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mashmaster

Gold Award standards frustration

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So 2 years ago, when my daughter was proposing her Gold award for promoting literacy, building multiple little libraries, and having a portable one that could be used at senior citizen homes was denied that it wasn't enough, they only kept saying "We want it to be more"  without any further direction after only communicating with her every 4 weeks.  She got frustrated after 6 months of this crap and gave up.  

Now our local council is promoting gold award projects from this year and they included so much easier stuff like "teaching seniors to use facebook with powerpoints", no substainability aspect, for example.   Just wish they would hold a single consistent standard.

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I've heard this from parents of my female venturers as well.

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Posted (edited)

It's the arms race amongst Scout groups...in this corner the not broadly understood GSUSA "Gold Award"...and in this corner the gold standard of youth awards the BSA "Eagle Scout".  Which will be deemed Best In Class, which will corner the market, and more importantly, which will generate more revenue for their organization??

Edited by Jameson76

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I know so many friends that quit Girl Scouts due to it being so strict and tough. My sister got her silver but stopped scouting due to it being so strict for a gold award project.

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My gut tells me this is an honest (albeit misguided) attempt to prepare the next generation for the "real world" scenarios experienced by the previous generation. At least around here.

Plenty of guys got by with a handshake and maybe a handwritten contract. But a woman in the same profession would feel she had to come with a polished proposal and all the bells and whistles to land the same bid. Then to stay in the business, she had to outdo herself or lackluster competition would call on the good-old-boys network to grease the wheels in their favor.

I hope it's not just Mash's GS council, but that nationally the "steam will be let off the pressure cooker" for these girls just a little. There's plenty of work to do in this country, and we need kids who know how to do it, one focused project after another.

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21 minutes ago, qwazse said:

My gut tells me this is an honest (albeit misguided) attempt to prepare the next generation for the "real world" scenarios experienced by the previous generation. At least around here.

Plenty of guys got by with a handshake and maybe a handwritten contract. But a woman in the same profession would feel she had to come with a polished proposal and all the bells and whistles to land the same bid. Then to stay in the business, she had to outdo herself or lackluster competition would call on the good-old-boys network to grease the wheels in their favor.

I hope it's not just Mash's GS council, but that nationally the "steam will be let off the pressure cooker" for these girls just a little. There's plenty of work to do in this country, and we need kids who know how to do it, one focused project after another.

I would prefer a solid hard standard for all Gold awards and also make Eagle projects have to hold up to those standards as well.  I have sat on a number of Eagle boards and very few projects are really difficult.

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4 hours ago, mashmaster said:

I would prefer a solid hard standard for all Gold awards and also make Eagle projects have to hold up to those standards as well.  I have sat on a number of Eagle boards and very few projects are really difficult.

Why should they be hard?

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4 hours ago, mashmaster said:

I would prefer a solid hard standard for all Gold awards and also make Eagle projects have to hold up to those standards as well.  I have sat on a number of Eagle boards and very few projects are really difficult.

 

1 minute ago, qwazse said:

Why should they be hard?

An Eagle project doesn't have to be hard, it just has to demonstrate planning and leadership.  There is not any part of the requirements of a project that it must involve fundraising, or that there must be a minimum number of hours involved- despite how many people try to claim that there is, or there should be.  There is also nothing explicit in the Gold Award project requirements that would suggest it has to be "a hard project".  In my experience, as told to me by a couple Gold Award recipients, the hardest part was getting their local Council to review the project plan so they could actually get started on it.

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12 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:

"Hard" seems way too subjective.

As is scout spirit and boy led.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, MattR said:

As is scout spirit and boy led.

Good point.

When it comes to the project though, the more objective the requirements can be, the better, IMO.

Edited by Thunderbird

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Projects like these should stretch the youth. They should be something he/she hasn't done before. They should address something important to the youth.

When leaders any level come back with "also do" lists, it sounds like asking more of the same. It may be in a direction that doesn't inspire the youth. It may be nothing the beneficiary really wants.

The project should be the first of several as a youth. Too much beurarcracy makes a kid want to put his/her first project off until his/her managment and presentation skills are mastered, and that's a shame.

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

Why should they be hard?

They should require actual planning and thought IMHO.  Spreading mulch or building yet another gagaball pit are just cookie cutter projects that don't need much leadership and planning to complete.  If this award is the pinnacle, it should be something that requires the scout to get outside of their comfort zone and lead.

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1 hour ago, HashTagScouts said:

 

An Eagle project doesn't have to be hard, it just has to demonstrate planning and leadership.  There is not any part of the requirements of a project that it must involve fundraising, or that there must be a minimum number of hours involved- despite how many people try to claim that there is, or there should be.  There is also nothing explicit in the Gold Award project requirements that would suggest it has to be "a hard project".  In my experience, as told to me by a couple Gold Award recipients, the hardest part was getting their local Council to review the project plan so they could actually get started on it.

I wish that was the case in my daughters girl scout district.  They had a board of women review the project that had to be submitted to their meeting 2 weeks prior to their monthly meeting.  They reviewed it and send an email back a week later saying how it was rejected with vague comments like "We want to see more".  Her responses to them had to be in writing and they would review it behind closed doors a month later.  After 6 months of this, my daughter had other school obligations and was just done with their politics.  And her girl scout troop leader pocketed all the money she had raised......  that is another story.

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