BALTIMORE — The Department of Maryland of The American Legion is now accepting applications for all boys entering their senior year of high school in the fall of 2013 to attend Boys State. This year, the program will be held at Washington College in Chestertown from Sunday, June 16 to Saturday, June 22.
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.
Completion of Boys State is viewed favorably by service academies and colleges.
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.
To be eligible for Boys State, a youth must be a male who has successfully completed their junior year in high school and not yet entered the 12th grade by the beginning of Boys State. Any boy who has previously attended a Boys State is not eligible.
Anyone interested in attending may contact your high school guidance counselor or the American Legion or apply on line at mdlegion.org/boysstate or call Steve Tatro at 410-752-1405. The deadline application is May 1.
With a current membership of 2.4-million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.