Girls State Begins

Published 3:24 pm Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FARMVILLE — Over 600 rising high school seniors converged on Longwood University’s campus Sunday for the annual Girls State convention.

The yearly week-long experiential lesson in political science was first convened in Virginia in 1947, 10 years after the first National convention, and is hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary, which sponsors the participants.

Highlights this week will include an appearance by Governor Terry McAuliffe on Thursday morning and Attorney General Mark Herring Friday afternoon.

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Boy State, meanwhile, is underway in Lynchburg at Liberty University.

The organization’s website described the convention as teaching
the formation and operation of city, county, and state government entities. The participants vote and carry out elected and appointed positions in the Girls State government.:

“The program gives participants the experience of living together as self-governing citizens with the privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship, as well as the opportunity to gain knowledge of the American Legion Auxiliary.”

Girls State participants organize into two political parties, the Federalists and the Nationalists, and delegates can qualify as a candidate for public office on the both the city and the state level.

The 14 Girls State cities are named for historical figures, such as James Madison, James Monroe and Meriwether Lewis.

Participants came to Girls State this year with two canned goods for FACES and two to five dollars to pay their Girls State city and state taxes.