Hello from ALA Empire Girls State 2017!

Phew! What a fast 36 hours we have had! The girls arrived, settled in, found their cheering voices and have had a lot of fun! To get a glimpse of the fun and see what we have been up to, I present to you our First  ALA Empire Girls State Gazette !

Volume 2 issue 1 2017

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Thursday Recap!

Long nights lead to early mornings . . . the citizens have learned that this week!!
PATRIOTIC DAY TODAY!  Red, white and blue attire was worn by all attending and volunteering at Girls State today!  Some a little crazy, but all were very patriotic!  After breakfast and the flag posting ceremony performed by Earhart County with two buglers echoing “Taps,” Department President Jan spoke about the American Legion Auxiliary and some of the programs:  Children  Youth, Veteran Affairs & Rehabilitation, Poppy Program, Warrior Family Assistance and the American Legion Auxiliary College.
The State Session reconvened with the 22 members of the Senate sitting up front and the Governor, Lt. Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General and the Secretary of State sitting up on stage.  The Lt. Governor is the President of the Legislature and session was called to order.  Bills that have been worked on during the week were introduced by the respective Chair of the Bills Committee.  The bills were debated upon in the Assembly and the Senate and then voted upon.  A majority is needed to pass a Bill in each House.  If the Bill was passed it is forwarded on to the Governor for action of which would be announced Friday morning.  Five out of twelve bills were passed by a majority of votes.  The Secretary of State read a brief report of what transpired during Session and the Lt. Governor adjourned the meeting.
After dinner, a flag retrieval ceremony was performed by Anthony County.  All Citizens and Staff participated in the County Fun Night which consisted of skits performed by each County!  The citizens then went into the Fireside Lounge
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Wednesday Recap!

Another beautiful day on the Brockport College campus!
Our morning started with a flag posting ceremony and a song by the Clinton County citizens.
We then had a presentation by the Department Americanism Chairman talking about Blue Star banners which were given to citizens who have family members actively serving in the military.   It’s an American tradition to display a Blue Star Service Banner in the window of a home when a loved one is proudly serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  The banner is a white banner with one or more blue stars sewn into a red banner.  Depending on how many children are currently serving would determine how many stars are sewn on the banner.  We had presented 20 one-star banners and 1 two-star banner to our citizens.
The County Executive announced her appointments this morning and the Nationalist and Federalist Party presented their platforms.  There was then a warm round of applause and shouts of excitement as the State Officer candidates were presented from both Parties.
The Committees came back together and finalized their Bills which will be reviewed tonight by the State Comptroller of each Party.  Each Committee was then given a Case Study to begin writing their Resolutions.
After another working lunch, Committees then went back to their Counties where the County Judge presided over her court with the County DA representing the County.  Any citizen that was issued a citation during the last couple days went to court and either represented herself or asked a fellow citizen to represent her as her lawyer.
After Court, the Citizens prepped in their party color of either Blue or Yellow for a parade around campus followed by a very loud and spirited rally between the two parties in the campus ballroom. The citizens put on skits to show their Party spirit and ended with an even louder rally between the two parties!  If you could have only heard ~ 360 girls chanting their party cheers!!  LOUD, BUT AWESOME!!

They all then quieted down for a Town Hall meeting with the Candidates, moderated by the Political Instructor and Parliamentarian.  The Candidates then had a debate against each other for the State offices and answered questions that were received from the Counties for the Candidates.
Following the debate, instructions were given on how to vote using a voting machine.  Citizens then registered and citizens then used the voting machine to vote for their State Officers.
After dinner, O’Connor County citizens sang “The Grand Old Flag” and the color guard retrieved the flag.  ALA Department President, Jan, who had just returned from presenting at Boys State at SUNY Morrisville reported about her meeting with the citizens and told us about what they did at Boys State!
O’Connor County performed the flag retrieval ceremony with pride!  The citizens then listened to the poppy story, two poems and “In Flanders Field.”  They learned that our veterans make the poppies that are distributed around Memorial Day and are paid $0.10 per poppy.  The funds that are raised from the distribution of the poppies can only be used for Veterans and/or their families.  The citizens were then given all the pieces of a poppy and instructions on how to make their own poppy.  This wasn’t as easy as you would think . . . but they had fun trying!
The State Official Candidates were once again announced and the citizens then broke out into their political parties to begin the Girls Nation voting.  Two citizens per county were eligible to be nominated in each party caucus for Girls Nation.  The nominated citizens were escorted out of the room and one by one came back in to give a one-minute speech.  After all nominees were finished, ballots were distributed for each county and votes were announced, counted and the top 5 vote getters were announced.  These citizens will then prepare a 2-minute speech to be given in front of the entire Girls State body on Friday morning!
Meetings were adjourned and the citizens went back to their dorms for fun, speech preparation and birthday celebrations!
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Check Out Today!

Did anyone pick up a gray and white chevron pillowcase with clothes and a gray fluffy blanket inside?  Contact us at:  empiregirlsstate@gmail.com.  We believed someone picked it up by accident!

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Thank you for the article, Batavia Daily News!

Great story covering American Legion Auxiliary Girls State!

The Batavia Daily News article

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Parents! Here is some important information for Friday and Saturday


Here’s some information you should be aware of:

  • Venue opens for seating at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night at SERC
  • There are no opportunities to engage with citizens prior to the event
  • Event begins at 8:00 p.m.
  • There will be orange directional signs for assistance to SERC
  • Plenty of parking will be available
  • The venue is air conditioned
  • There is plenty of bleacher style seating available
  • There will be a cookie & punch reception immediately following the State of the State where parents/friends will be able to meet up up with their citizen
  • Merchandise will be available to commemorate their week at Empire Girls State


  • Check out begins at 6 a.m. Saturday morning
  • Remember to bring ID!!
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2016 Empire Girls State Officials Announced!

We are proud to announce the
2016 Girls State Election Results!
Governor:  Willa Dow (Nationalist Party)
Lt. Governor:  Hannah Morley (Federalist Party)
State Comptroller:  Lea Maney (Federalist Party)
State Attorney General:  Bianca Summerville (Nationalist Party)
  • Willa Dow is from Westchester County and is sponsored by Dobbs Ferry – Unit 1048.
  • Hannah Morley is from Delaware County and is sponsored by #190 – Delhi Post.
  • Lea Maney is from Ulster County and is sponsored by the Ulster County ALA.
  • Bianca Summerville is from Chemung County and is sponsored by Harry Bentley Unit 443.
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Pocket Flags to Flag Retirement Ceremony – Tuesday

The girls were up and going this morning — even though they were up late working on posters and chatting until all hours of the morning . . .
Keller County citizens conducted the Flag Posting ceremony which was followed by our guest speaker American Legion Department of NY Commander James Yermes.  He spoke about some of the activities at Boys State.
The citizens then participated in an Americanism project – Pocket Flags. They all learned how to fold a smaller version of the flag into a small triangle which will be placed in a little bag and then given to someone currently serving so they can always carry a little piece of home with them and as a thank you for defending our country and freedom.

Learning to fold the American Flag by making pocket flags.

The citizens broke out into their groups to continue working on their bills with their Committees.  There was a lot of intense discussions, negotiating and drafting of bills to put before the Political Instructors for their critique.  Final bills need to be ready Wednesday morning to be reviewed that evening by the State Comptroller. 
After another working lunch, all citizens met to witness a Flag Retirement ceremony.  When a flag becomes worn, torn, faded or badly soiled, it’s time to replace with a new flag, and the old flag should be “retired” with all the dignity and respect befitting our nation’s flag. Tubman County performed the ceremony presenting the flag for inspection and the flag was placed on a low burning fire while Taps was played.  This was a very quiet and somber event that will be remembered by all citizens.
The girls then broke up and went back to their Counties to start the County Office elections.  Each party had previously selected people for these positions on Monday,  — and today they ran against each other!  Two citizens from each party within the County were also elected for  Girls Nation!  The girls also continued to work on their Platforms/bills and received assistance from the Political Instructors as necessary.  The citizens also compiled a list of questions to be asked at the Town Hall Debate on Wednesday.
The citizens met up with the Media Team to have their County pictures taken and then off to dinner.
Flag retrieval was performed by Angelou County and the parties split up to begin the Party Caucus for the evening!  A standing count was done to determine total number of votes for the Party.  
The Chairman of the Platform Committee presented the proposed Party Platform for adoption.  After many questions and much discussion by citizens, the Platforms were adopted.
The Party Chairman then requested nominees for State Government offices:  Attorney General, State Comptroller, Lt. Governor, and Governor.  Each nominee spoke for two minutes on why they should be elected for the position and then votes were taken and winners were announced!
The evening was reserved for Meet the Candidates Night at Trax to meet the citizens and answer any questions they might have.  
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Results for County Positions

Results for County positions

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Results for the Nationalist Party by County

Results for the Nationist Party by County

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