What is The Congressional Award? The Congressional Award is a public/private partnership created by Congress to promote and recognize initiative, service and achievement in America's youth. The Congressional Award provides a unique opportunity for young people to set and achieve personally challenging goals that build character and foster community service, personal development, and citizenship.
What is The Congressional Award? Through The Congressional Award, the U.S. Congress challenges young Americans to challenge themselves, and recognizes young people who set and achieve goals in four program areas.
Four Program Areas Voluntary Public Service Personal Development Physical Fitness Expedition/Exploration
Voluntary Public Service Sharing your time and talents with others is an important part of The Congressional Award program. This requires sensitivity, perception of need, and determination.
Personal Development Guidelines Up to two Different Goals Measurable, Definite Task Part-time Work if you are a Full-time Student Educational Activities, if employed Full-Time Plan Individually or Part of a Group
Personal Development Sample Activities Arts and Crafts Career Development Conservation/Environment Leadership Training Creative Writing Theatre/Acting Language Study
Physical Fitness Improve your quality of life through participation in fitness activities. The Congressional Award challenges you to achieve a measurable goal in a team sport or individual physical activity.
Physical Fitness Guidelines Up to two Different Goals Goals cannot be Competitive Goals should be Specific and Measurable Include Current Fitness Level Remember, Fitness Activities do not have to be Strenuous in Order to be Challenging
Physical Fitness Sample Activities Team Sports Weight Lifting Running, Jogging, or Walking Skiing Dance Golf Develop Your Own Work-out Routine
Expedition/Exploration Challenge yourself through an interaction with the wilderness or by immersing yourself in an unfamiliar culture. The Congressional Award allows you to choose between an Expedition or Exploration.
Expedition/Exploration Guidelines Develop a Spirit of Adventure and Discovery Organize, Prepare, Plan and Execute Work Individually or as a part of a Team Be Self-Sufficient Inexpensive - Does Not Have to be Costly Be Safe!
Expedition/Exploration Sample Activities Camping / Wilderness Hiking Bicycle Tour Visit a Museum Study Abroad Outward Bound Visit a new city Explore a new Environment
Program Requirements There are six levels of the Award—Bronze, Silver, and Gold Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals. Each level is cumulative. Time spent on one Award is carried on to the next level.
Program Requirements – Hours Certificate Level Voluntary Public Service30 60 90 Personal Development15 30 45 Physical Fitness15 30 45 Expedition/Exploration One Two Three (number of days) Minimum Total Hours60 120 180 Bronze Silver Gold Bronze Silver Gold
Program Requirements – Hours Medal Level Voluntary Public Service 100 200 400 Personal Development 50 100 200 Physical Fitness 50 100 200 Expedition/Exploration One Two Four (number of consecutive overnights) Minimum Total Hours200400800 Bronze Silver Gold Bronze Silver Gold
Month Requirements One must accumulate the requisite hours over at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutive) of activity in each activity area. Months are cumulative Months are counted only once in the same activity area, meaning if you document two PF activities during the same six-month period, you will only get credit for 6 months of activity, not 12.
How Can I Participate? Register & Choose an Advisor Register & Choose an Advisor Set Your Goals Achieve Your Goals Receive Your Award Move to the Next Level
Register Fill out the Registration Form and Waiver. Mail to the National Office with the $10 Registration Fee. Or Register online at www.congressionalaward.org and follow the instructions.
Choose an Advisor Select an Advisor to help guide you through the Congressional Award program. Advisors can be anyone other than your parent, relative or peer that is over the age of 18. Examples of Advisors include neighbors, teachers, scoutmasters, guidance counselors, youth leaders, or coaches.
Set Your Goals Set goals in each of the four Program Areas with the help of your adult Advisor. Goals should be measurable, achievable, worthwhile, challenging and fulfilling. Use the Program Book as a guide when setting your goals.
Achieve Your Goals Work at your own pace toward your goals. Keep accurate records such as timesheets, journals or write-ups. Record your hours and a description of your activities in your Congressional Award Record Book. Record Books are mailed directly to the participant and can be found on our website.
Receive Your Award Once a participant has earned the Bronze or Silver Medal, a ceremony is planned locally in which the participant's Member of Congress presents The Award.
Receive Your Award Gold Medal earners are invited to come to Washington, DC, to receive their Award in an annual ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.
Move to the Next Level Work with your Advisor to set new goals for the next level of the Award. You may select new activities or continue with your current goals and activities. Remember, all hours are cumulative.