As a program of The American Legion, Boys State 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 an activity of high educational value, born out of a need for youth training in practical
American Legion Boys State is easily classified as a leadership action program where qualified male high school juniors take part in a practical government course designed to develop in the young citizens a working knowledge of the structure of government and to impress upon them the fact that government is just what they make it.
Selection and Eligibility Information
The American Legion has established certain qualifications for prospective Boys State citizens. Following are the recommended guidelines that are employed by most Boys States. (The American Legion Auxiliary has a similar program for girls called "Girls State.")
- Only males who have successfully completed their junior year of high school and have at least one more semester of high school remaining are to be considered as citizens of Boys State.
- Any boy who has previously attended a Boys State is not eligible to attend a second session.
- Only boys with outstanding qualities of leadership, character, scholarship, loyalty and service to their schools should be considered for Boys State.
- American Legion Boys States are in compliance with federal handicap laws. Most Boys States do require a medical/parental consent certificate signed by a parent and a registered doctor.
In the actual selection of boys as citizens of Boys State, merit and ability alone are the basis for selection. No boys are permitted to attend because of either poverty or wealth. Boys State is not a program for underprivileged boys, nor is it a summer camp for recreation. Fees, or 'tuition', are paid by American Legion Posts, businesses or other community-minded organizations, with little or no expense to a young man and his family.
For more information go to the Dirigo Boys State website or the Maine Department of the American Legion website. The dates on the video below apply to 2014, but the message is the same. In 2015 Boys State will be from June 21 through June 25, 2015.
Help a Waterville or Winslow Boy Attend
For the past few years it has cost us $275 per boy to put on the Boys State event. It is a very worthwhile program. This fee is not charged to the attendee or his family. We rely on friends, businesses and our legion post to donate to fund the boys. If you would like to sponsor a boy please contact one of the following:
- Larry Mitchell, Americanism Officer (873-3467)
- Ernie Paradis, Commander (872-5987)
- Carl Paradis, Adjutant (649-5914)
or mail your donation to the post at 21 College Avenue, Waterville, Maine 04901