Selection for ALA California Girls State
Q: How can I apply to participate at Girls State?
A: You can't.
Delegates are selected by local American Legion Auxiliary Units to attend California Girls State. You may not simply sign up to attend. The selection process is two-tiered, and based on several factors.
The first tier occurs at the high school level. A select group of young women will be chosen based on academics, extracurricular activities, and community involvement. At this level it is often a faculty member, guidance counselor, or administrator who recommends the students. If you are interested in the program, you should let one of these individuals know before you go on winter break.
For the second tier, the selected students will meet with the local American Legion Auxiliary Unit, either at their school or at the American Legion Post, for interviews. The interview process varies, depending on the Unit. It is important that you research the American Legion Auxiliary and California Girls State so you can determine if our program is right for you. From the interviews, the local American Legion Auxiliary chairman and her committee will select one delegate and two alternates.
If you are selected as the delegate or alternate from your high school you will then go through the application process. The cost to each delegate is only $75 for the application fee. The remainder of the cost is covered by the American Legion Auxiliary, American Legion, or another source.
Q: How do I know if my school is represented at ALA California Girls State?
A: Ask! Your administrators or guidance counselors will know if your school is sponsored by a local American Legion Auxiliary Unit.
Q: What if my school is not represented?
A: See if there is an American Legion Auxiliary Unit near you. Contact the ALA Unit directly to ask about sponsoring your school. It may be too late for this year, but you may make a difference for someone next year!
Q: Can my school have more than one delegate at ALA California Girls State?
A: No. Our rules state that only one delegate may be selected from a high school.
FAQ For Delegates & Families
Q: What should I bring to the program?
A: Besides your excitement, enthusiasm, and ideas, you can consult this packing list for what to bring. You can also consult our handy packing video! Do not bring the following items, which are unnecessary during your stay at the program:
Laptops or other computers (no wired/wireless Internet connection or printer access available)
Remember . . . you have to carry your own stuff!
Q: Do I need money?
A: Though your sponsorship fee covers the expense of your meals and accommodations, please consider the following when deciding the amount of extra money to bring. We will be accepting debit & credit cards for purchases made in the Girls State Store and Girls State Pictures. Actual card MUST be in the possession of user.
Session Photos: Pictures will be taken during the session. They will range from $7 to $10 each ordered. They usually are delivered at Girls State before delegates leave.
Snacks: All meals during the program are covered by your sponsorship fee. You may want to bring change for snack vending machines located in dorm buildings.
Girls State Store: You will have the opportunity to purchase items from the ALA Girls State Store. Items may include sweatshirts, t-shirts, shorts, and other souvenirs, such as graduation stoles. Prices generally range from $1.00 to $30.00. The store accepts cash and checks.
Keys: Please note that all citizens are required to lock dorm rooms with the provided key. If you lose your key, you will be charged $150.00. If you lose a key card, the replacement fee is $25
Q: What should I expect when I first arrive at the campus?
A: Find the main quad of the Claremont-McKenna Campus. The quad (35 Butler Plaza) is to the west of the round building. There will be a table with alphabet-designated posters. Use your last name to locate your line. Check in to learn to which county you've been assigned. Find the set of county tables to sign in, meet your counselor, and receive your room key. Find your city (dorm), unpack and welcome others in your city. Locate the nurse and communicate any concerns with her. If you have any medications (over-the-counter or prescription), make sure to let the nursing staff know.
Begin to read the Official Girls State Handbook you are given by your counselor when you checked in.
Q: Can I campaign before coming to Girls State?
A: So that everyone will have an equal opportunity, you are not allowed to campaign for any office before arriving at Girls State. You may not bring pre-made campaign materials. Approved campaign materials may be purchased with Girls State dollars you will receive at Girls State. Campaigning via electronic media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, email etc.) is not allowed BEFORE or DURING Girls State. Discussing or announcing an office you are thinking about running for (via electronic media) is considered campaigning and is not allowed. Learn more about election procedures here.
Q: How am I going to get back home?
A: Most delegates will return home in the same fashion as they arrived. You will have an opportunity to clearly communicate your travel plans before the program. If there are changes after your initial planning, you must report the changes to the Girls State Director. She and the ALA staff are located in headquarters in the Bauer Hall (round building). If you're being picked up, there will be designated areas in the main quad for you to meet your family.
Q: What if I need to contact home while I'm at Girls State?
A: Girls State is a cell phone free zone. What this means is that no cell phone use will be tolerated except during those scheduled times when delegates are not engaged in the business of Girls State. Generally, delegates may safely use their cell phones during rest time, recreation, and after city friendship time. If a delegate does not have a cell phone with her and needs to communicate with family, she should go to headquarters in Bauer Hall and ask a staff member to assist her. All delegates using cell phones when it is not appropriate will have their phones taken by a staff member, sent to headquarters for safe keeping, and returned at the close of the session.
Q: How can my family contact me at Girls State?
A: Parents are discouraged from communicating with the delegates unless there is an emergency. The delegates are usually very busy attending meetings, discussing important issues, participating in team activities, and generally being fully engaged in the program. If a parent needs to contact a delegate, refer to the Contact page for information.
Q: Should I bring my computer?
A: Internet and e-mail access will neither be available nor necessary to enjoy the week.
Q: What if I'm asked to bring legislation?
A: Each delegate is responsible for bringing a piece of legislation with her to the Girls State Session. The most successful bills will be carefully researched, well informed of current
conditions and will address a pertinent state issue.
Below are several links to sites that will help you understand how to write a bill.
Do I need to report about my experiences at Girls State?
Yes, you do.
How can you use the information gained at Girls State in your school, your community, your personal relationships, and to report to the Unit that sponsors you?
Keep a journal of your experiences. Here are few possible topics:
City - county - state level governments
Appointed - elected positions
Legislation - political platforms
Friendship - unity - cooperation - open-mindedness
Patriotism - political awareness - winning vs. losing
Involvement - participation - something for everyone
Opportunities - inspiration - goal setting - future plans
Appreciation - gratitude to the Auxiliary (paperwork, transportation, program staff, fees)
Pictures - scrapbooks - newspapers
Girls State is . . . your city _____ . . . your county _____ . . . what you learned _____
What did I like about today?
What would I have changed about today?
I was happy when . . .
I was proud of myself because . . .
I learned . . . about myself.
Tomorrow, I plan to . . .
When will we receive more information about Girls State?