Silver Fish award

Girlguiding’s highest award is given to active adult members of Girlguiding, or a Branch Association, in recognition of distinguished service

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

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

This award may be given to an outstanding adult member of Girlguiding who has shown that they have had a substantial impact through a variety of roles within the organisation.

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

Award criteria

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

  • Guiding experience – the member should have 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 this is not essential. The member should have demonstrated excellent leadership skills and made significant contributions as a team member and leader.
  • Impact – the member should have 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 particular projects or events that demonstrate impact.
  • Personal attributes – the member should be outstanding and an exceptionally high achiever who is always ready to take on a challenge – someone who makes things happen, and who inspires and motivates people.
  • Wider guiding influence – demonstrate that the nominated member has a clear understanding of the place of Girlguiding within WAGGGS and the world. They will have shared this with other members, young or old, to increase and strengthen guiding relationships across the global community.

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 a 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 Silver Fish and Laurel 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
  • in at least one letter, focus on specific aspects of the Girlguiding life that makes the nominee exceptional
  • describe their guiding service, giving examples of outstanding achievements
  • describe their influence on others – leadership skills, innovative ideas, inspirational work, reflections from young members about the nominee's impact on them
  • include facts and statistics where possible
  • describe any other aspects of the nominee’s life that are relevant to this award

The application process

An application for this award may be initiated 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 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.