Despite differences in their program names, two delegations have found they have more in common than just a border and part of their state’s name. North and South Carolina shared a lunch to promote the exchange program they will be participating in for the coming Youth in/and Government program.

 

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The leaders of the programs in the Carolina states decided while on The Mountain to begin a delegate exchange. From left Hunter Vaughan, John Bailey, Maile Paulmeier and John Acker. PHOTO by Caroline Bell.

The governors and lieutenant governors of both programs sat down to explain the who, what, when and why of the exchange.The masterminds of this exchange are Gov. Maile Paulmeier and Lt. Gov. John Acker of South Carolina, alongside North Carolina’s Gov. John Bailey and Lt. Gov. Hunter Vaughan. The idea for the exchange came from observing other programs, like Texas, Oklahoma and Minnesota, that participate in delegate exchanges, “… if they can do it, why can’t we,” said Bailey. One delegation sends a group to observe and vise versa. This is a brand new concept for both states, but one that they’re willing to embrace. “Lower county [elected leadership] already make waves given that most leadership comes from the Greenville area, so why not bridge the gap [between North and South Carolina],” said Acker. Bailey said everyone agreed that the main goal of the exchange would be to “learn how conferences are run, recruitment strategies, and the differences and similarities between the two conferences,” and “to expand opportunities outside of the state.”

Despite how well the two states meshed together since the inception of this idea, they were not each other’s first choice for a delegate exchange. It wasn’t until they got together at the Conference on National Affairs and got to know each other and saw how well their delegates meshed that they realized they were the obvious and best choice for an exchange. From the experience Paulimeier hopes in the exchange “… to bring our future leadership [of each respective conference] so that they can effect change after we’re gone.” There is so much to learn from the other, and it would be to both states’ advantage to take this opportunity. The exchange is a means to open the doors of both programs to other states to increase the potential learning opportunities for everyone involved.

By Sarah Jones, DE

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