About ALA Girls State

Date & Location

ALA Girls State, a program of the American Legion Auxiliary, is held at the University of North Dakota. The next session will be held June 5-10, 2016.

About ALA Girls State

Many 17 years olds would say that learning about government is dull and boring; past participants would tell you that ALA Girls State is one place that learning about government is anything but boring. Here’s why: Instead of sitting through lengthy lectures “citizen” learn about city, county and state government by actually running for offices, holding elections, writing ordinances/laws, and various other activities.  Citizen don’t just hear about the government process- they are the process.

Who can attend?

The only requirement for attendance is that a (female) participant must have just completed her junior year of High School. ALA Girls State does not discriminate by race, creed, color, religion, disability, or grade point status. Exchange students and students that are home-schooled are all welcome to attend.

Who can sponsor an attendee?

The ALA Girls State Program is program of the American Legion Auxiliary. A Girl Stater needs to be sponsored by a Unit to attend. Don’t have a unit in your town? No problem! Contact Dana Thoreson, ALA Girls State Director at ndgirlsstate@gmail.com and she will help find a sponsor.


When and Where is ALA Girls State?

ALA Girls State is Sunday, June 7th through Friday, June 12th, 2015. It is held on the University of North Dakota’s campus in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

What happens at ALA Girls State Every Day?

We’ve got six days to pack in a lot of good times and information. Here is what you can expect each day.


Upon arrival check out the newspaper orientation and choir, drum or piano auditions, if interested. Afterwards meet your city and Girls State staff. Following supper you’ll start functioning as a city. Each city will elect a few committee positions and start the city official nomination process.


Today city officials are elected and you will start functioning as a city. Platform and campaign committees meet and organize. The afternoon includes the “Women in Government Panel,” which consists of prominent women in ND government. County functioning starts in the evening.


Dress in your party’s Girls State shirt and get ready for Political Party Conventions! This day is spent primarily in convention determining your party’s platform (belief statements) and nominating people for state offices. Whistle stop takes place in the even-ing.


We’re back to county functioning today. Staters spend the day nomination and electing county officials. They function as a county. Campaigning for statewide offices happens throughout the day. The evening includes the much anticipated American Legion Night, including skits.


And the winner is… Today is all about State Government! After statewide election results we’ll function as a state. The House, Senate, Public Ser-vice Commission, Supreme Court and Governor’s Cabinet will meet throughout the day.


Today includes the inauguration ceremony immediately followed by Graduation and the Candle Lighting Ceremony. Parents and friends are encouraged to attend. Then it's back to the Residence Halls to pack up and say goodbye.