Girls/Boys State

FØB Zero

Enthusiastically American
Jul 30, 2019
Hey friends!
At my school roughly 4 boys and girls go to “Boys/Girls State” each year total. I will be applying this school year and was curious how to gain leadership at Girls State. Is it divided among /school, /city, or /state? If anybody could explain to me what to expect there (female) at all and what I should aim to pursue there to make the most of my experience, it would be great!
Girls State is held for each state.. My DD, now at BEAST, went to NY Girls State and was chosen/voted by her peers to represent NY as 1 of the 2 delegates in Washington DC at Girls Nation. She said it was one of the best experiences she has had. To gain leadership roles you must campaign and give speeches about various topics to the entire group, as if you were running for a political position. If you go to the Girls State website you will get a better understanding of what Girls State entails. According to my DD the most important thing to remember is BE YOURSELF. Stand out from others by telling the group what makes you unique. Don’t just rattle off a resume of all your AP classes, GPA, etc. All the girls there most probably have a similar profile. Stand out and make the girls remember You and what You want to accomplish.
I can't speak to Girls State, but our son just got back from Boys State and Boys Nation. Boys State was a great experience for him. He rode the charter bus to the campus, made friends on the ride. The sponsor had each boy get mic time on the bus to introduce themselves. He hit the ground running and really enjoyed it. Didn't get much sleep, their days started before 6 am and went to 11. Then he spent time making campaign posters, writing speeches, and more versions of speeches, working with other members of his 'city' and spending time with his counselors. He got really lucky and had amazing counselors, all members of Sons of the American Legion or Legion members themselves. They were awesome mentors and he is still in touch with them. He ran for small offices and lost. Then he was asked by some other boys to run for Governor. He did. And to his surprise he won! Each state is different, and when he attended Boys nation he learned from other delegates from other states how their programs were. It really is modeled after your own state's government so individualized. He was told going in, "you get into it what you put into it". That sounded a bit cheesy but ultimately proved to be true. Be yourself, immerse yourself in it and go for it! Let your guidance counselor know you want to attend. Attend some local American Legion post meetings, they are who select, interview and sponsor the delegates. In your case the Ladies American Legion Auxiliary would be who chooses to sponsor delegates. Our DS was a familiar face to the Legion members as he had just competed in their Oratorical contest and placed 2nd in state. They listened to his speech 4 weekends in a row, so he had made an impression on them. Also, if you are interested in public speaking that is an EXCELLENT speech contest to enter. Not only was it great experience and he gained a lot of confidence, but he won quite a bit of cash and made new contacts in the community. They also sponsor writing contests each year. What the Legion and VFW offer our youth is amazing, try to take advantage of those opportunities. For Boys Nation, our state had the boys nominate approximately 18 boys. They completed applications and approx 12 were selected to be interviewed by counselors. Ultimately 2 were selected as Delegates and 2 were selected as alternates. All in all, it was a tremendous experience for him. Good luck to you!
I attended Girls State four years ago in Texas, and it was an amazing experience! Nobody from my high school had gone before so I knew relatively nothing about the program before I went, so here are a few tips to make the most of your experience:

1. Don't be shy to meet new people. Girl's state for me was intimidating because there were over 500 girls there and all of them were amazing. They played sports and were the presidents of clubs and knew things about government that I didn't know. But they were all there for the same reason I was there, so I decided to make the most of it and get to know the girls.

2. You build a government from the ground up so think about how involved you want to be. If you want to know what it's like to run a city hall or have an official meeting, consider running for a city or county position. My sister went to Girl's State this year, became her city's mayor and loved it because she actually got to do things as a mayor. I ended up running for Supreme Court Chief Justice and the campaign and speech process was so long that I never got to actually do anything as that position once I won. It's ok not to be the Governor, but run for something and think about what you want to get out of it.

3. Remember that this is about more than just a resume thing. While Girl State looks great on your resume no matter what position you hold, and it really does boost your academy applications, that's not the mindset you want to have at all. The girls I met who held onto those thoughts were clearly not the ones people voted for because you can tell they don't care about their "city" or learning about government and the processes that make a government run. Most of the girls I met were there because they were interested in politics, and that's awesome! This is a chance for you to explore a possible career, or if you're like me, I knew I wanted to go to West Point, but I just wanted to be more aware of how people can influence government at any level.

4. We sang a lot of songs. It's not weird, and it's more of a bonding time, but just warning you.

As far as getting chosen from the other high schoolers to even attend, make sure whoever is choosing you is aware you are interested. Send some emails or meet with people in person, especially the auxiliary ladies who love to chat, and with your high school teacher or counselor. Let them know why you think this is a great program and that you can't wait to apply/attend. Participate in student government or other political clubs. Passion goes far :) Good luck!