A former Camas High School cheerleading captain is preparing for the Miss Washington USA pageant this week.
Shelby Meader, Miss Greater Clark County USA, will be among the 75 participants in the pageant Friday and Saturday, at the Highline Performing Arts Center, in Burien.
She spent this past Saturday in Seattle with other contestants, practicing wearing high heels from noon to 6 p.m., and enunciating their names and titles in front of a microphone. In case of a technical issue, they have to be prepared to speak “super loud,” according to Meader.
It was the last in a series of four workshops held during the past month and a half.
Meader, 21, and the other participants have been preparing for this weekend in front of the current Miss Washington USA and Miss Washington Teen USA.
“They are there as our mentors for six hours,” Meader said.
The first day of the pageant will involve being “hair and makeup ready” at 8 a.m., followed by a four-hour rehearsal of the opening numbers and introductions. During that time, contestants will interview with the judges.
At 5 p.m., the swimwear competition starts, followed by a short break and the preliminary round of the evening gown competition.
Saturday includes rehearsals, and the finals are at 3 p.m. After the top 16 contestants are selected, they will participate in the swimwear and evening gown walks.
The top five contestants will then be announced and asked questions on stage. The crowning of Miss Washington USA and Miss Washington Teen USA will occur Saturday at the same location.
Meader’s family and friends have helped her prepare for interviews with the judges.
“They are asking me random questions,” Meader said. “On stage, they can ask you anything other than religion and politics. It can be personal opinion.”
Her parents, John and Debbie Meader, brother A.J. and grandmother Sharon Arthur plan to attend the pageant.
“They are all very supportive,” Shelby said.
To take to the pageant, her mother has been decorating signs with rhinestones and paint in the kitchen for the past couple of weeks.
Last year, as Miss Camas, Meader was a top 11 semifinalist in the Miss Washington USA pageant.
“I loved meeting all of the girls,” she said. “I created almost a sisterhood and friendship with them. We’ll just hang out, go shopping and support each other.
“I learned to be more confident on stage in a swimsuit,” Meader added.
She received the county title in January, after interviewing with directors of the state pageant.
Memorable moments for Meader this year have included judging the Pretty Baby contest at the Clark County Fair in August.
“That was so fun,” she said. “There were 200 to 300 kids, newborn up to 18 months. It was definitely hard to pick, because they were all so cute.”
On Oct. 2, Meader hosted a mock pageant at Kiggins Theatre, in Vancouver. A neighbor, Angel Berkholder, won the event, which raised $513 for Meader’s pageant expenses.
There were 11 contestants. Meader’s mother made sashes for them and decorated the fundraising buckets.
In June, she and two other contestants traveled to Las Vegas to support Miss Washington USA at the Miss USA pageant.
Meader and the contestants were dancing by a pool at Planet Hollywood, when a talent scout chose them to be in a Jonas Brothers music video that was being filmed at a pool at the same resort.
“We were at the right place at the right time,” Meader said.
The video shoot also included a party scene in a suite.
Meader and the other two contestants were not paid for their participation, but viewers of the video can see them at least five times.
The video for “First Time,” on YouTube has been viewed more than 2.3 million times.
Meader would like to audition for TV shows and movies. She has walked in fashion shows and modeled clothes for area boutiques.
Meader, a 2010 CHS graduate, is a senior at Washington State University-Vancouver, with a double major in marketing and business administration.
Her long term goals are to model, act and be a marketing director for a large corporation.Meader is an administrative assistant at iQ Credit Union, where she has worked for five years.
She said it feels great to represent Clark County.
“There are not a lot of girls from Southwest Washington [in the state pageant],” Meader said. “It is so gorgeous here.
“Other contestants ask where the heck is Camas?” she added.
Meader tells them it is north of Portland and near Vancouver.
“I definitely love representing where I was born and raised,” she said.