Dream big

After meeting Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman, a couple members of Girl Scout Troop 1239 said they think they have what it takes to someday be mayor.

Macy Casner, 9, said she didn’t realize what all the mayor is responsible for, but she felt she could handle it.

“I think I could help the community be a better place,” she said. “I think it would be good to improve Seymour.”

Claire Urbanski, 8, learned the mayor is in charge of the police and fire departments, along with other city officials. She said she would like that role.

“I would like to be in charge of everybody because you can boss people around,” she said.

On Aug. 7, 11 of the 16 troop members, along with troop leader Missy Casner and parent Christine Soriano, visited city hall, the police station, the future site of the city museum, Kovener’s Korner and the health department.

The purpose was to learn more about how the city operates while earning Girl Scout badges. The girls are Juniors (fourth and fifth grades) and Brownies (second and third grades), and they each earned three or four badges.

Missy Casner came up with five questions for each stop on the tour that helped the girls earn badges.

At city hall, for example, the girls learned about the city’s flag. Luedeman also shared that it takes $16 million per year to operate the city, the population is around 18,500 inside city limits and he oversees the fire, police and trash/street departments.

Luedeman proclaimed Aug. 7 Girl Scout Troop 1239 Day in Seymour and gave each of them a pin.

Missy Casner said Luedeman’s administrative assistant, Gloria Cullison, suggested the idea for the proclamation, while Luedeman decided to give the special pins to the girls.

Lorelai Dixon, 8, said her favorite part of the day was receiving a pin from the mayor.

“My dad works for the city, and he doesn’t even have one,” she said.

At the police station, Casner asked questions related to detective work so the Juniors could earn badges. That included getting to do their own fingerprints and meeting detectives.

Savanna Moore, 7, said she liked the police station the most because she has family members who work there.

“It’s really fun doing all this cool stuff,” she said.

Ava Blomenberg, 8, said her favorite part was checking out a police car.

“It was really fun because we got a tour of everything,” she said.

For the Brownies, badges are related to the five senses and philanthropy, so the future site of the city museum was the perfect stop. That’s because renovations are underway in the 100-year-old building, and the girls were able to smell the inside of the building and learn about projects with which they could help.

“I wanted them to see what it looks like now versus when they get done because they need to see how much work goes into it,” Casner said.

The troop also has done other philanthropic activities throughout the year, including donating items to food pantries, animal shelters, hospitals and schools.

“I like my girls to know that they don’t just get to make the money and use it themselves. They give it back to the community,” Casner said, referring to Girl Scout cookie sales profits. “We do a lot of it. Our troop gets out and about, so people contact us to do things, and I think that’s kind of cool. It shows we are giving back.”

After lunch at the Seymour Library, the troop used money they collected from cookie sales to ride a Seymour Transit bus to Kovener’s Korner. Getting an ice cream treat there was 8-year-old Mo Finch’s favorite part of the day because she said she goes there every Sunday.

The troop’s final stop was the Jackson County Health Department before finishing the day at the library.

Casner said it was a fun-filled, educational day.

“They are not going to remember it all today,” she said. “But I can remember when I was in Girl Scouts that when I learned something, I may not use it now, but I can say, ‘Oh yeah, you know what? I can remember when I did X.’ I’m hoping that that’s what it will be.”

Being involved in Girl Scouts also provides the members with scholarship opportunities in the future, and they will be able to note all of their community service activities.

“I even have a program now where I’m keeping track,” Casner said. “So if one of these girls, when they become a senior and needs a printout of what all they’ve done, I can print it out.”

Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.