Garretson Legion Auxiliary Unit #23 Girls State

77th SESSION - University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD
June 3, 2024 - June 8, 2024


2023 ALA SD Girl State Orientation - Local Version.pdf

Junior Girls:  Apply for South Dakota Girls State!


January, Information will be emailed to all Junior girls.  Forms available below as well as printouts in the HS office. An informational meeting will be held at the school January 11 2024 at 9:15.
Fill out the 

Submit all paperwork to the Garretson High School Office NLT  January 31. (forms found below and in packets available at the office after our meeting at the school).  Be sure to have your parents sign. FYI:  Journalism City--14 are selected state wide. If you are not selected you can still apply for Girls State.

February 1  Auxiliary Unit #23 reviews candidate essays.  (Selectees notified approximately mid March.)  Registration packets sent.

March 1  All forms completed and received by Registrar along with all fees (pd by Auxiliary). Note: if you choose not to attend after having been accepted and your scholarship fee of $175 paid, you will need to find an acceptable substitute or reimburse the unit for the scholarship cost. 

April 1.  Once they receive your pre-registration form, you will receive an email from (personal) or (ALA SD Girls State Official email) instructing you how to complete your online registration process. Please use your school email as your primary email and monitor it on a regular basis because unless you complete the online registration you will not be able to attend. This email will also be used for all communication prior to the session.

Orientation Meeting Sunday May 5th at 1 pm. Plan for 90 minutes-refreshments will be provided. 1600 West Russell Street Sioux Falls, SD

  Presentation from meeting 

June 3 Travel to University of South Dakota in Vermillion and commence ALA SD Girls State

June 8 Return home after a wonderful experience at Girls State!    

 Below are some registration forms and info. 

It is important to know that the Garretson Auxiliary sponsors your attendance ($175). If you choose not to attend and there is no alternate, the delegate is responsible for reimbursing the unit. (GIrls State Obligation to Unit Form above must be completed)

Who is eligible to attend ALA Girls State?

Attend the FULL session of ALA. NO permission will be granted to attend other activities during the session.

It is important to know that the Garretson Auxiliary sponsors your attendance ($175). If you choose not to attend and there is no alternate, the delegate is responsible for reimbursing the unit.

A Brief History of ALA SD Girls State

Back in the depression ridden days of the early 30s, the American Legion grew concerned over public statements to the effect that Democracy was "on the skids." How, it wondered, could America train its young people in the processes of self government as effectively as Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany seemed to be training their youth in the totalitarian forms of government. Deciding the best way to learn was by practicing it, American Legionnaires began, in 1935, gathering teenage representatives together for a few days each summer in a citizenship training program on the processes of city, county and state Government. They called it "Boys State." As the program succeeded and spread throughout the United States, the American Legion Auxiliary began a similar program for girls. Thus "Girls State" was authorized in 1937-38, and is now established in 50 Departments in our Nation.

American Legion Auxiliary South Dakota Girls State was founded at Mitchell in 1947. It met regularly each year on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University until 1985, when it was moved to the campus of South Dakota State University, Brookings. In 2002, the program was moved to the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. It is under the sponsorship of South Dakota Department of the American Legion Auxiliary. From an enrollment of 117 girls in 1947, ALA SD Girls State has grown to its present enrollment of over 400 girls.

2024 Garretson Girls Staters

Jade Bertotti, Eliza Potter and Cortney Rogich will represent Garretson Auxiliary Unit #23 at Girls state this year!

2023 Garretson Girls Staters

Adisynn Fink, Adair Hanisch, Hannah Frewaldt, Jordyn Williams and Sydney Olson will represent Garretson Auxiliary Unit #23 at Girls State.  1st picture at awards night pictured below are Hannah Frewaldt, Sydney Olson and Jordyn Williams.

Girls state 3 of 5 at Chicken and Corn Feed, August 4

Sydney Olson,  Adi Fink, Hannah Frewaldt speaking and thanking the Auxiliary for sponsoring them. 

2022 Garretson Girls Staters

Raegen Altman, Logan Bly, Morgan Damman, Chloe Flahaven, Grace Hove, and Anna Jones will represent Garretson Auxiliary Unit #23 at Girls State. 

What one of our girls staters had to say about her experience: "Going into Girls State I was definitely unsure of what to expect but I think that's the best part because everyone is thrown into the same situation and we are all unsure of what to do which made us work as a team to accomplish our goals. I knew I wanted to branch out and meet new people, so I didn't spend any time with my classmates from Garretson unless it was saying hi in the halls. I was put into the city of Miami where I knew absolutely no one, but made friends almost immediately because everyone is so welcoming. I was not planning on running for any high offices until the girls in my city encouraged me to. My first election was for mayor of Miami which I won. This was probably my favorite office to hold because of how close I was to the girls in my city. We even choreographed a skit for the talent show but we didn't make it past auditions which is funny to joke about now. We then had county elections where I ran for county auditor, but that position was more for show so I didn't actually have to do anything with it. After that campaign, I decided to run for governor which is the highest position at girls state. You had to collect a number of signatures from other girls in your party to run for governor and no one could sign a ballot twice so even getting enough signatures was an accomplishment. I ended up not winning our primary for governor but still had to go on stage and answer a random question in front of everyone like a pageant. I was very proud of myself for getting up on stage and doing that in front of everyone even if I didn't win. I then ran for President Pro Temp of the Senate which I ended up winning so I was in charge of the senate and lead meetings which is also a pretty big deal and I really enjoyed it because I got a gavel and felt official. My favorite law we passed in the Senate was to have Shrek on the one dollar bill instead of George Washington. I think you get as much out of Girls State as you put into it. I learned a plethora of information about our local and state government because I pushed myself to run for those positions and meet new people even if it made me nervous or I had to stay up with my new friends until 1 making posters for my campaign. I hope to take all of my knowledge I gained from the experience and bring it into college where I'm looking into studying law and politics! But most importantly, I hope to keep nurturing these friendships I made at Girls State because I really did meet some of the most astounding girls in one place that all wanted to learn, grow, and get involved in our government and being around those types of women inspire me to try even harder. Those are the type of people I want in my life to push me past my comfort zone and I'm so appreciative for Girls State for bringing them into my life."

2021 Garretson Girls Staters

Jaelyn Benson, Madison Decker, Lauren Fick, Morgan Pierret, Erin Steen and Mataya Trower will represent Garretson Auxiliary Unit #23 at Girls State. Mataya Trower will represent Unit #23 at Journalism City. This is our first girls stater attending Journalism City! Joy Fry has also been nominated to attend Girls State and will represent a different unit. 

Girls State 2020--canceled due to CoVid19

The following girls applied:  Mattea Fiegen, Caroline Hoskins, Peyton Hove, Molly Hulscher, Madden Lardy, Lizzie Olson

This year’s delegates will receive a certificate of achievement and will be invited to a banquet in the fall of 2020 to celebrate their accomplishments. The girls will also have the option to enroll in and complete the State and Local Government course through remote learning.

“While no one wanted this cancellation, the health and safety of everyone, from delegates to counselors and speakers, must be our top priority,” said David C. Earnest, chair of the University of South Dakota Department of Political Science and W.O. Farber Center. “Girls State is about leadership and service to community. This year, the best service we can provide our delegates and community is to avoid unnecessary risks.

2019 Garretson Girls Staters

Aftyn Heitkamp, Rachel Kindt, Madisen Nordstrom, Nobel Nothstine, Riley Altman, Jayden Clark, Aliah Lymon, not pictured Angel Larson and Geraldine Frye.

2018 Garretson Girls Staters

Emily Erickson

2017 Garretson Girls Staters

Madison Northrup, Emily Malsom, Victoria Lippert (German exchange student)

Others attending: Caitlyn Trower, Amayah Ockenga, Becca Wieland, Myranda Folland

2016 Garretson Girls Staters

Macy Bohl, Kindra Clark, Brandy Greenhoff, Kaley Flanagan, Grace Homer

2015 Garretson Girls Staters

Peyton Heitkamp, Lara Luke,  Jaden Bly

2014 Garretson Girls Staters

Bailey Willems, Brianna Mudder, Lydia Olson

2013 Garretson Girls Staters

Kaitlyn Thorson, Mikayla Gilbert, Hope Goode, Kara Ellefson

2012 Garretson Girls Staters

Cassidiy Powell, Casey Matthieson

2011 Garretson Girls Staters

Taylor Clark, Lindsey Etrheim, Aryn Holleran, Baylee Johnson, Lindsey Luke

2010 Garretson Girls Staters

Morgan Ellefson, Erica Ode, Lindsey Fiegen, Miranda Borstad

2009 Garretson Girls Staters

Angela Schultz, Kayli Stensland, Kayla Wieskus

2008 Garretson Girls Staters

Mirian Perryman, Sally Nussbaum, Sarah Nussbaum

2007 Garretson Girls Staters

Bobby Jo Cauwe, Rebecca Linneweber

2006 Garretson Girls Staters

Dawn Hentges, Leah Stensland, Darcy Sievert

2005 Garretson Girls Staters

Brandi Pierret, Stacy Stoterau

2004 Garretson Girls Staters

Lindsey Sievert, Sarah Hanson, Mandy Ellefson 

alt. Naomi Albers

2003 Garretson Girls Staters

Nicole Etrheim, Lucinda Albers

alt: Brittany Nussbaum

2002 Garretson Girls Staters

Amanda Jacobson, Melisssa Lyngen

alt: Connie Junker

2001 Garretson Girls Staters

Lacy Cooper, Dena Christensen

alt: Holly Smith

2000 Garretson Girls Staters NONE

1999 Garretson Girls Staters

Patricia Winterton, Kimberly Koch

1998 Garretson Girls Staters

Jody Liester, Erica Quissell

alt: Angela Irvine

1997 Garretson Girls Staters

Mandy Nesheim, Sherry Happel

alt: Bobbie Bennett

1996 Garretson Girls Staters

Amy Liester, Angela McClain

alt: Amanda Machmiller

1995 Garretson Girls Staters

Julie Clark, Rebecca Engebretson

alt: Sara Engelbrecht

1994 Garretson Girls Staters

Sally Liester, Wendy Pierret

alt: Tina Nesheim

1993 Garretson Girls Staters

Susan Happel, Jamie Stiefvator

alt: Jennie Willems


1992 Garretson Girls Staters

Shawn Quamen, Victoria Dubbelde

alt: Kristin Sylliaasen


1991 Garretson Girls Staters

Laura Anderson, Valerie Frerk

alt: Jessica Barg

1990 Garretson Girls Staters

Rhonda Jensen, Tammy McClain

alt: Susan Hammer, Carin Dorsman

1989 Garretson Girls Staters

Nicole Nussbaum, Nicole Hermanson

alt: Lisa Bonte

1988 Garretson Girls Staters

Michelle Frerk, Carla Dorsman

alt: Cathy Engebreton

1987 Garretson Girls Staters

Lisa Nussbaum, Susan Hokenstad

alt: Becky Andrescik

1986 Garretson Girls Staters

Mary Engebretson, Lori Lundquist

alt: Theresa Schwab

1985 Garretson Girls Staters

Tammy Biever

alt: Gennie Haggerty

1984 Garretson Girls Staters

Janice Martens

alt: Elizabeth Johnson

1983 Garretson Girls Staters

 Julie Hillestad

alt: Melanie Stoltenberg

1982 Garretson Girls Staters 

Susan Lowe

alt: Nancy Olson

1981 Garretson Girls Staters NONE

1980 Garretson Girls Staters

Darcy Plahn

alt: Julie Martens

1979 Garretson Girls Staters 

Lori Engelbrecht

alt: Beverly Julson

1978 Garretson Girls Staters 

Deborah Davis

alt: Susan Garry

1977 Garretson Girls Staters

Kay Selland, Nancy Nussbaum

alt: Laurie Johnson,Sharon Frevik

1976 Garretson Girls Staters

Loretta Schneider, Judy Hove

alt: Kristi Winterton, Carol Heesch

1975 Garretson Girls Staters

Beth Engebretson, Lois Brandt

alt: Karen Quamen, Ruth Bjorneberg

1974 Garretson Girls Staters

Becky Wick, Pamela Julson

alt: Karen Erickson, Carol Johnson

1973 Garretson Girls Staters

Sue Bly, April Schreurs

alt: Colleen Posey, Kathy Dubbelde

1972 Garretson Girls Staters

Dawn Froseth, Debbie Sundem

alt: Lurene Bonte, Jill Plahn

1971 Garretson Girls Staters

Julie Docken, Mable Johnson

alt: Michelle Miller

1970 Garretson Girls Staters

Marelen Braa, Linda Koch

alt: Becky Frerk

1969 Garretson Girls Staters

Jane Selland

alt: Jean Liester

1968 Karen Hatlestad

alt: Shirley Winterton

1967 Garretson Girls Staters

Carmen Foster

1966 Garretson Girls Staters

Mary Johnson

alt: Alice Winterton

1995 Garretson Girls Staters

Paulette Johnson

alt: Dixie Hollister

1994 Garretson Girls Staters

Arlys Nelson

alt: Mary Donavon

1963 Garretson Girls Staters

Pamela Nordstrom

alt: Barbara Plahn

1962 Garretson Girls Staters

Judy Tveiddt

alt: Glenda Biddle

1960 Garretson Girls Staters

Diane Etreim

alt: Susan DeSchepper

1959 Garretson Girls Staters

Linda Williamson

alt: Rozella Larson

1958 Garretson Girls Staters

Sharon Plahn

1957 Garretson Girls Staters

LaVonne Karli

1956 Garretson Girls Staters

Janet Hoven

1948-1955  Garretson Girls Staters None


1947 Garretson Girls Staters

Waneta Froseth