In elementary school, nothing was better than a gold star for a job well done. Yes, a colorful A+ was nice. Yes, a 100 with a little exclamation point and a smiley face was cool. But nothing beat stickers, which were only doled out by the really cool teachers. And if that sticker was a gold star, it was the equivalent to ice cream after a little league win (i.e. pretty freaging awesome!)
I returned back to my love for gold stars in college when I was an RA. When someone did something really well, I would tell them they should get a gold star. They would just sort of laugh at first, until I actually took out my pack of them and put it on their hand or forehead. It's funny how something so simple could bring out a smile in people, even if they thought I lost my mind. It's as if it returned them back to their childhood when people made it a point to recognize and appreciate their accomplishments.