After being married for ten years and with two young children at home, Pat and Cliff Baker arrived in Lewisburg in 1978, enriching the Greenbrier Valley with their professional skills and their community involvement. Cliff was employed as a Software Engineer by Bendix, which eventually evolved into ABB. As a librarian Pat was enlisted to establish and co-manage the all-volunteer library at Lewisburg Elementary School. Cliff found his true calling as he served as the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 70 for over 35 years.
During Cliff’s tenure at the helm of Troop 70, a number of Assistant Scoutmasters joined him in the troop’s leadership. Pat remained a committed helper for all those years in addition to being a Girl Scout leader for six years. Her organizational abilities became evident as she shuffled and expedited the completion of forms for Scout Camp and numerous trips, served as the unofficial chair of the social committee for the troop, provided support for the many fundraising activities, and ran numerous errands – some planned in advance and the occasional spur of the moment delivery of forgotten items.
Pat has also been very active in the community. Beyond co-establishing the library at Lewisburg Elementary, Pat worked at the Open Book, was involved in the creation and implementation of TOOT, and has united with Cliff in their very active support of Carnegie Hall and GVT. She has served on the Greenbrier County Library Board and the Lewisburg Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.
During Cliff’s tenure as Scoutmaster, Troop 70 made five treks to Philmont (the Scout ranch at Cimarron, New Mexico) and numerous international trips, giving hundreds of boys the opportunity to visit Iceland, England, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan. The very active outdoor program featured numerous backpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail, the mountains of New York and New England, weekends in the Cranberry Back Country, rappelling, skiing, and caving trips, and an annual canoe trip on the Greenbrier River. Perhaps as many as a thousand boys benefitted from Cliff’s leadership, and over 75 young men earned the rank of Eagle.
In addition to Scouts, Cliff has been instrumental in the creation of Montwell Park and serves as the President of the Board. He is a charter member of the West Virginia Woodturners Association, and has restored the 1956 VW Beetle in which he and Pat courted. Cliff and Pat are the parents of Andy and Kathy and the proud grandparents of Mikaela.
Upon the retirement of Cliff as the Scoutmaster of Troop 70, a group of friends and colleagues in Scouting was formed to celebrate the Bakers’ gift of over 35 years of leadership in scouting. It was the hope of the committee to host a community dinner, offering former scouts of Troop 70, parents, and friends the opportunity to express appreciation for the Bakers many contributions to the community. Due to COVID, the committee has twice canceled this event. While it is the sincere hope of all that we will soon be able to gather and celebrate the Bakers, it is time to move to the next step in honoring the Bakers. Recognizing the Bakers’ commitment to the youth of the Greenbrier Valley, a scholarship has been established through the Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation to be presented annually to a young person who exemplifies the Bakers’ commitment to community service in pursuit of higher education.
Contributions to the Baker Scholarship Fund may be made by checks to Greenbrier Valley Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1682, Lewisburg, WV 24901, or visiting the Foundation website, www.gvfoundation.org. Please mark all contributions for the Baker Scholarship Fund.