Much has been written about the legacy of former First Lady Barbara Bush, who passed away on Tuesday, April 17, at age 92. Commentators have noted her unusual position as a wife of one president and the mother of another; many tributes have also mentioned her extensive commitment to literacy promotion.

While in the White House, first ladies are also invited to be honorary president of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Mrs. Bush accepted eagerly and was active in many Girl Scout events.  She even attended the 1990 National Council Session in Miami to draw attention to the Girl Scout Right to Read program.

As her neighbor, not just in the White House but also at the Vice Presidential Residence, the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital had many opportunities to see and interact with her.

She spoke at the GSUSA 80th birthday celebration on March 12, 1992, held at the US Department of Agriculture atrium. Mrs. Bush helped launch a new national service project that day, “Girl Scouts Care for the Earth.”

An official photograph of the event appeared in the Summer 1992 Leader magazine:


, Girl Scout History Project
Leader Magazine (Summer 1992): 29.


But our council archives have several behind-the-scenes photos from that day. It is delightful to see Mrs. Bush and her friendly, unhurried interaction with a group of very nervous Girl Scouts.

The photograph below is my favorite. I went back to the original to see if there was any additional information, such as the girl’s name and what she is giving to Mrs. Bush. Could that be a sparkly yellow pom-pom SWAP? She seems fascinated by it!


, Girl Scout History Project
Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital Archives, March 12, 1992


We are fortunate that this busy first lady always made time for the Girl Scouts.

©2018 Ann Robertson


4 responses to “Remembering Barbara Bush”

  1. I love the photos;EVERYBODY IN FULL UNIFORM! I wish we could get the girls to go back to that!

  2. Thanks Ann. Always enjoy and appreciate your articles.

    1. Delia (Dee) deLassus Avatar
      Delia (Dee) deLassus

      Girl Scouts were always recognized when in full uniform. When I was a leader I always made sure each of my girls had a full dress uniform.. I would go to Salvation Army and Goodwill to get uniforms for girls that couldn’t afford them. My troop staid busy because we all had complete uniforms. We represented Girl Scouts to the highest level.

  3. […] few months ago, I wrote about former First Lady Barbara Bush and her involvement in the Girl […]

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