Volunteers in Guiding do so much and ultimately empower every girl in Guiding to discover herself and be Everything she wants to be. Recognizing adult members is an important way to help our volunteers feel valued and thanked.

Girls and parents are encouraged to acknowledge volunteers throughout the Guiding year as a "thank you" is always appreciated. You can also recognize volunteers with a formal GGC award. GGC has a number of awards at the local, provincial and national levels, which recognize all levels of service from the non-member to the Unit Guider to a member on Council.

For more information, click on a category below:

Types of awards and recognition

General Recognition:

Name Overview Criteria Application and Presentation Other Details
Membership Pins All girl and adult members receive a membership pin indicating the number of years of GGC membership. Only one membership pin is worn at a time. Membership Girls receive their Membership pin from their Guider/Commissioner/ACL while women receive their pin from their District Commissioner/ACL. Pins are provided at the beginning of each Guiding year. After 15 years, Membership pins are awarded at five year intervals.   
50 Years of Membership Letters of recognition from the Guiding Ambassador are sent to women with 50 years of membership and every five years thereafter. 50 years of membership Members receive a letter and certificate from national council, and pins from their provincial council.  
New Unit Guider Appreciation Pin The New Unit Guider Appreciation Pin is presented to each new Guider after completing the first year of service to GGC in a Guiding Unit. New Unit Guider The pin is authorized and presented by the Unit Guider's Council or Administrative Community, but may be presented by another Unit Guider in a Commissioner's or ACL's absence. No award application is required but the Guider's iMIS profile should be updated. The pin may only be presented to a member once. This pin is accompanied by a certificate.

Local and Provincial Council Awards and Recognition:

Name

Overview

Criteria

Application and Presentation

Other Details

Letter of Commendation

A Letter of Commendation may be given to a girl or adult member in recognition of service to GGC.

There is no specific criteria, other than that the person must have displayed service deserving of recognition.

It may be given by any member. It may be given more than once to the same person.

Gold Thanks Pin

The Gold Thanks Pin may be given to a girl or adult member who has contributed in any capacity that deserves thanks.

There is no specific criteria, other than that a member must have displayed service deserving of thanks. The pin is often given for one specific action, but can also be given for overall good service.

Nominators must provide a complete R.3 form, along with a letter describing the nominee's service to Guiding. This award may be given at any level with the permission of the council concerned.

The Gold Thanks Pin may be awarded more than once to the same member, but consideration should be given to the presentation of a different award.

Team Award

The Team Award may be given to each member who has been part of team that planned and carried to completion an event or project.

In order to be considered for the Team Award, the members of a team must demonstrate:

  • Operating as a well-functioning team
  • Planning and carrying to completion and event or project.
    OR
    Working well during a time of adversity

Nominators must provide a completed R.3 form, along with two letters of support which describe the team as a whole. Team Awards are authorized by the Provincial or National Council (depending on the team level), and presented by the council concerned.

A member may receive the Team Award more than once. The Team Award is not to be presented to non-Guiding members of a team, except with approval from the Guiding Ambassador.

Unit Guider Award

The Unit Guider Award is presented to Unit Guiders in recognition of good service in the Unit Guider role.

In order to be considered for the Unit Guider Award, a member must demonstrate good service in their role by:

  • Providing girls with diverse and exciting programs and opportunities that will help them be empowered
  • Ensuring there are regular bridging opportunities in their unit
  • Always welcoming new members
  • Attending trainings
  • Participating in district or communities of Guiding meetings
  • Upholding the values of GGC

The award is given in three levels:

  • Bronze Unit Guider Award (experience: 1-3 years) 
  • Silver Unit Guider Award (experience: 4-10 years)
  • Gold Unit Guider Award (experience: 11+ years) 

Nominators must provide a completed R.3 form, along with two letters of support. The award is granted by the council concerned. 

The years of experience are cumulative and a Unit Guider may receive any or all of the award levels during her tenure in Guiding. The bronze can be received by a Unit Guider in her first year.

Commissioner/ACL Award

The Commissioner/ACL Award is presented to Commissioners and Administrative Community Leaders (ACL) in recognition of good service in a Commissioner or ACL role.

In order to be considered for the Commissioner/ACL Award, a member must demonstrate good service in their role by:

  • Leading by example
  • Actively welcoming new members and retaining current members
  • Mentoring adult members
  • Upholding the values of GGC
  • Gaining the respect of members, girls and parents

Nominators must provide a completed R.3 form, along with two letters of support. This award is granted by the council concerned and can be presented during a member's tenure or upon retirement. 

Merit Award

The Merit Award is presented to adult members for service to Guiding above the basic requirements of the position held.

In order to be considered for the Merit Award, a member must demonstrate:

  • Especially dedicated or excellent service to Guiding
  • Having gone above and beyond the basic requirements of their Guiding position

The Merit Award can be awarded three times in the following order:

  • Bronze Merit: For a member's first Merit Award
  • Silver Merit: For a member's second Merit Award
  • Gold Merit:  For a member's third Merit Award

Nominators must provide a completed R.3 form, along with two letters of support. This award is granted by the council concerned.

An adult member may receive any or all of the Merit Awards during her tenure in Guiding, but the awards must be received in the specified order. 

Medal of Merit

The Medal of Merit Award is presented for exceptional service to Guiding above the basic requirements for the position held.

In order to be considered for the Medal of Merit, a member must demonstrate:

  • Exceptional service to Guiding, meaning they display exceptional commitment to their Guiding role
  • Having gone above and beyond the basic requirements of their Guiding position

Except in special cases, the Medal of Merit is awarded only to those who hold a Gold Merit Award.

Nominators must provide a completed R.3 form, along with two letters of support. This award is granted by the provincial council.

National Awards:

Name

Overview

Criteria

Application and Presentation

Other Details

Beaver

The Beaver Award is granted by the Board of Directors to adult members for exceptional service to Guiding at the provincial or national level.

In order to be considered for the Beaver Award, a member must demonstrate exceptional service to Guiding at the provincial or national level, and exceptional commitment to their provincial or national Guiding role. Except in rare cases, the Beaver is awarded only to those who hold the Medal of Merit.

The application comes from the province to the Board of Directors. Nominators must provide a completed R.3 form, along with two letters of support. The award is granted by the Board of Directors.

Gold Maple Leaf

The Gold Maple Leaf Award is granted by the Board of Directors to adult members for exceptional service at the national level which contributes to the enrichment of Guiding in Canada.

In order to be considered for the Gold Maple Leaf, a member must demonstrate:

  • Exceptional service to Guiding at the national level
  • A meaningful contribution to the enrichment of Guiding in Canada.

The Gold Maple Leaf is only awarded to those who hold the Beaver. 

The application comes from national council to the Board of Directors. Nominators must provide a completed R.3 form, along with two letters of support. This award is granted by the Board of Directors.

Fortitude Award

The Fortitude Award is granted by the Board of Directors to girl or adult members who have shown great courage and endurance in adversity.

In order to be considered for the Fortitude Award, a member must:

  • Show great courage and endurance while facing adversity
  • Have demonstrated fortitude within the past 12 months. (However, the onset of adversity may have occurred further in the past.)

The award may be given posthumously in special circumstances. Posthumous applications must be made no more than one year after death. 

The application comes from the province to the Board of Directors. Nominators must provide a completed R.3 form, along with two letters of support. This award is granted by the Board of Directors.

Recipients must be current members, but need not be evaluated based on their level of involvement with GGC if adversity has prevented their active involvement.

Valour Award

The Valour Award is granted by the Board of Directors to a girl or adult member who has shown heroism in risking her life or personal safety to save or attempting to save the life of another person.

In order to be considered for the Valour Award, a member must display heroism by risking her life or personal safety by saving or attempting to save the life of another person.

The display of courage could be during a Guiding activity or outside of Guiding. Applications must be made as soon as possible and no more than 12 months after the incident.

The application comes from the province to the Board of Directors. Nominators must provide a completed R.3 form, along with two letters of support. This award is granted by the Board of Directors.

Honorary Life Award

The Honorary Life Award (HLA) is granted by the Board of Directors to adult members. This prestigious award is given in recognition of ongoing, dedicated, and long-term service to Guiding.

In order to be considered for the HLA, a member must demonstrate:

  • A leading cumulative contribution as a member of major committees, working groups, teams, or other groups
  • The promotion of Guiding to the broader community
  • The development of initiatives that support the strategic direction of Guiding
  • Having made a profound cumulative impact on Guiding at the local, the provincial or national level

On occasion, the HLA may be awarded to a member who has made a significant contribution to society.

In addition, the HLA could be given:

  • Upon a member's retirement from active Guiding, or
  • Upon a member's completion of a significant role in Guiding that could signify the peak of someone's Guiding career, or
  • In recognition of sustained, long-term, exceptional service to Guiding in a Unit Guider role.
  • The HLA is typically awarded after 30 years of service.

Applications must be submitted through the Commissioner concerned and accompanied by the required fee. Nominators must provide a completed R.3 form, along with three letters of support which clearly detail how the nominee has met the above criteria.

The application comes from the province to the Board of Directors. This award is granted by the Board of Directors.

Honorary Life Award recipients must comply with GGC conditions of membership as per GGC Bylaws and Screening Policy, with the exception of paying the annual membership fee. 

Non-Member Recognition

Name Overview Criteria Application and Presentation Other Details
The Silver Thanks Pin The Silver Thanks Pin may be given to a non-member who has contributed in any capacity that deserves thanks. There is no specific criteria, other than that the person must have displayed service deserving of thanks. The pin is often given for one specific action, but can also be given for overall good service. Nominators must provide a complete R.3 form, along with a letter describing the nominee's service to Guiding. This award may be given at any level with the permission of the council concerned.  
Letter of Commendation A Letter of Commendation may be given to a non-member in recognition of service to GGC. There is no specific criteria, other than that the person must have displayed service deserving of recognition.    

How to make a nomination

To make an award nomination, please fill out an R.3 application form and include any relevant letters of support. The nomination package can then be sent electronically to the appropriate council or Unit Administrator as deemed by your province. Please be sure to contact your local District Commissioner or Administrative Community Leader to help with your nomination submission. If you live in Ontario, please visit their website for information on how to make an online award nomination.

Tips for letter of support

A letter of support for an award application is your chance to illustrate the impact of the member's contributions to Guiding and to really highlight the nominee. Here are some tips to consider when writing a letter of support:

  • Begin with an introduction which identifies the nominee, the award being applied for and a summary of the nominee's role(s) and accomplishments.
  • In the body of the letter, explain why the individual is deserving of the award. Use specific examples within the letter. You can break the examples down into paragraphs and refer to her accomplishments in the areas of:
    • Guiding
    • Work
    • Personal (e.g. illness, disability, challenges, positive attitude, etc)
    • Community (e.g. other volunteer roles)
  • Be sure to include only the most relevant details, and clearly tie them to the award criteria. Why should this person receive this particular award?
  • Letters can come from: Guiders, parents, girls, other volunteer organizations, employers/colleagues, teachers, etc.