Pike County President Judge Joseph Kameen gave the Girl Scouts a tour of the Courtroom, Jury Room, Judge's Chambers and prisoner holding cell areas. Judge Kameen also gave the girls a short history of the Pike County Court from the time the Courthouse was built in the 1870's to the present. Included in this history was an explanation of the large increase in caseload over the last 10 years which has resulted in the Court conducting approximately 7,500 court proceedings each year, including many serious criminal and civil cases.
Certain traditions of the Court were also discussed including the tradition of the Courthouse bell located in the large belfry on the roof of the building. The Judge explained that the bell is only rung when a criminal defendant is given the death penalty by a jury. In such instances, the bell is rung 13 times immediately following the entry of the jury verdict.
Judge Kameen also highlighted several unique characteristics of Pike County including the fact that Pike County has had the highest percentage of population growth in the state for approximately 20 years. In addition, Pike County has the state's highest percentage of people who live in private residential communities. In addition, the county has a high percentage of land owned by federal, state and local parks, forest land and hunting lands. Finally, the Judge explained that the county's proximity to New York and New Jersey causes a significant number of out-of- state residents to come before the court on a regular basis.
Judge Kameen also highlighted the need for courtroom security through the Pike County Sheriff's office under the guidance of Sheriff Phil Bueki and pointed out the security which was present even during the Girl Scout presentation.
This year, Girl Scout Troop 52-696 has partially focused on a government theme by visiting the court house, police station and hopefully the jail next. Other projects and field trips undertaken by the scouts this year include the start of a Sandy collection, a trip to Broadway, local camping, Split Rock Water Park, a Belle Reve skit for the Holidays, walking in the holiday parade, cleanup day at Promised Land State Park, Halloween dance, and making and giving out breast cancer awareness ribbons. Participation in some of these events helps the scouts earn part of two badges," financing my dream," and" citizen." The scouts also meet every Monday and work on badges like trailblazing, healthy living, bullying, marketing, first aid, etc....
Following the tour, each Girl Scout was presented with an Award Certificate from the Pike County Bar Association in honor of their participation in the Courtroom tour. Pike Co. Bar President Elizabeth A. Erickson Kameen commended troop leaders Pamela Zeh and Co-Leader Jennice Llaurado for their active involvement and participation with the girl scouts. In addition, President Kameen praised the scouts for their dedication and hard work. As a former girl scout, Bar President Kameen fondly recalled her days as a girl scout. Within the Pike Bar, many female attorneys were also former girl scouts, cadets and/or brownies including Attorneys Leatrice A. Anderson, Stacey Beecher, Elizabeth Burton, Oressa P. Campbell, Tammy Lee Claus, Kelly Gaughan, Shannon Muir and Samantha Venditti.
These attorneys join more
than 59 million American women all of whom enjoyed Girl Scouting during their
childhood, a number which continues to grow as Girl Scouts of the USA continues
to inspire, challenge and empower girls everywhere according to the
Pictured Back row, left to right: Girl Scout Troop 52-696 Co-leader Jennice Llaurado, Pike Co. Bar Assoc. President Elizabeth A. Erickson Kameen, Deputy Sheriff George Volosin, The Hon. Joseph F. Kameen, President Judge, Deputy Sheriff Jack Flaherty, Attorney Mark Moulton, Girl Scout Troop 52-696 Leader Pam Zeh. Middle row, left to right: Nicole Ficker, Samantha Zeh, Kayla Bicskei, Leila Elaro, Lexie Llaurado, Olivia Nobile. Front row, left to right: Brianna Kiretchjian, Sierra Wood, Katie O'Krepka
(From Niki Jones)