Tuesday, July 20, 2010
We all knew that is was such a great honor to be selected to become a senator from our state to come to Girls Nation in Washington D.C., but I don’t think that we completely realized how close we would become to the girls we would meet and how sleep deprived we would become. Despite the fact that we have only been here a few short days, the girls and myself all feel that we’ve been here longer. It’s quite common to hear in the lunch or dinner line, ‘Is this dinner?’ or ‘Have we eaten lunch yet?’ Our days are long and our nights of rest are short, but we are all enjoying our time here and stepping out of our comfort zones and trying new things. This is, after all, a once in a lifetime experience, so we are making the most of our stay here in D.C. and our time with all of the wonderful girls, government staff, junior counselors and senior counselors. The day before we had the chance to go to Arlington Cemetery and we all enjoyed our trip. I don’t think that any of us knew how hot is really would get here until we were standing in the sun watching the guard changing ceremony and the wreath laying ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This was a very new sight for many of us and we all enjoyed it as well as we learned that we all need to DRINK LOTS OF WATER! Today, we spent a lot of time in the Senate and our Parties. From a Nationalist’s perspective, getting ready for the rally on Wednesday has been very enjoyable. From making posters to skits, everyone has pitched in and worked diligently to finish the task set before us. Also, today we were able to participate in the Operation Military Kids (OMK) service project. In the early afternoon we were honored to have a guest speaker come and talk to us about what exactly OMK is and what they do. During the speaker’s presentation, he had a demonstration planned and the Chevy Chase community was fortunate enough to be able to be a part of it. We were all given a piece of paper that told us what our civilian and military roles were. Then, we were told to hold a tarp, which was the community, up in the air that had balloons in it and bounce them around which represented the kids and their active lives. In the beginning everyone held onto the tarp on the sides, but slowly the speaker instructed us one by one to leave because we were being deployed. As more and more of the military service men and women left the community, the balloons fell off of the tarp and onto the ground. In the end, it was impossible for the entire community to keep all of the children safe and well without the military service men and women because they also had civilian roles as well as having to fulfill their duty to their country. The demonstration represented how the kids in military families were left to fall out of the community and not be supported. We were all moved to help in any way that we could after the speaker finished with his presentation and were all very excited to pack our OMK Hero book bags. The girls here at Girls Nation were all very generous enough to bring things to put in these backpacks such as notebooks, cameras, pens, markers, stationary, etc., so we were each allowed to pack a book bag with various items and also were able to write them a handwritten letter that had an encouraging and uplifting tone. The girls here in the community of Chevy Chase are looking forward to a very busy, emotional and solemn upcoming day as we will make our way to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. We are all very excited about our other future trips as well and cannot wait until the ‘mystical White House Day’ that is coming up toward the end of the week. Hopefully, none of us will get sick and President Obama will be available for us to meet! We’re keeping our fingers crossed!
Samantha Paschal Chevy Chase Indiana