Every year Huntington Beach Post 133 sends boys and girls 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 or Girls State. American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students.
What is Boy's State?
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.
History of Boys State
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.
Boys and Girls State programs are held in each state (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.
How Are Candidates Chosen?
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. 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.