Welcome Letter 2017

Dear Girls State Delegate and Parents:

Congratulations! You are officially registered to attend the 71st Session of the Idaho Syringa Girls State, which will be held at Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) in Nampa, Idaho on June 11 – 16, 2017.  The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors the Girls State program. This unique program gives young women, like you, the opportunity to learn how city, county, and state government functions, as well as how political parties work.  Through this program, our hope is that you will become a more involved citizen.

The ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary will be responsible for you during your stay at Girls State.  For this reason, please read through all the contents of this packet.  It contains vital information about your Girls State experience.

  1. CHECK-IN: Check-in will begin at 9:00 a.m. in Culver Hall on the campus of NNU on Sunday, June 11.  All Girls State Delegates must be registered by 11:00 a.m. on that day and will not be able to leave for any reason until the evening of Friday, June 16.  If you have been selected to attend Girls State and have now found your plans have changed and you will not be able to attend the entire session, you must contact your local American Legion Auxiliary Unit, as well as the Session Coordinator (contact info listed below), before the session begins in order for you or your sponsor to be eligible to receive the refundable portion of your registration fee. (Please note that refunds are at the discretion of the Board, and are not guaranteed.)


  1. TRAVEL:


Ø  Private Vehicles: 

Delegates who live within 100 miles of Boise are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the session.  Delegates ARE NOT allowed to drive themselves to and/or from Girls State and/or NNU.


Ø  Buses: 

Arrival: If you live more than 100 miles from the Boise area, you will be arriving by chartered bus.  The bus will arrive on campus between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 11.  The bus arriving from northern Idaho will be picking up some delegates on Saturday, June 10.  If you are riding the bus, you will receive a separate email with the specific schedule for your bus. Please check and recheck your schedule for the correct date and time!


Ø  Departure:

Girls State session will end on Friday evening (June 16th) after the Inauguration Ceremony.  The buses will depart the campus at approximately 11:00 p.m.  Many of you will be returning home in the early morning hours. We recommend that you do not schedule any appointments or college tests on June 17th.  Please note the time of the bus arrival back in your home area and have a designated person there to pick you up.  If you are being picked up from NNU, you may leave the campus as soon as you have checked out of your dorm after Inauguration.


Ø  Please wear comfortable clothing on the bus.  Please arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to your bus stop – the bus will not wait for you.  Any meals and/or snacks for traveling to or from Girls State are your responsibility, so please plan accordingly.


Ø  If you arrive on the bus, you must return on the bus unless the Session Coordinator has received signed, written consent from your parent/guardian regarding your mode of transportation home.  This written permission must be received prior to June 1, 2017.  NO EXCEPTIONS!



Please mark all items that you bring with your name.  Girls State cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen items. Please review the attachments Daily Dress Requirements and the Quick Reference Packing Guide. Please remember to bring your own bedding, pillow, toiletry items, and items for the Service Project.

Ø  The Service Project this year will be the gift of ball caps to the residents of the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise. If you would like to donate to this service project, please bring one ball cap with you. They can be any kind of color and size. If you have questions on this project, please contact the Session Coordinator.


  1. WHAT NOT TO BRING: Please leave any valuable jewelry and other items at home.  Girls State cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen items.  Also, you may not bring any prepared campaign items such as posters, pins, etc.


  1. MUSICAL/TALENT: Delegates will have opportunities throughout the week to share their musical talents.  On Thursday we have a talent show, with each city providing 2 talents. We also have designated delegates accompanying the choir, singing in the choir, playing the piano during Inauguration, and playing the drums during Flag Ceremony.


  1. CITIZENSHIP: Prior to coming to Girls State, you may want to attend a City Council meeting in your area or visit your local courthouse.  Keeping track of current events is encouraged. A working knowledge of Parliamentary Procedure will be extremely helpful at Girls State.  Any opportunities that you have to study and learn about Parliamentary Procedure (Parli Pro) will benefit you. Please visit the links on our website under Delegates/Other Information and Opportunities for more information.


  1. BILLS AND LEGISLATION: Girls State Delegates are encouraged to prepare and submit legislative bills prior to Girls State.  There is information, samples, and templates on our website under Delegates/Writing Your Bill.  You may want to contact your local legislator or high school government teacher for assistance in coming up with a potential subject. Please email your bills to idahogirlsstatebills@gmail.com by June 1, 2017 as a Word Document. Please reference Girls State Bill in the subject line of your email. Due to the amount of work involved by our staff to get your bills ready for Girls State, we cannot accept any bills after June 1st. Please be sure and bring an electronic copy of your bill on a flash drive to Girls State, in case of errors during submission.


  1. MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Idaho Syringa Girls State program sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary provides additional insurance coverage for each citizen during her stay at Girls State.  Every precaution is taken to avoid accidents and illnesses at Girls State.  Our coverage is additional coverage to any other valid and collectible group insurance plan.  If at any time you feel ill or are injured, please report to the counselor.


  1. PHOTOS/YEARBOOKS: On Sunday, after the Opening Ceremony, a professional photographer will take photos of each of the cities, as well as a photo of the entire delegation.  A yearbook filled with photos and memories will also be published and available to purchase. Information about ordering is available on our website under Delegates/Other Information and Opportunities. If ordered before June 11, 2017 the cost of the photos and yearbook is $30.00. Order Forms will also be available at Girls State. Last day to order is Friday, June 16, 2017.


  1. ADDITIONAL ITEMS AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE: We have several items that the girls will be able to purchase at the Girls State Store. These items are optional…..but fun to have! The Store will be open during registration and during lunch and dinner for a short time.


T-shirts – $10.00


Water Bottles – $4.00

Hoodies – $25.00

Nylon Drawstring Tote Bags – $6.00

Most girls purchase the tote bag to carry their Girls State materials

Political Party T-Shirt – $10.00

You will be assigned to a political party upon arrival.


  1. INAUGURATION: Inauguration is Friday, June 16, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.  Each delegate will be recognized for her participation and awarded a Girls State certificate and pin.  Your family and friends are invited to attend this special event as well as the Flag Ceremony immediately preceding the Inauguration, at approximately 7:00 p.m.  Inauguration will be held in the Brandt Center on the NNU Campus.  There will be time after the ceremony for visiting and taking pictures.  The buses are scheduled to leave at approximately 11:00 p.m.


  1. CAMPUS: You will be staying in the dormitories on the campus of Northwest Nazarene University.  Please be respectful and courteous at all times. We appreciate NNU and their staff, and all of the hard work they put into making your Girls State experience successful and comfortable.  Vending machines are located throughout the dorms.  Please bring your own money if you wish to purchase items from the machines.


  1. MESSAGES FROM HOME: From time to time, we have had delegates get homesick.  If your parents, family, and friends would like to write to you, your address at Girls State will be:


Idaho Syringa Girls State

Northwest Nazarene University

623 Holly Street

Nampa, ID  83686


Any items should be mailed prior to Wednesday, June 14, 2017 and should include a return address.


208-589-2956 (Cindy Woodman, Session Coordinator)

208-521-9872 (Toni Gimpel, Chairman)

208-716-1501 (Kaylene Burtenshaw, Director)

208-467-8376 (Campus)


  1. FLOWERS: Please inform your family and friends that you cannot accept flowers, including corsages and bouquets, during your stay at Girls State.


  1. VISITORS: Family and friends are encouraged to join us for the Inauguration on Friday, June 16, 2017.  Visitors and guests are NOT allowed at any other time during the session.  You will be very busy with meetings and events throughout the day and evening.  ABSOLUTELY NO MALES ARE ALLOWED EXCEPT AT INAUGURATION.


  1. GIRLS STATE RULES: During your application process, you have already signed a form stating that you will follow the Girls State Rules.  A copy of the rules is available on the website for your review.  Any girl who violates any Girls State rule will be disciplined accordingly and if she is sent home, she must pay for her own transportation.


  1. COUNSELORS AND STAFF: Keep in mind that the counselors and staff of Girls State are volunteers.  Please take a moment to thank them.  Always act with respect and kindness towards them.  They are here because they believe in you and in the Girls State program.  Upon arrival on Sunday, you will be assigned to one of nine cities.  Each city has a counselor.  She will become your “Girls State Mom.”  She is responsible for you during your stay.  She should be notified immediately of any problems, illnesses, or injuries.  She must also know where you are at all times.


  1. GIRLS NATION: Girls Nation is also sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary and will be held in Washington, D.C. in July. This is an outstanding opportunity for young women to learn about how the Federal Government operates.  Each citizen who attends Idaho Syringa Girls State is eligible to attend Girls Nation.  Throughout the week, you will get to know many outstanding young women. Thursday evening you will nominate a fellow citizen from your city that you feel is a good candidate to attend Girls Nation.  The nine (9) nominees (one from each city) will go through a selection process by a committee appointed by the Director.  Two girls will be selected to attend Girls Nation by that committee. They will be announced at Inauguration on Friday night. They will also come back to the Girls State session the following year to act as “Senators.”


  1. MEALS: All meals will be provided during your stay at Girls State.  Each delegate is required to attend all meal times in the dining hall.  If you have any special dietary requirements which were not already addressed during your application process, please tell your Counselor as soon as possible so that we may advise the dining hall staff. Meals are hosted three times each day; if you want, you may bring some of your favorite snacks with you if you get hungry before bed.
  2. SPECIAL GUESTS: During your week at Girls State, there will be several special guests.  Please be courteous and respectful as well as attentive to them.  They are volunteering their time to join us.


  1. TELEPHONE USAGE: If you bring a cell phone, usage is limited to taking photos during the day. You may use your cell phone to make calls or text after all activities are done for the day. Please only charge your cell phone at night in your room. Cell phones may be confiscated if the rules aren’t being followed.  Please review the rules and follow guidance provided by the Journalism staff regarding social media.


v Please be advised: There will be NO WIFI access during Girls State. If you are taking an online class, please arrange for a break in your schedule. If you have additional concerns, please speak with your Counselor.


  1. SCHOLARSHIPS: Samsung Scholarship – Each Girls State citizen has the opportunity to apply for the Samsung American Legion Scholarship. All applications must be submitted online. No new applications will be accepted on site, only applications submitted online before midnight on June 11, 2017 will be accepted. For more information, please visit http://www.legion.org/samsung-scholarship-application.


  1. COLLEGE CREDITS: As a citizen of Idaho Syringa Girls State, you have the opportunity to earn college credits.


Ø  Northwest Nazarene University:  NNU is offering two (2) – college credits to Girls State Citizens and staff.  You must complete the week of Girls State and attend two (2) one-hour lectures (scheduled during the week of Girls State).  This is a PS100 Introduction to American Government Class. The cost is $130; however, most students are eligible to utilize state funding to cover this cost.  If you are interested in taking this class, NNU suggests you go to our website and look under the tab for Delegates à College Credit and Scholarships and complete this process prior to June 1. These are fully transferrable college credits.


In conclusion, we are looking forward to having you at Girls State! If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at IdahoALASecretary@gmail.com or call or text the Session Coordinator at 208-589-2956.




Cindy Woodman

2017 Idaho Syringa Girls State

Session Coordinator



Idaho Girls State