Along with the counselors and Marines that come to New York Boys’ State each year there is another group of helpers who have been coming for about 10 years now that don’t get a lot of recognition. These are the Junior Counselors. At the City and County level these counselors are College students or recent college graduates who are associated with ROTC programs in College. This year there were Army ROTC Cadets from Niagara University, Clarkson University, and two newly commissioned Second Lieutenants from SUNY Brockport. Air Force ROTC provided three Cadets from RIT and one newly commissioned Graduate from Clarkson’s Detachement 536.
In the case of Clarkson’s two Cadets, one had attended Bo State, and one had not. Both will be sophomores in the fall. One will be on scholarship and one is hoping to earn a campus based Army ROTC scholarship. Both of them are on track to earn engineering degrees from Clarkson and serve as Army Officers when they graduate.
As a junior counselor these Cadets and Lieutenants are not only lending a hand, they are also getting the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. Whether it’s helping the Marine move the county and teach drill, maintaining accountability and assisting the County and City counselors, and participating in PT in the mornings they are learning by doing. New York Boys’ State and the ROTC programs both benefit from the continued collaboration.
Along with the Junior Counselors at the County/City level we have Junior Counselors at the State level too. These are usually recently graduated high school seniors who attended Boys’ State last year. State Junior Counselors were assigned to the yearbook, sports, and newspaper this year, and two of them took on the additional task of facilitating the meetings for the Commissioners of Sustainability and Economic Development.
If you think you might want to come back to Boys’ State as a counselor you can either get involved in ROTC when you attend college or contact the Program Director to ask about becoming a junior counselor.