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I was doing some searching around SDN to get an idea of how adcoms view things like the Eagle Scout Award and the Gold Award (the Eagle's Girl Scout equivalent). As someone who completed her Gold Award project, I'm slack-jawed at the fact that so many people just don't know what the Gold Award is. For anyone who's curious, here's info about it from the GS website and from wikipedia: Girl Scout Gold Award
Gold Award (Girl Scouts of the USA) - Wikipedia

I understand that the recognition issues are probably due to the fact that the name of the award has changed six times since its initiation in 1916. However, I would expect people nowadays to at least know that it's a big deal to successfully earn it.

I was always told by troop leaders and mentors outside of Girl Scouting that I should include my Gold Award on every resume and application that I put together, as it shows evidence of commitment to a major project and community outreach (plus, if you were to go into the armed forces, you get an automatic increase in rank just for earning the Gold Award). So, that tells me that it's probably viewed as one of the exceptions to not including activities from high school on your apps. But, the fact that some people legitimately not think anything of it baffles me.

If adcoms seriously don't know about it, then I have to let out a concerned and very troubled: "HUH?!?" o_O
 
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ciestar

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I only do because I know a few people that earned it. However, I've NEVER heard it discussed outside of that realm. Unlike being an Eagle Scout.
 
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hamstergang

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I understand that the recognition issues are probably due to the fact that the name of the award has changed six times since its initiation in 1916. However, I would expect people nowadays to at least know that it's a big deal to successfully earn it.
I've never heard of it, have no idea what you have to do to earn it, and don't know how common it is for people to get it. So without an explanation, it would be meaningless to me. And I doubt the name changes are playing a significant role in this.
 
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Dox4lyfe

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I'd guess that if you emphasize the actual project you led and impact it had, that would have a much bigger affect than trying to emphasize the award.

From a quick search it looks like it takes a great deal of work to earn it but it's not overly selective in that anyone who puts in the work and has dedication can win it. Doesn't help that over a million girls have earned the award since it first began a hundred years ago.
 

drmantistobbogan

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Unless you earn a Rhodes, Marshall, or Goldwater, chances are most people are going to be unfamiliar with 99.9% of awards you can earn. It sounds like it was a big achievement, so it's up to you to articulate that.
 
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Also doesn't help that it's something done back in high school
Don't get me wrong, it obviously won't be the first thing that I include. I have many experiences from college that I intend to list and prioritize. However, I don't see any negatives associated with mentioning this as the only high school activity that I'd list on my app. Not very many Girl Scouts end up earning this award. And obviously, I'll have to explain what it is in my application in order to convey what I did and the impact it made. I've just always been told that awards like the Eagle and the Gold are like Phi Beta Kappa (which I also have) in that they can be listed on applications and resumes for life. Not to mention that Girl Scouts and my Gold Award project provided me with leadership skills that I probably wouldn't have learned elsewhere, and both scouting and the project shaped a big part of who I am.
 
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LizzyM

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Don't get me wrong, it obviously won't be the first thing that I include. I have many experiences from college that I intend to list and prioritize. However, I don't see any negatives associated with mentioning this as the only high school activity that I'd list on my app. Not very many Girl Scouts end up earning this award. And obviously, I'll have to explain what it is in my application in order to convey what I did and the impact it made. I've just always been told that awards like the Eagle and the Gold are like Phi Beta Kappa (which I also have) in that they can be listed on applications and resumes for life. Not to mention that Girl Scouts and my Gold Award project provided me with leadership skills that I probably wouldn't have learned elsewhere, and both scouting and the project shaped a big part of who I am.
The only people who will tell you that you should include the Gold Award on your resume are the leaders who want you to think that it is an important award. No one else cares what you did in high school. Move on and include in your application for professional school the activities you've engaged in since reaching adulthood. If you really learned anything or developed any skills from your Gold Award you should be using those skills and listing those new activities on your application.
 

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1) never heard of it

2) don't use things from high school unless you continued them into college
 

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If earning the Gold Award or becoming an Eagle Scout is anywhere close to the most impressive thing on your CV when you're applying to medical school, you probably won't be getting into medical school.
 
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longhaul3

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I am not familiar with the Girl Scouts but if I had been an Eagle Scout I definitely would have mentioned as an interest or hobby or something. Not as an achievement to tout—I agree with the above that it's not that impressive in the grand scheme of things—but as a way to make a connection with someone or at least raise an eyebrow. Old guys love hearing that young people were Eagle Scouts and love talking about it.
 

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I have a friend who got this award and she has mentioned the work required. She now volunteers as a leader with the GS and that might be an excellent activity for you to pursue now that you are out of high school. You could mention the award in the description of the activity.
 

efle

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Don't get me wrong, it obviously won't be the first thing that I include. I have many experiences from college that I intend to list and prioritize. However, I don't see any negatives associated with mentioning this as the only high school activity that I'd list on my app. Not very many Girl Scouts end up earning this award. And obviously, I'll have to explain what it is in my application in order to convey what I did and the impact it made. I've just always been told that awards like the Eagle and the Gold are like Phi Beta Kappa (which I also have) in that they can be listed on applications and resumes for life. Not to mention that Girl Scouts and my Gold Award project provided me with leadership skills that I probably wouldn't have learned elsewhere, and both scouting and the project shaped a big part of who I am.
The things it shows, like service and initiative, should be evident otherwise in your app. Peer reviewed publication is really the only thing that should survive from pre-college and make it into your medical app, imo
 

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The things it shows, like service and initiative, should be evident otherwise in your app. Peer reviewed publication is really the only thing that should survive from pre-college and make it into your medical app, imo
I mean, I've seen people list things like Eagle Scout on their CV, even well into attendinghood, but it's just a little blip at that point, not anywhere close to the focus of the CV.
 

DokterMom

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If adcoms seriously don't know about it, then I have to let out a concerned and very troubled: "HUH?!?" o_O
I actually DO know what's involved, so will say "Congratulations!" first of all, and that for someone who does know, it will have meaning. For those of you who don't know, it is similar to Eagle Scout, only more rigorous. Unlike the Eagle Scout project, a Gold Award project must make a meaningful change that is sustainable and enduring -- so an ongoing change rather than a one-time deal. You can't just plant trees in a park - you'd have to establish and fund a means of maintaining them.

Sadly though, like many other women's achievements, it is widely diminished and not given it's due... So don't put it in 'first place' or expect any accolades. But do use the Eagle Scout analogy for when to include and spread the word.
 

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I actually DO know what's involved, so will say "Congratulations!" first of all, and that for someone who does know, it will have meaning. For those of you who don't know, it is similar to Eagle Scout, only more rigorous. Unlike the Eagle Scout project, a Gold Award project must make a meaningful change that is sustainable and enduring -- so an ongoing change rather than a one-time deal. You can't just plant trees in a park - you'd have to establish and fund a means of maintaining them.
As someone involved in both gold award and eagle scout projects, I think getting both of them are rigorous in different ways - I don't know if I could really say definitively that one is more rigorous than the other. (I understand that's not the point you were making and I digress)

Sadly though, like many other women's achievements, it is widely diminished and not given it's due... So don't put it in 'first place' or expect any accolades. But do use the Eagle Scout analogy for when to include and spread the word.
All of this is true. I wouldn't bring it up out of the blue myself if I were in an interview, but if it's asked about, using an analogy to an Eagle Scout can help someone who is curious but uninformed understand what it is, and if someone (like DokterMom) who understands the dedication it takes to receive the award happens to interview you, you'll probably get a kudos.

However, the addition of this to an application (Gold Award or Eagle Scout) is unlikely to make any sort of impact on ultimately whether or not you're accepted. It can be a tiny piece of an enduring narrative of service throughout your adolescent and adult life, but it can't function as a standalone representation that you're dedicated to serving others without a bunch of other stuff afterwards to back it up.
 
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I mean, I've seen people list things like Eagle Scout on their CV, even well into attendinghood, but it's just a little blip at that point, not anywhere close to the focus of the CV.
1) I did some more research and found that some med schools list both the Gold and the Eagle under their new students' profiles as "unique characteristics" (albeit, not the most important thing; just a factoid). I think that and the fact that some residency program application tips even list it under things that can "always" go under a CV shows that it must mean something even if it's not the most important thing, so I think that answers my question.

2) It obviously won't be anywhere close to the main focus. My main concern was whether I should include it at all in the app. But, from what I've seen, if anything, it's one way that you can make yourself stand out and get your foot in the door, in addition to all of your other activities.
 
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I actually DO know what's involved, so will say "Congratulations!" first of all, and that for someone who does know, it will have meaning. For those of you who don't know, it is similar to Eagle Scout, only more rigorous. Unlike the Eagle Scout project, a Gold Award project must make a meaningful change that is sustainable and enduring -- so an ongoing change rather than a one-time deal. You can't just plant trees in a park - you'd have to establish and fund a means of maintaining them.

Sadly though, like many other women's achievements, it is widely diminished and not given it's due... So don't put it in 'first place' or expect any accolades. But do use the Eagle Scout analogy for when to include and spread the word.
1) Thanks!
2) This is sadly true, and it might be part of the reason why it isn't as widely recognized as the Eagle.
 

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1) I did some more research and found that some med schools list both the Gold and the Eagle under their new students' profiles as "unique characteristics" (albeit, not the most important thing; just a factoid). I think that and the fact that some residency program application tips even list it under things that can "always" go under a CV shows that it must mean something even if it's not the most important thing, so I think that answers my question.
Its definitely interesting and can find a place on a CV. No reason not to list it.

2) It obviously won't be anywhere close to the main focus. My main concern was whether I should include it at all in the app. But, from what I've seen, if anything, it's one way that you can make yourself stand out and get your foot in the door, in addition to all of your other activities.
Yes you should include it, but it's likely not going to be the thing that gets your foot in the door. The rest of your app will do that. It cannot salvage a poor application and it will give a marginal augmentation to an average to strong application. I think you understand that though, based on your post.
 
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As someone involved in both gold award and eagle scout projects, I think getting both of them are rigorous in different ways - I don't know if I could really say definitively that one is more rigorous than the other. (I understand that's not the point you were making and I digress)



All of this is true. I wouldn't bring it up out of the blue myself if I were in an interview, but if it's asked about, using an analogy to an Eagle Scout can help someone who is curious but uninformed understand what it is, and if someone (like DokterMom) who understands the dedication it takes to receive the award happens to interview you, you'll probably get a kudos.

However, the addition of this to an application (Gold Award or Eagle Scout) is unlikely to make any sort of impact on ultimately whether or not you're accepted. It can be a tiny piece of an enduring narrative of service throughout your adolescent and adult life, but it can't function as a standalone representation that you're dedicated to serving others without a bunch of other stuff afterwards to back it up.
Absolutely! This is a given. I intend to list it in addition to all of my other more recent and more important activities. Thanks for the responses, everyone!
 
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LizzyM

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1) Thanks!
2) This is sadly true, and it might be part of the reason why it isn't as widely recognized as the Eagle.
I think that the reason that it is not widely recognized is that it has had so many different names over the years. I first got involved with Girl Scouts in 1964 but I did not hear of Gold Award until 40 years later! Eagle Scouts have been around for so long and do such a good job of promoting "the brand" while Girl Scouts have not done so.
 

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The only people who will tell you that you should include the Gold Award on your resume are the leaders who want you to think that it is an important award. No one else cares what you did in high school. Move on and include in your application for professional school the activities you've engaged in since reaching adulthood. If you really learned anything or developed any skills from your Gold Award you should be using those skills and listing those new activities on your application.
Eh my Eagle Scout award was brought up in 3/5 interviews and in my last job interview. I think it actually looks really good if you have this award and then continue to volunteer and do service with the organizations.

If earning the Gold Award or becoming an Eagle Scout is anywhere close to the most impressive thing on your CV when you're applying to medical school, you probably won't be getting into medical school.
Lol savage, but definitely true.

I mean, I've seen people list things like Eagle Scout on their CV, even well into attendinghood, but it's just a little blip at that point, not anywhere close to the focus of the CV.
I will probably always have it on mine somewhere
Its definitely interesting and can find a place on a CV. No reason not to list it
Agree with these comments here, it's one of those CV things that can be interesting as not a ton of people have it but it definitely shouldn't be the focus or most important aspect.

I also admit to having no clue what the Gold Award is.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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Tell them what the award is, compare it to something more known (like Eagle Scout) and leave it at that. But your entire post screams, "why doesn't anyone appreciate me and this amazing thing I did? Why am I not as important as everyone told me I was?" To be honest, it makes you sound immature. Total turnoff if that attitude comes through on an interview.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Eh my Eagle Scout award was brought up in 3/5 interviews and in my last job interview. I think it actually looks really good if you have this award and then continue to volunteer and do service with the organizations.
See the post directly above yours. Eagle Scout is much more widely recognized.
 

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Fwiw I will go against the grain and say that listing pre-college activities is okay. 2 of my 9 or 10 activity slots were from before college (1 research, 1 sport) and they came up at a few interviews.

Obviously not as valuable as more recent accomplishments but the idea that they can “hurt” you is ridiculous
 
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ciestar

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Fwiw I will go against the grain and say that listing pre-college activities is okay. 2 of my 9 or 10 activity slots were from before college (1 research, 1 sport) and they came up at a few interviews.

Obviously not as valuable as more recent accomplishments but the idea that they can “hurt” you is ridiculous
I think it all depends. If you're listing pre-college activities because you did it all in high school and didn't bother getting newer experiences while an undergrad, yes, it will hurt you.
 

kb1900

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I think it all depends. If you're listing pre-college activities because you did it all in high school and didn't bother getting newer experiences while an undergrad, yes, it will hurt you.
I was responding to quotes like this. It’s obvious already that something from four years ago won’t redeem or fill in a presenting “gap” or hole in an app.

Peer reviewed publication is really the only thing that should survive from pre-college and make it into your medical app, imo
Hard cut extreme advice that is straight up unnecesary and ignores the nuance of an individual application
 
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LizzyM

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Fwiw I will go against the grain and say that listing pre-college activities is okay. 2 of my 9 or 10 activity slots were from before college (1 research, 1 sport) and they came up at a few interviews.

Obviously not as valuable as more recent accomplishments but the idea that they can “hurt” you is ridiculous
Never confuse what comes up in an interview with what should go on your application. Sometimes an interviewer will ask about something because it is novel and unusual and not because it is important to us. Asking about volunteering in the emergency department gets old after the 12th applicant with that experience on their application so if one of the purposes of the conversation is to gauge communication skill, we might ask about something that is less common. That doesn't mean that your HS activities won't be held against you post-interview when everyone gets a crack at your application and might have something negative to say about the pre-HS ECs (current med students on the review committee have been most vocal about these).

I do distinguish between HS activities and pre-college, particularly if the applicant is a non-trad who took a gap after HS to serve in the military etc.
 

ChymeofPassion

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Never confuse what comes up in an interview with what should go on your application. Sometimes an interviewer will ask about something because it is novel and unusual and not because it is important to us. Asking about volunteering in the emergency department gets old after the 12th applicant with that experience on their application so if one of the purposes of the conversation is to gauge communication skill, we might ask about something that is less common. That doesn't mean that your HS activities won't be held against you post-interview when everyone gets a crack at your application and might have something negative to say about the pre-HS ECs (current med students on the review committee have been most vocal about these).

I do distinguish between HS activities and pre-college, particularly if the applicant is a non-trad who took a gap after HS to serve in the military etc.
I've always thought that including high school activities was in bad form because it is generally used to make up for a deficiency in college activities. But what if you have 10 fantastic college activites and you would like to include another one from HS you are particularly passionate about? The difference between a senior in high school and freshman in college is only 4 months! The cut-off seems so unnecessarily strict.
 
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LizzyM

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I've always thought that including high school activities was in bad form because it is generally used to make up for a deficiency in college activities. But what if you have 10 fantastic college activites and you would like to include another one from HS you are particularly passionate about? The difference between a senior in high school and freshman in college is only 4 months! The cut-off seems so unnecessarily strict.
Hey, don't shoot the messenger. Proceed at your own risk. If you think the reward exceeds the risk, go for it.
 

efle

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Hard cut extreme advice that is straight up unnecesary and ignores the nuance of an individual application
/shrug if you have continuity into college activities it can make sense to include mention, like if you tutored all throughout highschool and continued to be a tutor in college. Otherwise, athletic or service activities from high school just aren't worth mentioning *imo*

And I say that having watched my sister get GS gold award when she was ~16. It's a ridiculous thought to me that the ~100 hours involved in that should be impressing med school adcoms 6 years later. Ymmv, if you included high school activities and your interviewers were excited to talk about it with you, I'm not about to argue
 

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I think that people don't know a ton about girl scouts or boy scouts, but Eagle Scout has scout in the name so people can guess.

If the award really contributed or had continuity to work you did in college, include it. Otherwise, I think it's best to just be proud of your volunteer achievement even if it won't bring you recognition or personal gain.
 

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Throwing my 2 dirty Abe Lincolns in here, but I think this is more of a conversation starter than a clincher. It's a way for you to give a concrete example in the ways you're committed to helping others and community. I doubt someone in an Adcom somewhere is going to use that to push you over the edge versus someone else with superior numbers. If someone put that on a residency application I would glance over it, but that's just me.
 
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Tell them what the award is, compare it to something more known (like Eagle Scout) and leave it at that. But your entire post screams, "why doesn't anyone appreciate me and this amazing thing I did? Why am I not as important as everyone told me I was?" To be honest, it makes you sound immature. Total turnoff if that attitude comes through on an interview.
Not at all what I meant by the post, but I see your point. My issue was that people just don't know what it is. I don't expect it to have the same weight as a long-term research project or a peer-reviewed publication in undergrad.
 
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Fwiw I will go against the grain and say that listing pre-college activities is okay. 2 of my 9 or 10 activity slots were from before college (1 research, 1 sport) and they came up at a few interviews.

Obviously not as valuable as more recent accomplishments but the idea that they can “hurt” you is ridiculous
Agreed. As mentioned on this thread before, including one meaningful HS activity (like an Eagle Scout or a Gold Award or something else that contributed to who you are as a person) in addition to your ECs and research from undergrad shouldn't hurt at all, imo.

Hard cut extreme advice that is straight up unnecesary and ignores the nuance of an individual application
Agreed 100%.
 

efle

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Agreed 100%.
yeah you should def stick 100% with what you want to hear and not what the experienced adcom member put right before that

in case you missed it the first time:

No one else cares what you did in high school. Move on and include in your application for professional school the activities you've engaged in since reaching adulthood.
 
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Dwan

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Even after reading about it, I'm still not sure what makes this Gold Scout award so special in comparison with the remarkable achievements that many on this forum had back in high school (many who received large scholarships, were accepted to elite universities, etc. because of those achievements). When others arent including their even more impressive HS accomplishments, I think it's time you let this go.
 
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