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You Are Here : Home : For Volunteers : Volunteer Recognition : Adult Recognition FAQs

1. Why are there Adult Recognition awards?
GSGLA is privileged to partner with a dedicated group of volunteers who deliver programs and services to girls every day. The adult recognition awards honor volunteers' contributions and years of service to Girl Scouting.

Volunteers do not give of themselves and their time just to receive recognition. They come to Girl Scouts to work with girls, learn and grow themselves, make friends and give to the wider community. GSGLA promotes adult recognition as just one way to show volunteers how much they are appreciated.

2. How often are awards presented?
Volunteers work throughout the year and recognition of their accomplishments should also be given throughout the year. In the new handbook, you will find examples and resources for ways to say “Thank You” at any time.

Certain awards, identified in the handbook, are presented each spring at the GSGLA Adult Recognition Event. Service units will continue to recognize volunteers with outstanding contributions to the service unit at service unit recognition events.

3. Is there a prerequisite for the awards or an order in which awards must be received?
Most awards are not given in any predetermined order. Awards are often based on the group receiving the service. An award for service to the council may be given, if the criteria is met, even when the individual has never been a leader or in a service unit.

There are two exceptions. The Thanks Badge II has a prerequisite of the Thanks Badge. The new GSGLA Platinum Service Award also has prerequisites of two GSUSA awards.

4. Who can nominate? Can staff or parents nominate volunteers for an award?
Nominations for awards can be made by any person who has knowledge of the service performed. This includes parents, community members, volunteers and staff.

The same requirements for the nomination exist including submission of the nomination forms and letters of recommendation. The handbook and nomination forms will be available on line and in all service centers.

5. Can staff be nominated for awards?
No. These awards are for volunteer adult members of GSUSA. Staff is recognized in other ways.

6. When do I need to have the nomination turned in, and who gets it?
Please look at the handbook for the specific dates for the award you are considering. In general, the awards which are presented at the council award event must be received online or at a service center by the second Friday in january.

This gives the committee time to review the nominations, inform the Board on nominations, and order the appropriate award. Other awards may have due dates established by the service unit.

If a pin or patch needs to be ordered through the council, then the order needs 30 days. This may mean the nomination form is needed 45 days in advance of the date of presentation. Always check to be sure.

7. What should the recommendation letters say?
Check the handbook for the page “How to Write a Letter of Endorsement” and several sample letters. Be sure to share exactly what the volunteer has done, why it is outstanding, and how it meets the criteria of the award.

This may be the reviewer’s only knowledge of the service and the nominee. Many volunteers have had numerous jobs within the service unit, region or council. Give details which support the specific award being considered.

8. How do I know what my nominee has received in the past?
Records have been kept by legacy councils, and will continue to be kept by GSGLA, of awards volunteers have received. This information can be supplied by your service center.

9. What is the difference between the Numeral Guard and Years of Service?
The Numeral Guard is for the number of years a person has been a member of the Girl Scout organization, including years as a girl member. It can be presented at the Council event beginning at 30 years of membership. Nomination forms need to be filled out and sent to the service centers by the second Friday in December.

The Years of Service Award is given for the number of years of service as an active registered adult. It can be presented by GSGLA beginning at 25 years of service.  Nomination forms need to be filled out and sent to the service centers by the second Friday in December.

For both awards, members with fewer years (5 year increments) may purchase the pins themselves, or they may be purchased and presented by their service unit.

10. We have never used the Years of Service Awards. If I have been a volunteer for 38 years, am I eligible to receive the 35 Year Pin or the 40 Year Pin?
You would be eligible for the 35 Years of Service Pin this year. When you reach 40 years, you would receive the 40 Year Pin. It is always given in 5-year increments to the last increment.

11. I'm not sure if this volunteer should receive the Appreciation Pin or the Honor Pin? What is the difference?
The Appreciation Pin is awarded for service in a single service unit or program. The Honor Pin is awarded for service that impacts two or more service units or programs.

12. I have other questions, who should I ask?
Copies of the handbook are online and at all Service Centers. If your questions are not answered after looking through the handbook, contact us at


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