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.
Virginia Boys State is a leadership action program designed to develop a young person's working knowledge of the structure of government and to impress upon them the fact that our government is just what we make it. In this program, participants have the opportunity to learn the political process by actually doing it. Each level of government is run by those delegates elected to serve in a variety of positions. Many have the opportunity to interact with adultys actually serving in the position to which the student was elected. Instruction covers the law and court system, parliamentary procedure and Virginia political history.
Program Highlights -
- Young men learn the political process through the election process for the offices of a mythical 51st state.
- Each delegate is assigned to a political party which has no philosophy or platform until the delegates develop one.
- Delegates use the basic laws and procedures of the Commonwealth of Virginia as a guide for their week.
- Speakers from all levels of government provide valuable lessons for the delegates.
- A highly qualified staff provides guidance and leadership.
- Two delegates will participate in Boys Nation held in Washington, D.C. in July.
High school juniors are selected to attend the program prior to their senior year by American Legion Post 146 in coordination with Hopewell High School teachers and academic counselors. Homeschooled and private school young men of the appropriate grade and age are also eligible for selection. Expenses associated with attending this program are paid by Post 146 and also from donations received from other community organizations.
Detailed information about the Virginia Boys State Program is available at: https://www.vaboysstate.org/
The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a similar program for young women called Girls State. Information concerning the Virginia Girls State Program may be found at: https://www.vagirlsstate.org/
If you are interested and wish more information or need assistance, see www.valegion.org or contact American Legion Post 146 at firstname.lastname@example.org - address the Email to the 2nd Vice CDR, Robert Horneck.