BARSTOW While the girls in this year's Barstow Pageant prepare for a night of spirited competition, they will also be honoring military members both past and present.


A total of 15 girls will be competing in the Teen Miss and Miss Barstow competitions Saturday night, while 42 younger girls ranging in age from babies to 12-year-olds will be competing Saturday morning, said pageant director Kris Watson.


The girls competing in the pageant will be honoring members of their family who have served in the different branches of the military as part of the Salute the Troops theme, said Watson. Military leaders from both Fort Irwin and the Marine Corps Logistics Base will also be attending.


Before the main competition Saturday night, competitors in the Teen Miss and Miss Barstow pageant will have to answer questions posed to them by a panel of three judges in the morning, said Watson.


The seven teen competitors will then have to compete in a sportswear competition, while the eight competitors for the Miss Barstow pageant will compete in a swimwear competition, which will be judged by a different panel of three judges. The top five in each category will then have to answer an on-stage questions to test how quick they are on their feet, said Watson.


For Watson, the most rewarding part of the pageant is seeing the growth of the young women who compete.


"We meet the cream of the crop in Barstow," said Watson. "It's nice that we have young people like that in Barstow."


For last year's Teen Miss Barstow Charli Burnett, the experience of winning the pageant and participating in community events has helped her grow as a person and helped her speaking and people skills.


"It definitely taught me who I am as a person," said Burnett.