Father-daughter duo the only father-daughter licensed battlefield guides at Gettysburg

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Joy and Doug Boden

ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. —  It was a special Father’s Day for one father and daughter duo.

Joy Boden and her dad, Doug Boden, are licensed battlefield guides at Gettysburg National Military Park — the only father-daughter pair in the park’s guide history.

Making the story even more unique is that Joy became a guide first, and inspired her father to follow her footsteps when he retired.

Typically, they don’t give tours together, but they enjoy seeing each other on tours. Last year, they actually did get to share one special tour.

“Coming to work and having someone say, ‘we just saw your daughter. She’s just gone out on the bus,’ I say, ‘sorry I missed her. I’m going out on a bus, too.’ We may meet on the battlefield, and those meetings are always something special, not only for us, but also for the people on the tour, because we introduce each other to the people,” said Doug Boden.

“We’ve done one together. It was last year on Memorial Day. Our family has come to Gettysburg over 50 years. We celebrated our 50th Memorial Day with giving our family a tour. So my father rented a bus and the two of us did a tag-team tour. I did the setup and the first day. He did the second. We did the third together. That was a tour I will remember my whole life,” said Joy Boden.

It’s also a special milestone for Joy Boden, as women celebrate 50 years of females in tour guiding. While licensed guides have been at the national park since 1915, women were only allowed to join the ranks in 1968.

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