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Congressional Award Discussion (questions, updates, etc)


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#101 LAR

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 08:36 PM

We're plugging away here.  DD is working hard on her ASL (American Sign Language) personal development goals and will reach a major goal next month;  she's signing the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium in Tampa the first weekend of April.  She just got the approval from her teacher and practiced signing at her ASL Club meeting this week.  DD's advisor attended Club and was thrilled to see DD's practice run!  Her advisor has been incredible, very supportive, and is planning to attend the official presentation in Tampa as well. 

 

On another positive note, the ASL Club director is a library employee, and is working to get our daughter into a very fun volunteer position; assisting the director of education with children and youth summer programs. We are hoping this happens, as we're not having luck with volunteering at a local hospital.

 

We're struggling to track hours and often forget to get supervisor signatures.  This important piece of the puzzle often gets misplaced! 


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#102 Angie in VA

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 09:12 PM

Just saw this thread. I haven't read all the replies but will soon. 

 

Both of mine earned their gold medals, going all the way through as fast as possible. They got signatures one time for all levels.

 

The 3 certificates and the bronze and silver medals arrived in the mail. We were able to attend the gold medal ceremonies for both. Wonderful experiences. Mine never changed goals, but both had 2 physical goals. 

 

Looking forward to reading more of this later. Yay for all those who have begun to work on their CA! :)

 

 


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#103 arliemaria

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:28 PM

Just saw this thread. I haven't read all the replies but will soon. 

 

Both of mine earned their gold medals, going all the way through as fast as possible. They got signatures one time for all levels.

 

The 3 certificates and the bronze and silver medals arrived in the mail. We were able to attend the gold medal ceremonies for both. Wonderful experiences. Mine never changed goals, but both had 2 physical goals. 

 

Looking forward to reading more of this later. Yay for all those who have begun to work on their CA! :)

 

Please do share more about their experiences.  This is all so fascinating to me.


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#104 Angie in VA

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 09:37 AM

Not to be coy, but I am a privacy freak (and, well, a freak in general), so I won't be sharing details of my kids' paths to their awards. That said, I hope someone finds something in my ramblings useful. 

 

The most important advice is to read the entire website, and email the CA folks w/ questions. I can't stress that enough. Write the CA folks with questions. Email them. Paper trail, and usually quick responses. The CA folks can't *approve* your choices beforehand, but they will *advise* you. For ex: You want to volunteer at a private dance/music/sports studio/gym? That most likely isn't considered public service. So, before your child invests a lot of time in that for CA (feel free if it's still a passion!), write the CA folks.

 

Someone upthread mentioned that neither the advisors nor validators were necessarily well versed in the CA requirements and that is spot on. It's up to your dc to make sure things line up w/ the requirements. 

 

Voluntary Public Service

Personal Development

Physical Fitness 

Expedition/Exploration

 

For the 4 links above, be sure to click on all the tabs: Guidelines, Activity Ideas, and Requirements and it also has FAQ's for the Expedition/Exploration.

 

There is a CA FB page. More for publicity, but it's fun to look at the pictures. 

 

For record keeping, my dc both made spreadsheets where they kept track of hours. They also put hours on a calendar. Just 2 ways. None of these records had to be submitted, but they were shown to validators. It probably isn't required, but mine wanted to have proof ready. Take pix of your kids doing their activities too. Also, the places where my dc volunteered kept record of the hours too. Easy peasy. 

 

I can only address going all the way through for the gold medal in 24 months, but AFAIK it's an Expedition OR an Exploration. If you get signatures at every level, I guess you can do several of each. For our kids, it was far easier to do the whole shebang once. Also, my kids didn't want to bother validators for several signatures all along the way.  At both of my dc's gold medal ceremonies, however, I met people who said getting the awards one at a time really kept their kids motivated for that next level. Personal choice. Speaking of motivation, look here. It's fun to see who else in your state has finished the gold medal requirements. More fun still when your dc's name is on that list. ;) And when the 3 certificates and bronze and sliver medals arrived in the mail, there was no less joy in our home when mine opened those packages. Yeah, we had a little celebration when those arrived. 

 

 

As for advisors, they are as involved as much or as little as they desire, as long as they meet the requirements. One child's advisor was a stickler and thought my dc hadn't followed the rules b/c this dc discussed some goals with me!!! The advisor called the CA folks who assured this advisor that it was fine (even wise) for the child to run ideas by the parents. We teased this dc that w/ this advisor's high standards, not only had he/she earned the gold medal, but also a platinum medal. LOL. For the other child, the advisor had small dc and a long commute and didn't want to commit a lot of time. This advisor did check in w/ this dc and kept abreast of how it was going, but didn't want much more involvement. Perfect match. 

 

It is great to have it all done in time for college apps, but it's not always possible and IMO should not be the sole reason for doing the CA. One child had submitted the paperwork for the gold, but hadn't received approval in time for college apps. So I wrote under EC's: "Congressional Award for Youth Gold Medal (Approval Pending)" or "(Pending Approval)" - something like that. The other dc had it all wrapped up and had received the gold medal in plenty of time for college apps. 

 

 

If you can attend the Gold Medal Ceremony, do. (See disclaimer here.) They usually get good speakers. Sometimes it's the same speaker for both ceremonies, sometimes not. You can't take pix during the ceremony itself, which is very streamlined, but there is a photographer and you can order pix. We got one complimentary photo of each, although I never received my freebie for the 2nd child. Also, pix are taken outside at the Capitol: one huge group photo and several smaller groups: by state, 4H, homeschooled, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc. These are taken b/t the 2 ceremonies. There is a morning and an afternoon ceremony, by states. Be warned that b/c the group photos are after one of the 2 ceremonies, half the kids will have their gold medals and half won't. The last time we attended, kids were loaning out their medals for the smaller groups' pictures, so everyone in the picture donned a gold medal. I actually heard, "OK, whose medal is this?" LOL. Sweet kids to be so generous, but wow. 

 

The Gold Meal dinner is nice. The gold medalist gets two tix: for himself and for one guest, and then you pay (I think $100/ plate) for extra guests and there may be a limit on how many extras you can have. I missed one dinner but attended the other one. I wish all of us had attended both dinners. Yeah, it's a lot of money, but it is special. So, if you're going to DC for the ceremony anyway, start saving so you can all attend the dinner. We invited the advisors, but neither was interested in attending. There were motivational speakers (names you'd know) at the dinner I attended. 

 

Funny story: one of my children made a dear friend while standing in line to go in for the gold medal ceremony! They started talking and learned they had nearly identical paths to the gold! It was wild. That year they received tickets to a sports event where the gold medalists sat together. The kids really bonded that night. They're still in touch to this day, and if my child could have afforded the airfare and time, would have attended the wedding of this gold medalist. 

 

In summary, communicate w/ the CA folks about requirements, have your children keep excellent records, and consider attending the gold medal ceremony and dinner in Washington.

 

When my first child started on this journey, there was little info/support out there. At first I resented that, but then I realized it was better that way. It forced my child to be more independent doing this and in life. And really, the child should do the bulk of the work, researching the opportunities and writing to CA for advice for beginning work on a goal, keeping records. After finding the advisor and setting goals, sit back and let the clock run and enjoy watching your kids grow and succeed. :)

 

 


Edited by Angie in VA, 25 March 2017 - 05:50 PM.

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#105 Angie in VA

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 09:54 AM

Question for you guys:

 

If we have baseball as our physical fitness goal, would we be able to count hours spent helping to assist practices helping his younger brother?

 

And can anyone help me think of a good goal terminology for baseball physical fitness??

 

I was thinking: 

Like Malcolm Gladwell says in his book Outliers, it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. After a year off from baseball, my goal is to practice my way back to being one of the top players on my team in batting average and RBIs.

 

 

Agreeing w/ others who said helping at practice isn't a physical fitness goal. Also, it might not qualify as a public voluntary service goal. (See my long rambling post above.)

 

Also, the fitness goals should be measurable

 

Example from the CA website:

 

Showing a new level of achievement: “I can presently jog 5 miles in 50 minutes and I intend to improve my time to 8.5 minutes per mile. Through my aerobics programs, I will improve my resting heart rate from 90 to 75 and lose 10 pounds within 15 months.”

 

 

 

It is fun reading about your dc who have just started. It can be daunting, "Two years? I'll never finish." Starting can be slow, but it is so worth it. :)


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#106 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 10:31 AM

Thank you so much, Angie in VA! 


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#107 mirabillis

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 10:40 AM

Yes, thank you Angie in VA. We are plugging right along, really enjoying ourselves. Next dc in line can't wait until its her turn to start!


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#108 ChrisB

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 01:29 PM

Thank you so much Angie in VA!!  

 

I've been extensively educating myself and daughter by reading the CA website, and most of my questions have been answered by doing so.  I'd never heard of this award until a friend mentioned it a few months ago with my daughter in mind.  It sounds very impressive to me, but I don't have any idea what the colleges think about it, and that is a definite consideration whether to do it or not.  DD likes to organize, plan, and have focused goals, so it would be right up her alley.  It seems very worthwhile to me!!


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#109 Angie in VA

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 03:15 PM

Thank you so much Angie in VA!!  

 

I've been extensively educating myself and daughter by reading the CA website, and most of my questions have been answered by doing so.  I'd never heard of this award until a friend mentioned it a few months ago with my daughter in mind.  It sounds very impressive to me, but I don't have any idea what the colleges think about it, and that is a definite consideration whether to do it or not.  DD likes to organize, plan, and have focused goals, so it would be right up her alley.  It seems very worthwhile to me!!

 

 

I believe colleges like to see volunteer hours, which is one part of the CA. Of course, your child can volunteer w/o doing the CA. 

 

I am surprised that not many families near me pursue this. Both of mine feel a great sense of accomplishment for having earned their gold medals. One of mine would never have settled for anything less that the gold medal, and the other would never have been outdone by his sibling. ;) It is a commitment, but, really, most of it was things my kids were doing anyway. 

 

 

 

I would like to qualify my statements about attending the ceremony and dinner. We are in VA, and while attending them required time, energy, and some money, my last child is a senior and heading off to college in a few months. I'm very sentimental right now. Money was (and always is) an issue for us. So, perhaps I should not urge anyone to attend a 1-1.5 hour ceremony or to save up for  the $100/plate dinner., especially if you have to travel far to get to DC. You could spend a lot less and celebrate at a nice restaurant after your child receives his/her gold medal closer to home. 

 

I do regret not having all of us attend both dinners. My dd could not attend my ds's due to her schedule, but I would have loved to have had her there and would gladly have paid the $100 for her to do so. The bigger regret was not paying for ds and me to attend dd's dinner. 

 

Just had to add that disclaimer. Later I will link this to my long post above later. We have to head out the door soon. 


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#110 annabanana1992

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 03:24 PM

My son is working on his Gold Medal, and I think we have everything in place except for figuring out the expedition/exploration for 4 nights.  I am looking for suggestions!  My son likes the outdoors and likes cities too.  We are able to travel by plane, etc. if necessary.


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#111 ChrisB

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 08:17 PM

He could plan something in South Dakota following Lewis & Clark's expedition along the Missouri River, visit the Black Hills (Mount Rushmore), learn about General Custer and the Battle of Little Big Horn, camp in Custer State Park, and maybe drive through a native american reservation. Heard there is an excellent museum type place in Sioux City IA for Lewis & Clark.


Edited by ChrisB, 26 March 2017 - 08:21 PM.

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#112 Lucy the Valiant

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 08:38 AM

Okay, gearing up to start 2 students on this journey this coming June - we've secured an advisor, and are considering options in our area.

 

I've been perusing the site, but need to spend some more time there with some of these questions.

 

Is taking lessons & practicing a new sport considered physical fitness? (one kid thinks tennis sounds interesting but has no experience)

If they set a goal for the first 30 volunteer hours, and then meet that goal, they can change to a new goal for the next certificate level, correct?

It makes sense to start with the bronze certificate, right? Or just jump right in and "skip" a level or two (I realize they're cumulative)?

 

We are excited about this!


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#113 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 09:28 AM

Always check with your regional program manager if you have any doubts, but here are my thoughts...

 

Tennis (lessons and practice) sounds great for physical fitness.

 

Yes, they can change goals at the next certificate level. Depending on the level and number of goals, they can even change mid-level.

 

There are many factors involved in deciding where to start. My teen started with the bronze certificate, and it worked out well. She then skipped to the silver medal, which she hopes to earn this summer. 

 

ETA: Good luck deciding and have fun!


Edited by Woodland Mist Academy, 11 April 2017 - 10:22 AM.

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#114 LAR

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 06:27 PM

while we are new at this also, Lucy, I agree with Woodland Mist on all of her comments.  

 

Our DD started this year and is working on her bronze certificate.  Actually, if it wasn't for the lack of volunteer hours, she'd be working on the next level. Fortunately, we received notice today that she has an interview for the teen volunteer program at the local hospital later this month.  Fingers crossed!

 

I almost forgot to mention that DD signed the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium earlier this month and did so well. She's been asked to come back!  I couldn't have been more proud.  This marks off one of her personal development goals, so she's in search of another goal related to American Sign Language.

 

Anyway....good luck, Lucy!


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#115 Meriwether

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:50 AM

He could plan something in South Dakota following Lewis & Clark's expedition along the Missouri River, visit the Black Hills (Mount Rushmore), learn about General Custer and the Battle of Little Big Horn, camp in Custer State Park, and maybe drive through a native american reservation. Heard there is an excellent museum type place in Sioux City IA for Lewis & Clark.

It is funny how a thread can take an interesting turn. We are local to this area and just visited here this week.


A few years ago when she was 10! my daughter organized for our extended family to meet up at Yellowstone for a week. She called and made reservations, planned our itinerary, etc. Then my sister and I both got pregnant, due within a few weeks of the trip. She had to call and cancel everything. We were talking last night about how that might qualify for her EE. She could find a time that works for everyone, make all travel plans, organize lodging and food, plan hikes and help the younger kids with the ranger activities.


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#116 LAR

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 12:02 PM

Hi there! Thought I'd touch base as we have had some developments in regard to volunteer service.  DD had an interview and tour of a local hospital yesterday and was accepted into their teen volunteer program along with 12 other teens.  We were given a tour of the hospital in order to introduce the teens to the different floors and get a feel as to which area of the hospital might interest them.  DD didn't seem to care which floor, but was leaning toward the surgical floors or ER (which would be after she has more experience).  The duties are similar on all floors:  distribute waters/paper; hand out blankets/pillows; fill supplies; pick up a leftover food tray; etc.  In order to be in the programs, teens must volunteer for 8 hours a month - minimum shift is 2 hours.  They are given a yellow "teen volunteer" tshirt to start and then receive an embroidered collared shirt after completing 20 hours.  We have more paperwork to complete along with a background check and health screen, and then an orientation before she can start.  This process will take a month or so.  DD's just thrilled to have been accepted and has no trouble waiting another month.

 

DD was also accepted into a two week pre-med camp this summer, 8am to 4pm, which was one of her personal development goals. She attended the one week camp last year and loved it.  We're hoping for a similar experience this summer. 

 

Anyone else out there with some recent developments?


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#117 Jewels

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 12:48 PM

Awesome Lar! How exciting for your dd:)

#118 Vida Winter

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 12:29 PM

Does anyone have more than one advisor? I am currently torn between two possible advisors - each one has a particular strength. The one that would be the best career mentor is terribly busy.



#119 Jewels

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 05:58 PM

Super excited for my dd14. She met with her advisor and applied to volunteer at our local hospital. She's in the volunteer orientation now. She has already met with the librarian who has offered to let her volunteer for as many hrs as she likes signing up kids for the summer reading program. Our whole family has decided we would like to do more with the local food bank. My husband printed us all out applications. Wishing everyone well on your CA journey!
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#120 mirabillis

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 09:40 PM

We're plugging right along. Started in Jan - working toward our 7-month Bronze medal by Aug/Sept. Finished Physical Fitness, has about 15 more hours for Personal Dev left, and about 60 more volunteer hours. He too is volunteering at the library where he can earn as many hours as he wants whenever he wants. So now that it's summer, he tries to get there every day/every other day for a couple hours. I think he really enjoys all of these activities counting toward a 'goal' - I think it really helps with motivation. He has yet to plan for his 1 night overnight that has to occur this summer for Expedition/Exploration... But that's on the horizon. 


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#121 MelissaR

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 05:28 PM

I've created a private Facebook group for Congressional Award discussions
https://www.facebook...53819588432805/

 



#122 Penguin

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 12:09 PM

My son is currently taking Driver's Ed and I started thinking that it could be a good goal for Personal Development. He probably won't need the hours, but I am going to have him take a validation paper to the instructor at the the end of the course just in case.

 

I'm throwing it out here in case you need an idea for personal development. At least in my state, it is a very time consuming process. 

 

Presuming, of course, that the student does not also receive academic credit for it. 

 

If you have any arguments against Driver's Ed for personal development, I would be interested in hearing that as well.

 


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#123 journey00

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 04:14 PM

My daughter will be a senior in the fall.  Is it too late for her to do this now? She volunteers, and does service work for several churches.  I can't believe we just now heard of this.  Sigh.  

 


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#124 Jewels

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 09:23 AM

The Congressional award program is available for young people between the ages of 14-23, so yes, journey00 your daughter could easily join.

 


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#125 mirabillis

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 09:13 AM

I have a few questions/clarifications to see if you guys know the answer to.

 

My ds is finishing up his bronze medal for August.

 

1. He has 88 hours for Physical Fitness. He only needs 50 for the bronze. Do we report all 88, as it's under a single goal that we won't do again. And if we report it, do those 38 hours get rolled over and count when he goes for the silver medal next? And I think you don't report new hours, so will they know about them? (Same for service - we'll likely be over 100, so will those roll over too)?

 

2. He is undertaking his bronze medal 1 overnight/2 days exploration. (I pity my dh who has to go camping under my ds's planning - LOL! But it's all on him) So then we'll go for silver medal 2 nights/3 days. And then gold 4 nights/5 days. So that will be 3 total expeditions/explorations - right? Does he need to do anything further than just jumping right in at bronze medal 1 night/2 days (like the certificates - since we're just jumping in at bronze medal)?

 

3. And oh dear! Just reading over req'mts and realize each tenet needs 7 months minimum (for bronze). He has 5 months of physical fitness in which he accumulated 88 hours. Now we need to come up with another physical fitness goal for 2 more months! Eek! That will put us far over hours. But these roll over toward the silver/gold medals, I hope?! ;-)

 

TIA!! Good luck to all those on the path!

 


Edited by mirabillis, 25 June 2017 - 09:19 AM.

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#126 LAR

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 03:05 PM

It's been forever since I've been on the forum and had a few minutes to update our adventures. 

 

DD14 continues to plug away at the personal development.  Just last week she finished a two week medical camp which was one of her first personal development goals; that's 80 hours added onto her total.  It was an amazing 8 days full of hands on activities and rotations with hospital personnel;  she plans to apply for the four week camp next year.

 

Also in the area of personal development, her dance instructor asked her to return to a teacher/mentor position with a lower level ballet and tap class.  DD loved working one-on-one with these young dancers and seeing their growth over the last six months was very fulfilling.  I know she'll continue to enjoy this part of her CA goals.

 

She's still participating in a local ASL Club and attending deaf socials.  This doesn't amount to a ton of time, but she loves it and is becoming more active with each meeting and event.

 

Physical fitness was kind of a let down.  She had planned and worked on a backflip, flour combination piece to use in her first solo dance, but at the last minute, took it out.  She was scared and nervous.  So, while she put in hours of work, in the end, she changed her mind and didn't reach her written goal.  I'm still going to count these hours and she'll write up her thoughts after working for five months and not bringing it all to fruition.  (However, she did well on her first solo.  It was cute and sweet - nothing majorly technically but very much in our daughter's style.)  She's working now on a new physical fitness goal, possibly . . . increasing her push ups from . . . well, ZERO, to 20!

 

She still only has a handful of volunteer hours.  Back in April, she was interviewed and accepted into a local hospital's teen program but nothing has come of it.  The program has stalled and DD is so disappointed. We even bought the white sneakers and khaki pants!  We kept putting off anything else as she only wanted to commit to one volunteer program.  But we couldn't wait anymore, so she starts volunteering at the library on Thursday.  Not her first choice, but DD knows she needs to start putting in some time.    

 

DD only has one, one day trip under her belt.  We have nothing planned for the next couple months, as we don't leave the ac during Florida's summer months.  She's been talking about a train trip to Savannah, Georgia which I think would be very fun.  Hopefully, that all pans out.

 

And, Mirabillis, sorry but I'm no help answering your questions!  Hopefully, you've been able to secure some advise from others.

 

Well, that's all I have from the Gulf Coast! Happy 4th! 


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#127 PlotTwistMama

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 11:40 PM

We are just starting this process with my two teenagers.  This information is so wonderful!  Trying to find an advisor as we speak!


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#128 mirabillis

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 08:48 PM

Update from us. My ds sent in his Bronze Medal record book yesterday. And he's got some great goals lined up working toward his Silver Medal now. YAY!!


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#129 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 10:06 PM

Everything for the silver here except the E/E. I think she is going to go straight for the gold to avoid having to do two more E/E's. (Silver E/E and Gold E/E. If she goes straight for the gold, she only has to do one.)

 

Honestly on some days all the recording etc gets old. It seems like every.little.thing in her life is being recorded, measured, and scrutinized. (ETA: Not just for the award, but myriad other areas as well -- driving hours, books read, all activities, etc etc etc. Not to mention exams, quizzes, essays, standardized tests... constant scoring and evaluating and comparing.)

 

There is also some frustration regarding the E/Es. What she really wants to do might not count. Not sure if this varies by regional program manager or not, but I was a little taken back by comments about what is acceptable. If in the end what she wants to do doesn't count, I'm not sure I'll encourage her to try to jump their hoop and pass on her other plans. I'm feeling a little disillusioned and jaded by the whole process at the moment.


Edited by Woodland Mist Academy, 05 October 2017 - 08:05 AM.

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#130 Penguin

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 09:32 AM

So nice to "see" you WA :)

 

I could not have expressed the recording gets old sentiment any better than you did. Just know that I am in full solidarity on that one.

 

My DS is about an inch away from the silver medal with the exception of the E/E. I don't think he will have time to do the E/E until spring. 

 

I was pushing for him to finish the gold medal requirements by January of senior year so he could have it before high school graduation. It is doable in theory, but I have come to terms with him "only" reaching silver medal in high school. Thinking about the resumes that my post-high-school-age-children have written, high school accomplishments are quickly washed away. It could be nice to show a Congressional Gold Medal achieved during the beginning of the college years. And I doubt that the difference between silver and gold is going to matter in a college admissions decision. The bigger risk is fizzling out. 

 

ETA: Sorry for the disillusionment on the E/E. I hope what she wants to do can just be tweaked.


Edited by Penguin, 05 October 2017 - 10:02 AM.

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#131 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:05 AM

That's a good idea about doing the silver in high school and then finishing up the gold in early college. 

 

It occurred to me this morning that she could do the gold E/E and have it count for both the silver and gold. I had forgotten about that option. It's my understanding it will just need to be submitted twice, perhaps with more detail and explanation the second time. On the other hand, there is always the risk it wouldn't count the second time for some reason, which is the main reason she just wants to submit it for the gold. I guess at that point it would be a year or so later, so doing another E/E might not be that big of a deal. 

 

I was looking at the site recently and there is a picture with the gold medals ready for presentation and one of my first thoughts was More clutter... 

 

Thanks for you commiseration. It's much appreciated. You've also given us another option to consider.


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#132 mirabillis

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:06 AM

There is also some frustration regarding the E/Es. What she really wants to do might not count. Not sure if this varies by regional program manager or not, but I was a little taken back by comments about what is acceptable. If in the end what she wants to do doesn't count, I'm not sure I'll encourage her to try to jump their hoop and pass on her other plans. I'm feeling a little disillusioned and jaded by the whole process at the moment.

 

HUGS to you! sorry you are having some trouble. but remember it's such a worthwhile goal in the end. i know all the recording gets old. can she take on more of the workload? and if it's getting hard, think there will be less people going for it making the award all the more special. :-) (silver lining, perhaps?)

 

would you mind sharing what you're having problems with? might be helpful as we go forward too... i'm keenly interested in what you said " a little taken back by comments about what is acceptable."


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#133 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:33 AM

Is it a worthwhile goal? I know that sounds cynical, but I do wonder these days. She is doing everything anyway, and was doing it even before she started the process. Volunteering, physical fitness, personal development. It's just how she lives her life. Is it suddenly more worthwhile to have some stamp of approval. To be honest, in some ways it almost tarnishes it. I think I have read and overheard too many conversations with kids talking about only doing things for credit and/or applications. 

 

To clarify -- she is doing the official recording. I help a bit to make sure nothing falls through the cracks, but the ultimate burden is on her. 

 

I also wonder how impressive the Congressional Award truly is. I've read a range of views. 

 

There's your dose of negativity for the day.  :cheers2:    ;)


Edited by Woodland Mist Academy, 06 October 2017 - 07:30 AM.

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#134 Penguin

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:58 AM

That's a good idea about doing the silver in high school and then finishing up the gold in early college. 

 

(snip)

Just one more strategic thought to pass on for anyone thinking about going this route.

 

I am going to have my DS submit for the Silver Medal. That way, he can start over with four different voluntary service goals. His circumstances have changed (hello international move) and will radically change again once he graduates from high school. He needs to open at least two of those slots for the second 200 hours. He has two current volunteer gigs that should easily get him to the 300 range before graduation. And if he has the silver medal done, then the remaining 100 hours can go toward some as-yet-unknowable opportunity.


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#135 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 12:09 PM

 Thinking about the resumes that my post-high-school-age-children have written, high school accomplishments are quickly washed away. It could be nice to show a Congressional Gold Medal achieved during the beginning of the college years. 

 

Would you mind expanding on post-high school resumes? Do you mean graduate school, job applications, etc? We hadn't really given those much thought in connection with the award. As much as I hate the hoop- jumping and box-checking madness, I also want to be aware of the reality we live in and what is typically expected.


Edited by Woodland Mist Academy, 05 October 2017 - 12:13 PM.


#136 Penguin

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 12:28 PM

WA, I was specifically thinking of my older’s recent grad school application. He had to submit a resume with the application, and I don’t recall him putting anything on there from the high school years. It was all about what he had done after he started college.

ETA I think of it as similar to college apps finding middle school extracurriculars irrelevant.

Edited by Penguin, 05 October 2017 - 12:47 PM.

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#137 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 01:22 PM

Thanks!



#138 Burbank Mom

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 11:59 AM

We recently learned about this award.  My son is very interested and is starting to think about goals.  He also has several friends who are interested and they are going to get together to brainstorm about how to meet their goals in the different areas.  This is a fantastic forum and I'm looking forward hearing about what your children are doing in the 4 different areas.  The biggest hurdle we have seen is trying to find volunteer opportunities for middle school students.  Most of the things in our area require that the child be in high school.  We are also trying to figure out the EE.  Thanks for your posts and for sharing your experiences!


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#139 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 02:59 PM

Welcome!  :seeya:

 

Brainstorming with friends is a great idea! 


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#140 Meriwether

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:08 PM

I thought Dd14 would get more volunteer hours in the summer, but she got fewer instead. She has finally arranged to help at the elementary school again. They remembered her from last year and are very happy to have her back. She will be tutoring for four hours on Tuesdays, starting tomorrow. She has Latin class on Tuesdays and choir, too, for the next 6 weeks. And she watches a few little kids while I host FLL meetings. So she is going to only do math, Latin, and some reading on Tuesdays and do four day weeks on everything else.
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#141 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:08 PM

 

ETA: Sorry for the disillusionment on the E/E. I hope what she wants to do can just be tweaked.

 

Thanks, again. I think the stress of the PSAT was getting to me. Now that it's over, things don't seem quite so overwhelming. Also, there have been some changes with mentors due to serious illnesses and moving, so that's been disappointing and upsetting as well. (Not only for the award, but in her daily life. Losing trusted mentors/friends is rough...)

 

Onward.

 

We talked today about how to regroup, and it looks like she's found a way to get back on track and maybe be able to tweak the E/E to make it acceptable. If not, she has a possible plan B.

 

Thanks, everyone, for the encouraging words.


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