Teen Mentoring Awards
When girls guide or teach others, they act as mentors. An exciting part of a Girl Scout’sdevelopment, teen mentoring is a win-win proposition! As teen mentors, Girl ScoutCadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors gain experience by sharing skills, testing knowledge, and trying out new leadership roles. For the girls being mentored, it means a chance to be with and learn from teens—some of their favorite people! Most of all, teen mentoring can be rewarding and fun!
Teen Mentoring Awards include Program Aide, Counselor-in-Training I and II, and Volunteer-in-Training. By earning these awards, girls from sixth grade up can deepen their understanding of what leadership development means and get excited about guiding others. The Program Aide and Counselor-in-Training awards have a long history in Girl Scouting, while the Volunteer-In Training-award represents an updated approach to the Leader-In-Training Award. In 2011, The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors include descriptions of the Teen Mentoring Awards they can earn at their grade level:
Why the Teen Mentoring Awards Matter
Teens who earn mentoring awards are given a special opportunity to serve as champions for the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. As they serve in their roles, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors can help grow awareness of Girl Scouting’s aim to deliver fun with purpose; enjoyable and challenging activities that grow girls’ leadership in their daily lives and in the world.
As the Program Services staff work on updating the training outlines for teens mentoring programs this winter, they are going to frame their efforts in the context of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, which engages girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place. The training sessions will engage the girls in understanding the three keys to leadership, exploring how the Leadership Experience relates to everyday life, and inspiring them to think about ways to serve as leaders in the world. After all, the more teens consciously step into the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, the more they will want to encourage younger girls to think of themselves as leaders, as well.
Cadettes Can Earn Program Aide Pin
The PA Training is designed to foster the development of basic leadership skills and gives girls a basis for working with younger girls. Topics include basic understanding of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, Journey program activity ideas, and how to create high-quality experiences. Additionally, participants will learn about developmental characteristics of younger girls, group dynamics and safety.
To earn the Cadette Program Aide, a sixth-, seventh-, or eighth-grade girl:
- Earns the Leader-in-Action Award (LiA award).
- Completes a council-designed Program Aide leadership training course.
- Works directly with younger girls over six activity sessions. This might be assisting girls on Journey activities (in addition to what she did for her LiA), badge activities, or other sessions. She might work with a group at their meetings, day camp, or during a special council event.
Seniors Can Earn Volunteer-in-Training and Counselor-in-Training
The newly named VIT award refers to Volunteer-in-Training. It replaces the LIT award (Leader-in-Training) and is earned by Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors who want to mentor younger girls in a pathway other than the camp pathway. If a girl has completed ninth grade, she is eligible to earn this award. A Volunteer-in-Training project needs to span a three-to-six-month period.
To earn the Volunteer-in-Training award, a girl:
- Finds an adult volunteer mentor who is currently the volunteer for a group of girls at the level she’d like to work with. This volunteer will help her through her training and internship, and she’ll help the volunteer with her group of girls for a three-to-six-month period.
- Completes a council-designed Volunteer-in-Training leadership course.
- Creates and implements a thoughtful journey project that lasts over four or more sessions. Volunteers-in-Training might also help younger girls with a Take Action project. The Volunteer-in-Training is responsible for designing, planning, and evaluating the activities. If a girl is passionate about a topic such as art or technology she could design the activities around this topic.
Seniors who are interested in mentoring younger girls in a camp setting can earn the Counselor-in-Training Award. As girls earn this award, they build skills that can help them become camp counselors.
To earn the Counselor-in-Training Award, a girl:
- Takes a Counselor-in-Training leadership course, designed by her council, on outdoor experiences.
- Works with younger girls over the course of a camp session.
Ambassadors Can Earn Volunteer-in-Training,
Counselor-in-Training, Counselor-in-Training II
If girls did not earn previously mentioned Volunteer-In-Training and Counselor-in-Training as a Girl Scout Senior, they can do so as an Ambassador. In addition, girls at this grade level can earn the Counselor-in-Training II. Ambassadors interested in mentoring younger girls in a specific area of camp activities as they build skills toward becoming camp counselors should consider pursuing this award.
To earn the Counselor-in-Training II award, a girl:
- Earns her CIT I award. (prerequisite)
- Girls complete CIT II training course.
- Works with younger girls over the course of at least one camp session while focusing on increasing her skills in one specific area—such as riding instruction, lifeguarding, or the arts.
If any Cadettes, Seniors, or Ambassadors are interested in taking this training, e-mail Kathy Storage, Director of Program Services (firstname.lastname@example.org
). Courses will be set up regionally after training designs are finished and interest is secured from ten-twelve girls. If your troop would like to host such an opportunity, contact her for that, as well.