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Online Orientation

Please review the information to prepare you for your experience. After you register, you will receive an email with a link to the online orientation quiz.

The Girls State Program is structured on three principles – Americanism, Citizenship and Leadership.

  1. Americanism – Citizens learn the fundamentals of Patriotism and purpose of the American Legion Auxiliary. Ladies learn flag etiquette. Ladies will participate in the basic ceremonial activities involving the flag including reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, flag ceremonies, prayer and the singing of patriotic songs.
  2. Citizenship – This begins as soon as the ladies arrive and are divided into communities. The citizens will experience government at the city, county and state levels. Citizens will be elected and appointed to all offices that exist within the government structures of West Virginia. Citizens will register to vote, file for office and vote in elections during the week. Citizens will also participate in service activities and be exposed to the importance of community service as productive citizens. Citizens will also learn that serving your community isn’t just about holding a public office, it’s also about sharing your talents and skills to make your community better. Citizens will participate in talent shows, singing, skits, designing the Girls State Inauguration program and directory cover.
  3. Leadership – Most of the students that come to Girls State are leaders in their school. The week gives them opportunities to be leaders in their Girls State communities, party affiliation and at the state level.

In addition to these phases, citizens will have a chance to take part in nightly talent shows, sing in the Girls State Chorus, work as reporters for The Rhododendron Daily, take classes on professional development, public speaking or public safety. They’ll be mentored by dozens of volunteers from various backgrounds. The staff includes: elected officials, teachers, counselors, nurses, journalists, college students, mothers, grandmothers and retirees.

First, as a citizen of Rhododendron Girls State, you become a citizen of city, county and state government structures and a political party. You register to vote, file for office, campaign, deliver speeches and vote. You have the opportunity to develop a platform and debate the issues on every level of government at Girls State and within your party. As a voter, you will participate in primary and general elections. As an official, you will perform the functions of that office. Throughout the week, you will attend seminars, which address citizenship, leadership and governmental topics.

Preparation for the Week

  1. Make sure all of your forms are complete and you registered online.
  2. Check out the Girls State Glossary for details on the dress code, who you’ll meet and important campus information.
  3. Samsung Scholarship Application REMEMBER if you are applying, submit your application completely filled out online at  prior to Girls State — give yourself credit for community service hours, school activities, etc. This form must be turned into your Senior Counselor when you check-in at Girls State. NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED BY E-MAIL OR FAX .
  4. Check-in will be Sunday, June 10 at Davis & Elkins College from 1 P.M. until 3 P.M. Girls State will be in session until Friday, June 15 approximately 10 A.M.
  5. Citizens are INSURED from the time they leave home until they return from Girls State. A nurse will be on duty at all times. Every care will be taken to avoid accidents and illnesses.
  6. The Director of Girls State may dismiss any girl for just cause without the consent of the contributing organization.
  7. No visitors are permitted at Girls State at anytime.


Contact your Local Unit Representative (who selected you to attend)
Contact Ann Buchanan, Registrar at or 304-654-9932
Contact Michelle Sirbaugh, Director at

It is vital that you contact someone so the vacant place can be filled. An organization furnished the registration of $250.00 per citizen that cannot be refunded after May 15th. NO SHOWS are students who do not show up and do not contact the program with a reason why. A letter will be mailed to the contributor of the registration, to the girl’s school and to the girl’s parent(s)/guardian declaring the student as a NO SHOW. It is vital to the program as well as safety that someone is contacted, prior to registration day, if the participate can not make it to Girls State.