A Hamburg Girl Scout troop has been getting together under the leadership of troop leader Jutta Bausher of Hamburg since 2nd grade. The Girl Scouts are all now about age 77. The coronavirus changed their plans to meet in person this year but didn’t stop them from celebrating their troop leader’s 90th birthday.

"There was enthusiastic support from all of the first responders involved," said Hamburg Mayor George Holmes. "Often they help people at their worst moments; so it’s refreshing when they are able to help celebrate people’s best moments as well."

A surprise parade of 10 emergency vehicles and five cars, including her former Girl Scouts, drove by Bausher’s home during a small family picnic on Saturday, July 18.

“She just did so much with us,” said former Girl Scout Judy Romig, who credits much of her success in life to her childhood experiences with Bausher. “She’s given us so many memories and experiences.”

Over the years, they have all kept in touch and meet once a year. Romig said she occasionally calls just to talk.

Romig said they were supposed to meet in September for a covered dish event, maybe play Bingo and socialize like they normally do every year, but the pandemic canceled those plans. Bausher’s daughter requested a drive-by parade to celebrate Bausher’s birthday while socially distancing.

“We’re all more susceptible to the coronavirus,” said Romig, noting that Bausher is also a cancer survivor.

Romig, having email access and being a former Tilden Township council member, reached out to Hamburg Mayor George Holmes and the Tilden fire and police departments to request Hamburg and Tilden fire trucks and police vehicles drive by Bausher’s home.

“I want sirens and lights and horns,” said Romig about her request.

Tilden Township and Hamburg Borough police and fire trucks answered that call and joined the procession for the surprise parade.

“Bit by bit, this kept growing,” said Romig.

Prior to the parade, the Girl Scout troop sent Bausher balloons and flowers. On Saturday afternoon, July 18, while Bausher’s family gathered for a small outdoor picnic, Bausher was lead out front to see the surprise parade.

“Jutta was very surprised when she saw and heard the sirens,” said Joan Adams, event organizer and former Girl Scout.

Police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks from Hamburg and Tilden Township, plus five cars with members of her Girl Scout Troop, who have been reuniting since Jutta turned 60, came out for the drive-by surprise parade.

“The group was limited on how to celebrate this special birthday because of the coronavirus restrictions, so they did the drive-by which turned out to be a big success,” said Adams, adding that several of the Scouts did not attend because of the virus. “Flowers and several balloons also added to the success of the day!”

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