When I first got interviewed by my American Legion Post in Conesus, NY, I had no idea that I was shooting for one of the most memorable and educational experiences of my life. Most Boys’ Staters in the first day, including myself, were wondering, “What did I just get myself into?”
After the first couple days were completed, routine began to kick in. Wake up at 5:30, make your room immaculate, get in formation, go to chow… etc. While at Boys’ State, your schedule is jam packed; marching from one thing to another. It is safe to say that free time is minimal, but over the week we got a fair amount of it. The Boys’ State experience is unlike any other in that you form a bond with boys from all over NY. By the end of the week, all of your city will be sitting in a dorm room talking and laughing about the inside jokes that have been created since the inception of Boys’ State. And it will be a lot.
During Boys’ State, you will begin to feel pride for your county and city. You may create chants for you county to see who can be the loudest before assembly. You may form rivalries with counties or alliances with others, both of which will effect the political nominees your county sends up. In this way, Boys’ State resembles the real political world, and grants us insider knowledge into what it is like, when to form these alliances and rivalries; something we would not have learned anywhere else as Juniors in high school.
In conclusion, I cannot thank the American Legion for not only running this program, but sponsoring us so we can take it at no charge. It is something that I will remember for the rest of my life, and I’ve made friendships that will be around for a long time. To anyone interested in Boys’ State, I highly recommend you sign up, and power through the week. The lessons you learn will give you a jump start at being a leader in your senior year of high school as well as for the rest of your life.
John Normann, #0469