The Congressional Award is about challenge. It is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you would like to try for the first time. To earn the Award, young people set goals in ALL four Program Areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. The requirements for the six levels of the program increase based on the level the young person is applying for.
Once a young person registers, they are on their way to earn the Gold Medal. Everything is cumulative and young people can choose to submit level by level or apply directly for the Gold Medal. Activities completed before registering for the Award cannot be counted. Once approved for the Gold Medal, all lower levels that were earned through the approval will be mailed directly to them. Participants must select an adult advisor who will help them set challenging but achievable goals and plan activities to reach those goals. The Award accepts Record Books on a rolling basis – the only true deadline is to complete all activity before your 24th birthday. Due to logistic deadlines, in order to be considered for the Gold Medal Ceremony held in Washington, D.C. each June, a young person must submit their Record Book by February 1st of that year. The Award is meant to be a challenge, yet achievable, with goal setting and a long term commitment to these goals in the forefront.