Palmetto Girls State is a one-week leadership and citizenship training program, created to further educate outstanding high-school students about state and local government. The delegates, who are all rising-seniors in high school, experience governmental procedure by simulating political campaigns, elections and the legislative process. They also learn about the principles of citizenship and civil service from guest speakers, expert panels and a service project.
The delegates are selected for the program based on the leadership skills and involvement they have shown in their respective schools and communities. As citizens of Palmetto Girls State, the delegates are divided into groups of about 30 called "cities." They will create local governments, devise political party platforms and ultimately elect a Senate, a House of Representatives, and state constitutional officers.
The South Carolina Department of the American Legion Auxiliary has organized and administered Palmetto Girls State since 1947.