American Legion Boys’ State is a week-long program that immerses high school youth in citizenship and leadership training. They learn the practical aspects of government as it exists in New York State, and come to recognize that the individual is integral to the character and success of government. They also participate in physical fitness, teamwork and other activities, under the guidance of American Legion counselors and U.S. Marines.


The American Legion Boys’ State of New York, Inc., which is sponsored by the American Legion Department of New York, is a citizenship training program designed to meet your needs and to give you an insight into our democratic form of government.

Its purpose is to inspire and instill in you a deep sense of responsibility and obligation by educating you in the principles of democracy and by teaching you the duties, privileges and rights of American citizenship.
The Boys’ State Program has been founded on the “learn by doing” concept. By actually operating your own government, you will leave Boys’ State with a clearer view and a better understanding of the functions of our government agencies.

As nearly as possible, the government of the American Legion Boys’ State of New York, Inc. is patterned after the city, county, and state governments of the State of New York. It is pure democracy in that all the citizens may vote and are eligible to hold office


Boys’ State is a program of the American Legion developed from the concept that youth should be offered a better perspective of the practical operation of government; that the individual is an integral part and commensurately responsible for the character and success of his government . As such, it is and activity of high educational value, born of a need for youth training in a practical citizenship.

Boys’ State is a leadership Action Program where qualified male high school juniors take part in a practical government course. This course is designed to develop in the young citizens a working knowledge of the structure of government, and to impress upon them the fact that their government is what THEY make it.

Boys’ State is an objective citizenship training program which inculcates individual responsibility to the community, state, and nation. It is operated on the basis of the political government organization existing in New York State, including all levels from municipality to the state.


• To develop civic leadership and pride in American Citizenship. It is our earnest hope that each young man attending Boys’ State will return to his community a better citizen than when he left, and that he will demonstrate this fact by his willingness to make civic contributions that will help make his community a better place in which to live.

• To arouse a keen interest in the detailed study of government. We desire to create more than just a passive interest in the actual study of the government – we strive to create interest which will encourage the desire for knowledge.

• To arouse in the young citizen a determination to maintain our form of government. We attempt to accomplish this in many ways, but primarily through bringing them to full realization of how wonderful it is to be an American!

• To develop in young citizens of Boys’ State a full understanding of our American tradition.

• To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of Justice, Freedom, and Democracy. For more information, please contact your local American Legion Post.

Here in the Cherry Valley
Morrisville Campus rings with cheer,
That’s where our Legion Boys’ State
Meets – this – year
We learn to live together
Learn Democracy
A melting pot for color – creed
And Nation – al – ity

Tune: “Wait Till the Sun Shines Nellie”

(Words Revised by John Garafalo)

(Revised By Robert F. Neville)


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