Archive for Monday, June 2, 2008

Girls State session inaugurated

Sunflower Girls State participants and leaders lower the American flag Sunday during the Girls State opening ceremony at the Dole Institute of Politics. In the back row, from left, are LaVeta Miller, department president of the American Legion Auxiliary; Sunflower Girls State Director Anne Werner; Rachel Van Horn, of Lawrence; and Helen Bolton, of Manhattan. Helping to lower the flag are Cori Simpson, of Overland Park, nearest the flagpole facing the camera, and Jayme Lindstrom, of Silver Lake, at right.

Sunflower Girls State participants and leaders lower the American flag Sunday during the Girls State opening ceremony at the Dole Institute of Politics. In the back row, from left, are LaVeta Miller, department president of the American Legion Auxiliary; Sunflower Girls State Director Anne Werner; Rachel Van Horn, of Lawrence; and Helen Bolton, of Manhattan. Helping to lower the flag are Cori Simpson, of Overland Park, nearest the flagpole facing the camera, and Jayme Lindstrom, of Silver Lake, at right.

June 2, 2008

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Sunflower Girls State participants assemble for a flag ceremony Sunday as the 2008 session kicks off at the Dole Institute of Politics on Kansas University's West Campus.

Sunflower Girls State participants assemble for a flag ceremony Sunday as the 2008 session kicks off at the Dole Institute of Politics on Kansas University's West Campus.

Future leaders of our government rule KU campus this week

The 66th annual American Legion Auxillary Kansas Sunflower Girls State delegates are in town. Enlarge video

Lawrence teen Samantha Galyardt spent part of Sunday building the framework of a new city. "Right now, we're deciding what kind of government we want our cities to have," said Galyardt, a Lawrence High student.

Galyardt was among more than 300 young women from across the state who convened at Kansas University for the 66th annual American Legion Auxiliary Kansas Sunflower Girls State, a weeklong program focused on educating about the workings of government and honing students' leadership skills.

Throughout the week, the students will campaign for various offices and hold elections for such posts as governor and lieutenant governor. They will hear from pertinent speakers including Judge G. Joseph Pierron of the Kansas Court of Appeals and Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh.

On Sunday, the students gathered in what Bonnie Boyer, director of publications and acting spokeswoman for the event, called "sheer pandemonium."

"They really don't know what to expect," Boyer said.

The opening assembly was Sunday evening at the Lied Center.

Lawrence High School student Emily Teefey said she hopes the program will teach her more about elections and the workings of government.

"I think it's going to be a lot of hard work and hopefully learning a lot about government positions and what they do," she said.

Aimee Niedenthal, a Lawrence High student, said she was enjoying meeting people from across the state and learning.

"It's really about getting a good understanding of how you can make a difference and you can affect the world," she said. "I think it's really good to educate young people these days, especially about government and leadership, so they can really be involved later in life."

Comments

KansasPerson 7 years, 1 month ago

Ahhh, rodentgirl, your experience sounds sucky. I'm sorry it was so bad. I've never been to GS so I can't compare experiences, but I can imagine how that week must have just dragged by for you.

J Good Good 7 years, 1 month ago

I had a good time. I had cool people in my group and our leader was funny. It is like summer camp -it could go either way.....

crosswalker 7 years, 1 month ago

It looks like, from the photo, the young women still are required to wear skirts? No pants allowed. I found that slightly strange and stilted 14 years ago when I participated, and I find it even more strange today.

KansasPerson 7 years, 1 month ago

I wondered about that too, crosswalker. The guys at Boys State are wearing jeans and t-shirts and they look a lot more comfortable!rodentgirl, tell us more. What made it so bad?

Danielle Brunin 7 years, 1 month ago

I went into Girls State with an open mind. Being an overachiever in high school, I had went to other civic programs and so I had high hopes. Maybe it was the year or something, but so many of the girls were just nasty mean! The "cool" girls (a.k.a. most vicious) tormented the "nerds. They formed cliques almost immediately. Girls were crying, the leadership did nothing. I remember one girl broke her ankle and since they had a "no phone call" rule at the time, they didn't think it was necessary for her to call her parents (the no-phone rule was abolished the next year). Of course, everyone protested and they finally did let her call before they left for the hospital. My roommate was horrible. She would ask normal questions like what I wanted to do with my life or if I had a boyfriend, relatively normal stuff for girls to talk about, and then use it for comedic fodder. It was quite ingenius,really. I found out that all of the girls in her clique did this to each of their roommates for entertainment. We also had to wear skirts the entire time, but to be honest, that was the least of my problems. Ah, then the elections to Girls State government, we finally got to see the "popular" girls turn on one another, but consequently, no one really learned anything. They did have some good speakers. This was in the course of a week. The girls who really wanted to be there were awesome, but those who didn't were evil. Sorry for reliving the horrors, but it still bugs me when I see those signs. To be fair, I have heard girls from years after say that it was wonderful. That just wasn't my experience.

Tara Painter 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah and serving them at Mrs. E's sucks too! They always seem to have there nose stuck in the air.

Kathy Gates 7 years, 1 month ago

Hey, Rodentgirl--you're not alone! I went to Girls State in 1986 and had the same experience you did. I couldn't wait to leave.

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