McKenzie Gerlicher’s Exhibit On Girl Scouting During The Manhattan Project On Display At Municipal Building

McKenzie Gerlicher of Troop 10074 chats with Los Alamos Living Treasure Ruth Lier who collaborated with her on a special exhibit at Los Alamos Municipal on Girl Scouting during the Manhattan Project. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

McKenzie’s mother Cathy Snelson watches her presentation at an opening reception for the exhibit. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


Troop 10074 Girl Scout McKenzie Gerlicher’s exhibit on Girl Scouting During The Manhattan Project is currently on display at the Los Alamos County Municipal Building. Gerlicher undertook the project for her Girl Scout Silver Award, which is the highest award that a Cadette Girl Scout can earn, and consists of a large service project that makes the world a better place.

For this exhibit, Gerlicher reached out to the community asking if anyone had artifacts or photos of women who were Girl Scouts during the Manhattan and Cold War periods.

“They were not allowed to register here in Los Alamos to keep Los Alamos a secret, so they weren’t an official troop. They had only nine girls at the start, but in the Cold War period, that number grew. They started doing more activities and even had their own ‘headquarters’ called the Girl Scout Little House. They used the Little House to host events and activities,” Gerlicher said.

One of the people that collaborated on the project with Gerlicher was Ruth Lier, a Los Alamos Living Treasure, who came to Los Alamos to teach science. While helping with her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop, Lier was instrumental in creating the Quemazon Trail. She donated her collection of Girl Scout memorabilia to the Los Alamos History Museum an Gerlicher was able to use some of those items in her exhibit. She was able to acquire a photo of a uniform that is in the museum’s archives to display so that the original would not fade if included in the display. Lier was one of the attendees at the opening reception for Gerlicher’s exhibit.

A girl scout uniform from the archives of the Los Alamos History Museum was photographed and the photo was used in the display is up. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

McKenzie Gerlicher stands in front of her which includes manuals, historic photos, books and awards. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

Karen Doebling and her Girl Scout daughter Julia Doebling at the opening reception. Photo by Maire O’Neill/loa

Jeanine Wood, left is a co-leader for Troop 10074 and she was McKenzie Gerlicher’s advisor for her Silver Award project. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

Ruth Lier and Los Alamos County Council Chair Randall Ryti at the opening reception. Photo by Maire O’Neill/