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Dickinson Eagles Auxiliary to host God, Flag and Country competition

The Dickinson Eagles Auxiliary is sponsoring its first God, Flag and Country competition this year.

"The purpose of this program is to instill in our young people a deeper understanding of God, Flag and Country in our common lives and to make them aware of their heritage and to make it more meaningful to them in the world today," Robin Schatz, event chairperson, said in an email to The Press.

Students can speak on any or all three titles in the program and will be divided into three age groups: 10 to 11, 12 to 13 and 14 to 15. Age of the participants is determined as of Jan. 31 of the year of the program.

Contestants are allowed to speak for three minutes on their respective theme. During the competition, prompting/coaching of the contestants will not be allowed. The judges will be the final authority in all matters coming before them, Schatz said. Scoring is based strictly on the presentation by the contestant.

Schatz, who is also Junior Past Madam President of the Dakota auxiliary, said the program is designed to work in conjunction with the basic teachings of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and "reinforce the basic tenet of our country."

"We believe the young should know and appreciate the advantage of democracy, possess a real love for their country and desire to take an active, intelligent part in its operation," Schatz said.

This program consists of local competitions, district competition and state competition. First-place winners from each age group at the state competition will then advance to our national competition.

The program, which has been around since 1967, can help students hone their speaking skills and develop self-confidence. Schatz said the program has mainly been in the eastern and central states. The Dakota Eagles held a competition last year where only one Eagles club in both North and South Dakota participated. She said a student from Harvey, N.D., came to the state competition and then went on to the International Competition and won in his age group.

"We want them to speak from the heart about what God, the Flag and/or their Country mean to them," she said in the email. "Why is it important to them? They should show intelligent respect for their parents, and any other person acting in an official capacity, learn to give and take criticism, assume responsibility, and accept the consequences of their own actions. All young adults should develop respect for other persons and to be able to live and work cooperatively with others."

Each winner receives cash awards. The local competition will be held at the Eagles Club in Dickinson on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. Entry forms or a letter stating intent to compete is due by Monday, Jan. 22. They may be mailed to Robin Schatz, 878 Dell Ave. Dickinson, ND 58601 or emailed to robsway@ndsupernet.com.

The state competition will be held in Vermillion, S.D., in June and the International competition will be held in Dallas, Texas, in July. There is no cost to enter.

Sydney Mook

Sydney Mook started working as the multimedia editor for The Press in January 2016.  She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in three and half years in December 2015. While at the USD, she worked for the campus newspaper, The Volante, as well as the television news show, Coyote News. She also interned at South Dakota Public Broadcasting and spent the summer before her senior year interning in Fort Knox for the ROTC Cadet Summer Training program. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys cheering on the New York Yankees and the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as playing golf. If you've got an idea for a video be sure to give her a call!

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