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BOYS STATE

Boys State is a seven-day hands-on experience in the operation and fundamentals of government. The program draws together the best and brightest high school juniors to help lead them down the path of individual success and leadership through doing, not just learning. Students selected to attend will go to the seven-day session at Eastern Illinois University in mid-June.

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. The program was the idea of three Illinois Legionnaires who organized the first Boys State at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. There are now Boys States and Girls States across the nation.

At 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, and seminars. Delegates to Boys State debate a civic affairs topic, chosen for each year's session and adopt policy recommendations which are forwarded to the governor of Illinois and to the leaders of the Illinois General Assembly

From among the 1.5 million high school students in Illinois, 750 are selected each year to represent their high school and their communities as delegates to Illinois boys State. Each Boys State delegate will be assigned arbitrarily to one of 32 cities in eight counties. Each citizen will also be given a party designation - Nationalist or Federalist.

Citizens take part in elections designed to teach them about voting and the electoral process in a democratic society. This hands on experience has helped keep the traditions of Boys State alive for almost 70 years.

As the participants arrive at EIU, each boy becomes a citizen of one of the 32 cities. They each receive a party designation as Nationalist or Federalist. Four cities are group to form a county. These eight counties comprise Boys State. The cities, counties, and the state create a structure for the election process. With political and residency affiliations, the politics of Boys State loosely parallels traditional elections at the city, county, and state levels. Realism guides the proceedings on the candidates are required to follow election regulations. Counselors in each city select three judges to serve on the election board. Candidates are selected through party caucuses using the system of party convention. Ballots used at Premier Boys State are similar to those used in traditional elections.

Campaigning for various political offices on the city, county, and state levels begins after the Saturday evening assembly. Candidates are required to follow real world election regulations, which include campaign spending and campaigning time. The Boys State Governor and other state wide officials take an oath of office, administered by the Illinois Governor. Campaign supplies and materials may be purchase at the Eastern Illinois University bookstore. No campaign signs or flyers of any nature may be prepared in advance of your arrival for Boys State.

Citizens take part in elections designed to teach them about voting and the electoral process in a democratic society. This hands on experience has helped keep the traditions of Boys State alive for almost 70 years.

As the participants arrive at EIU, each boy becomes a citizen of one of the 32 cities. They each receive a party designation as Nationalist or Federalist. Four cities are group to form a county. These eight counties comprise Boys State. The cities, counties, and the state create a structure for the election process. With political and residency affiliations, the politics of Boys State loosely parallels traditional elections at the city, county, and state levels. Realism guides the proceedings on the candidates are required to follow election regulations. Counselors in each city select three judges to serve on the election board. Candidates are selected through party caucuses using the system of party convention. Ballots used at Premier Boys State are similar to those used in traditional elections.

Campaigning for various political offices on the city, county, and state levels begins after the Saturday evening assembly. Candidates are required to follow real world election regulations, which include campaign spending and campaigning time. The Boys State Governor and other state wide officials take an oath of office, administered by the Illinois Governor. Campaign supplies and materials may be purchase at the Eastern Illinois University bookstore. No campaign signs or fliers of any nature may be prepared in advance of your arrival for Boys State.

Visit the Boys State website HERE.

For more information, the local contact for Boys State is:

Mr. Mike Dyson
217-586-2254


 

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