Scouts get behind-the-scenes look at city government


Tuesday was not just an average day for some local Boy Scouts who gathered at Seymour City Hall and had the chance to shadow local government officials as a part of the Scouts in Government Day event.

Some of the government offices being explored included the fire and police departments, airport, wastewater treatment plant, the office of Mayor Craig Luedeman and more.

The Scouts were from troops 526 and 529 in Seymour and ranged from fifth grade through early high school.

The day began with Luedeman announcing which government official each Scout would be paired up with, and then he asked the honorary mayor for the day, Boy Scout Dylan Peters, to step forward and sign the official proclamation for Scouts in Government Day.

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Once the proclamation was signed, Luedeman gave Peters a tour of the city hall, and Peters got a taste of the responsibilities of being mayor.

Peters learned that part of the mayor’s job is to bring economic development to Seymour, and he got to look at plans for the new park being built in town. He also found out the park is going to be more of an amphitheater where small concerts can be conducted.

Peters said they also got to drive around and see some potholes being repaired in the city by the Department of Public Works, which he thought was interesting.

“The mayor took me out and explained what the different departments do and what some of the future plans are for the city,” Peters said. “One thing I wouldn’t like about the job would be all the pressure that’s put on you.”

His brother, Jordan Peters, also is a Boy Scout, and he got to shadow Police Chief Bill Abbott for the afternoon.

“We practiced being policemen, and I learned some of the things they need to know for their job,” Jordan said. “They had two people training to be officers, so we got to go watch them, too.”

Jordan said he thought the most important parts of the police chief’s job are helping people and saving lives, but the downside is the possibility of being shot.

Scout Michael Proffer got a glimpse of what it takes to work at Freeman Municipal Airport with flight instructor and Freeman Army Airfield Museum curator Larry Bothe.

“I saw some cool stuff that I wasn’t expecting,” Proffer said. “Like there was an experimental engine from World War II and some other cool stuff I hadn’t seen before.”

Scouts Alexander Good and Carter Murphy visited the recycling department and Department of Public Works with director Bill Everhart to learn the ins and outs of the business.

Good said he learned that most of the things he would want to do would not be accepted as far as the recycling area would allow in the recycling of compounds.

“I learned how to make a sign and where all the cardboard goes when you recycle it,” Murphy said. “I think the neatest thing about this job would be driving the big crane machine that picks up the yard waste on the side of the road.”

Murphy said he participated in the event last year and got to shadow the airport manager, while this was Proffer’s first experience with Scouts in Government Day.

After the busy afternoon, the Scouts and city officials gathered back together at the city hall, where Luedeman held a question-and-answer period, allowing the Scouts and their parents to ask questions and to share the boys’ experiences from the event.

Larry Meyer, Hoosier Trails Council commissioner, and Dale Siefker, Hoosier Trails Council executive board member, were both on hand for the annual event, something they helped orchestrate.

“Dale and I grew up together as neighbors, and both of us were Boy Scouts in the 1950s and 1960s,” Meyer said. “Back then, the Scouts in Government Day was held where the old fire station used to be.”

The decision as to which Scouts get to participate in the special event can be done different ways. Some troop leaders choose which members will participate in the job shadowing, some draw names out of a hat or in Columbus, they’ve even held elections, Siefker said.

Siefker said the Scouts from Troop 526 plan to return to the city hall next week to attend a city council meeting to earn part of their merit badges.

“Back when we were Scouts, I shadowed a government official for a day,” Siefker said. “It teaches the boys about citizenship, and it’s good for them to know how the city government operates, too.”

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Boy Scout participants from 2018 Scouts in Government Day

Mayor: Dylan Peters

Police chief: Logan Bryant

Assistant police chief: Jordan Peters

Fire chief: Sammy Chandler

Assistant fire chief: John Brockman

Parks department director: William Smith

Clerk-treasurer: Austin Clark

Director of public works: Carter Murphy

Recycling department: Alexander Good

Building commissioner: Cooper Murphy

Wastewater treatment: Paul Bontrager

Airport manager: Michael Proffer


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