Boys State Program Forms
|Boys State Application||*|
|Boys State Brochure||*|
|Boys State Letter to HS Counselor|
|Boys State Citizens with Disabilities|
|Boys State General Information|
|Boys State Nominee Questionnaire|
|Boys State Nominee Instructions|
|Boys State Nominee Evaluation|
|Boys State Nominee Score Sheet|
|DIA Welcome Letter||*|
American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students. It is a participatory program where each participant becomes a part of the operation of his local, county and state government.
Boys State has been a program of The American Legion since 1935 when it organized to counter the Fascist inspired Young Pioneer Camps. The program was the idea of two Illinois Legionnaires, Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card, who organized the first Boys State at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a similar program for young ladies called Girls State.
At American Legion Boys State, participants are exposed to the rights and privileges, the duties and the responsibilities of a franchised citizen. The training is objective and practical with city, county and state governments operated by the students elected to the various offices. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and recreational programs.
High school juniors are selected by local American Legion posts to attend the program. In most cases, expenses associated with attending this program are paid by a sponsoring American Legion post, a local business or another community-based organization.
American Legion Boys State is currently conducted in 49 Departments of The American Legion. Hawaii does not conduct a program. As separate corporations, Boys States vary in content and method of procedure, but each and every Boys State adheres to the basic concept of the program – that of teaching government from the township to the state level.
Boys State Selection
The American Legion has established certain qualifications for prospective Boys State citizens. Following are the recommended guidelines that are employed by most American Legion Boys State programs.
- Only males who have successfully completed their junior year of high school and have at least one more semester of high school remaining are considered eligible to participate.
- Any boy who has previously attended an American Legion Boys State is not eligible to attend a second session.
- Only boys with outstanding qualities of leadership, character, scholarship, loyalty and service to their schools and community should be considered.
In the actual selection of boys as citizens of Boys State, merit and ability alone are the basis for selection.
American Legion Boys States are in compliance with federal handicap laws. Most programs require a medical/parental consent certificate signed by a parent and a registered doctor.
The selection process often differs in the various departments of The American Legion.
The recommended method is for the school to recommend a list of eligible candidates to the local American Legion post. The post would then conduct interviews and selects their representative(s) to the program.