Delegate Mark Keam - Virginia's 35th House District

Girl Scout Day at the State Capitol: Learning Virginia's rich history.

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By Victoria Ross
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Picking Washington's Birthday to tour the Virginia State Capitol and learn a little about Virginia history–the birthplace of eight presidents–was perfect timing for a group of Vienna Girl Scouts.

"It was cool to see the statue of George Washington, especially since it was his birthday," said Holland, 9, who attends Marshall Road Elementary School.

The fourth-grader said she thought it was "really cool" to be recognized in the House Chamber by Del. Mark Keam (D-35), whose daughter, Brenna Keam, is also a member of Girl Scout Troop #136.

Keam took the troop of fourth-graders, who attend Marshall Road Elementary School and Mosby Woods Elementary School, on the tour along with Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34), pointing out statues and architectural highlights of the capitol which, since 1788, has been home to the General Assembly, the oldest legislature continuously operating in the Western Hemisphere.

The girls also learned that the building was designed by Thomas Jefferson, and is the first public building in America constructed in the Monumental Classical style. It has served as a prototype for countless capitols, courthouses, municipal buildings, and even churches and residences for more than 200 years.

"The girls really enjoyed their trip to Richmond. The tour was part of earning the government badge," said troop leader Lisa Dauernheim. "Fourth grade is the year that they learn all about Virginia history, so they had been learning about a lot of the things highlighted on our tour and they were very quick to answer questions posed by our tour guide. … It was a good and educational way to spend a day off of school."

The girls also got a chance to meet Miss Virginia 2012, Rosemary Willis. "That was fun for them. Miss Virginia was like a princess or a rock star to these girls," said mom Ede Linterman. The girls also met Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash, who gave them a brief talk about Virginia's education system. The group was accompanied on the trip by troop leaders Lisa Dauernheim, Amanda Waltrip, Rita Monner and Erin Kane.

Del. Mark Keam (D-35) shows Vienna Girl Scout Troop #136 around the Virginia State Capitol Grounds on Monday, Feb. 18.

Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) shows Vienna Girl Scout Troop #136 around the Virginia State Capitol Grounds on Monday, Feb. 18. Photo by Victoria Ross.

Del. Mark Keam (left) and Sen. Chap Petersen (far right) pose with Vienna Girl Scout Troop #136 on the steps of Virginia's historic State Capitol on Monday, Feb. 18.
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