Rhododendron Girls State set to open at D&E

ELKINS — The 77th session of the American Legion Auxiliary Rhododendron Girls State will bring 350 rising high school seniors to the Davis & Elkins College campus, June 9-14. The young women selected to participate in West Virginia’s premier leadership academy will dedicate the week to learning more about Americanism and citizenship.

This is the second year Davis & Elkins College has hosted Girls State and participation has grown. In addition, 50 volunteer counselors, party leaders, instructors, office crew members and country store workers will be on site throughout the week.

Established in 1941 under the sponsorship and direction of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of West Virginia, Rhododendron Girls State is a premier experiential hands-on program that focuses on citizenship and patriotism, and develops leadership and pride in American citizens, educates citizens about our system of government, instills a greater understanding of American traditions, and stimulates a desire to maintain our democratic government processes within our republic.

The students, who will become “citizens” of Girls State, will spend the week immersed in educational sessions focused on government and participate in party caucuses. The week also entails a platform for learning the election process first-hand with the formation of a mock government in which the citizens have opportunities to file for office, campaign, attend candidate speeches, vote and participate in an inauguration ceremony. Each day, they will hear from some of West Virginia’s top government officials including Secretary of State Mac Warner, who will discuss the upcoming centennial anniversary of the 19th Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote, State Treasurer John Perdue and U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin. Davis & Elkins College alumnus and Trustee Adam Ouelette will deliver an address on women’s empowerment.

In accordance with Girls State’s emphasis on veterans, several activities are planned to pay tribute to those who have served our country and to educate the citizens about the role of American Legion Auxiliary members.

Davis & Elkins College will also host a college fair for the citizens.

Candidates for citizens of Rhododendron Girls State are recommended by their high schools based on their interest in government, leadership, character and honesty, scholarship, cooperativeness, community participation, knowledge of parliamentary procedures and demonstration of above average scholastic achievement.

SUNDAY

1 – 3 p.m.: Registration – McDonnell Center

3 – 5:20 p.m.: “Get Acquainted” and City & County Business Dorm Communities

5:30 p.m.: dinner — McDonnell Center

6:30 p.m.: Opening Assembly – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium; Invocation and Welcome President Chris Wood, Davis & Elkins College; Welcome Mrs. Michelle Sirbaugh, Director; Girls State Governor Miss Nataya Bartlett; Special Guest Speaker Mrs. Lisa Wood; Department President, American Legion Auxiliary Ms. Rhonda Best; Department Commander, American Legion Mr. Bill Combs: Swearing In Judge Lori Haynes: staff introductions Mrs. Michelle Sirbaugh, director; Dr. Rosemary Thomas, assistant director

7:30 p.m.: Party Organization

Federalist Party Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

Nationalist Party Smith Forum

9:30 p.m.: Government Business and Reflections Dorm Communities

11 p.m.: lights out

MONDAY

7 a.m.: Rise and Shine

7:30 a.m.: Flag Ceremony – Flagpole Myles Center for the Arts Plaza

7:45 a.m.: Breakfast – McDonnell Center

8:30-10:20 a.m.: City Government – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

County Government – Smith Forum

State Government – Dance Studio

Financial Literacy – Art Studio

College Prep – Chapel

10:30 a.m.: Girls State Government – all citizens – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

11:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.: Rhododendron Daily – assigned editorial staff only

Editorial Staff report to Art Studio with Connie Frederick

All other Citizens must be in one of three groups:

1) Girls State Chorus – Chapel

2) Public Speaking – Smith Forum

3) Public Safety – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

12:15 p.m.: lunch – McDonnell Center; guest speaker – West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner

1:15 p.m.: Party Caucuses: Federalists – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

Nationalists – Smith Forum

2:30 – 3:45 p.m.: Filing for Office

County Offices/County Clerk – Dorm Communities

State Offices/Acting Secretary of State Rosemary Thomas – Smith Forum

Talent Tryouts – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium – Babs Condon

5 p.m.: Flag Ceremony – Flagpole Myles Center for the Arts Plaza

5:15 p.m.: dinner – McDonnell Center

6 p.m.: All Citizens Assembly – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

POW/MIA Ceremony Past Department Commander Dave Hall

Girls Nation Report Senators Morgan Marquart and Cameron Pyle

7 p.m.: Supreme Court Candidates Speak

7:30 p.m.: Party Caucuses – Candidates Speak

Federalists – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

Nationalists – Smith Forum

10 p.m.: Government Business and Reflections Dorm Communities

11 p.m.: lights out

TUESDAY

6:30 a.m.: Rise and Shine

7 a.m.: Flag Ceremony – Flag Pole Myles Center for the Arts Plaza

7:15 a.m.: breakfast – McDonnell Center

8 – 10:50 a.m.: City Government – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

See Class County Government – Smith Forum

Schedule State Government – Dance Studio

Financial Literacy – Art Studio

College Prep – Chapel

11- 11:30 a.m.: Rhododendron Daily – Assigned Editorial Staff Only – report to Arts Studio

All other Citizens must be in one of three groups

1) Girls State Chorus – Chapel

2) Public Speaking – Smith Forum

3) Public Safety – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

4) Highland Dance – Dance Studio

11:30 a.m.: Girls State Government – All Citizens – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

12:15 p.m.: Lunch – McDonnell Center –guest speaker West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue

1:15 p.m.: Party and Staff Pictures – TBD

1:45 p.m.: Pick up election supplies at Chapel – Election Officials

2-3 p.m.: Polls Open – Primary Election – vote by dorm communities – Myles Center

3:10-5:25 p.m.: Talent Tryouts – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium – Babs Condon

5:30 p.m.: Flag Ceremony – Flagpole Myles Center for the Arts Plaza

5:45 p.m.: Dinner – McDonnell Center

6:30 p.m.: All Citizens Assembly – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

The Poppy Story Past Dept. President Mrs. Sue Brown

Special Honoree Presentation Christie Duckwall

Angie Goodwin

8:15 p.m.: Primary Election Returns

8:30 p.m.: Gubernatorial Debate

9 p.m.: Party meetings to work on Party Parade in communities

10 p.m.: Government Business and Reflections Dorm Communities

11 p.m.: lights out

WEDNESDAY

7 a.m.: Rise and Shine

7:15 a.m.: Flag Ceremony – Flagpole Myles Center for the Arts Plaza

7:30 a.m.: Breakfast – McDonnell Center

8:15 a.m.: Candidates Speak – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

9:30 a.m.: Chorus – Chapel – Ashley Parrish

10:30 a.m.: Party Parade Lineups — Plaza

10:45 a.m.: Parade – Plaza

Noon: Pick up election supplies following parade

12:15 p.m.: Lunch — McDonnell Center — guest speaker Adam Ouelette, Esq.

2-3 p.m.: Polls open – General Election – Vote by Communities – Myles Center

4 p.m.: Talent Tryouts – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium – Babs Condon

5 p.m.: Flag Ceremony – Flagpole Myles Center for the Arts Plaza

5:15 p.m.: Dinner — McDonnell Center

6:15 p.m.: House and Senate to Chambers – Halliehurst

All other Citizens to Assembly – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

American Legion Auxiliary Story Past Dept. President Mrs. Ann Buchanan

Military Child’s Table Setting Ceremony Junior Counselors

Old Brick Playhouse Missy Armentrout McCollam

8:30 p.m.: General Election Returns

9:30 p.m.: Government Business and Reflections Dorm Communities

11 p.m.: Lights Out

THURSDAY

6:30 a.m.: Rise and Shine

7 a.m.: Flag Ceremony – Flagpole Myles Center for the Arts Plaza

7:15 a.m.: Breakfast – McDonnell Center

8 a.m.: Assembly – Meet Outstanding Citizens – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

9 a.m.: House and Senate to Chambers – Arts and Ceramics Studios

Chorus – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

All Others – College Fair – Halliehurst/Madden Center

11 a.m.: Inaugural Practice — Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

Governor, Board of Public Works, Mayors, Sheriffs, Supreme Court Justices, and Party Leaders

Noon: Lunch – McDonnell Center

1 p.m.: Outstanding Citizens report to Myles Center for the Arts

1:30 – 3:30 p.m.: Prepare for Inauguration – Dorm Communities

3:30 p.m.: Citizens assemble for Inauguration – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

3:45 p.m.: Inaugural Ceremony Procession

4:45 p.m.: Official Pictures – TBD – Josh Triggs and Paulette Anderson

5 p.m.: Community Pictures – TBD

5:30 p.m.: Flag Ceremony – Flagpole Myles Center of the Arts Plaza

5:45 p.m.: Dinner — McDonnell Center

7 p.m. Showtime – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium – Babs Condon

Friendship Circle to follow – Myles Plaza

10 p.m.: Reflections – Dorm Communities

11 p.m.: Lights Out

JUNE 14 FLAG DAY

7:30 a.m.: Rise and Shine

8 a.m.: Breakfast – McDonnell Center

8:30 a.m.: Guest speaker, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

9:30 a.m.: All Citizens Assembly – Harper-McNeeley Auditorium

Special Project Presentation

Governor’s Appointments

Outstanding Citizens Awards

Announcement of Girls Nation Senators

Scholarship Presentations

10 a.m.: Guest speaker, Sen. Joe Manchin

10:45 a.m. Retirement of Colors

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