Every year Huntington Beach Post 133 sends boys from the high schools in the Huntington Beach Unified High School District: Huntington Beach, Marina, Edison, Ocean View, and Fountain Valley. The candidates are interviewed, and are selected to attend California Boys State. Below are pictures of our selection at the Boys State dinner. Information and application are at the end of this page.
What is BOYS/GIRLS STATE: American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State are summer leadership and citizenship programs for high school juniors, sponsored by the American Legion (AL) and the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) respectively. Boys and girls are usually nominated by their high school during their junior year. Boys and Girls State programs both began in 1937 and are held in each of the U.S. states (except Hawaii where there is only a Girls State program), usually at a college within that state.
Prominent Boys State alumni include Astronaut Neil Armstrong, President Bill Clinton; Vice President Dick Cheney; Senators Richard Lugar and Joe Lieberman; Alabama football coach Nick Saban, basketball legend Michael Jordan; and many more.
Each state's program varies, but in general, program participants are divided into subgroups referred to as cities. The citizens of each of these cities elect mock municipal officials and representatives to the mock state legislature. Many programs also have a county level as well. The participants also elect state officials, such as governor, lieutenant governor, and other state-level officials mirroring their actual state. The legislature meets to organize, elect leaders, and to pass bills, in a way that is similar to how their actual state legislature operates. Some programs tend to have a more traditional education focus, providing speakers and training throughout the week and then concluding with mock political functions. Other programs take a more hands-on approach by running the mock government activities all week.
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.
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