Girls State Director
|2014 Girls State
June 1-6, 2014
The University of Southern
Mississippi in Hattiesburg
For information, contact the
American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Mississippi
or e-mail ALAMSHQ@att.net
Girls State Meets Judge Barnes
State Court of Appeals Judge
Donna Barnes speaks to the
annual session of Girls State
Tuesday at The University of
Southern Mississippi. (Southern
Miss Marketing and Public
Relations photo by Steve Rouse)
Lots to Shout About
Getting pumped up for the
Political Rally adds to the
excitement of Girls State! (Photo
by Steve Rouse)
American Legion Auxiliary
|Department of Mississippi
The American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Program has provided high school juniors all across the United
States the opportunity to participate in a hands-on citizenship training program for more than 60 years.
These young ladies learn government by actually creating a mythical state through the election of public
officials on local, county, and state levels and then by carrying out the duties of these respective offices.
A continuation of Girls State is Girls Nation where two Senators from each state are selected to participate in
a simulated National government program in Washington,
D. C. The following are the areas of emphasis this year:
• PATRIOTISM as Girls State citizens gain a better understanding of our American traditions and a greater
appreciation of our country and our flag as well as learn our government processes through simulated real
life involvement in all levels of government.
• SERVICE in the citizen’s communities when she returns home and begins a Citizens with this commitment
of participation, units must make wise selections of delegates, provide them with informative orientations
before the session begins, and then give them recognition when they return home.
• PROGRESS into the future by adding new and innovative enhancement to our program.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Girls State began as one and two day sessions in the late 1930's and since 1948 has been a regular part
of the Auxiliary's Americanism curriculum. The program has grown from a few hundred participants to
nearly 25,000 Girls State delegates annually. The Auxiliary has been recognized many times by
Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and the National Association of Secondary School
Principles (NASSP) for outstanding Girls State and Girls Nation programs.
How are participants chosen?
American Legion Auxiliary Unit Girls State Chairmen evaluate potential leadership qualities of the
delegates and alternates, assisted by high school principals and guidance counselors. Girls are eligible
to attend if they meet the following criteria:
- have completed their Junior year in high school government and current events
- have high moral character
- possess strong leadership abilities
- have an above average scholastic standing
- have a desire to learn
These criteria may vary slightly from state to state.
The Department of Mississippi typically hosts 250 girls each year.
What are the goals of the program?
- to develop leadership and pride in American citizens
- to educate delegates about our system of government
- to instill in delegates a greater understanding of American traditions
- to stimulate a desire to maintain our government processes
What does a typical session include?
The citizens are divided into two mythical political "parties." The parties do not reflect the two major
political parties in today's system, but allow citizens to gain a special knowledge of how the system
works. Elections are held to fill city and state positions. Activities include legislative sessions,
campaigning, party rallies, debating, and voting. The citizens also receive instruction in Parliamentary
This "hands on" method is unique and extremely effective. Girls State affords participants an opportunity
to live together as self-governing citizens by informing them about the duties, privileges, rights and
responsibilities of American citizenship and hopefully encourages their participation in the democratic
process as they progress into adulthood. Additional activities include: journalism, singing, talent shows,
field trips, group devotions, and patriotic ceremonies.
How are these programs funded?
The program is funded by each state's American Legion Auxiliary, with some additional support coming
from other civic and non-profit organizations. The Girls Nation program is funded by the national
organization of the Auxiliary, with some support from each participating state. Little or no expense is
required of the citizen or her family.
Are scholarships available?
Girls State citizens have the opportunity to apply for financial assistance through the Samsung -
American Legion Scholarship. Qualified students who are descendants of United States wartime
veterans are evaluated on their academic records, community involvement, school activities and
financial need. Various other scholarships and awards are given through individual Girls State
programs. Check with your local American Legion Auxiliary to see what scholarships are available in
Other Important Information
Delegates are expected to complete the week’s program, unless a family emergency arises. Delegates
must be present at the first session on the first day.
Cell phones may be brought, but can only be used during designated times. Under no circumstance are
cell phones allowed in any of the sessions or meetings.
Three meals are provided daily at the university’s dining facility. Vending machines with snacks and
drinks are located in each dormitory. Additional city shirts and other Girls State items will be available
for purchase at the Girls State Store.
At Girls State, each delegate will share a dorm room with another delegate in one of the residence halls
at Southern Miss. Each floor of the dorm will constitute a “city,” with a population of no more than 30
Citizens will not be allowed to leave the campus area assigned to Girls State. No visitors are allowed.
Smoking is strictly prohibited. Citizens driving cars to Southern Miss must turn in their car keys to their
Senior Counselor at check-in.
An information packet will be mailed to the delegate once her application card has been received at the
Department Headquarters. Although time for recreation is planned, Girls State is not a recreational camp.
Only authorized American Legion Auxiliary Units may SPONSOR delegates to Girls State. PATRONS may
be used for financial aid.
Must be in good health, with a required examination by the girl’s physician (M.D.). The physician’s report
must be issued no more than ten days prior to the opening of Girls State and must be presented at check-
in. No one will be accepted without it. A Unit may send a physically challenged delegate. Special
arrangements will be made to accommodate special needs.
Delegates may participate in several other activities of Girls State: the Glee Club, the Talent Show, or
the Alagista (a “yearbook” made of the delegates and events of the week). Each city will work on a city
project to be judged at the end of the week.
Professional pictures are taken early in the week, including a group photo of all delegates and
counselors and another of the city. Also, representatives from state universities and colleges will make
up our College Day to provide higher education information.
|2012 Girls State Elected Officials
with Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney and their famous Fireman's Hats!
Speaking to the Delegates
Mississippi Governor Haley
Barbour speak to the delegates
at the 2006 Girls State session
(Photo by Steve Rouse.)
Folding Pocket Flags for Troops
2010 Girls State delegates
Two citizens from Mississippi’
s Girls State program will be
selected to represent their
state as Senators at Girls
Nation, a gathering of
delegates from all 50 states
in the country. The session
is held in Washington, D.C..
With the focus of the week
being on the federal
|Ansley Scott of Mound Bayou gets some help putting up a campaign poster from her mom, Lucy
Chatman-Scott, Saturday at the University of Southern Mississippi. Scott is participating in the 62nd
annual American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, being held this week on the university’s Hattiesburg
campus. (Southern Miss Marketing and Public Relations photo by David Tisdale)
|Carly Adcock of Pascagoula hangs her
campaign poster at Pulley Hall on The
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg campus Saturday. Adcock is
participating in the 62nd annual Girls State,
a weeklong program that teaches rising high
school seniors from across the state about
the inner workings of state and local
government and politics. (Southern Miss
Public Relations Photo by David Tisdale)
We are now on Facebook! Join our group: Magnolia Girls State Alumni.
2013 Candid Photos
available on CD!
Contact the ALA
Headquarters for a copy for
only $7 each.
Special thanks to Southern Miss
photographer Kelly Dunn for
her great work during the 2013