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.
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 18 cities. Each city will be responsible for making its own laws, electing officials, and carrying out its governance. In addition, the 18 cities are grouped into 5 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 $250 fee is paid by the Auxiliary unit sponsoring the citizen or a contributing organization who has provided the fee. Each delegate brings some spending money for souvenirs, snacks, and other essentials throughout the week.
What if my daughter decides not to go?
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 notifyan 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 . . . morning 'til night. There isn't much free time especially in the beginning of the week. Building governments from the ground up requires a lot of time and energy. Cell phones are allowed during the day to take pictures, but the girls will only have time to call or text after the session activities are concluded for the day.
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 two Staff advisors assigned to each county to assist and supervise activities as well. There is at least one adult staff member with the city at all times. Counselors and Staff Adviors also sleep on the same dorm floor along with the citizens. In addition to County Staff, there are other staff members working in the ALA IGS Office, Shopping Center, Elections and the Legislative office. There are nurses on staff to handle any medical problems that might arise and a local hospital is located neayby.
What about security?
The delegates are housed in two dormitories on the Eastern Illinois University Campus. The dorms are locked and accesses is restricted to the ALA IGS program. The delegates are issued keys to their individual rooms. No delegate will be allowed to leave campus at any time and will be either with her city or in her chosen activity at all times. The EIU Campus police also provide additional security to ensure the safey of all delegates and staff.
How do I contact my daughter while she is at ALA Illini Girls State?
Everyone loves to get mail! You may write to the following address:
2151 4th Street
Lawson Hall ALA IGS City _________________
Charleston, IL 61920
Is there an emergency phone number at the University?
NOTE: In case of an emergency, parents can reach their daughter with messages by phoning the number
below. This number will be in effect beginning Sunday, 9:00 a.m. through Saturday, 1:00 p.m.
AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY ILLINI GIRLS STATE OFFICE (24 hours a day when in session) 217-581-5131
University Police Department Number 217-581-3213
Reminder: If your call is not an emergency, girls may not receive your message for 2 to 3 hours due to the
scheduling of activities. Their time to return calls will depend upon their schedule.
What does my daugher need for the week?
We have assembled a comprehensive list of things to bring. It is recommended that girls NOT bring any expensive jewelry or electronic equipment. Please make sure your daughter brings sheets, a pillow, towels, hangers, toiletries, casual and dress clothes, and comfortable shoes (there is a lot of walking.)
You don't need to worry about meals while your daughter is attending ALA Illini Girls State. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in the residence hall dining center. Menus vary daily, but there are always fresh fruits and vegitiable choices, and there is a salad bar bet up for lunch and dinner. Any special dietary needs or allergies should be brought to our attention when completing the registrataion paperwork. The sooner this paperwork is submitted, the easier it is to ensure appropriate meal options are available, particulaly for the first banquet of the week.