Your daughter has just told you that she is interested in or has been selected to attend American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State. You probably have some questions, Don' t worry we've got answers!
What is the purpose of American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State?
The purpose is to promote pride in America and to create a mythical state that the citizens will govern at the city, county, and state level. Citizens will also have the opportunity to participate in Legislative activites as part of our House and Senate.
What will she do during this week?
American Legion Auxiliary Girls State is first and foremost an exercise in citizenship and leadership. In order for any government to function, it must have the active participation of its citizens. Your daughter will be actively helping to create a city, county, and state government. The delegates will be grouped into cities. Each city will be responsible for making its own laws, electing officials, and carrying out its governance. In addition, the cities are grouped into Counties, and together they form a state government and then vote as a state on who will lead them.
What will American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State cost?
American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State is a well-known program of the American Legion Auxiliary. The staff is 100% volunteer, most are members of the ALA or are former ALA IGS citizens. The $50 fee is paid by the Auxiliary unit sponsoring the citizen or a contributing organization who has provided the fee.
What if my daughter decides not to participate?
If she is the delegate and has received the official email with the registration papework, the Director and the sponsoring unit will need to be notified immediately. Given ample notice, we can notify an alternate who is "waiting in the wings" for the opportunity to go. If someone does not tell us before June 1st, or "just doesn't show up", the Auxiliary unit or the contributing organization forfeits the fees. You may be required to reimburse the sponsor for some or all of the cost if an alternate can not be found.
Will my daughter have any free time?
ALA Girls State delegates are women on the move . . . Building governments from the ground up requires a lot of time and energy. The session will consist of both synchronous and asynchrous activies. General Assemblies will have all participants working together, while city meetings will be held for smaller groups. Our days will run from 9 am to approximately 5 pm most of the week. Throughout the week, cities or groups of citizens might meet at various times to complete their activities.
If these delegates are building their own government, who is REALLY in charge?
There is a counselor assigned to each city. She acts as a leader until the city government officials are elected; then she steps back and acts as advisor to the city. Along with the city mayor and other elected city officers, they are responsible for the city's behavior at all times. There are Staff advisors assigned to each county to assist and supervise activities as well.