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Volunteers who received awards at the Volunteer Enrichment Conference (VEC)

Volunteer Appreciation and Awards

Sharing respect and appreciation for the work volunteers perform is a key motivator for lasting performance. Volunteers do much of the operational field work in Girl Scouts, and they’re doing it all for the girls. Girl Scout volunteers put in long hours on top of busy schedules with professional and personal commitments. Girl Scouting wouldn't exist without the support and care of our volunteers. Volunteers should be continually recognized to cultivate future engagement and activity.

  Everyday Ways to Show Appreciation
Small Gestures of Thanks
  • Small gestures go a long way. A card from the troop, a handmade gift, or a photo keepsake are just some of many ideas that can show thanks to someone. During routine meetings, or with a note from the Service Unit Director, or Troop Leadership, volunteers can be personally appreciated on a regular basis. Thank-you calls, texts, or cards are also an excellent way of thanking a volunteer any time. Strive to make showing appreciate not something your Service Unit does occasionally, but often. 

  • It is important to also think of your community support team when planning recognitions. Organizations that support your troop in ways such as providing troop mentors or a location to hold meetings should be reminded of how important their support is towards the goal of developing the young women in the troop into the great leaders of tomorrow.
Appreciation at Service Unit Meetings
  • Do not underestimate the value of small tokens or gifts as motivators. Some fun examples are: a sketch of a ghost with a green sash (Scouting Spirit Award), a plastic egg (Egg-cellent Job Award), a toy football (Tackling a Big Job Award), refrigerator number magnets (‘We can always count on you’). Nothing beats a sincere thank-you coupled with a fun object to remind them they are appreciated.

  • Give praise to those with "thankless" jobs. There are many volunteers who serve a Service Unit that may not receive regular recognition or praise for their services. Facilitators, Troop Travel Application monitors and other paperwork monitors, and mentors are just some of the roles volunteers hold within a Service Unit that are vitally important to the operation of a Service Unit and the troops within it.

  • Create your own "official" awards: Another great way to recognize volunteers and/or community partners is to gift them with certificates, pins, or other ‘official’ tokens of appreciation. A Service Unit may design a special award just to award to volunteers and/or community partners who are engaged within their Service Unit. These options are generally affordable and are a very nice way of sharing appreciation in a lasting manner.
Recognition through Media
  • Tell the Story. A positive way to express public appreciation for volunteers and community partners is to have your SU Communications Coordinator create press releases or stories for local publications, community news, blogs, newsletters, and school newspapers. Recognize not only what the girls are doing (especially with community service projects), but feature your Girl Scout leaders by name. Your reading community needs to know them, and all the great things they do. This is a great way to recognize what the girls are doing, and the volunteers and/or community partners involved. 
Creative Thank-Yous

These expressions of gratitude may be initiated and presented by anyone - girls, parents, caregivers, Service Unit teams, and community partners.

  • Recognition Certificate - This certificate may be given to a volunteer at a Service Unit Meeting in recognition of her/his interest in, and support of, Girl Scouts.
  • Handicrafts - Make a mobile, flower arrangement, special ceramic plaque, scrapbook, sampler, poster, decoupage, ornament, bookmark, etc.
  • Written Thank-You - Send a brief note, poem, letter, special occasion card, scroll signed by members of the group, autograph book with signatures and comments from associates, pictures of girls attractively framed, or a yard sign with message "A Great Girl Scout Leader Lives Here"
  • Miscellaneous - Write an article for the Service Unit newsletter, frame a picture of an event or program, provide a baby sitter, make a phone call, send a small plant or flowers, give baked goods with recipes, offer gifts from the garden, create a relaxation kit (sample contents: a mug, some herbal teas, candles, or bath salts). 
Nominate a Volunteer
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Learn about the awards by reviewing the GSCTX Adult Recognitions Packet to see awards your candidate may be eligible for. You can also check out the GSCTX Decision Tree to get a better idea of which awards to narrow down based on volunteer position.

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Complete the appropriate online form. Anyone can submit a Council or National Award Nomination Form. Service Unit Directors or Recognitions Chairs can submit an order form for Service Unit Recognitions.

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Identify others who can complete additional Letter(s) of Recommendation and submit!

  Congratulations to our 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards recipients!