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Girl Scout leaders 'Salt and Pepper' leave lasting legacy in Richmond

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 18:22:59-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- After decades of service, two Richmond women are stepping away from the Girl Scouts, leaving a lasting legacy on hundreds of young girls in Central Virginia.

Gloria Lucas, 81, teamed up with Catherine Perrin to lead a Girl Scout Troop together.

Lucas calls Perrin her sister from another mother.

Each woman has more than 50 years as a leader in the Girl Scouts.

"We build girls with character and courage to make a change and make the world a better place," Lucas said.

When Lucas' original troop co-leader was no longer able to serve, she said she twisted Perrin's arm to join her in leading.

She said she started singing a girl scout camp song "Buddies and Pals."

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"You and me we’re going to be partners.. you and me we’re going to be pals," she sang.

The two partners and pals have led together ever since.

They also have a special Girl Scout duo camp nick — Salt and Pepper.

Lucas, who is Black, said she is Pepper. Perrin, who is white, is Salt.

While the nickname has stuck, Lucas said many scouts questioned names since Perrin's hair looks more like pepper and Lucas' hair is white like salt.

The friends then realized they represented something they didn't intend to teach.

“I had tears in my eyes and had to turn my back on the girls and I looked at Catherine and I said Catherine they don’t see skin, they just see hair. Isn’t that wonderful," Lucas said.

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Perrin said that symbolizes what society could become. While she acknowledges they have their cultural differences she said the two are not different.

The duo recently attended their last Girl Scouts meeting before retiring together. There they received a lifetime achievement recognition.

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“I think it sets a wonderful example for the girls, and I think it’s been life-changing for the both of us," they said.

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