The power of friendship and leadership for young women will be
celebrated with the release in 2013 of $1 silver commemorative coins
marking the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts USA.
The coin designs were officially unveiled Sept. 22 during a Girl
Scout gala dinner and fundraiser at the Hall of State at the State
Fair of Texas in Dallas, according to Anna Maria Chávez, Girl Scouts
of the USA Chief Executive Officer.
Chávez told Coin World in an interview on Sept. 19 that
in 2009 more than 40,000 messages, in the form of email and telephone
calls, were sent to members of Congress by current and former Girl
Scouts, parents and other supporters asking them to vote for
legislation authorizing the coins.
Congress heard those messages loud and clear and approved
legislation authorizing production of not more than 350,000 silver
dollars dated 2013 with designs “emblematic of the centennial of the
Girl Scouts of the United States of America.”
Legislation becomes law
On Oct. 29, 2009, President Barrack Obama signed the Girl Scouts
USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act into law. Chávez said the
signing ceremony in the Oval Office included the honorary president of
the Girl Scouts, Michelle Obama. Chávez said every First Lady back to
Lou Henry Hoover in the late 1920s has served as the Girl Scouts
Chávez said many people made the coin a reality including Rep.
Jack Kingston (R-Georgia), who introduced legislation in the House of
Representatives and Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) and Susan
Collins (R-Maine) who introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
The law authorized a $10 surcharge per coin to be distributed to
the Girl Scouts of the United States of America to be made available
for Girl Scout program development and implementation.
Some of the funds will be used to renovate the birthplace of Girl
Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Ga., and to create new
programs such as financial literacy to become part of the training
offered to Girl Scouts.
Chávez said scouting officials will be using social media to get
the word out about the coins that will go on sale in 2013.
“Investing in girls is the best investment people can make in this
country,” she said. “They are a valuable asset for the future and we
need them to opt-into leadership. We provide a safe place to learn and
supporting adults. We allow girls to discover things around them. Our
goal is to serve more girls.”
Once it came time to design the coin, Chávez said employees at the
Juliette Gordon Low birthplace provided historical memorabilia to
United States Mint artists. Low organized the first two Girl Scout
troops, in Savannah, Ga., on March 12, 1912.
“Girl Scouts USA worked very closely with the U.S. Mint to provide
information to their artists,” Chávez said. “They shared that Girl
Scouts value diversity. Our mission [statement] is ‘Girl Scouting
builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world
a better place’.”
Chávez said there were 10 designs created by U.S. Mint artists.
The final design was selected by the secretary of the Treasury after
consulting with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America and
the Commission of Fine Arts. The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee
also reviewed the designs.
The obverse of the coin depicts three girls representing the
different levels of Girl Scout membership. The date 2013 and the Girl
Scout trefoil logo with numeral 100 superimposed are below the
portraits. The words COURAGE, CONFIDENCE and CHARACTER, taken from the
Girl Scout mission statement, are above the portraits.
The reverse has the denomination of $1, E PLURIBUS UNUM, UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA and the Girl Scout logo highlighting the diversity
among its members.
Chávez has been crisscrossing the country in the 10 months since
she became CEO to promote Girl Scouts and their centennial celebration.
Chávez is among the 59 million women who were once Girl Scouts.
She was born in Arizona and said what she learned about friendship and
leadership in her Girl Scout troop “gave me the courage to go to law school.”
She served as head of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas in 2009
and in August 2011 was elected as CEO and took office in November. She
is now part of the leadership responsible for the 3.2 million members
who serve in 236,000 troops throughout the United States and its
territories. Girls in more than 92 countries participate in USA Girl
Scouts Overseas. ■