Monday, July 2, 2018

Girl Scouts in Virginia Beach earn their Inside Government Badge

 Girl Scout Troops 208 and 828 recently learned more about the inner workings of government from a Virginia Beach Delegate with the help of Girl Scout Junior Julissa.

Julissa led her troop to receive the Inside Government Badge after meeting Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler at the Beach Girls Rock seminar for fifth graders.

A requirement for the badge is to interview an elected official to learn more about their role in the government. While girls are working on the badge, they also can learn how to become active citizens. Julissa led a meeting to complete their badge requirements and invited Delegate Fowler to talk to the girls about the government and her role in it.

A week prior to their meeting, the girls learned some general information about how the government works, including how a bill becomes a law. When it came time to meet with Delegate Fowler, the girls were prepared and had a lot of questions.

Delegate Fowler was elected last year after beating incumbent Ron Villanueva. She explained to the girls that she never expected to be in the government. She was once a third grade teacher, and before getting elected, she became a Real Estate Agent. Once she got to the Virginia House of Delegates, she was placed in the Election Committee as well as the Science and Technology Committee, where she votes on bills that are related to those committees. While she explained how bills become laws, she also elaborated on the importance of talking to your local representatives to enact change in your community.

“If you don’t call, email or write a letter to your representative, they are not going to know what you want and what needs to be done,” she said.

After her talk, Delegate Fowler opened the floor to the girls and answered some of their questions. The girls asked questions about Amber Alerts, school shootings and how they can be active citizens.

This group of go-getter Girl Scouts shared with Delegate Fowler how they were already using their voices to change things in their community. The girls had been hard at work trying to get their neighborhood streets repaved because they hadn’t paved in over 30 years! The girls helped by having members of the community sign a petition to send to their elected official. Delegate Fowler applauded the girls for their hard work and told them who they could contact to get the roads repaved. 

After their questions, the girls held their own mock election where they each ran for different branches of the government. They even made signs and had campaign speeches prepared to share with the group. Then, they each voted with ballots and homemade voting booths.

From this experience, all of the girls learned a lot of different things about how the government works. Julissa learned that in order to be an active citizen, “you must speak to your elected officials so that they can help solve the issues in your community.”

Thank you, Delegate Fowler, for teaching the girls more about the government!