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 the 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, personal expenses are paid by the sponsoring post, local business, or another community-based organization.
Boys State programs currently exist in all Legion departments in the United States except Hawaii. Boys State programs vary in content and procedure as separate corporations, but each adheres to the same basic concept: teaching government from the township to the state level.
For more information:
Review eligibility and dates to find a program and contact information in Arizona: http://azboysstate.org/
To apply: http://azboysstate.org/Apply/Now
Contact Post 65 for more details.