By Aila Boyd
Eight members of the Botetourt County 4-H’s Teen Leadership Club, three from Lord Botetourt High School and five from James River High School, visited Richmond last Tuesday as part of the 4-H Day at the Capitol.
The group was led by Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent Tyler Painter. The Botetourt group shared a bus with 4-H members from Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, Craig, and Bedford counties.
“It was a really good trip,” Painter said. “They got to learn about the processes of the House and the Senate.”
Painter explained that the yearly trip supports 4-H’s campaign– “Inspire Kids to Do.” The trip teaches 4-H members to their elected representatives why the program should be supported. “It’s to raise awareness and let our elected representatives see our kids and learn what we do,” he said.
While in Richmond, the group met with Del. Terry Austin, who represents part of Botetourt County in the House of Delegates, and Del. Kathy Byron, who represents part of Bedford County.
The meeting with Austin lasted 20 minutes and consisted of an overview of what the legislative session looks like. He also discussed his work on various committees. “He was so incredibly thankful and had nothing but good things to say about 4-H,” Painter said of Austin. He added that Austin wanted to know who out of the group planned to become a delegate one day.
From there, the group visited the Science Museum of Virginia, where they ate lunch outside the building. After lunch, they spent an hour exploring the inside of the museum.
The day then took them back to the Virginia State Capitol, where they took a tour of the building. Taking Austin’s advice, the group observed the business of the Senate of Virginia from the gallery. “The kids got to hear some bills being voted on. A lot of them said that seeing the Senate was their favorite part of the day,” Painter said.