My name is Celeste Blanchard and I’m a 17 year old from Lafayette, Louisiana. When I came to Girls State, I came straight from a different camp, so I was already very tired. When you check in, you get the name of your city and parish, dorm assignment and two Louisiana Girls State t-shirts. When I arrived, my parents didn’t walk me to my dorm, so I was thrown to my three new roommates right away. The funny thing about them, and all the girls here, is even though we all were raised and live in this state, the way we talk and our way of life is so different. There’s truly all types of people here. On day one, we ran for office by giving speeches to our city or parish.This is how I ended up working on Poppy Press as the Parish Communications Officer. It was a long night, but I got closer to my parish, Sabine, and city, Pointe Coupee. On Monday, we started working within our elected positions, listened to a bunch of powerful women speak on a leadership panel, and danced. After the dancing, we were sorted into our made up political parties, Nationalists or Federalists, and began elections to narrow down candidates for state office. I got selected to be a Nationalist. Unfortunately, I did lose my election, but overall being in the crowd of other Nationalists was a ton of fun. The next day was party day, so I was decked out in the color of the Nationalist party, green. All morning and afternoon, we narrowed down candidates for state offices further, with a ton of dancing breaks between voting. After dinner, everyone participated in athleisure activities. It was super fun because my city won and our prize was a Girls State pop socket. That night, we had a night move back to the dorms. It was kinda scary for me because we walked in rows of four. We were escorted back to the dorms by the Northwestern University police in complete silence in order to keep us safe. By the third day, we were in a rhythm and easily rotated between elections, dancing, working within our elected positions, and meals. It’s fun because people know what’s going on and are campaigning for their friends or city’s state candidate. My camp experience isn’t over yet, but I am excited to see what this last day is going to bring me.
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