To people not familiar with the program or the newly arrived “Citizens” New York Boys’ State can appear to be a like total anarchy. As the week goes on the structure becomes apparent and the program starts to make perfect sense.
Each boy is assigned a roster number. Those roster numbers determine which political party they will belong to. If your number is even you will be a member of the Federalist party, and the badge you wear on your shirt for the rest of the week will be blue. If your number is odd you belong to the Nationalist party and your badge is yellow
Cities and Counties
The Boy’s are also assigned to one of 10 counties, and each county is divided into three cities. The cities and counties are named after past American Legion Commanders. Each county has a county counselor who is overall in charge of the county. He has three city counselors responsible for the 30-40 boys in each city. He is also assisted by a marine and an ROTC Cadet or Second Lieutenant to help with discipline, movement, and physical training.
For those of you familiar with a military organization, a County Counselor somewhat equates to the responsibility of a company commander, with the city counselors filling the same role as a platoon leader. Of course the Boy’s actually run their cities and county, so once a mayor is elected the city counselor would expect him to be “in charge”.
Supporting the Cities and Counties and the Boys is a staff. The State counselors, also known as the Staff, teach, mentor, and support the activities during the week. Their functions are varied and include providing guidance to the various media outlets (like this website), overseeing the sports program, organizing the Band to provide music during the week, guiding the political process, and providing the administrative and logistical support to make the week happen.
Finally, the week couldn’t happen without the support of the college. Housing, facilities, food service, and IT support all come from the staff of the college, and the week wouldn’t happen without their support.