As a Congressional Aide, Girl Scout Hannah S. (right) spent a week shadowing the office of Congressman Sanford Bishop Jr. along with Katheryne C. (left). Hannah writes about her experience below.
When I found out that I was accepted into the Girl Scouts Congressional Aide Program, I was overjoyed. I had the pleasure of shadowing the office of Congressman Sanford Bishop Jr., Representative of the 2nd District of Georgia. This opportunity allowed me to learn at the source of our American political system and opened a door to new opportunities.
I arrived at the Rayburn House Office building promptly at the start of my week on August 4th. Congressman Bishop’s staff was very welcoming, each with a distinct role crucial to the Congressman’s success. Unfortunately while I participated in the program, Congress was out of session, so most of the staff left for a break. Those who remained behind included the receptionist, Military and Agriculture Committee fellows, legislative director/ intern coordinator, and press relations director.
Luckily I was put in the same office as a fellow Girl Scout, so while I was on the Hill to learn politics, I also had a friend to take on the journey with me. Most of our day included answering phone calls, replying to constituent letters, conducting research for organizations and compressing up-to-date news articles.
On the second day of the program, the receptionist took us to see the House floor. It was amazing to actually sit in the chairs where real legislation is enacted. The Capitol has such historic architecture; anywhere you look there is a new thing to see. We also went through the Longworth House Office Building to deliver a letter, which was once again exciting to explore.
While at the Hill I got to see up close how a Congressman’s staff operates. I sat in on a conference call and took notes relating to Congressman Bishop’s activities in Georgia while Congress remains on break. The agriculture fellow also showed me notes the Congressman refers to while sitting in on committee meetings. The insight I gained from that is priceless, and that is why this program is so special.
Although I did not meet Congressman Bishop, I hope to with my fellow Girl Scout when he returns from his work in the district. Congressman Bishop actually received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, which will be an interesting topic to discuss. Not only have I learned so much during my week on the Hill, but I also made lasting relationships.
I will never forget this experience! Thank you Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital.