Challenge coins are collector’s items that bear special meaning to both the giver and receiver. The first Scott County Schools challenge coins were presented to award-winning Scott County High School dance and cheer team members at the March meeting of the Scott County Board of Education. Emblazed with the district insignia, the coins are presented for worthy achievements and contributions to Scott County Schools.
History of challenge coins date back to the Roman Empire where coins were presented as a bonus to soldiers. Minted with a special mark, it was common for soldiers to hold on to the coin as a keepsake instead of spending it with the day’s pay.
Stories from World War I tell of a pilot who received a bronze medallion from his commanding officer. He was later trapped behind enemy lines. The coin became of form of identification when he was found by US forces. Such coins were presented for exemplary service and to boost morale. The owner was immediately recognized as part of a special club.
The challenge began in Germany after World War II when soldiers were challenged to keep the coins on their person so that it could be easily accessed at any time. The long-standing tradition exists still today.
Every United States President since Clinton has tokened his own challenge coin. Coins are used for on-the-spot awards and presented for meritorious service. The trend has extended to various branches of government and civic organizations. The United States Secretary of Education has a unique challenge coin. Today they are presented formally and by secret handshake in a number of countries by a variety of agencies including Eagle scouts, law enforcement, and professional athletes.
The SCS Challenge Coin and the presentation of coins to members of the SCHS Dance Team.