Once a Girl Scout Always a
Girl Scout - President of the Board, 1993-1996
Earlier this week I learned that the “one and only Sue Guthridge” passed away. In reflecting on her life, and her contributions to Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, I could come to only one conclusion…Sue was the best! The best of all possible volunteers. The best working partner one could imagine. And the best of all Girl Scouts.
She arrived in Nation’s Capital in the early ’80s after many years as a Girl Scout volunteer in various locations in the USA and Oversees. She joined the “training team” before her moving boxes were unpacked…and soon after joined the Board, bravely assuming chairmanship of the newly formed Property Task Force. Her job was daunting. Camps were oversubscribed and deferred maintenance was a massive problem. Sue was ready! She formed a task force of exceptional volunteers from throughout the Council and together they developed a comprehensive Property Plan that included:
- Full renovation and expansion of Camp Potomac Woods
- Reopening of Camp Coles Trip as a Sleepaway Camp
- Expansion of Camp Brighton Woods, including installation of a water system and construction of the “then new” lodge.
- Significant improvements to Camp May Flather
The next step for Sue was President of Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital.
Her dedication to volunteers and the Girl Scout Experience highlighted
all her work. We met for coffee regularly (before the days of
Starbucks) – and spent many evenings traveling around the council,
visiting events and talking with volunteers and girls. On many
weekends, her fabulous husband Bob traveled with her. Sue left no
stone unturned ... accepting every invitation to spread her positive
message about Girl Scouting to all who would listen.
When her term as President ended, she became a National Volunteer,
sharing her skills as a trainer and her passion for Girl Scouting
nationwide. She celebrated 60 years of Girl Scout Membership in 2019
and received almost every award that Nation’s Capital could
give…Thanks Badge II, Capital Award, and the Knox Award.
Working with Sue was one of the true pleasures of my career. We worked hard, laughed lots, and traveled thousands of miles. We wore our uniforms day and night and celebrated the achievements of each and every girl. We were inspired by the selfless contributions of volunteers, deepening our commitment (if that was even possible!) to the magic of this movement.
As I sit at my home in the mountains of California, and think about the challenges everyone is facing today, I can hear Sue urging us to carry on. To find a way to reach out to girls, because no generation should miss the life-changing experience of Girl Scouting. Sue is also reminding us that from the very beginning, volunteers were the heart and soul of this movement.
Thank you, Sue, for sharing so much of your life with Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital. Your legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of all the volunteers and girls – past, present, and future – who are the beneficiaries of your exceptional leadership.
By Jan Verhage
Former Executive Director
Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital
Sue’s husband Bob has asked that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Girl Scout Council Nation’s Capital in loving memory of Sue Guthridge. You can make an online contribution or mail a check to Betsy Thurston, Development Director, Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital, 4301 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite M-2, Washington DC 20008.
NOTE: We will be hosting a Remembrance for Sue’s friends via ZOOM on Wednesday, November 18th at 6pm. If you would like to receive the code to call in please send an email to Janet Burnettee at email@example.com.
Left to Right: Former Presidents of the Board of Girl Scouts
Standing: Kathy MicKinless, Angela Lancaster, Diane Tipton, Lidia Soto-Harmon, CEO, and Donella Brockington
Sitting: Barbara Lowis-Lehman, Lynn Heebner, Bobby Lerch and Sue Guthridge.