Delegates to Boys State, Girls State address Piney Fork Legion, Auxiliary

PINEY FORK – Three delegates sponsored by the Piney Fork American Legion and Auxiliary to attend Buckeye Boy and Girls State returned to share their experiences in learning about government and local laws.

Lauren Swiger, Syarra Hughes and Shawn Tustin, all of Buckeye Local High School, said that they didn’t know what to expect but learned much along the way.

Tustin said he ran for county engineer but lost the election and had to go to the job fair for employment. He ended up as the Deputy Director of Ohio, Department of Insurance. Their company hired 16 agents out of 26 delegates and were able to get half of the Boys State delegates insured.

He walked 1.3 miles, he said, to the Stroh Center for assemblies and to see how the law procedures worked, going out of his way to get arrested. He was part of Stillar City.

Hughes was urged to run for chief justice of the Supreme Court. She had a friend in her city of Raptur who was a published writer and penned her speeches. She learned how to take defeat, however, and had to wait for the governor to appoint her to a job – a sergeant at arms, “a kind of door man,” she explained.

For someone who didn’t like to talk in front of a group, she learned to stand before a crowd to give her campaign speeches and cried most of the last day when the group was to leave for home.

Swiger, a resident of Warner County, got an appointed job with the fire and police department. The group had to make laws, and if they were disobeyed, there were eye-catching things that had to be done, such as hop down the hall of the dorm. One of the den mothers even had to do the hopping for saying the word “like.”

She said there were 800 girls at the event and during 20- to 30-minute breaks from the “law learning,” they got acquainted. County members planned a county parade.

Kathy Simmons, auxiliary, gave the welcome and Tom McCain, commander, and his wife introduced the delegates.