School field trips are always fun, even when students aren’t headed that far from school. Wilton’s second graders recently ventured right down Wolfpit Rd. with a short left turn jag and wound up at Town Hall as part of the grade’s annual curriculum about Wilton, past and present.

Every fall, the Wilton Historical Society arranges a two-part program for second graders (part one in October, part two in December). Between Monday, Sept. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 7, all of the Miller-Driscoll second grade classes visited the Town Hall complex to learn about Wilton’s current town government. During the civics lesson, they saw the Town Clerk’s office, the town Vault (where all important town documents and records are kept); Police Headquarters and the Fire Department Headquarters.

They also met Wilton’s first selectman, Bill Brennan. Since taking office nine years ago, he has welcomed each and every second grade class–on average, 16 each year–into his office for a 15-20 minute presentation. He invited GOOD Morning Wilton along for a special visit with one class last Friday, Oct. 3.

“[My wife] Kathleen asked me how many kids have come through. I just did the actual arithmetic. This class will cross the 3,000 number,” Brennan said, getting slightly giddy at the milestone.

“I enjoy it tremendously. It’s an opportunity to talk with the children. They never ask a question about government. Instead they ask what this is on my desk, or what that camera is,” he says, pointing to the security camera above his desk. “One of them asked me how old I am.” he laughs. Brennan has enjoyed meeting all the kids, and of course loved when his own grandchildren were Wilton second graders and came through with their classes.

On Friday, as more than 40 kids filed into his office and filled in all the available space around his desk, he greeted them in the voice of an experienced grandfather, introducing himself as the first selectman and asking them if they knew what that was. “He’s the person who runs Wilton,” answered one little girl. And from there Brennan was off and running.

The kids paid rapt attention, hanging on every word, as he talked about how the town government works and how many people it takes to keep the town humming. The students answered all of his questions, from ‘Who are the President of the United States and the Governor of Connecticut?’, to ‘What do Firemen do?’ and ‘What are taxes?’ He also celebrated a little girl whose father is a Wilton firefighter.

True to form, the kids asked exactly the questions Brennan said they would, asking about why there was a camera in his office and focusing heavily on the pop-culture “No” Button toy that he keeps on his desk. They told him he could look for a “Maybe” button at the Toy Chest in town.

The visit always makes a big impression on the students–our own children still talk about the visit years after they met the town’s top official.