Orlando Girl Scouts learn citizenship at naturalization ceremony

By Erin Murray, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017, 5:35 PM EDT

Teresa Woodall is proud of each and every badge on her Girl Scout sash.

"This is an Orange Patch,” said Woodall. “And this one is from the citizenship ceremony.”

  • Girl Scout troops attended naturalization ceremony
  • Girls learned the process of becoming American citizens
  • Scouts took part in the ceremony as well.

Several Girl Scout troops from across Central Florida came to watch 30 people become U.S. citizens Wednesday at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Orlando.

“I saw some of them crying of joy,” said Girl Scout Ryley Krak.

“I thought it was a really good experience and you don’t get to see this a lot,” said Girl Scout Katie Radcliff.

The idea for the girls to see a naturalization ceremony came from Teresa Finer, a lawyer and Girl Scout mother.

“When I went around to their troops I asked them, 'has anybody heard about citizenship in the news,' and all hands shot up, everybody heard about it, but they didn’t know anything about it,” said Finer, Lowndes Immigration Group head.

And many of the girls admit, they didn’t know a lot about citizenship.  

“Not a lot,” giggled Kyla Cinami. “I thought they just had to take an oath, but they have to take a test, and I didn’t know that.”

“We did like an interview with a lawyer, and took like a couple sample questions. I got all of them wrong. It wasn’t, it was not good. And now walking out, I know a lot more and I bet I could ace it,” said Teresa Woodall.

Woodall was asked to give a speech at the ceremony and other Girl Scouts had other roles as well. Some girls led the Pledge of Allegiance, some sang America the Beautiful, and some even posted the colors.

“I cried like twice,” laughs Sasha Gage.  

“Proud to be a part of it,” said Cinami.

Each of the girls earned their badges, as 30 others earned their citizenship.

“It is like a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this happen, and it’s like, an important thing that happens in our country that we got to witness,” said Marley Parks.

Close to 100 Girl Scouts participated.