By Kim Walter
Five lucky Frederick County Girl Scouts are preparing for their biggest volunteer opportunity yet -- the presidential inauguration.
On Monday, the 15- and 16-year-olds will have to arrive in Washington, D.C. by 5 a.m. to help in a variety of ways throughout the day.
Laurel Morton, 15, of Troop 40616 admitted that she is still unsure of what to expect from an inauguration.
"I don't know exactly what it is, so it'll be a new experience," she said. Laurel signed herself and the other scouts up once she heard about the opportunity. Girl Scouts -- at either the ambassador or senior level -- from across the country had to enter into a drawing to be selected to participate, and 750 were selected. Laurel said she signed the other girls up too because she "didn't want to go alone."
When Laurel got the email saying she had been chosen, she was surprised and excited.
The feelings were mutual among the other four girls: Evania Sempeles, 15; Madeline Kliewer, 16; Jules Wiseman, 15; and Amber Patrick, 15. Amber is in the same troop as Laurel, but the other three girls are in Troop 40568.
Each of the young ladies have been Girl Scouts since they were young -- with a few even getting their start in kindergarten.
"My older sister was in [scouts,] so I figured I'd give it a try," Amber said. "I'm glad I stuck with it because I've gotten to travel and learn so many new things."
Laurel said that contrary to what some people might think, being a Girl Scout isn't all fun and games.
"I actually did think that when I first started, but now I know how much hard work goes into it," she said.
Jules agreed, saying that Girl Scouts "don't just sell cookies."
"When I was younger I had this dream of being the first woman president," she said. "So it's really cool that I will get to not only see an inauguration, but I will also get to help people."
The girls will learn their assigned duties on Friday. They could be doing things in the parade or something as simple as directing people onto the Metro.
"It's just a great opportunity, like everything we do in girl scouts," Madeline said. She and Evania said that most people don't know much about Girl Scouts, but they do about Boy Scouts or Eagle Scouts.
All the girls felt that being involved in such an important national event was good for the Girl Scout name.
"This shows that we serve our nation and we're here to help," said Amber. "We want our country to know it has our support."
The girls realize they probably won't meet -- or even see -- the president, but that doesn't matter to them.
"The event is just one small way we can serve our country," Laurel said. "And we'll support whoever the president is at the time."
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or firstname.lastname@example.org