The Hall County courthouse was the scene of some major girl power Friday when Girl Scouts toured the building and took part in exercises to earn their citizenship badges.
Organized by Girl Scout leader and Probate Court Judge Patty Walters Laine, the event was not just a way to earn a badge but to encourage the girls to become engaged in community affairs.
“I wanted to let every kid in Hall County see what the courthouse is, and to see what women are doing in our courthouse,” Laine said.
The girls toured the security center of the courthouse, getting to step inside prisoner holding cells and acting in a mock trial. They also got to see a demonstration by the bomb-sniffing dogs.
After the tour, they broke into age-appropriate groups where they learned different civic responsibilities, including how to vote.
Virginia Hill and Louisa Leimbach took part in a debate over the merits of television.
“We were disagreeing and agreeing on the choices you have to make,” Hill explained about the debate. “Whether to watch TV a little bit longer, or go clean your room.”
“I would watch just a little bit longer, and then go clean my room,” Leimbach said. “You have to clean your room, because you just have to. And you can always go back to the TV because it’s always going to be there.”
They both agreed that the debate was their favorite part of the day, while Leyla Kuzenicki, 8, liked the canine demonstration.
“I learned to help the community by not littering,” Kuzenicki said. She said she thinks she will work in the courthouse one day.
Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin led a group out to look at local landmarks. “I was very impressed that they knew the words to the patriotic songs,” she said.
Laine said that working together and being engaged in the community is what being a Girl Scout is all about.
“I think it’s good because they get to work with another girl on a project,” she said. “They get to work with a whole troop of girls. They get to see things they wouldn’t get to see otherwise.”
Other community leaders scheduled to take part were Superior Court Judge Bonnie Oliver, Chief Magistrate Judge Margaret Gregory, Magistrate Court Judge Elizabeth Reisman, Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard and Hall County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee.