About the Program

What is Buckeye Girls State?
How are participants chosen?
What are the goals of the program?
What does a typical session include?
What are the benefits of attending Girls State?
When and where is Buckeye Girls State?
How is the program funded?
How is the program staffed?
For more information

What is Buckeye Girls State?

Buckeye Girls State is the name given to Ohio's Girls State program, which was designed to educate Ohio's young women in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of good citizenship. By getting involved in the process, Delegates can learn more about City, County and State Government in one week than they will learn in an entire semester of high school.

The Ohio American Legion Auxiliary has been a proud sponsor of Buckeye Girls State for the past sixty-four years. The program has been honored by such organizations as Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

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How are participants chosen?

American Legion Auxiliary Units, assisted by high school principals and guidance counselors, evaluate potential leadership qualities of young women to be interviewed for selection as Delegates or Alternates. Young women are eligible to attend if they meet the following criteria:

  • Have completed their Junior year of high school
  • Are interested in government and current events
  • Have high moral character
  • Possess strong leadership abilities
  • Have an above average scholastic standing
  • Have a desire to learn

The number of girls in each state is determined by the state Auxiliary's available resources.

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What are the goals of the program?

  • To develop leadership and pride in American citizens
  • To educate Delegates about our system of government
  • To instill in Delegates a greater understanding of American traditions
  • To stimulate a desire to maintain our government process

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What does a typical session include?

Citizens are divided into two mythical political "parties". The parties do not reflect the two major political parties in today's system, but allow Citizens to gain a special knowledge of how the system works. Elections are held to fill city, county and state positions. Activities include government workshops, legislative sessions, campaigning, party rallies, debating, voting. The Citizens also receive instruction in Parliamentary Procedure. This "hands on" method is unique and extremely effective. Girls State affords participants an opportunity to live together as self-governing citizens by informing them about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship and hopefully encourages their participation in the democratic process as they progress into adulthood. Additional activities include: journalism, law enforcement, music, field trips, group devotions, and patriotic ceremonies.

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What are the benefits of attending Girls State?

Girls State is a nationally recognized program. Past participants have included:

  • Former Texas Governor Ann Richards
  • Former Miss USA Terri Utley
  • Newscaster Jane Pauley
  • Country music performer Janie Fricke
  • Television personality Leeza Gibbons
  • Brigadier General Sharla Cook
  • U.S. Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn

Through hands-on experience young women have the opportunity to not only learn the mechanics of local and state government; but also learn citizenship and patriotism; gain self-confidence, poise and character. Attendance also makes participants eligible to apply or be selected for awards, honors and scholarships as outlined in the scholarship section.

Attendance also provides Delegates with the opportunity to apply or be selected for awards, honors and scholarships. This includes Girls Nation, United States Senate Youth Program, the Samsung Scholarship and the Buckeye Girls State Endowment Scholarship.

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When and where is Buckeye Girls State?

Buckeye Girls State is currently held on the campus of the University of Mount Union, Alliance, Ohio. The program is usually held the second or third week of June. The 2011 program begins with registration on Sunday, June 12th and ends with the closing program on Saturday, June 18th. Each girl must provide her own transportation to and from Buckeye Girls State.

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How is the program funded?

Girls State Delegates are sponsored through local American Legion Auxiliary Units and Posts of The American Legion. Other interested organizations in the community may also contribute to this sponsorship. The sponsorship fee covers the full expense of the Delegates meals and accommodations. Anyone interested in cosponsoring a Delegate, should contact the American Legion Auxiliary Department Headquarters in Zanesville, OH at 740-452-8245 or your local American Legion Auxiliary.

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How is the program staffed?

Staff comes not only from volunteers of the American Legion Auxiliary but also from the field of education, government, former Girls State participants and people who are interested in furthering the program. Counselors, state and local government, public officials and speakers participate and provide guidance in their respective fields of expertise. If you would like to serve in a staff position please contact the American Legion Auxiliary Department Headquarters in Zanesville, OH at 740-452-8245 and let us know what area you would be interested in and what you feel that you could offer the program.

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For more information

If you would like to cosponsor a Delegate, serve on the staff or need more information about the program, please feel free to contact:

American Legion Auxiliary
Buckeye Girls State
PO Box 2760
Zanesville, Ohio 43702-2760
740-452-8245.

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At a Glance

Buckeye Girls State is a week-long program designed to educate Ohio's young women in the duties, privileges, rights, and responsibilities of good citizenship. By getting involved in the process, BGS delegates learn more about city, county, and state government in one week than they will in an entire semester of high school.

Online Orientation

Delegate Database

Delegate Info Packet