I wanted to share some first impressions of what will be a very interesting week of virtual American Legion New York Boy’s State. Every year a very dedicate, hard working group of primarily Legionnaires volunteer to make NY Boy’s State happen. Seeing all the “old hands” and the “new faces” is always a highlight of the last week of June. One thing about this group is that most of them are a little older, and we are always grateful for the youth we are able to add to the group each year. This year we have some younger volunteers (including the 2019 NY Boy’s State Governor) who are proving invaluable because of their technical abilities. Based on the first couple of hours this morning this is what I see.
There are a ton of communication platforms available, so while some counselors and citizens are using the chat function on the primary website, others are using emails to reach out to the citizens. Some of the younger counselors are standing up a Slack channel to be used by the counties. Later in the day the zoom platforms will open for the cities and counties I also see some invites to discord channels the citizens are trying to start. Bottom line is that although the lines of communications weren’t clearly defined the Boy’s and the younger, tech savvy, counselors are creating a plan from scratch. The older counselors are proficient in facilitating the process and their challenge will be adapting it to the virtual platforms.
One thing I have learned over the years is that the Citizens will figure it out. Watching a group of Boy’s “arrive” each year and quickly evolve into cities and counties and political parties and learn and embrace the process is fun to see. This year’s added challenge of doing it virtually will add a wrinkle that none of us could really anticipate, but I’m already seeing a lot of critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity as we make it happen this year. We are glad for the opportunity and the challenge.