Boys/Girls State

Boys/Girls State is an annual educational program sponsored by The American Legion Department of Michigan. Young men & women learn about civics and how a government operates. Our motto is "Learn by Doing." The goal of Boys/Girls State educational staff is to facilitate the learning proess by giving the citizens of Boys/Girls State an opportnity to govern themseslves and to run thier own state.

Boys/Girls State is LEARNING.

Delegates have the opportunity to learn more about their city, county, and state government in one week at Boys State than in an entire semester in a formal classroom setting. Boys/Girls Staters meet with elected and appointed officials to learn more about the duties and responsibilities of a variety of positions in government from people on the “inside.” Additionally, in Boys/Girls State, each citizen has the opportunity to learn for himself that his government is just what he makes it.

Boys/Girls State is POLITICS.

The first half of your Boys/Girls State experience will expose you to the world of politics. You will nominate candidates for partisan and non-partisan offices on the city, county, and state level. You will also, no doubt, be exposed to the “seamy” side of politics ... the wheeling and dealing, the promises that cannot be kept, the vote trading and the cajoling, to give a candidate or a party that “extra advantage.”

Boys/Girls State is GOVERNMENT.

When the dust has settled from the conventions, campaigns, and elections, Boys/Girls State needs to be governed for four days by its elected and appointed officials. Boys/Girls Staters will find themselves performing exactly the same functions as real office holders in the everyday world. Education and University Boards must make policies for their areas of responsibility. City councils, county commissions, and the state legislature must make ordinances and laws for their constituencies. Executive departments and other administrators must see that laws and policies are properly interpreted.

Boys/Girls State is FRIENDSHIP.

You may arrive at Boys/Girls State knowing no one else. However, one of the fringe benefits of Boys/Girls State is how easy it is to get to know people, many of whom may remain your friend for the rest of your life.