Four students attend Boys/Girls State

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 6/25/96.

Four Paynesville students recently attended the Legion Boys State and Legion Auxiliary Girls State, June 9 to 15.

Casey Meagher and Jenny Flanders represented the Paynesville American Legion and Josh Mueller and Lori Thomes represented the Lake Henry American Legion.

Girls State was held at Bethel College, St. Paul, this year, while Boys State was at St. Olaf College, Northfield.

Girls State and Boys State dealt with such issues as campaigning for office, forming platforms, participating in caucuses, selecting officials and passing legislation.

They all agreed the week started out slow because they didnÍt know anybody. But as they made friends and got into the routine of the week, the time flew by quickly.

Casey said he was appointed city sheriff the first two nights and had to enforce lights out at 11 p.m. "Most of our activities were done by 10 p.m. and we had an hour to goof around before lights out," Casey said. He estimated there were between 450 and 500 boys at Boys State.

"The week started out like another week of school," Casey said. "But by Wednesday, it became exciting. We had lectures two or three times a day at first. Then the students were divided into cities and counties. I was part of the city of Stillwater. There were 34 people per city."

Josh Mueller was elected to the senate and was a citizen of Winona in Cook County. As a senator, Josh tried to get a bill passed declaring English the official state language. His bill passed in the Senate but not in the House.

Jenny said her city was Sah-Kay-Tay. She was a judge of elections and later was an expert witness at a mock trial. Lori's city was Ta Te and she was a member of the city commission. Each night, the city commission was in charge of night reflections which talked about ways of improving events which had occurred during the day.

Jenny felt Girls State was a lot of work, it wasn't a vacation trip but a place to learn and get hands-on experience.

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