Girl Scouts get a tour of Pike Courthouse
Pictured from left: (back row) 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 and Girl Scout Troop 52-696 Leader Pam Zeh. (middle row) Nicole Ficker, Samantha Zeh, Kayla Bicskei, Leila Elaro, Lexie Llaurado and Olivia Nobile. (front row) Brianna Kiretchjian, Sierra Wood and Katie O'Krepka.
MILFORD — Pike County Girl Scout Troop 52-696 from Dingmans Ferry received a detailed tour of the Pike County Courthouse on Feb. 5. The Girl Scouts, all between ages 11 to 13 years of age were invited into the inner sanctum of the court room where lawyers, clients and witnesses are located during court hearings. The girls, while seated at counsel table or in the jury box were allowed to ask questions about court proceedings and related matters.
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.
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 organization.
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