April 21, 2023
AUGUSTA—“From Margaret Chase Smith and Frances Perkins to Janet Mills, Rachel Talbot-Ross, Susan Collins, and Chellie Pingree—women with Maine ties have long been a powerful force in state national government,” says Troop 1051 Leader Leah Thibault.
All 11 Junior Girl Scouts from Troop 1051 visited the Maine State House to earn their Democracy for Junior’s badge and get a firsthand lesson in Maine’s state administration. During their visit to Augusta, the girls received a tour of the State Capitol and the Blaine House, one of Maine’s most notable homes, while learning all about state government at the very location it takes place in.
“They learned why Augusta is our capital, how laws are discussed in committees and voted on in the chambers, the role of the House Speaker and Senate President, and how they could participate,” says Leah.
The girls also got to briefly meet one of Westbrook’s three representatives, Morgan Rielly, who just so happens to be related to one of the troop members! Although the troop gained tons of new knowledge from their Augusta field trip, the topic of local and state government wasn’t entirely foreign to them.
“Back in December, we actually hosted Westbrook Mayor, Mike Foley, for a Q&A with our troop and Troop 1091, where he discussed his role within the city and how laws are made at the local/municipal and state level,” says Leah.
Overall, the girls had a blast exploring the ins and outs of state government, and some of their favorite parts were the fun facts they learned about along the way such as Amelia Earhart and a pet alligator visiting the Blaine House and the fossils kept in the Capitol floor.
“My biggest hope from the work that we did on this badge is that my Juniors have learned that the people who makes laws, whether for our city or our whole state, are just regular people […] and that the work of government and making laws isn’t something far away or abstract, it’s something they can be involved in both as an adult and now,” says Leah.