Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What to expect

Becoming a part of Girls State is exciting and although most do  not know what to expect, you should know it is welcoming, fun, and it will give you a chance to reach out of your comfort zone. Girls State is where current high school juniors are selected from their school, to attend a five day session. American Legion Auxiliary members often interview the few juniors and from there, the girls selected get to privilege of attending the wonderful American Legion Auxiliary Green Mountain Girls State. During the short week, the girls have the chance to take a stance with their political beliefs, take part in debates, participate in town activities, and practice communication skills. The first action of formality was the establishment of towns. You are given a town the first day, throughout the week you will spend cherishable hours with them; whether it is voting for town leaders or designing worthy campaign posters at 11.00 p.m., your town are “your” girls. (#cool fact- The names of the towns come from past Presidents of the ALA.) During your time at ALAGMGS, you build lifelong friendships. A bonus of being here at Girls State is you have great counselors, and models to look up to. (The models will surprise you with room checks!) Often times the counselors are past Girls State delegates. And even some of the models attended their junior year at Girls State! They demonstrate the main activities at Girls State, as well as share their stories about their experience. FYI, you will be exhausted by the middle of the second day, because you may or may not be only getting five hours of sleep (due to new-friend bonding time, and the very uncomfortable dorm beds). It is okay if you are overwhelmed, but don’t forget to run for offices! Make a difference and have fun, it’s a one in a lifetime opportunity, don’t take it for granted! Oh and one more thing; as soon as you enter the doors “you are on girls state time”...

Sam and Marissa From the Town of Jones
6 Things They Won’t Tell You About Girls State
Kamryn Montague and Kristin DeGraaf From the Town of McDermott

  1. You don’t need to bring knee length shorts! As long as shorts, skirts, or dresses are fingertip length they are ok. Forest green polos look a lot better with cute shorts.

  1. You WILL be sleep deprived. Lights out is supposed to be at 11, but you might be talking to your roommate or doing campaign work and look at the clock and realize it’s 1 a.m. The next day you have to be presentable by 7 a.m. and do it all over again.

  1. Make the most out of every opportunity you have here! Run for every and any position you can, you will regret it otherwise. At first it’s intimidating, but once you get to know the people around you, you would wish you had run for something. This is one of the only times of your life you can lose without any consequences.

  1. You will make friendships that will last a lifetime. Whether it’s your roommate, someone in your town, party, or anyone in the state, you will make friends. It can be scary when you are in a room with 80 other girls that you’ve never met before. Within the first few hours you will get to know someone and you could end up becoming lifelong friends. Staying connected on social media is key!

  1. Believe it or not, you do not have to know any prior knowledge related to government before you come to Girls State. When you come, most people don’t know what positions you can run for or what they entitle. But that’s the whole reason we are here! To learn more about our government.

  1. You will be forced to participate in group exercise. Dancing to Zumba videos in a sweaty gym is surprisingly very bonding. That being said, make sure to bring workout clothes (and not the ones you plan to wear to bed!)
Girls State Horoscopes

Abby and Nora from the Town of McDermott

Aries March 21 -April 19: The one that makes you laugh.

Taurus April 20 -May 20: The one who forgets their toothbrush.

Gemini May 21 -June 20: The one that runs for every office.

Cancer June 21 -July 22: The one that gets up early.

Leo July 23 -August 22: The one that brings their entire wardrobe.

Virgo August 23 -September 22: The one that hates their polo.

Libra September 23 -October 22: The one that is enthusiastic about everything.

Scorpio October 23 -November 21: The one that is really good at Zumba.

Sagittarius November 22 -December 21: The one that can’t wait for lunch.

Capricorn December 22 -January 19: The one with all the craft supplies.

Aquarius January 20 -February 18: The one that is always tired.

Pisces February 19 -March 20: The one that that is the loudest in cheers.

Josie Ford and Lucy Boyden From the Town of Jones
Ask Emily and Rachel...

Question from C,
“ Hi Rachel and Emily! I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now, and I was wondering how I should confront my teacher that discriminates me because I’m a girl or how do you think I should address the situations?”

Emily: That is disappointing to hear, and should not be happening to you! I guess if it were me, I would bring this problem to a teacher I’m close or feel comfortable with. Start by telling them the problem and then go from there. I hope that helps!

Rachel: Hello, I am sorry to hear what you are going through. It is discouraging to see this within our society. Keep doing your best and if you can prove to the authority that he is discriminating you based on your gender, there is a high possibility that he will be punished. If that does not help, then I would ask your parents for assistance. Best of luck-sorry again.

Question from O,
“ What’s the best way to empower a highschool girl?”

Emily: Hi O, great question! You could empower a highschool girl by maybe asking them questions to make them feel as though they are in charge.  Try supporting and encouraging them in all that they do!

Rachel: Hello, being a young girl in highschool can be very challenging. Girls are constantly trying to fit in and be like everyone else. By encouraging girls and making them feel important you are empowering them. Try to help guide them towards the right answer and away from the wrong ones no matter what kind of person they are or the actions that they take. Tell them that they can do it!

Question from H,
“Do you have any tips on how to be a confident woman?”

Emily: Great to hear from you! I know sometimes it is difficult to be confident because you’re constantly comparing yourself to others. I guess I would say that you should just learn to accept yourself and learn not to compare yourself to others because everyone is different. You are perfect just the way you are and you need to know that. Believe in yourself, and even if you are not confident just act like you are, trust me it will work! I hope this helped you, thanks for the question.

Rachel: You just need to love yourself and as Emily stated, stop comparing yourself to others. Being different is beautiful and different matters in this world. So be confident in who you are and never stop.

That is all for this week, thank you to everyone for sending in questions. Sorry that we could not answer them all. Don’t forget to send them in for next week. Bye for now!

The Ghost of Girl’s State
Rachael Zmich From the Town of Jones and Sophia Anderson From the Town of McDermott

It was room 201. Gertrude grabbed her suitcase and backpack full of glitter glue and bright poster board. Alyssa, the counselor she had been introduced to, led her down the carpeted hall, with fluorescent lights shining down upon her. She walked by other girls who she did not recognize but waved to regardless. This week would be her best, and last, week.
As she walked through the door to her dorm, she felt that she was not alone, but her roommate was not there yet. Alyssa had already walked away to help the next eager delegate, so despite Gertrude’s unsettled feeling, she began to unpack her luggage. Suddenly she heard footsteps behind her and she jumped to her feet. She laughed off her fright as she realized it was only her father bringing in her sheets.
“Dad! You could’ve knocked, you scared me half to death.”
“Sorry Gerty, I didn’t mean to be a ghost,”her dad replied.
The two put together the room and in five short minutes, followed by her dad was saying goodbye.
“Have fun and be safe, kiddo. If anything happens, I’m always just one call away.”
Her dad waved from his car as he passed her dorm window and she waved back. Gertrude’s roommate still wasn’t accounted for, but she would soon learn that she was not the only one in that room.
Gertrude continued to unpack her clothes into the dresser and that’s when she heard it, the sound of the door slam. Her heart stopped the moment the lock clicked; she was frozen in her own tracks, she could not even turn around. As she slowly built up the courage to move her head around the room, she tried to rationalize the door slam with the slight breeze coming through the window. But that still didn’t explain how the door locked. She tried her best to shake off the experience she could not entirely explain, so she walked over to her bed and flattened out her blanket. Suddenly, she felt a chill roll up her back and turned to the window. There was a girl walking along the road, her green polo faded and her old-fashioned skirt ripped at the bottom. She seemed to be marching, as if she was trying to stay in  line with other people, except there was no one else there. The sight of this mindless girl gave Gertrude an unsettled feeling,  she walked over to the window to close the curtain. As she started walking over, the girl on the road turned around suddenly and started staring straight at Gertrude, who was also on the second floor of the building and practically unnoticeable. Gertrude stopped in her tracks and the girl with the tattered uniform began running, straight towards the Old Dorm, straight in the direction of Gertrude’s room. Gertrude ran to the window and pulled the shade closed right before the girl outside could get to the building.
Gertrude wasn’t someone who usually got frightened easily, but at that moment she was petrified. She ran down the hall to find Alyssa, but she couldn’t be found, she assumed  she was still going around helping other girls find their rooms. Luckily, Gertrude did run into another delegate on her floor. She calmed down and introduced herself with the warmest welcome she could muster.
“Hi, I’m Gertrude! Do you know where your room is yet?”
“Yeah, I already unpacked and met my roommate, I am just walking around and meeting other delegates,” the girl answered.
“Oh, well my roommate hasn’t gotten here yet and I just didn’t really want to wait in my room alone. Just out of curiosity, has the wind made your door move at all?” Gertrude asked.
“No, it doesn’t seem very windy today, not even the paper on my desk has moved,” the delegate replied.
“That’s good, maybe the wind is just stronger on my side of the hall. Have you seen anyone outside of the window, like any delegates that were walking on the road?”
“No, I haven’t seen anyone except for the other girls walking in with their luggage but nobody on the road. We aren’t really supposed to be walking around alone anyway. Our counselors are afraid we might get “kidnapped”. I heard a pretty crazy scary story about some delegate back in 1941 who was walking around by herself, even though the counselors warned her not to, and she got kidnapped and was never seen again. Apparently now, she walks the halls at night and haunts the room she stayed in… but I don’t remember the room she stayed in. I think it started with a 2…”
“Room 201?” Gertrude whispered, eyes wide.
“Yeah, that’s it! How’d you know?”
“Lucky guess.”
“But it’s totally ridiculous, I haven’t seen any ghosts yet so I’ll believe it when I see it.”
“Oh I’ve seen it,” Gertrude mumbled under her breath, but the girl did not hear her.
The two walked backed to Gertrude’s room and Gertrude said “see you soon” to the friendly delegate.
Gertrude walked through the door, shaking with paranoia but then she thought, “she’s right, there’s no way that’s true. I’m just being dramatic, that’s probably just a scary story counselor’s tell to make sure delegates don’t walk alone.”

But Gertrude shut the door and there, right behind her in the mirror, was the girl from the road, staring at her with the eyes of a lonely, departed soul.
“Girls State” by Lucy and Josie

Women are leaders
Learning, growing together

Best week of my life