What is the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State?
It is a National program of the American Legion Auxiliary and is a course of instruction in, as well as, a practical application of, the fundamental principles and procedures of city, county and state government under the American system. A session, usually lasting five days, is conducted by each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with the top-ranking high school girls as citizens. Under the guidance of skilled counselors and other staff members who are leading citizens, these girls learn and then practice through self-government, the duties, responsibilities and privileges of American citizenship. Georgia Girls State is sponsored, as it has been since 1945, by the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Georgia with local Auxiliary units and interested civic, fraternal and patriotic organizations cooperating.
Following the formation of The American Legion's Boys State program, the American Legion Auxiliary developed a similar citizenship training program in order for high school girls to have the same opportunity. It became known as the Girls State program. This program offers training in the practical processes of self-government and good citizenship as practiced in a democratic society.
Each summer, approximately 20,000 enthusiastic young women participate in Girls State sessions across the nation. At Girls State, the "citizens" study local, county and state government processes. They do this by setting up their own miniature city, county and state governments and administer them according to the laws of their particular states.
After arriving at Girls State, the citizens are divided into two political parties, often named the Nationalists and the Federalists. These parties do not reflect the two major political parties in today's system of government. The parties allow citizens to gain a special knowledge of how a two-party system operates.
Girls State citizens participate in these mock political parties, and elections are held to fill city, county, and state positions. Activities include legislative sessions, campaigning, party rallies, debating and voting. The citizens also receive special instruction in Parliamentary Procedure. The delegates learn government processes by doing.
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.
This learning experience better familiarizes the participants with their duties as United States citizens and encourages their participation in the democratic process as they progress into adulthood.
Members of the American Legion Auxiliary have structured the Girls State program in order to meet the following objectives:
You will be required to read and sign the Girls State Pledge before coming to Georgia Girls State. The signed pledge must be turned in to the Girls State staff when you register.
AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY, DEPARTMENT OF GEORGIA
GIRLS STATE PLEDGE
As a citizen of Girls State of the American Legion Auxiliary,