Every year boys visit our website unaware of our purpose and unprepared for what we do. This letter should help you make the decision as to whether or not you will accept the challenge of participating in The American Legion Boys’ State of New York. There are five (5) basic elements to the program:
Government: It will be your task to develop a mythical state by nominating and electing your fellow Boys’ Staters to each office on the city, county and state government level.
Marines: There will be a contingent of United States Marines who will direct and train you in the proper procedures of drill (marching), room preparation, and physical training. Note: These men are United States Marines. Their job is to assist you. Please listen and obey them, and by the end of the week, you will be pleased and proud.
Athletics and Activities: The Boys’ State sports program leads to state champions in basketball, softball, volleyball, cross country track, and tennis. There is a weight room and track, which can be used for workouts during specified hours of the day. Unfortunately, there is not always enough space or equipment for soccer, baseball or lacrosse; although pick-up games are possible if space is available and does not interfere with regularly scheduled events. Activities include the Boys’ State band, chorus, newspaper, website, powerpoint exhibit and video production.
Speakers: Each morning there will be an assembly during which officials from city, county, and state governments will discuss their jobs. There will be talks about patriotism, respect for the flag, and our democratic form of government. A demonstration by the New York State Police and talks by representatives from the different branches of our armed services may be included in the daily programs.
Counselors: One of the major experiences at Boys’ State is the interaction of participants with their city, county, and state counselors. These men and women volunteer one week of their time in order to help you reach the goals set out by the American Legion Boys’ State. Many of these counselors have served in the military and would be glad to share their experiences with you. In addition to these individuals, there are many others, including educators, lawyers, policemen, administrators, and businessmen who will provide you with valuable information and life experiences. Please remember these people are volunteers and should be treated with respect.
Overall, Boys’ State will become one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. You will learn a great deal about yourself and meet some of the finest young men in New York State. I hope this helps you make the right decision about whether or not to attend the American Legion Boys’ State of New York. If you do attend, you will enjoy a deep feeling of satisfaction at having succeeded at one of life’s most prestigious and challenging experiences.
Thank you for your time.
Program Director The American Legion Boys’ State of New York