SHS students attend Boy’s/Girl’s State

Rigorous applications and steep competition didn’t keep Sheridan students from being chosen for the prestigious convention of Boys and Girls State. About 100 students going into their senior year of high school attended the camp this summer, which takes place in Powell for the girls, and Douglas for the boys. The program is funded by American Legion Auxiliary to promote a week of government education. One SHS senior, Meghan Jacobs, described the program as students getting together to “learn about how our state runs in Congress, courts, and [the] executive branch.”

The participants were split into three branches: the senate, the house, and judges. All education sessions were exclusive to whatever branch each participant was in. Senior Amy Pettit, a part of the Senate, said, “We debated various bills that other girls had created, and I was excited because mine was chosen to go on and it made it to the final round.” The delegates were allowed to choose what part of the government they would like to participate in. Jacobs chose the House of Representatives, and after coming back said, “It made me appreciate how much our state representatives do.” The students also got to meet Governor Mead and Senator Barrasso.

The convention wasn’t all work, even with a packed schedule the students made time for new friends. “It was a fun opportunity to get to meet new people from every single county and almost every high school in the state of Wyoming,” said senior Jin Kim. Boy’s State was run primarily by the National Guard, which made the camp “highly patriotic,” though the boys said they weren’t intimidated by the military presence. “We had fun with them,” laughed senior Paul Staddick as he recounted a funny story. Staddick also went on to Boy’s Nation, a continuation of boy’s state from which only two boys from each state were chosen. As a part of Boy’s Nation, Staddick met President Barack Obama. “It was probably the best handshake I’ve ever had, a presidential handshake,” said Staddick, “ It was a really cool experience, really humbling.”

Though the students were hesitant to leave, they admit that they had fun and learned a lot from the experience. From the experience, Kim said he most gained “knowledge of the government, how it works, and how important it is.” Pettit said, “I feel like I gained a lot of people skills, such as accepting others’ opinions and stepping out of my comfort zone to make friends.”

Boy’s and Girl’s State will be held again next summer for this year’s juniors.