Before arriving here at Boys’ State, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I was completely undecided on if I wanted to do it until about a month prior to coming. When I got here, my first thought was “What did I just get myself into?”, but after the first day, the routine started to set in and the excitement started to form. I realized that there is something here for everybody, whether it be the political rallies, sports, recreational activities, the opportunities to make multiple amazing friends, website development (Oh yeah), video or yearbook staff, or simply the independence and confidence you gain from the experience. I believe that this experience can and will be a positive and beneficial experience for every boy attending, even though they may not see that right now. I certainly know that it was for me, as it has made me realize certain qualities about myself that I didn’t even know that I had. The councilors and legionnaires do not do this for free and on their own time for nothing, they are here to help each and every boy here not just to become a better citizen, but grow into a better man overall. While at first it probably seems like the marines here are just some cranky dudes looking to boss some guys around, they’re really here to motivate you and give you confidence in yourself, and by the end of the week you’ll be thanking them for that. I am walking away today with a different view on how our society works. I would like to thank every one of my fellow Boys’ Staters for looking out for myself and each other this whole week, and for creating a welcoming and exciting atmosphere. I wish all of you, and future Boys’ Staters, luck on your future endeavors and the willpower and confidence to deal with every situation humbly and properly that the future may hold for you. I would also like to thank my marine, sergeant Ritchie, for teaching me the importance of perseverance through hardships. You must not give up, you need to always push yourself, or else you will not get anywhere. “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”~ Bruce Lee. Farewell Boys’ State, thank you for the great experience.