We have enjoyed visiting several state capitals in our region, so en route to Southern Delaware we decided to stop in Delaware’s capital city of Dover and check out Delaware’s Legislative Hall.
We parked at Delaware Public Archives (free and open on the weekend, though sometimes full on week days or during events), and crossed the street to the building. Across from it there is a large green square where Dover Day is held each May (the next one will be held May 6 -more info here), which includes a parade, maypole dancing, tethered hot air balloon rides, bounce houses, historical reenactments and dozes of craft and food vendors.
The building itself is undergoing restoration and expansion, so it was covered with scaffolding and will be for some time to come. But, the inside is very pretty, and it just so happened that they were doing tours, which take place on the first Saturday of the month, in the morning.
Our tour guide, Steve, was kind and extremely knowledgeable – he could tell us all about the legislative process as well as explain the significance of all of the paintings, portraits and photographs that adorn the building. But he also understood the attention span of a two year old, and he gave the children a chance to sit in the seats of the legislators, stand at the podium to practice giving testimony, and even sit in the Lt. Governor’s seat and strike the gavel to call for order. He very aptly mentioned, “You never know what they might remember.”
As a child, I never dreamed of being president or doing anything political, but in my current role as a nonprofit leader, I have been involved in the legislative process on a state level as an advocate, and it has been very fulfilling and even enjoyable. Perhaps one day one of our children will remember our little tour, and know that our government does give individuals a chance to make a true impact on the law (albeit slowly at times!), and perhaps some day one of them will be called upon to make such an impact. But, even if that never happens, at least we know they all enjoy striking a gavel!