As part of their “Take Action Project” three Girl Scout Cadettes from Lone Rock School Troop #3756 participated in Humane Lobby Day on February 7 at the State Capitol in Helena and met with lawmakers to lobby for animals. Aly Johnson, Katie Bertram and Sage Chimo are advocating for animals to earn the Silver Star, Girl Scouts second highest award.
These girls partnered with the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA to support two Montana State House bills, HB279 which would strengthen the state’s animal fighting law and make Montana the 50th state to ban attendance at dogfights and HB 439 which would regulate large-scale pet breeding facilities to prevent poor conditions.
As part of their experience, these Girl Scouts learned that if you want something changed, it starts with one person willing to take action. They learned how to lobby and respectfully speak to their representatives. The girls even ended up standing up and testifying before the Agriculture Sub-Committee supporting HB #279.
“We went to speak for animals that can’t speak for themselves,” said Sage Chimo. According to Katie Bertram, “the best part was getting out of school to help animals. We got to see how bills become law… it was like being part of history.”
Other highlights of the day were meeting with Senator Fred Thomas and a tour of the capitol. Senator Thomas showed the Girl Scouts a bill with mark-ups he was working on and pointed out some interesting things about the Capitol building.
Aly Johnson said she felt the experience was “so awesome and I think we really might have made a difference for animals.”
Of course these Girl Scouts couldn’t resist the opportunity to sell Girl Scout Cookies while at the Capitol!