Boys Nation


Boys State

American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students. A participatory program in which students become part of the operation of local, county and state government, Boys State was founded in 1935 to counter the socialism-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.

American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a separate but similar program for young women called Girls State.

At Boys State, participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments. Operated by students elected to various offices, Boys State activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs.

Legion posts select high school juniors to attend the program. In most cases, individual expenses are paid by a sponsoring post, a local business or another community-based organization.

Boys State programs currently exist in all Legion departments in the United States except Hawaii. As separate corporations, Boys State programs vary in content and method of procedure, but each adheres to the same basic concept: teaching government from the township to the state level.



(Boys State sponsored by The American Legion, Dept. of CT)
(Girls State sponsored by The American Legion Auxiliary, Dept. of CT)

American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State are
the premier programs for teaching high school students how government
works while developing leadership skills and an appreciation for their rights
as citizens. Participants in these programs will run for office, learn public
speaking, create and enforce laws and actively participate in all phases of
creating and running a working government in these exciting one-week
summer programs.

Students participating in these programs meet other students from across
Connecticut, who, in many instances, becomes friends for life.


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