For almost 50 years, Trumbull Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have enjoyed the opportunity to learn about their town government through a very special event — Scouts in Government Day.

Established by First Selectman Clarence Heimann in the late 1960’s and carried on by each succeeding First Selectman, the event matches town officials, employees and volunteers with the scouts.

“Scouts in Government Day is a long standing tradition in our community that allows our youth the opportunity to learn about our government and how we deliver services to our residents,” said First Selectman Tim Herbst. “In the seven years I have participated in this event, I have learned firsthand that the strength of our community lies in our youth and I am very proud that we continue to host this important event each year.”

In the early days, scouts spent the entire day with their mentor, including a sit-down luncheon at the Hillandale Country Club. Many scouts reported that the etiquette of the three-course luncheon was more stressful than the effort of writing an essay to qualify for appointment to a Government Day position.

Today, the event has reduced to a simpler format – a two-hour meeting with the mentors followed by cookies and soda. But the educational benefit of learning about the jobs’ qualifications, educational requirements and duties has remained consistent.

Age requirement

In order to qualify for Government Day, scouts must be 10 years  old by the date of the event.  

Two decades ago, the town established the age requirement on the basis that the younger children were too timid about asking questions of their officials.   

Each scout writes a brief essay explaining why he or she would like to shadow a particular official. Scouts are encouraged to research the jobs utilizing the town website to learn more about the positions.

From start to finish

Scouts in Government Day opens with a formal ceremony at Town Hall, including girls reciting the Girl Scout Promise and the boys reciting the Boy Scout Oath.

Scouts receive a “hint page” suggesting questions and topics to discuss with their mentors.

At the conclusion of the session with their officials, the scouts are presented with a certificate by First Selectman Herbst. Each scout has an opportunity to report on an interesting fact (or two) that they have learned from his or her mentor.

This year’s mentors include First Selectman Herbst;  Administrative Assistant Barbara

Whetstone; Animal Control Officer Lynn Dellabianco; Building Officials Graham Bisset and Robert Dunn; Chief of Staff Lynn Arnow; Emergency Management Director Lt. Ronald Kirby and Deputy Director William Chiarezelli; Emergency Medical Director Joseph Laucella; Executive Assistant Alicia Altobelli; Fire Chief of Center Fire Department; Fire Chief of Nichols Fire Department; Golf Course Property Director Hidalgo Nagshima; Health Department Rhonda Capuano; Human Resources Labor Relations James Haselkamp; Human Relations Personnel Mary Ann Meier; Information Technology Department William Chin; Land Use Planner Rob Librandi; Children’s Library Services Kara Canney; Nature and Arts Center Kevin Malone; Nursing Director Coleen Figliuzzi; Park Superintendent Dmitri Paris; Police Chief  Michael Lombardo; Public Works Director John Marsillio; Purchasing Agent Kevin Bova Recreation Director, Stuart McCarthy; Senior Center Director Jean Fereira; Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gary Cialfi; Tax Assessor Mark DeVestern; Tax Collector Donna Pellitteri; Town Clerk Suzanne Burr-Monaco; Town Engineer Frank Smeriglio; Videographer  Donna Girot; 911 Dispatch John Butz. 

Scouts in Government Day Committee members, including Kathy Pekera, William Chin, Claudine Phaire and Carol Jayne, work with the town of Trumbull and the scout troops to encourage participation.

For additional information, scouts may contact Carol Jayne, drcajayne@aol.com or call  203-378-2761.