them to review and you might need to make adjustments before you are approved.
At the time of this writing, the biggest tasks to complete before starting the Gold Award is either:
a) Complete the Silver Award + 1 Senior or Ambassador Journey
b) Complete TWO Senior or Ambassador Journeys
I would highly recommend starting this Gold Award as soon as you have finished the Senior or Ambassador Journey(s). If you can do this project in your sophomore year of high school that is ideal.
The reason I recommend it so early is because junior year you will likely be very busy with SAT/ACT tests, possible AP exams and just trying to make the best grades possible. Senior year might be too late because you will be applying to colleges and you want the project to be done so you can include it on your applications.
7. Define Project Team
If you have done any research into the Girl Scout Gold Award, you will know that you have to have a project team. Unfortunately, this can’t just be family members. You will need a project advisor and a few support team members as well. The project advisor will need to be someone that has some expertise in the root problem your project addresses.
This Notion page will help you figure out who will be on that team. You could add additional columns for contact information, such as email and phone number.
8. Finalize Sustainability & Promotion Plans
As you develop your project plan and timeline, make sure you keep in mind how your project will live on after you have completed the project. If your project isn’t sustainable, it won’t get approved by your Girl Scout council.
Lastly, figure out how you will promote and market your project using the Promotion and Market Page. You can keep track of all of the ideas here and then detail the plan as you work through your timeline.
Don’t forget to reach out to your project advisor for input on both sustainability and marketing, they might have some different ideas that are worth considering.
9. Create a Budget
Yes, all projects need a budget. It’s not a fun thing to manage but it’s important. Keep in mind that your council might have certain parameters of how you can raise money for funding your project.
Also, there are likely restrictions on whether or not you can use any of your troop funds. Our council required all of the girls to sign a document that outlined how troop funds could be used for the Gold Award. In addition, the girls in my troop had to sell cookies every year to have the ability to use troop funds. Check with your council to understand what requirements they have in place if you think you might need the help of troop funds.
10. Start the Gold Award Project!
Now that you have a template to create your project plan, go ahead and get started with brainstorming ideas. Keep sifting through those ideas until one is the clear favorite. Make sure it is something you are passionate about. That will make it easier to continue working on it if you ever feel like stopping. It’s a big time commitment, but it will be worth it.
If you complete the Gold Award, you will automatically have a great topic for the main essay on the Common App. Another reason to finish it BEFORE senior year.
I hope you find this helpful! Notion is a great tool that can also help you with so many other things as you go through high school and college! If you missed downloading the free template, click HERE to get it now.
This post is all about planning a Girl Scout Gold Award project with Notion.
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