The award level structure is cumulative, meaning hours and months spent on one award level will automatically be counted towards the next level.
In order to earn a particular level of the award, participants must meet the following requirements in ALL four program areas.
Hours + Month requirements
Specifics on the hours and month requirements when earning the Congressional Award.
Spread out your hours
The purpose of the program is to set long-term goals. Your activities should be spread out over the months that you are working towards your goals. The month requirement refers to the months that you are actively working towards your goals in each program area.
Make each month count
You must complete at least one hour of activity in a month for that month to count.
Months of activity do not need to be consecutive.
Months & Program Areas
Months in a program area only count once.
Example: If you play ice hockey and soccer and you have activity for each in January 2019 you can only count January 2019 one time towards your Physical Fitness month requirement.
Max. hours of activity per day
No more than eight hours of activity per day.
Example: If your Voluntary Public Service activities include volunteering as a camp counselor, you may only count eight hours per day even if you are spending the night at the camp.
requirements + Rules
All the details you need to know to finishing gold in the Congressional Award program.
You must complete your activities prior to your 24th birthday.
You must set goals and complete activities in ALL FOUR program areas to earn the award. This includes meeting the hour AND month requirements for each program area based on the level of the award you are applying for.
All of your activities must occur after your Activity Start Date (the day that you register).
No double dipping! None of your activities should overlap between program areas. Activities that you complete towards one program area cannot be counted towards another. For example, Personal Development goals may include fitness activities such as dancing or team sports. However, make sure that none of your Personal Development activities overlap with your Physical Fitness activities.
You only need to submit your Record Book ONCE. Please do not send multiple copies. Similarly, when submitting revisions, you only need to submit the updated or revised Record Book pages.
Please only submit one Record Book at a time. Please do not send multiple Record Books for multiple award levels at one time.
You are allowed up to four Voluntary Public Service goals, two Personal Development goals, and two Physical Fitness goals for each Record Book submission. Additionally, you only need to submit one Expedition/Exploration that meets the minimum day or overnight requirements for the level you are applying for.
You may collaborate with others while working towards your goals. However, the activities and hours that are recorded on your Record Book should be ones that you completed as an individual.
You may set umbrella goals that include similar activities. For example, if your Voluntary Public Service goal is to help youth in your community, your activities to achieve this goal could include tutoring at the local library, assisting youth at the YMCA, and packing lunches at the food bank for local students.
Remember, as long as you are taking the steps to work towards your goals and can show improvement, it is alright if you do not achieve your goals!
If you have any disabilities or require special consideration, please let our office know. The program is flexible and we are happy to assist any way we can.
You may modify or change your goals and activities at each level of the award after each submission and approval.
You may start at any level that you choose. You can start with the Bronze Certificate or go straight for the Gold Medal. You can also go level by level or skip levels. Our office recommends that you submit a Record Book at a lower level to ensure that your goals and activities are approved before working towards higher levels.
The National Office cannot pre-approve any goals or activities. Once you have registered and met with your Advisor, we can provide initial feedback and suggestions.
If you skip award levels, once approved, you will automatically receive all lower levels of the award. For example, if your first Record Book submission is for the Silver Medal, once approved, you will also be approved for the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Certificates and the Bronze Medal.