Some weeks ago I was looking for a good photograph of the late Catherine Pollard, the woman who became the first well-known de facto woman Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America. Ms. Pollard filled in in 1973 through 1975, when no one else could step into the job. This was back in the pre-intelligent Anthropocene, however; BSA’s National Council refused to accept her paperwork to be Scoutmaster, officially. Officially, BSA didn’t allow women to serve in that role.
Times changed. In 1988 BSA got smart and changed the rules so women could serve as Scoutmasters. Some alert person remembered Pollard’s fight to get recognition a decade earlier. Pollard was asked to sign up officially as the first woman Scoutmaster in 1988, and she did.
Now, I don’t recall why I needed it then, but there is an entire period of history prior to 1980, and for about 20 to 25 years before that, that is missing from internet archives. We need to do a better job of finding non-digital and non-digitized sources of photos, graphics, and other information from post-World War II times, and get them posted on the web, for the sake of history.
A kind reader named Brian sent us this photo. Thank you, Brian.
Catherine Pollard, first woman Scoutmaster in BSA history; in uniform with Troop 13 of Milford, Connecticut, in 1973 and 1975, unofficially. In 1988, when BSA changed rules, they asked Ms. Pollard to be the first registered Scoutmaster. Scoutmaster Pollard died in 2006.
To the memory of Catherine Pollard, whose bugle called dozens of youth to a lifetime of service, though there were those who thought she shouldn’t be tooting the horn at all.
(Y’all got other photos out there you should be sharing? Send ’em in.)