Girl Scouts of the USA is 100 Years Old and Has a Centennial Coin

by JudithG

by Judith Glynn. Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts in Savannah, GA and where her home is a museum. USA Mint releases Centennial Silver Dollar in a limited edition.

Even in the male-dominated late 1800s, Georgia socialite Juliette Gordon Low was a trailblazer, one not content to rest on her finishing-school laurels or submit to her troubled life. At 26, she was living in England, married to a carousing husband and despondent by her childlessness. She was widowed by 44, partially deaf and searching for her life's meaning.

In 1912, she returned to her Savannah birthplace and founded the Girl Scouts with 18 participants. Today, there are 10 million members in 145 countries. It’s no wonder Savannah needed a year that ended March 2013 to celebrate Juliette and the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary. On February 28, 2013, the U.S. Mint released the Girl Scouts Centennial Silver Dollar, one of two commemorative programs scheduled for this year.

2013 Girl Scouts Centennial Silver Dollar

This special, uncirculated Silver Dollar can be purchased at the Girl Scouts Shop in Savannah or from the U.S. Mint. 

It was struck with greater force to produce its intricately detailed image. The obverse (heads side) design was inspired by both the historical and contemporary aspects of Girl Scouting and by its mission statement. The 100th anniversary Trefoil symbol signifies the centennial anniversary. The reverse (tails) design depicts the iconic Profiles of Girl Scouts of the USA with the inscriptions United States of America, E Pluribus Unum, $1 and Girl Scouts. Price is $55.95.

Juliette Gordon Low

Juliette Gordon Low's quest to be useful in life materialized when she met Sir Robert Baden-Powell of England, founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. When she returned to her native Savannah where she was known as "Daisy", her interest in the new youth movement led her to found the Girl Scouts.

Its creed emphasized homemaking, usefulness, fun and the careers she envisioned could prepare Scouts for unexpected turns. All girls were welcome, despite their background, and especially those with disabilities. Juliette was familiar with being disadvantaged all her life, beginning with deafness, back problems and cancer. She was renowned for her athletic prowess and standing on her head, which she did on every birthday to prove she could still do it.

Juliette died from breast cancer at 66 but saw her beloved Girl Scouts grow into the most influential organization for girls and women in the United States. Notable former Scouts are Hillary Clinton, Barbara Walters, Jessye Norman and many others.

She was buried in Savannah, dressed in her uniform. 

On April 26, 2012, The White House announced that President Obama posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low. The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, recognizes individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".

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Girls Scouts of USA Museum

Any visit to Savannah should include a stop at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. Located in the city center's Savannah Historic District, the English Regency townhouse built in 1821 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been elegantly restored to reflect the 1880s. A short guided tour highlights two floors filled with original artifacts to reflect the former era and some of Ms. Low's art work. A media room runs a continuous introductory slide show. Expect to see Girl Scout troops at any time since this is Mecca for the organization.

There's a lovely garden beside the house and open to visitors. The Museum Store is packed with Girl Scout memorabilia and gift ware, all well priced and first-rate quality. Badges,patches, stuffed animals, numerous Scout memorabilia and the Birthplace Pin is an official recognition earned during the Birthplace visit. Buy on-site or online. 

Celebrate in Savannah

Savannah is chock full of events for individual Scouts or troops. A few are: Old Town Trolleys Tours has several tours when Scouts can earn a Discover Savannah Try-It Badge, Trolley Badge or IP Badge.  PB'NJ Tours customizes for troops or individual Scouts, especially its Walking Ghost Tour to learn about Savannah's haunted history. A complimentary patch is also given. Visit Savannah has a page dedicated to Scout-friendly activities. 

Badges, Pins and Fun Galore

Most vendors here offer special discounts. Leopold's Ice Cream is an original vintage soda fountain with a Girl Scout Picnic Lunch Special and badge. Leopold's Ice Cream Patches

One Thousand and One Nights at the Casbah Moroccan Restaurant is complete with a brief belly dancing lesson, plus discounts. The Ghost Walk, Ghost Tour doesn't guarantee sightings but the actor-storytellers take participates to where ghosts were seen. Paula Deen began her renowned food empire delivering brown-bag lunches to Savannah's Girl Scout troops. Specials are available at her The Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba's restaurants. Badges and patches complete the visit here. Coastal Heritage Society has one patch for three completed activities. Savannah Dan’s Walking Tours offers three badges on one tour.

Girl Scout National Headquarters and Museum in New York

The Girl Scouts national headquarters offers a tour of its New York City facility, open to the public and by reservation. It's located in Midtown at 420 Fifth Avenue, near the Empire State Building, and has a museum. Troops are encouraged to participate in focus groups to help design new programs, for instance, and speak freely about what they want their "girl-led" organization to be.

StudentsLive programs can arrange for Scouts to meet a Broadway performer or other behind-the-scene opportunity, which fulfills patch and badge theatre arts requirements.  


If You Go to Savannah

The joy of Savannah is its walkability, plus the DOT Free Fare express shuttle, ferry and streetcar lines. Georgia’s enchanting city located alongside the Savannah River has 21 city squares that abound with flower beds and oak trees, all adorned with swaying Spanish moss. Accommodations are excellent.  Contact Savannah's official visitors center or call 1-877-SAVANNAH for more information.

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Updated: 11/24/2013, JudithG
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


fitzcharming on 06/13/2013

I was a Girl Scout back in the day. We learned about Juliette Gordon Low. Hard to believe it's been 100 years.

JudithG on 06/12/2013

Thanks again for your comments.

kimbesa on 06/12/2013

Very interesting! A great program that has help lots of young people!

JoHarrington on 06/11/2013

I didn't know that Juliette Gordon Low was deaf. As someone partially deaf myself, that's quite inspiring.

WriterArtist on 06/11/2013

I have always marveled at the scouts. Great way of engaging youths and their energy.

JudithG on 04/05/2013

If you ever get to Savannah where the Scouts were founded, visiting the Birthplace is really special. I was never a Scout but wish I had been.

dustytoes on 04/03/2013

I used to be a Girl Scout - way back! I now live very close to Camp Chenoa on Gregg Lake in New Hampshire where the girl scouts come to enjoy the great outdoors each summer! I am all for anything that helps our youth.

JudithG on 04/01/2013

As always, Katiem, thanks for the support.

katiem2 on 03/30/2013

Oh my what a beautiful coin. Girl Scouts are a wonderful tradition and a great cause for celebration. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. :)K

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