Vintage Girl Scout Online Museum


Girl Scout Life Saving and War Service Awards




Girl Scouting has a long history of placing civic duty above personal needs.

 They were ready, willing and able to pitch in where and when they were needed as early as World War I.


Life Saving Awards

Bronze and Silver Cross for Saving Life.          

The early Life Saving Cross came in at least 3 different designs -
 the one not shown here has a "GS" at the bottom of the cross.

Gilt Medal of Merit.

Silver or Gilt Medal of Merit  

Girl Scout Bronze Cross

Life Saving Medal
Established to honor great heroism
on the part of a girl, including putting one's life
at great risk to save another's life.


Girl Scout Silver Cross

Life Saving Medal
Established to honor significant heroism,
 including putting one's life at risk.

Earlier titles were Badge of Merit and Gilt Medal of Merit
This award was basically a "character" award,
 for being an outstanding Girl Scout, but not having put one's life in danger.
At one point is was required to have earned this medal
to achieve the Golden Eaglet.
Requirements changed over the years,
causing confusion and the award was discontinued in 1925.


1937 -1986

Girl Scout Honorable Mention In Life Saving

Medal of Honor - 1987, replaced Honorable Mention Award

World War I era

Girl Scout War Service Medal


Girl Scout War Service Medal - awarded to Girl Scouts
in the 1918 Third Liberty Loan and Fourth Liberty Loan programs.
 Girl Scouts sold Liberty Bonds or performed war-related work.
If a Girl Scout had already earned the War Service Medal
in the Third Liberty Loan program, she would receive a matching bar pin
 to attach to the medal - if she participated in the Fourth Liberty Loan program.

Girl Scout War Service Pin

Earning this pin was meant to encourage girls to give
thoughtful, direct service in the war effort.
3 points earned the pin, with additional points earning color-coded ribbons.
A sample listing of point earning tasks:
knitting wool for the Red Cross,
canning jams and jellies,
selling Liberty bonds.

Attached is a photo of a WWI troop War Service Award flag. 
The flag is made of silk, hand-stitched, measures 35" x 23",
and has a red-white-blue ribbon, imprinted in gold, attached at the top. 
The ribbon reads, [blue portion]= "GIRL SCOUT TROOP No. 1 -- WINCHESTER, MASS." ;
  [white portion]= "THIRD LIBERTY LOAN" ; 
 [red portion]= "FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT NO. 1".

The blue sign on the frame is not part
of the original presentation piece
 (it's an explanation for visitors to our museum).
We took this to the Antiques Roadshow
 taping in Los Angeles 8 or 9 years ago,
and they couldn't find anyone who could give an appraisal for it.
Best regards,
Ernie Altvater

World War II era

Thought to be the oldest style
dark green, rounded top on trefoil

dark green, concave on top of trefoil

light green, concave on top of trefoil

Girl Scout Community Service Pin Description

from catalog
After World War I ended, Girl Scouting
 continued with the popular service pin program,
changing the name to Community Service program.

The Community Service Pin program lasted from 1922-1931,

 encouraging girls to give useful service in their local community.

Points were earned and recorded in a girl's personal log book

 and once the pin was earn, color coded ribbons were issued.

Girl Scout Service Bureau Pin 1941-1945

Girl Scout Service Bureaus sprang up in the early 1940's
in a respond to Girl Scout pleas as to how they could help
 their country during the war effort.
Using lists created by local councils,
girls selected projects and when completed,
 they could wear this 1/2" red enamel trefoil pin on their uniform.
This pin could be earned by Brownies, Intermediates and Senior. 
Original cost - 5 cents.

These pins are the same size as the Service Bureau Pin (above).
 No information is known about them,
if they were part of the Service Bureau program, or later. 

Seeking any information on these pins!

Janet Hill wrote:
I have the pamphlet that came with the  brass service bars you show.
There is no publication date.
The cover reads" At Their Country's service" Girl Scouting is National Defense.
 There are twelve suggested activities as " training for victory" 
along with the requirements for each . They are
1. Fit for Service
2. Safety
3. First Aid
4. Communication
5. Transportation
6. Loyal Citizen
7. Thrift
8. Home-making
9. Foods
10. Out-Door Skills
11. Community Service
12. Girl Scout Volunteers for Victory
Janet Hill, Archivist
Girls Scouts of Western New York



1943 War Bond pin showing the Girl Scout,

Camp Fire Girls and Boy Scout emblems.



Seeking any information on this pin!