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The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Maryland, under the National Patriotic Service Committee, provides an "all-expense" paid trip to our nation's capital for the Washington Workshops Congressional Seminar, attended by hundreds of students from across the country. Applicants are asked to submit an essay about a particular topic. The top 4-5 essays are chosen as winners of the contest.

The Congressional Seminar is a week long session with three distinct lines of inquiry. First, your students will learn more about today's issues and listen to debates from the highest officials of our national government. Second, your students convey their opinions, thoughts, and disappointments to men and women who actually run our government. Third, the students will learn from each other through new friendships and by exchanging different views and opinions.

The essay topic changes each year. The essay must be approximately 500 words and the essay contest is open to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. All essays must be completed and received by the chairperson by February 1st.

The Workshops take place in late June. The value is approximately $1,000, which pays for all seminar activities, plus college dorm rooms and two meals a day. Funds toward travel and the few miscellaneous expenses are provided by some State Societies.

We are always pleased with the response from Maryland high schools. Generally we are able to raise enough money to send four to five Maryland students annually to the Workshops.

To better understand the planned activities of the seminar week and to receive an application for this years essay contest, please contact us at (410) 837-3262 or email to for additional information.

(note: when sending an email, please note "Essay Contest" in the subject field.)

Also visit the Colonial Dames website at to learn more!

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