• Last modified 3677 days ago (June 24, 2009)


Did you miss me?

I’m sure all of you are just perched on the edge of your seats waiting to hear about my time at Girls State last week in Lawrence.

Well, first I would like to address the fact that most kids my age complain about hating Peabody and its size. I myself could probably be quoted saying something along those lines a few times. It’s not until I left, and for just five days, that I realized how good we really have it as a community.

I missed those familiar, smiling faces. Sure it was nice to get out of town for a refreshing few days, but I was glad to follow the turnpike home. But that’s not what you are wanting to hear me babble about, so I will go into a little bit of depth as to my time as a Girls Stater.

I would like to consider myself as a fairly outgoing person and, boy, did that come in handy. Being thrown into a place with 350 girls my age might be a dream come true for many 17-year-old males, but it was a tad too much estrogen in one place for me. We were first assigned rooms, and this helped us find out which “city” we belonged. I landed a spot in Kiowa city and was paired with the city from across the hall to make Saline County.

Counties made up the whole “state” of Kansas. With these laid out, we began a series of elections for city, county, and state leaders.

I jumped in with both feet and almost head first. Surviving primaries and then general elections, and a couple of cheesy campaign slogans later, I found myself sitting as mayor of my city and district magistrate of my county. Somewhere in this chaos we also managed to take a “bar exam,” which I passed, also labeling me as a lawyer.

Through all this I was too busy to blink, making the time go very fast. I found myself exhausted at the end of the week, when I finally was given a second to catch my breath, but not before I was pleasantly surprised when I received outstanding citizen of my city.

I feel extremely blessed that I took advantage of such an awesome experience. It was not until last week that I stumbled upon the realization that there are girls out there who can be personable and be crazy intelligent as well. I walked away with not only memories of the well-known speakers we heard, activities in which I participated, and a pretty impressive mayor badge. More important I made friends that I assure you I will be close to for the rest of my life. For that, I would like to thank the Legion auxiliary for graciously sending me.

2009 Sunflower Girls State costs: Expensive.

Good times with new-found good friends: Priceless.

— Paige Barnes

Last modified June 24, 2009