As a Congressional Aide, Girl Scout Lauren B. spent a week shadowing the office of Congressman Sam Farr. Lauren writes about her experience below. I was honored to have been given the opportunity to intern in Congressman Sam Farr’s office this past week. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I had a lot of fun. Not only did I get to interact and make friends with the other interns and staff members, but I got a chance to talk with Congressman Farr himself, and even get a picture with him in front of the Capitol. He left a really great impression on me and gave me some meaningful advice on helping others. To me, the most interesting experience was getting to watch a live house debate. While giving a tour of the Capitol, along with an intern who I befriended, I witnessed members of Congress on both sides of the isle (including the Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer) fiercely debating whether or not to bring a lawsuit against President Obama. It was fascinating to watch them attempt to persuade the other members of Congress. The next morning, I saw both as the headline in the Washington Post, and heard on NPR on my commute to the office “House GOP votes to sue President Obama!” I felt like I had witnessed real history!
Also, I was asked to answer phone calls and sort constituent mail. Seeing the opinions from real people in Congressman Farr’s district made me realize how much the citizens have a say in government. I felt honored to be a part of a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Most people don’t realize how lucky they are to live in a free country, but it is a wonderful privilege that shouldn’t be forgotten. Through looking at Congressman Farr’s responses to the constituent mail and phone calls, I also learned about how to write persuasively, and respond to all messages, positive or negative, in a polite and respectful manner. These skills will serve me very well as I grow older and join the workforce. As you may know, the House’s August recess was supposed to begin on August 1st. However, this deadline had to be pushed back until a decision on the immigration bill was made. It was inspiring to see the staff work so well under the pressure of a deadline, as that is something I personally struggle with.
Additionally, the Congressman’s staff was welcoming and attentive to me. On the last day, we all had an ice cream party and the staff talked to me about my Girl Scout experience and personal life. They were all interesting and fun people, who made my week in the office a great one. They also gave me a picture of the Congressman and I (personally signed by Congressman Farr), and a notepad that each of the staff members had written a small note to me on. I am very thankful to the office staff for giving me such a great opportunity and taking the time to make my experience memorable! I would like to thank Girl Scouts Nation’s Capitol for proving me the opportunity to shadow the office. I am very lucky to be a part of the only Girl Scout Council in the world to have this experience! It was a wonderful learning experience and I hope the other Girl Scout Congressional Aides had as great of a time as I did.