How the Award Works

Taking part in the Award takes commitment, a spirit of adventure, decision making, goal setting and perseverance in achieving them. It won’t be easy, however, the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel at the end of the journey will be worth it, because it will be something you did just for YOU! It also looks great on post-secondary applications, scholarships, CV’s and job applications.

As an Award Participant, You Will Have the Chance to:


Design your own Award program

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Set SMART goals and work towards them, recording your progress

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Make a positive impact on the lives of others through community service


Learn valuable practical and social skills for career development

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Take up the challenge of an Adventurous Journey with a team of peers

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Connect with other Award Participants at home and abroad

How to Get Started

When registering for the Award, you will be asked which Award Centre you are connected to. Participants must belong to an active Award Centre before they are able to register and start their Award. Many schools, Cadet corps or squadrons, Guide groups, Scout groups, and community organizations offer the Award. All Award Centres have staff members or volunteers that are trained to support and mentor participants as they work on the Award.

Participants are most successful in completing their Award with the encouragement and support of an Award Centre in their community where they can be mentored by an Award Leader they know and undertake their Award with other peers. If you’re unsure if there is a local Award Centre for you to join, reach out to your school or community group to find out.

If there is no Award Centre in your community, try to get one started! Gather support from your friends and peers, then reach out to a local youth organization. To help you get started use Champion an Award Centre Support Package.

If there is no appetite for creating an Award Centre in your local community, our Virtual Award Centres (VACs) may be an option for you. Find out more.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our Award office; we are happy to work with your school or group to get a local Award Centre established! 

Already know your Award Centre? Register online and download the Online Record Book! Click here for steps on how to register.


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How much the Award costs

We have recently introduced some new ways of working with Award Centres to ensure that we have a sustainable delivery model which is fit for the future. This means that we invoice Award Centres directly based on how many participants are doing their Award in that Centre. 

This new way of working also means that it is up to individual Award Centres to decide on their pricing policies for participant registrations. Please contact your local Award Centre in the first instance to find out how much it costs to register for the Award. 

The Award is open to anyone between the ages of 14 and 24. First you will need to decide which level is right for you.

There are three levels to this award:

14 years – will take a minimum of 26 weeks to complete
15 years – will take a minimum of 52 weeks to complete*
16 years – will take a minimum of 78 weeks to complete*

*Minimum time requirements differ for participants who have completed the previous level. More details in the at-a-glance-guide.

You can choose to start your Award challenge at any age level as long as you meet the minimum age requirement.

Please note:
If you are younger than 14 and part of an Award Centre where most people are 14, you can start the Bronze level so you can do the Award with your peers.

As a participant, you have until your 25th birthday to complete your Award. You may submit your Award for approval after your 25th birthday, but all activities must be completed by then.

There are four sections to complete for each Award level, plus a Gold Project that is completed at Gold.

Voluntary Service
Participants volunteer in their communities, make a positive contribution to society and demonstrate social responsibility.

Volunteering over a period of time enables you to meet people within the community whom you might not otherwise engage with and realize the positive difference you can make. It can also help improve skills such as team work, communication and self-confidence.

Physical Recreation
Encourages young people to improve their fitness and performance, and enjoy healthy lifestyle for good mental and physical well being.

You could choose to do a team sport, solo sport or any healthy activity. It could be something you already do regularly, have tried before or something completely new to you.

The Physical Recreation section should make you feel healthy and happy, and should help you build valuable team skills, self-esteem and confidence.

Skill Development
Enables participants to develop their talents, broaden their abilities, increase their self confidence and improve their employability.

Through the Skills section you can develop your personal interests as well as your practical and social skills.

You could choose to improve on an existing skill or try something new. It’s all about engaging, learning something new and getting better at it; giving yourself a sense of achievement and well-being. Colleges, universities and employers like to see that you have life skills too!

Adventurous Journey
Young people discover a spirit of adventure and gain a deeper understanding of the environment and great outdoors.

For the Adventurous Journey section you’ll need a sense of adventure and discovery as you go on a team journey, expedition or exploration.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the wider environment, as well as to develop self-confidence, team work and health. It is a tough challenge and you might be taken out of your comfort zone for a bit but you will be safe with suitable training and supervision, and you won’t regret it!

Gold Project
Participants broaden their experience by staying in an unfamiliar environment with other young people, taking part in a worthwhile project and building new relationships.

For the Gold Project section you’ll have the opportunity to build on the many skills developed during your Award.

It will involve you undertaking a shared activity or specific course with people you don’t know that will build on a talent you’ve developed in another section, learn something completely new on an intensive course or do something to help others. It’s a big, exciting and very fulfilling experience that will leave you with a great sense of achievement.

The at-a-glance guide to completing your Award outlines the activities and time commitment required for each level.

You’ll create your own program, choosing activities for each section of the Award. This is your Award and it is up to you what you do for each section. It is all about setting goals and working towards achieving them. You can continue with activities you’re already doing, such as sports or volunteering, and count these towards achieving your Award. Or your Award could be an opportunity to try something new and develop a passion for something different.

Assessors are adults who can vouch for your completion of the activities you record and your progress towards your goals. They are knowledgeable, experienced adults who help you set and work towards your goal and provide mentorship and feedback on your progress.

You will choose your own Assessors and should have a different Assessor for each section of your Award. Parents and siblings can not act as Assessors. Learn more about Assessors.

Assessors are adults who can vouch for your completion of the activities you record and your progress towards your goals. They are knowledgeable, experienced adults who help you set and work towards your goal and provide mentorship and feedback on your progress.

You will choose your own Assessors and should have a different Assessor for each section of your Award. Parents and siblings can not act as Assessors.

The life changing Award experience centers around a framework that challenges you to set and achieve S.M.A.R.T. goals in four activity areas. These areas help you develop into well rounded individuals, challenge you beyond your comfort zones, and provide opportunities to explore yourself and the world around you

After setting your goals, you work towards them by practicing your skills, service, and physical recreation on a regular basis, as well as plan and complete your Adventurous Journey and Gold Project. These activities are recorded in your Online Record Book (ORB) so you can easily keep up with logging your activities using your computer or mobile device

The Award is a marathon, not a sprint. The intention is to create habits with regular activity, that will serve you beyond the Award and what you’re currently involved in. You must participate in your Award-activities, on average for a minimum of 1 hour per week for Service, Skill and Physical Recreation. The Online Record Book will automatically calculate your time requirements, keep a tally, and let you know once you have completed the section. Every time you work toward your goal, log your activities, and watch your progress!

Once you have completed all the sections required in your Award level, you submit your Award through the Online Record Book for approval by your Award Leader, who will then submit it to the Award office for final authorization.

Award Ceremonies celebrate the accomplishment of achieving your Award! Speak to your Award Leader for details on local presentations.
Celebrations for Gold Awards are presided over by notable Canadians, the Lieutenant Governors, or Territorial Commissioners as presenters. The celebrations feature gorgeous locations such as Government House and are described as once-in-a-lifetime events by our Award Holders.