A most rewarding experience
American Legion Boys State is a week-long program that immerses high school youth (currently completing their junior year) in citizenship and leadership training. They learn the practical aspects of government as it exists in New York State, and come to recognize that the individual is integral to the character and success of government. They also participate in physical fitness, teamwork and other activities, under the guidance of American Legion counselors and U.S. Marines.
Boys State will be held from June 27 to July 2, 2019 at SUNY Morrisville State College in Morrisville, NY.
If you or a youth you know would like to apply, contact your local American Legion Post to inquire about sponsoring you to Boys State. Once a Post agrees to sponsor you, you will receive a notification to go ahead and submit the online application to this year’s Boys State program.
Look over the information packet (below). Once the online application is completed, print out a copy and then hit the “submit” button.
Download the Commitment/Certification Statement and Physical Exam Certificate (doc and PDF versions available).
The Commitment statement must be signed by applicant and parent or guardian, and notarized. The Certification form has to be completed and certified by a school official. Page 1 of the Physical Exam Certificate must be completely filled out, including the emergency notification section, and signed by the candidate/alternate’s parent or guardian. A current year physical that documents all required information may be attached to the form to fulfill the physician’s section on page 2. (This must be an actual physical signed by a person qualified to perform physical examinations and must have been performed within one year prior to June 29, 2018) You will need to deliver a copy of the completed application, the Commitment Form, Certification Form and Physical Exam Certificate, with original signatures, to the sponsoring American Legion Post.
It is recommended you read the Boys State Handbook.
If applying for the SAMSUNG SCHOLARSHIP, the application may be filled out online at https://www.legion.org/samsung-scholarship-application
Complete the online Boys State application (see link below):
- All citizen information must be provided.
- All parent information must be provided.
- All sponsoring American Legion Post information must be provided.
- Once the application is completely filled out, press Ctrl P to print a copy, then press the Submit button to send the application to The American Legion Department of New York.
- After submitting application, if you find a mistake was made on the application, do not submit another application. Make corrections on the printed application and the information will be updated when received at American Legion Headquarters.
Online application (to come) (Note: D.O.B. must include 4-digit year; e.g. 1998.)
- 2019 Information_Packet (doc)
- 2019 Information_Packet (PDF)
- 2019 Certification Commitment Statement (doc)
- 2019 Certification Commitment Statement (PDF)
- 2019 Physical Exam Certificate (doc)
- 2019 Physical Exam Certificate (PDF)
- Checklist of Items to Bring to Boys State (doc)
- Checklist of Items to Bring to Boys State (PDF)
- 2018 Boys State Schedule (PDF)
- Boys State 2018 Handbook (PDF)
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
For complete information click on above logo
Purpose of Boys' State
The American Legion Boys' State of New York, Inc., which is sponsored by the American Legion Department of New York, is a citizenship training program designed to meet your needs and to give you an insight into our democratic form of government.
Its purpose is to inspire and instill in you a deep sense of responsibility and obligation by educating you in the principles of democracy and by teaching you the duties, privileges and rights of American citizenship.
The Boys' State Program has been founded on the "learn by doing" concept. By actually operating your own government, you will leave Boys' State with a clearer view and a better understanding of the functions of our government agencies.
As nearly as possible, the government of the American Legion Boys' State of New York, Inc. is patterned after the city, county, and state governments of the State of New York. It is pure democracy in that all the citizens may vote and are eligible to hold office
What is Boys' State?
Boys’ State is a program of the American Legion developed from the concept that youth should be offered a better perspective of the practical operation of government; that the individual is an integral part and commensurately responsible for the character and success of his government . As such, it is and activity of high educational value, borne of a need for youth training in a practical citizenship.
Boys’ State is a leadership Action Program where qualified male high school juniors take part in a practical government course. This course is designed to develop in the young citizens a working knowledge of the structure of government, and to impress upon them the fact that their government is what THEY make it.
Boys’ State is an objective citizenship training program which inculcates individual responsibility to the community, state, and nation. It is operated on the basis of the political government organization existing in New York State, including all levels from municipality to the state.
Objectives of Boys' State
- To develop civic leadership and pride in American Citizenship. It is our earnest hope that each young man attending Boys’ State will return to his community a better citizen than when he left, and that he will demonstrate this fact by his willingness to make civic contributions that will help make his community a better place in which to live.
To arouse a keen interest in the detailed study of government. We desire to create more than just a passive interest in the actual study of the government – we strive to create interest which will encourage the desire for knowledge.
To arouse in the young citizen a determination to maintain our form of government. We attempt to accomplish this in many ways, but primarily through bringing them to full realization of how wonderful it is to be an American!
To develop in young citizens of Boys’ State a full understanding of our American tradition.
To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of Justice, Freedom, and Democracy. For more information, please contact your local American Legion Post.