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Gold Award Interviewers

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I need to get this topic out there ..... my daughter's interview was so devastating that she is not going to earn her gold. They (really only one of them) made the interview about how great her daughter's project was and told my daughter that she needed to not be in such a hurry to do hers!?! As a result, the 20 plus hours she had already put into the planning and signature process will now not help teens in need.


Please, if you are an interviewer, make it about the young lady who stands before you and nothing else. My daughter was dressed up and excited about her proposal. I received a text at work saying they said no. It was predetermined because her 6:00 interview spot ended at 6:11. In those few minutes she learned about "how great the interviewer's daughter's project was." My daughter cried for two days. I wrote my local council and they bent over backwards to try to undo the damage that was done. I thought everything was fine until my daughter announced "I am not doing my gold." My heart still hurts for her.


Since her interview her brother received Eagle and her other brother will be doing his project shortly. We are not new to scouting, but let's give these ladies some respect. It is our job to guide, not boast or discourage.


So, if you are interviewing ask questions and guide the scout. Offer suggestions or ask the right questions to get them to be empowered. Let's get the number of girls earning their gold to SOAR!























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They are not supposed to just say "no", and that is it. They are supposed to give suggestions on what is needed for approval. Did she get any comments on what needed to be added/changed in her project?


Like it or not, how to face up to insufferable people is part of what our girls are learning. They are also learning how to deal with the "real world", learn from mistakes, and accomplish their goals despite setbacks.


Encourage her not to give up.


Remind her that there are still teens in need of her project, and giving up does not help them, or her.


Give her a hug, and tell her to get back in there and fight for what she wants!


Good luck!


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As a result, the 20 plus hours she had already put into the planning and signature process will now not help teens in need.


This is the saddest part, and probably the thing that your daughter needs your (and probably her dad's and brothers') help on. Was the project worth doing? If so, then she shouldn't back away from it. You all need to help her make it go forward medal-be-damned.


We have made service-project development so onerous that some kids have lose the vision of what they are trying to do.


Of course if she only cared about the bling and not the teens, that's a different story. Week of soul-searching, I'm sure. But walking her through it as the potential to be one of the most rewarding moments of your life!

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Contact your Council's Gold Award Coordinator with a brief explanation and ask if you can set up a time for her and your daughter to talk, heart to heart.


If the GA Coordinator isn't cooperative, move up to the CEO, #1 GSUSA employee, and the Board Chairman, #1 volunteer.


The committee should have helped your daughter identify weaknesses in her proposal and ways to fix those.


Lastly, hours are a suggested number. Some girls are fast and thorough, others are slow and less thorough. No one should be punished for efficiency.


Good luck to your daughter.



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What a challenge.

*Make the changes in the project to garner the OK of a committee that made the young lady feel totally rejected.

*Prove that she IS the capable, creative young lady that the committee did not recognize.

*Overcome the obvious (can be a good thing!) sibling rivalry inherent in your comment about her brothers.


Is there any chance that the rest of the committee were deaf and blind? I assume there was more than ONE person there.

It almost sounds like some latent jealousy at work. Did you, the parent, ever have any problems with the person in question before?

Is there the least chance that your daughter's project in any way challenged the other project in scope or , oh, I don't know, image, perhaps?


I once applied for a position, a promotion. I was judged "well qualified", told I was definitely in the running by the HR office. At a social event, I met a person who worked in the office I was applying for, and she told me flat out I was wasting my time, that the position had already been filled, that putting it out for applications was only a "formality". I took this information to a counselor at HR, and he was aghast. Turns out , I didn't get the position, it went to a friend of mine (worthy person) and the head of that department was later given a sideways promotion out.


Tell your daughter that if she has been treated badly, that you will help her sort things out. Play by the rules and make THEM play by the rules too.

Choices as I see them:

*Insist that the committee (or the Council Leadership) tell you what is lacking in your daughter's plans. They must do that or they are not doing their duty to you daughter in Scouting.

* Make those adjustments and present those plans to a NEW committee.

* If they will not or can't tell you what is needed , then request a NEW committee from the Council CEO. They can do that, and, I feel , will.

Your young Scout deserves no less. And she will learn how to deal with such people in the future, because she will need to.

Good Scouting to you and daughter.


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I hear what you are saying and yes she will eventually move forward with her project, but she is now too old for the gold award. Plus, her heart was really broken by the one interviewer. Her project was for teens because she felt that teens were known to be strong and in the "best" years of their lives. She wanted to make blankets, just for teens, who were hospitalized at Ronald McDonald Houses to let them know someone really does care. The interviewer told her that her troop could finish off her project in one night and that it wasn't sustainable because they wear out!?!. (I beg to differ) If a teen received a blanket, that gave them comfort while away from home, if they became well they would do the same for someone else. If the teen did not make it home, their parents would have a personal item to wrap in at home if they needed the comfort.


Unfortunately, one of my daughter's dear friends ended up on death's door and at 18 is now the proud owner of a pace maker.(possible heart transplant within 10 years) After visiting her in the hospital and holding her hand, because Liz was too weak to keep her eyes opened, my daughter told me (in the car on the way home) that she just witnessed first hand the purpose of her Gold project. A couple of days later she said she was no longer going to go for her Gold.


I just want interviewers to be aware of what they say and do. EMPOWER

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I if she would be interested in the trail to a Venturing silver award, I'm sure there would be an advisor who would welcome her to the "dark side."


In fact, I might have the number of one in the Pittsburgh area ....

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I wish this was recent ~ it was March 2012. She was planning on doing the project over her spring break!!! As you can tell it really hit us hard. (I was in Girl Scouts from Brownies, no Daisy in those days!, until 21 with no breaks) When my girls began scouting I volunteered at summer camp. I was even part of a group that went to Canada for two weeks to visit with the Girl Guides!


She is in Venturing and has been to Colorado and on Wednesday leaves for a two day, sleeping on sandbars, canoe trip.


I think the part that bothers me the most was the fact that they also told her "not to rush it, you have all summer" ~ no she doesn't. She is a softball player (spring sport) and was in Show Choir. To add to that she had Prom, graduation and college testing. (tough for her since her dyslexia does not allow her to test well, so she needs to test multiple times)


Add the fact that such a small number of girls earn their gold, I believe every interviewer should focus on the young lady standing in front of them and not predetermine their decision before they even enter the room.

Everyone knows what an Eagle Scout is and I want to see everyone knowing what a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient is!!!!!

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Hello advancement lady,



Very sad. Unfortunately this illustrates why choosing adult leaders is a critical function of Scouting leadership. Choose an ego driven person or someone lacking experience or good judgment, and you can badly impair your program.


Have you considered volunteering to sit on that committee in the future? It sounds like you would be a likely prospect!

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Not really ~ I am in the education field and I was thinking about setting up training modules or "retraining" courses. I also had to look at the fact that I hold two jobs, have 4 teens, volunteer as advancements for my sons' troop, and 4 of us share one car! Not sure I could do a good job with it right now although, we never know what our future holds for us!!!!!

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Yep, it is hard when they wait until their Senior year for their Gold project. Lots going on with limited time.


It is sad that your daughter felt so intimidated by this one person that she decided not to work to correct any issues, or to fight for her project.


However, as with Eagle, and BSA, earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is not the purpose/goal of Girl Scouting. Not completing the Gold Award is not the end of the world. She still learned a lot, and had lots of fun along the way in her time in Girl Scouts.


And, she is still having fun, and learning new things with her Venturing Crew.


Sounds like a good thing to me!

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I do understand why the project was termed non-sustainable: your daughter had (possibly) not made arrangements to have this picked up as an on-going effort by someone. If your daughter had thought of this earlier, she could have possibly worked with your local "Run for the Cure" group and had a blanket making station as part of the larger event. Then, "RfC" could possibly have made it a standard part of their event from then on. Your daughter would leave behind a complete book detailing how to run the station, who good sources were for funding/donations, etc.


Now, all that said: I'm going to stand by my advice as a way for your daughter to make the process better for the girls who come after her. If she has time this summer or fall (LOL), perhaps she could make some phone calls or write a polite yet firm letter. Your council staff and lead volunteers should know the "command climate" the girls are getting during interviews as well as the usefulness of their advice.

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Thanks for all the advice ~ a letter was sent and council did talk to my daughter for details. We were assured that the interviewer was going to be spoken to and retrained.


One of the girls in her troop received her gold collecting cans for the food pantry. That was it ~

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