Willamette University in Salem was the scene of the American Legion Auxiliary's Oregon Girls State. During the June 12-18 session, the girls gained a knowledge of the governmental process while learning the duties, privileges, rights and responsibility of citizenship.
Brenna Caughlin was in Cooper County, ran for attorney general and was postal clerk.
Charity Ann Houpt was in McLaughlin County, ran for secretary of state, was elected county commissioner, was chosen as first citizen of her county, and helped bring in the colors at inauguration of the Girls State Governor. A mock trial, based on the laws of Oregon, was held. Houpt was the winning attorney.
Shanley Day was in Owens County and was elected as a state representative. She attended workshops, including "How to Write a Bill."
Tasha Nodine was in Epperson County, ran for secretary of state and county treasurer. She attended workshops on "Beginning Parliamentary Procedure," "How to Write a Bill" and "How to Choose a College."
Montana Kowing was a member of Comber County, ran for secretary of state, and was elected a state representative.
Natasha Holmstrom was in the county of Biddle, ran for attorney general, served as county commissioner, and was elected as a state representative. She was chosen as her county's first citizen and helped bring in the flags for inauguration of the governor,
Keynote speakers for the annual assembly were Bill Bradbury, secretary of state; Theresa McHugh, the governor's chief-of-staff; and Meghan Mayer, past girls state governor and a legislative aid. She spoke on lobbying and getting into the legislature; two different panels of legislature were held, with six state legislatures on each panel.
One of the highlights of the session was the Flag Day "massing of the colors" by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which was held in the Capitol mall. Names of all service members killed in Iraq and Afganistan were read.
Girls state citizens, dressed in their blue and whites, were ushers and sang "America the Beautiful."
John Day American Legion Auxiliary member Sondra Lino was state director of Oregon Girls State and Connie Smith, a past director, served as the government coordinator.