BOYS STATE & GIRLS STATE
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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.
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.
The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a similar program for young ladies called Girls State. For online details visit http://www.boysandgirlsstate.org/girls.html
American Legion Scholarship and Educational Opportunity for High School Juniors
Would you be interested in earning 2 college credits that take you OUTSIDE the classroom and INTO the Idaho State Capitol? How about meeting other students from across the State and form lifelong friendships?
There is a unique summertime opportunity for current High School Juniors to attend Boys or Girls State at Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) in Nampa, ID the week of June 7-12, 2020 for boys, and the week of June 14-19, 2020 for the girls. This program is designed to mirror the structure and operation of our State government through a non-partisan perspective. It is primarily designed with functional hands-on activities that promote learning by doing. The program consists of group instruction and general assembly’s featuring current figures in our local government. In 2019, Governor Brad Little attended for the 11th time and Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin for her first time along with other local officials who all visited and talked with the participants and answered every question that was asked.
During the last 2 days of Boys and Girls State, the participants will be spending their days at the State Capitol; sitting in the House and the Senate seats, passing bills and laws. They will also get to fill positions in local government and even the Idaho Supreme Court seats. This program has been in existence since 1935 and is still very active today. Idaho is one of only 3 states who work with the State Capitol in order to provide this once in a lifetime experience.
Each participant will be attending a class, Introduction to American Government (POLS1000). You can receive 2 college credits for this class through NNU, the credit cost is $130. Each participant has a fund set up with the State of Idaho for these types of classes, see your school counselor for more information.
Eligibility: The participant must have successfully completed their junior year of high school and have at least one semester of high school remaining. They should have leadership qualities, character and loyalty. All high school juniors, including home school, in the Rathdrum area are eligible to apply. There will be a selection process for interested participants conducted by your local American Legion post 154. Enrollment fees for this amazing program are $400, leaving little to no expense to the participant and their family.
Each participant will be processed through your school counselor, and the local participating American Legion Post 154. The selection process will conclude in March and the participants will receive a packet from Idaho American Legion with all the details for NNU and the program specifications including transportation and graduation.
AMERICAN LEGION BOYS STATE IS …
To the participant: A richly rewarding and educational program that has prompted many former participants to seek careers in public service. Selection serves as testimony to a participant’s character and leadership skills and is an experience recognized by employers, U.S. service academies and university admissions boards as an indicator of strong leadership and character traits.
To the parents: Assurance their son/daughter is participating in a character-building program of rich tradition open to those who have earned the right to attend.
To the school: An experience that teaches young people about state government and how to become better leaders. As participants return to school for their senior year, they are able to take a more active role in student government.
To the sponsor: An opportunity to make a positive difference in a young person’s life. A sponsor provides a character-building and educational experience that the participant will cherish for a lifetime. It is also a source of satisfaction to the sponsor
For more information, links to websites and to see pictures of last year’s participants, or to find a sponsoring American Legion post, contact Leo Calhoun’s firstname.lastname@example.org
Leo Calhoun is the Post 154 chairman for Children and Youth programs, including Boys & Girls State.
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