Laurel award

This award is given to adult members of Girlguiding, or a Branch Association, in recognition of outstanding service to guiding

The Laurel award celebrates exceptional service.

This is an award for an active member of Girlguiding who has made an outstanding contribution to guiding.

This is Girlguiding's second-highest honour and as such there are relatively few awards given each year.

Award criteria

The application should reflect the nominee’s outstanding service. Criteria include:

  • Guiding experience – the member should have held a number and variety of roles within their district, division and county or beyond. Within these roles the member should have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and have been an effective team member.
  • Impact – the member should have made a significant contribution to supporting and developing guiding for both girls and adults.
  • Personal attributes – the member should be a person who is respected by their guiding peers and stands out as a positive role model.

Guidelines for making an application

An application must:

  • be submitted without the knowledge of the nominee or their family.
  • be accompanied 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.
  • be accompanied by letters of support, no more than eight in total. If possible, the letters should not be repetitive and each should cover a different aspect of the nominee’s service. The letters should mention the supporter's role/position.
  • have a cover sheet attached to the application, which outlines how each letter of support reflects an aspect of the nominee's work.

Read more application guidance for the Laurel and Silver Fish awards.

Letters of support

The awards committee can only base its decision on the content of the letters of support, so these guidelines are very important to ensure they have the right information.

These letters should:

  • be no more than two sides of A4 long
  • state in what capacity and for how long the nominee has been known to the supporter
  • 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 – leadership skills, innovative ideas, inspirational work and including reflections from young members
  • describe any specific event or project 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 initiated by any member of Girlguiding. The nomination needs to be discussed with the relevant commissioner.

Completed applications for the Laurel award must be submitted to the relevant country or region office for initial consideration and approval. 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.

Christine (pictured left) County Commissioner in North East England

Christine (pictured left) County Commissioner in North East England

We were having a thank-you dinner for volunteers in our County when my Region Commissioner (pictured right) turned up and presented me with the Laurel Award! I was lost for words. I thought that there must have been a mistake, as only exceptional Leaders receive such an accolade! I was brought to tears when a Young Leader, who was once one of my Rainbows, talked about ‘how I put smiles on girl’s faces every week’. 

I’ve been a Brownie Leader for 38 years and started my Rainbow unit 20 years ago. I’m now a County Commissioner and I’ve organised many events for all sections. I’ve led trips abroad, including trips to Mexico and the USA. Helping girls grow in confidence and supporting fellow Leaders is so rewarding – it’s the reason why I love, and always will love, being in guiding.