Members of a Girl Scout troop from Seymour recently spent an afternoon learning about what it takes to run a city of nearly 20,000 people.
The visit by Troop 1239 to Seymour City Hall on March 12 included spending time with the people who do that, including Mayor Matt Nicholson, who just took office Jan. 1, and some of his department heads.
Girls Scouts in City Government Day was organized by Troop Leader Missy Casner.
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This is the second time the event has been held in conjunction with Seymour city government. The other time was in 2018, while Casner led the troop in a Girls Scouts in County Government Day in Brownstown in 2019.
The plan is for the Girl Scouts to alternate between working alongside city and county governments from year to year, Casner said.
While she is motivated by providing educational events and helping her girls earn badges, Casner also said she simply enjoys seeing how happy events such as the Girls Scouts in City Government Day make them.
“I love working with the girls and helping them do things that get them out in the community. The smile on their faces says it all,” Casner said.
Each Girl Scout, accompanied by an adult, was paired with a city official for the afternoon.
Savanna Moore, for instance, worked with Nicholson, while Casner’s daughter, Macy Casner, shadowed Police Chief Bryant Lucas.
Shalei Brooks helped Battalion Chief Anthony Walker with the Seymour Fire Department, Alyssa Fields worked with Clerk-Treasurer Darrin Boas, Avery Williams was with Department of Public Works Director Chad Dixon, Maeleigh Banister was with Bernie Bryant with the recycling department and Jasmine Barger was with Seymour Transit Manager/Dispatcher Edie Otte.
The day began with Nicholson and Moore signing a proclamation officially marking March 12 at 2020 Girl Scouts in City Government Day.
Moore, a student at the Seymour Middle School Sixth Grade Center, said her experience as honorary mayor taught her that mayors are very important.
“They sign bills and then make important decisions for the city,” she said. “They have secretaries and people that keep them in line. They have people that help them make decisions and help them figure out what needs to be fixed.”
Moore said she enjoyed her time as mayor and found it interesting but said she couldn’t see herself doing it in the future. Her hope is to pursue a career in law enforcement.
The Girl Scouts spent a couple of hours with their new colleagues learning about their respective positions.
Macy Casner, an eighth grader at Seymour Middle School, spent much of her time as police chief on patrol.
“We patrolled the city,” she said. “We actually had to stop because there was a box in the middle of the road with cinder blocks in it. It was pretty calm, though.”
While Casner said she had fun, she doesn’t think she will pursue a career in law enforcement. Instead, she hopes to become a meteorologist.
Brooks, a fifth-grader at Emerson Elementary School, said she learned quite a bit during her time as honorary fire chief.
“I got to look at all of the fire stations and learn about what they do, what’s in the fire station, what they do on a daily basis, what time they get off work, what time they start,” she said. “It was pretty cool.”
Brooks said she enjoyed it so much that she may even consider becoming a firefighter in the future.
Williams, a fifth-grader at Emerson Elementary School, spent the day learning about the many things the Department of Public Works does to maintain the city.
“They work on roads, recycling and trash,” she said. “I got to learn about recycling, and I got to learn about what they do for their jobs.”
She even got to make a street sign of her own, which said “Avery Ave.”
While she said she had a good time, Williams was unsure whether or not she would pursue a career with the department.
Emerson Elementary School fifth-grader Maeleigh Banister learned about the city’s recycling process.
“I learned about what they built, how they do it and what you can recycle and what you can’t,” she said. “We learned what they do, how they run the trucks and how they make signs.”
Banister also made a sign of her own, which said “Mae’s Place.”
Alyssa Fields, a fifth-grader at Seymour-Redding Elementary School, worked alongside Boas and learned about the functions and duties of his position. She, however, has her sights set on a different role with the city.
“I thought the mayor was the best because of his words,” she said.
When asked what role she would like to have in the future, Fields quickly responded, “I’m set on the mayor.”