Lady Baden Powell Find

Phyllis Gay of Arizona Cactus Pine recently offered me a box of color slides of Lady Baden Powell. She said the World Chief Guide appeared to be having tea in Washington, DC.

Of course, I said yes! When the package arrived, I pulled out my slide scanner and found a delightful moment in time.

The slide frames are dated March 1962, so I assume they are from the Girl Scout 50th Birthday Celebration.  That was an enormous event, held at the US Government Departmental  Auditorium on March 11, 1962. Ambassadors from 51 countries attended, with Lady BP as the keynote speaker. The coveted event tickets for “A Salute to Youth” were carefully rationed among the five councils in the Washington area: National Capital; Arlington County, VA;  Alexandria, VA; Southern Maryland; and Northern Virginia. The five combined forces into Nation’s Capital in 1963.

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The photos show a very animated Lady BP at a tea for leaders, possibly held at the Rockwood National Camp just outside Washington.  The reception might also have been at the home of Gertrude “Bobby” Lerch, who was president of the National Capital Council at the time.


Lady Baden Powell and Gertrude “Bobby” Lerch

Lady BP stayed with the Lerch family during her visit. Bobby passed away in 2014 (age 104), but she often recalled that visit; Lady BP apparently could be a somewhat high-maintenance house guest!

Does anyone recognize the other guests?


A tribute to my Friend  Gertrude “Bobby” Lerch

A tribute to my Friend Gertrude “Bobby” Lerch

We lost a true piece of GSCNC history last month, our council’s first president, Gertrude “Bobby” Lerch. What an incredible legacy she left for us.

CapiTalk Blog

In Memory of Gertrude “Bobby” Lerch
First President of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s CapitalImage

By: Lidia Soto-Harmon

Over the past 50 years, Gertrude “Bobby “ Lerch rarely missed a Girl Scout event, quite an accomplishment for a 104 year old woman. She was the first president of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, and I met her ten years ago when I joined Girl Scouts. She was a young 94 back then. I was struck by her sense of humor, her “tell it like it is” directness, and her deep passion for girls and the Girl Scout Movement. On March 10, we presented Bobby with the 90-Year Longevity Award to celebrate nine decades as a Girl Scout. Four weeks later she passed away at home, surrounded by her loving family.

In the last ten years, I have had many occasions to visit with Bobby to…

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