Silver Fish award

Our highest award given to adult members of Girlguiding

The Silver Fish award recognises what a member has achieved across the breadth of Girlguiding.

This is Girlguiding's highest honour so only a few awards are given each year. Girlguiding members can nominate exceptional volunteers for a Silver Fish award by submitting an application.

Who can get a Silver Fish award?

The application should reflect the nominee's exceptional service, across a wide range of levels in Girlguiding. Criteria include:

  • They should’ve held a range of roles in guiding at district, division and county levels and beyond. Many applicants will have held national roles or have international guiding experience, but it’s not essential. They should’ve demonstrated excellent leadership skills and made significant contributions as a team member and leader.
  • They should’ve made a significant contribution to supporting, motivating, nurturing and developing guiding for both young members and adults. This should be over a range of roles. Please give examples of projects or events that show this.
  • They should be outstanding and an exceptionally high achiever who’s always ready to take on a challenge. They’re someone who makes things happen, and who inspires and motivates people.
  • Demonstrate that they have a clear understanding of the place of Girlguiding within WAGGGS and the world. They will have shared this with other members, to increase and strengthen guiding relationships across the global community.

Submitting an application

An application must:

  • Be submitted without the knowledge of the nominee or their family.
  • Have by a fully completed awards application form. If you need a nomination form, contact [email protected]
  • Include copy of the member’s guiding history report.
  • Have up to 8 letters of support. Try to make sure the letters aren’t repetitive and cover different aspects of the nominee’s service. The letters should mention the supporter's role or position. Add a cover sheet to the application, which explains how each letter of support reflects an aspect of the nominee's work.

Writing the application

Try and answer these questions when you write the application:

  • What makes you think of this person as a potential recipient?
  • What makes them stand out from other leaders?
  • Is the nominee involved as a unit leader or in any other roles in Girlguiding?
  • Is the nominee involved as an advisor or commissioner at county level or beyond?
  • Is this person an active member of Girlguiding who is involved in current initiatives and continues to be an inspirational leader?
  • What has been their continuing impact on young people and on other leaders? Can you give examples?
  • A national award of a Laurel and Silver Fish will demonstrate impact beyond the local level.
  • If your application includes information relating to a place of interest within guiding, for example, a local campsite or a region building, please give extra information. This will help the committee to fully understand the impact the nominee has had.
  • Describe the nominee's personal attributes and what their impact is. What is it about that person that makes them stand out?
  • And finally, try to bring the nominee to life with your description, so that the committee members can feel why they should be given the award.

Letters of support

The awards committee bases its decision on the letters of support. They should:

  • Be no more than 2 sides of A4 long.
  • Explain how long the nominee has been known to the person writing the letter, and how they know them.
  • Describe their personal attributes and what makes them stand out from others. Try to give examples to build up a picture describing their special character and personality.
  • Describe their guiding service, giving examples of outstanding achievements.
  • Describe their influence on others, such as leadership skills, innovative ideas, inspirational work and reflections from young members.
  • Describe any specific events or projects where the nominee has made an outstanding contribution.
  • Include facts and statistics, where possible.
  • Describe any other aspects of the nominee’s guiding life that are relevant to this award.

The application process

An application for this award may be started by any member of Girlguiding and the nomination needs to be discussed with the relevant commissioner.

Completed applications for the Silver Fish award must be submitted to the relevant country or region office for consideration. Applications are then submitted to the Girlguiding awards committee for the final decision.

The Girlguiding awards committee usually meets twice a year, in spring and autumn.