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War Service Award

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War Service Award

An article in the March 1918 issue of The Rally introduced the Girl Scout War Service Award. While the award served as recognition of accomplishments, its primary purpose was to “stimulate thoughtful direct effort what would have a distinct value to those engaged in the war.”

To earn this award, each Girl Scout needed to accumulate a total of three points as explained in The Rally article. Some of the tasks and their point values were: knit two pounds of wool for the Red Cross (one point); preserve fifty containers of jam or jelly (half point); secure subscriptions for ten Liberty Bonds in ten different homes (one point).

For the first three points earned, a girl received the War Service Award Pin. Earning additional points entitled the girls to wear their pins on different colored ribbons: blue; red; the tricolor red, white and blue; silver; or gold. To earn the blue ribbon, a girl was expected to repeat the activities of her first 3 points and then do a new activity that equaled 1 more point, for a total of 7 points. Using the same formula to earn additional ribbons required: red, a total of 15 points; tricolor, 31 points; silver, 63 points; and gold, 127 points.

In total, 2,129 War Service Pins were awarded, as well as 167 blue ribbons; 119 red ribbons; 92 red, white and blue ribbons; 23 silver ribbons; and gold ribbons.

U.S. Treasury War Service Award/Liberty Loan Medal

In the spring of 1918, the Girl Scouts worked closely with the Liberty Loan Committee to sell war bonds for the Third Liberty Loan Campaign. The Girl Scouts had worked in the first and second campaigns in 1917, but no records were kept of their work at that time. As plans were announced for the Third Liberty Loan Campaign, the Girl Scout organization worked with the National Liberty Loan Committee to coordinate the part it could play in this great task confronting the nation. Councils were urged to contact their local Liberty Loan Company to discuss how the girls could best help the cause. As a result, Girl Scouts marched in parades, did messenger work, hung posters, and served at local Liberty Loan Committees in hundreds of other unnamed ways. In addition, individual Girl Scouts and their officers were urged to sell as many Liberty Bonds as possible. The news was announced in June 1918 that every Girl Scout who had sold ten Liberty Bonds to different people in the third campaign would be officially recognized by the nation with the award of a special medal. An applicant submitted a record of her sales, certified by an adult Girl Scout and a member of the local Liberty Committee, to National Headquarters in order to receive this medal.

A Fourth Liberty Loan Campaign was conducted in the fall of 1918. The same bronze medal was awarded to those completing the requirements. Those individuals who completed the requirements a second time received a bronze bar on which the medal could hang.

In the Third Liberty Loan Campaign, Girl Scouts sold 12,742 bonds amounting to $3,151,000. In the Fourth Liberty Loan Campaign, they sold 39,987 bonds amounting to $6,023,550. Girl Scouts earned 416 medals for the Third Liberty Loan Campaign. In the Fourth Campaign, they earned 1,207 medals and 206 bars.

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