Welcome Letter 2019

Dear Girls State Delegates: Once you have been selected to attend Girls State by your American Legion Auxiliary sponsoring Unit, and turned in all of your paperwork, please review this information with your parent/guardian!

Congratulations! You have been selected to attend the 73rd Session of the Idaho Syringa Girls State, which will be held at Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) in Nampa, Idaho on June 9-14, 2019.  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.

  • CHECK-IN: Check-in will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby of Dooley Hall on the campus of NNU on Sunday, June 9.  All Girls State Delegates must be registered by 10:00 a.m. on that day and will not be able to leave for any reason until the evening of Friday, June 14.  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.)
  • TRAVEL:  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.
  • Buses: 
  • Arrival: If you live more than 100 miles from the Boise area, you will be arriving by chartered bus, unless you make other arrangements.  The bus will arrive on campus between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 9.  The bus arriving from northern Idaho will be picking up some delegates on Saturday, June 8.  If you are riding the bus, please check here for updates to your bus schedule. Please check and recheck your schedule for the correct date and time!
  • Returning Home:
  • Girls State session will end on Friday evening (June 14th) 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 15.  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. Please remember that we will verify the ID of the person picking you up from campus.
  • 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.
  • If you arrive on the bus, you must return on the bus, unless the Session Coordinator has received written consent from your parent/guardian regarding your mode of transportation home.  NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • ARTICLES TO BRING:  Please mark all items that you bring with your name.  Girls State cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen items. Please remember to bring your own bedding, pillow, toiletry items, and items for the Service Project, if you wish to participate. You can find the packing list and dress code here.
  • The Service Project this year will be the gift of personal care items and baby layette items for the residents of the Women Veteran Clinic shelter. If you would like to donate to this service project, please bring some of these or similar items with you: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, sanitary items such as pads or tampons, deodorant, or a baby blanket, onesie, baby shampoo, or other small baby items for the children. Remember, you are bringing these items with you as you travel, so be mindful of space requirements on the bus! If you have questions on this project, please contact the Session Coordinator (contact information listed below).
  • 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, do not bring any prepared campaign items such as posters, pins, etc.
  • 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 will also have delegates accompanying the choir, singing in the choir, playing the piano during Inauguration, and playing the drums during Flag Ceremony. If you like, you may bring an instrument to play.
  • 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 For Delegates tab for more information.
  • BILLS AND LEGISLATION: If you choose to submit a legislative bill, it must be prepared and submitted prior to Girls State.  Not everyone submits a bill, it is up to you.  If you wish to submit a bill, there is information, and sample legislative bills 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, 2019 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.
  • 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 your counselor.
  • ADDITIONAL ITEMS AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE: We have several items that you 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.
T-shirts – $10.00
Political Party T-Shirt – $10.00

Water Bottles – $4.00  
Hoodies – $25.00
Nylon Drawstring Tote Bags – $6.00

  • INAUGURATION: Inauguration is Friday, June 14, 2019, at 7:00 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 6:30 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 12, 2019 and should include a return address.


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

208-659-4536 (Jo-Ann Rasmussen, Chairman)

208-716-1501 (Kaylene Burtenshaw, Director)

208-467-8376 (Campus)

  • FLOWERS: Please inform your family and friends that you cannot accept flowers, including corsages and bouquets, during your stay at Girls State.
  • VISITORS: Family and friends are encouraged to join us for the Inauguration on Friday, June 14, 2019.  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.
  • GIRLS STATE RULES: During your application process, you have already signed a form stating that you will follow the Girls State Rules.  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.
  • COUNSELORS AND STAFF: Keep in mind that the counselors and staff of Girls State are all 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.
  • 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.”
  • 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, or purchase items from the campus vending machines.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 advise the Session Coordinator.
  • SCHOLARSHIPS: Samsung Scholarship – Each Girls State citizen has the opportunity to apply for the American Legion Samsung Scholarship. All applications must be submitted online. No new applications will be accepted on site, only applications submitted online before midnight on June 9, 2019 will be accepted. For more information, please visit https://www.legion.org/scholarships/samsung.
  • COLLEGE CREDITS: As a citizen of Idaho Syringa Girls State, you have the opportunity to earn college credits.  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 POLS1000 Introduction to American Government Class. The cost is $130; however, most students are eligible to utilize Fast Forward Funds 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/College Credit and Scholarships and complete this process prior to June 1. These are fully transferable college credits.

In conclusion, we are looking forward to having you at Girls State! If you have any questions or concerns, please email the Session Coordinator at IdahoALAGSSecretary@gmail.com.


Cindy Woodman

Idaho Syringa Girls State

Session Coordinator


Idaho Girls State