"For God and Country" - "Lest We Forget"
IOWA AMERICAN LEGION OF IOWA BOYS STATE HANDBOOK
A TRAINING PROGRAM IN CITIZENSHIP AND DEMOCRACY
This booklet serves to acquaint you, prior to your arrival at The American Legion of Iowa Boys State, with an overview of the program, what will be offered through the program, what is expected of you at the program, and what is provided to you by the staff at Boys State and the National Guard at Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.
You are attending Boys State on the recommendation of your school officials and members of The American Legion Post in your community. Uphold the confidence placed in you. Conduct yourself in a manner to reflect credit not only upon yourself, but your school and community as well. Being selected to attend Boys State is an honor that should not be taken lightly.
The goal of Boys State is to educate and train you in the understanding of one of this country’s most precious freedoms: the democratic form of government. It is hoped you will use the knowledge gained to take an active role in not only Boys State, but society as well.
Upon completing Boys State, you join the alumni of hundreds of thousands, numbering among its ranks judges, lawyers, educators, military leaders, federal, state and local government officials. Many of these individuals credit their success to the experience gained at Boys State.
PLEASE REVIEW THIS BOOKLET WITH YOUR PARENTS. Many questions that your parents may have about The American Legion of Iowa Boys State program are covered on the following pages, and on our website at www.ialegion.org. Questions regarding Boys State should be directed to your local, sponsoring American Legion Post, or:
The American Legion of Iowa
ATTN: Boys State
720 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Activities begin at 1 p.m., Sunday, June 9, 2019, and continue until 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 14, 2019. Parents and guests are welcome to attend the final General Assembly (approximately 11:30 a.m.), when awards and scholarship selections are announced.
The American Legion is the largest organization of veterans in the world, with a membership of 2.7 million members in the United States, the District of Columbia and four foreign countries. Since being founded in 1919, The American Legion has been a moving force for fair treatment of this nation’s veterans, their families, and especially the disabled veterans. Members of The American Legion are honorably discharged men and women who served their country on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States.
The American Legion was the author of the G.I Bill of Rights, which has benefited millions of ex-service personnel since its passage in 1944. The American Legion conducts programs designed to benefit the youth of America. Notable among these programs are American Legion Baseball, Boys State/American Legion Boys Nation, American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program, American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program, American Legion Scouting/Eagle Scout of the Year, and Americanism.
The American Legion founded Boys State in 1935. Since that time, Boys State program has remained one of the premier youth programs in the nation.
Boys State was born of a desire to counter the Fascist inspired Young Pioneer Camps of the 1930s, where boys of high school age were being taught that democracy had outworn its usefulness and should be replaced by a new form of government, namely Fascism. The creation of The American Legion Boys State program is credited to Legionnaires Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card, both educators and both members of The American Legion of Illinois, who in 1935 was an instructor at the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago and the Americanism Chairman of the Illinois Department of The American Legion.
Hayes Kennedy became concerned about a project underway in the late 1930’s called “Young Pioneer Camps” promoted by the Communist Party to attract high school students. At these camps the Communist Party would advocate the virtues of the Communist system and the uselessness of democracy. It was their desire to start a counter movement within the ranks of American youth that would develop a better understanding of our system of government, and to instill in our youth a desire to preserve it. The Illinois Department of The American Legion approved Hayes Kennedy’s project, and in June 1935, the very first “American Legion Boys State” in the nation was held on the grounds of the Illinois State Fair.
The format for American Legion Boys State was laid out by Harold Card and fashioned from a method employed by him in earlier years to properly police and organize a Boy Scout camp. Shorthanded on staff, he permitted the boys to govern themselves, hold an election and elect a mayor and a city council. Appointments were made to cover positions like police, fire, health and sanitation officials. Harold Card quickly found that the boys became so enthused in carrying out their ‘city’ duties; they almost neglected their Scout assignments. The boys were learning by doing.
From the beginning in Illinois in 1935, the program swiftly spread among other American Legion Departments. Today, The American Legion conducts a “Boys State” program in 49 states. Hawaii is the only state that does not have an American Legion Boys State program. District of Columbia delegates attend either in the Maryland or Virginia Boys States. Now, 78 years later, the program is still providing that opportunity to young men. To learn by doing, and through this time over one million young men have experienced American Legion Boys State. Though Fascism no longer poses a threat in today’s world, our way of life is still threatened by forms of government alien to our democratic ideals, and by apathy among our own citizens. The American Legion continues to sponsor and to conduct American Legion Boys State in the belief that young citizens who are familiar with the operation of our system of government will be better prepared to uphold its ideals and maintain it for future generations.
Boys State is a weeklong “Hands-On” experience in the operation of the democratic form of government, the organization of political parties, and the relationship of one to the other in shaping Iowa government. Through the Boys State objective of “learning by doing,” young men will learn more about city, county and state government in one week than they would in an entire semester of high school.
Boys State is an exercise in leading as well as following others. Elections are an opportunity to show the ability to perform under pressure and to show character in the face of victories and/or defeats. Boys State will test skills in solving problems and working effectively within a team.
Boys State is an opportunity to gain pride and respect for our form of government and the price paid by people to preserve democracy. The week contains ceremonies and assemblies. Iowa government leaders attend each year to offer their vision and advice. Daily flag raising and lowering ceremonies are conducted at Boys State.
Boys State is a chance to meet new people. With an average of 500 delegates in attendance each year, Boys State offers an opportunity to meet people who represent Iowa’s diversity in heritage and culture. One of the finest objectives afforded to young men by Boys State is the friendships they will form with other Boys State citizens, many of whom will become lifelong friends.
So, what have you gotten yourself into? Hopefully, you can now see that the answer to that question depends upon your interests. It has meant something different to each of the thousands of delegates who have preceded you. Boys State cannot be all things to all people but 75 years of history and success has led The American Legion and all of those who help make the program possible to believe that Boys State offers something meaningful and important to the future of Iowa and the future of America.
The staff of Boys State is comprised of highly motivated and qualified individuals who work with one goal in mind: to make your week at Boys State one of the most rewarding, educational, and worthwhile experiences of your life.
The delegates will be under the supervision of a director and staff members. The staff is drawn from the ranks of the Trustees and Commissioners of Iowa Boys State, the Iowa State Patrol, the agencies of Iowa government, the Iowa National Guard, the U.S. Military Services and Military Academies, professional career fields (lawyers, college admission counselors and teachers) and former American Legion Boys State delegates. The Boys State staff and counselors are always available to assist you. Never hesitate to come to any member of the staff should a question or problem arise.
Political Parties: Boys Staters are equally divided into two (2) political parties, Federalist and Nationalist.
Cities: Boys State delegates are also divided into “cities.” Each party nominates, through a city party caucus, a full slate of candidates for city offices to be elected during the general election. Each political party nominates delegates to the state and county conventions.
Counties: Boys State cities form an Boys State “county.” In each county, both political parties, through their county caucus, elect a County Chairman, Party Secretary and a like number of Secretaries. Both city and county organizations also nominate candidates to be elected in nonpartisan elections for specific offices, usually school boards. Each party nominates, through the county party caucus, a full slate of candidates for county offices to be elected during the general election.
State: A full slate of candidates for the state offices of Boys State is elected at the state convention of both parties. All the voters of Boys State elect the state officers at the general election.
Government officials at Boys State will participate in the elective process and serve in simulated executive, legislative, county and municipal positions of state government. State officials serving as part of Iowa’s state government will appear before Boys Staters and explain their respective duties.
At Boys State, you can run for any one of the many elected public offices found in the state of Iowa, except township or village offices. The Boys State election process consists of a city and county caucus, a county and state convention and the general election. Voting in the general election is by computerized voting machines. Boys Staters who are not elected to an office must seek an appointive office. There are also a large number of appointed offices that will be filled by Boys State delegates.
The elective offices that you can run for at Boys State:
CITY: Mayor, Treasurer, and Councilman.
COUNTY: Treasurer, Sheriff, Recorder, Auditor, Board of Supervisors, and Attorney.
STATE: Representative, Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Auditor, and Treasurer. If you are not elected, you can apply to the Governor’s office, County offices or City offices. Everyone holds at least one elective or appointive office.
Court appointed positions:
COURTS: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Associate Supreme Court Justices, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, Court of Appeals Judges, and District Court Judges.
ALL CAMPAIGN MATERIALS MUST BE PREPARED AT BOYS STATE, NOT BROUGHT WITH YOU. This is to ensure that each delegate starts out on an equal footing and develops a campaign of their own effort and initiative. Campaign materials may be purchased (using Boys State currency) through Boys State headquarters.
We are guests at the Camp Dodge facility. Use common sense in creating campaign materials. All campaign signs WILL be in good taste and free from obscene language, suggestive or lewd designs. Boys State also asks each delegate to be responsible. After the elections are over, each candidate is required to remove his campaign signs and dispose of them in a proper manner. Be careful and cautious where and how you affix signs or posters.
In addition to teaching participants about our democratic form of government, Boys State provides an opportunity to select and participate in a variety of other activities.
SPORTS: The athletic director and his assistants will conduct and supervise athletic activities every afternoon. Facilities are available for those interested in softball, touch football, volleyball and other special events. All boys will be expected to participate in sports, within their physical ability. Each city will organize teams in each of the three sports and a regular schedule leading to a State Championships will be played. No facilities are available for tennis or golf.
MUSIC: Boys State offers voluntary participation The American Legion of Iowa Boys State Band and Chorus. The band plays before each evening program and the chorus appears at several programs throughout the week. They are of excellent quality and have set the tone of the overall Boys State program. They both perform at the State Capitol the day the delegates visit the Capitol for their legislative session. The band plays on the steps as the rest of the boys march in to the Capitol and the chorus sings as a finale before we return to Camp Dodge. A jazz band is also organized and is scheduled at the convenience of the delegates’ schedule. If you play trumpet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet, French horn, tuba, piccolo, flute, or other brass/woodwind instruments, or percussion instruments you are invited to become a member of Boys State band. YOU MUST BRING YOUR OWN INSTRUMENT AND A MUSIC STAND (folding, if possible). Bass drums and music are the only items that will be furnished. NOTE: BUGLERS for the week will come out of the band. They will be responsible to appear at all flag-lowerings and raisings, Taps and Reveille. THE FIRST BAND REHEARSAL WILL BE SUNDAY (THE FIRST DAY) AT 1 P.M. THE CHORUS WILL MEET SUNDAY EVENING (THE FIRST DAY) AT 9 P.M. You will have an opportunity to sign up for band or chorus when you register. Band and Chorus does not interfere with any other activities at Boys State.
NEWSPAPER: Boys State puts out a daily newspaper that goes to every delegate each day. This paper includes interesting articles, interviews and sports results and schedules. Interested delegates may apply at check-in for positions as editors, photographers and staff members.
STATE PATROL: Boys State operates a functioning Hawkeye Boys State Patrol, chaired by officers and troopers of the Iowa State Patrol. Up to four Boys Staters from each city may participate in the activities of Boys State Patrol. These young men receive comprehensive training in Iowa law, law enforcement and the role of a police officer.
LAWYERS: Boys State operates a law school to teach participants about the role of lawyers and judges in our legal system. Up to four Boys State delegates from each city may participate in the activities of the Law School. Lawyers may run for election as city attorneys, county attorneys or Boys State Attorney General. Lawyers may also participate in the Judicial Nomination Commission and seek appointment as a Judge. Lawyers can participate in a Mock Trial as judges, lawyers, witnesses and jurors. Lawyers appointed to Boys State Supreme Court and Boys State Court of Appeals will meet to discuss and decide the mock appeal of a legal case. Lawyers are normally allowed to view the Judicial Building, Supreme Court and Court of Appeals chambers, during the trip to the State Capitol. The orientation meeting for all lawyers is held Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m.
All young men selected to attend Boys State are strongly encouraged to attend an orientation prior to arrival. You may attend the one that is closest to your residence or which best fits your schedule!
The American Legion of Iowa Boys State Orientation schedule will be posted to the website at www.ialegion.org as soon as it becomes available. Parents are encouraged to accompany the delegates to this orientation. The purpose is to acquaint you with Boys State, answer any questions you may have, address transportation to and from Hawkeye Boys State, and help you prepare.
The American Legion Post sponsoring you is your first point of contact – they are the Legionnaires who selected you. If you are unable to attend your regularly scheduled orientation, contact the Legion Post FIRST, and review the online version of the orientation.
As long as you are registered online, no further information is required to be mailed. Delegates to Boys State MUST register online. A letter of instruction to register online must be provided by your local American Legion Post that is sponsoring you! That letter contains The American Legion Post number, and you must include that in your online registration! If you cannot find your letter provided, the link to register is located on the website at www.ialegion.org. YOU MUST BRING THE “MEDICAL INFORMATION-PARENTAL CONSENT” FORM TO BOYS STATE, SIGNED BY YOUR PARENT/GUARDIAN, AND PRESENT IT AT CHECK IN.
XI. MEDICAL CARE
Medical services will be provided. Sick call will be made available each morning and arrangements for emergencies will be provided. This includes first aid any time. Every precaution will be used to avoid injuries and prevent illnesses, but Boys State, Inc. will not be responsible for either injuries or illness should they occur. If the illness warrants it, the Iowa State Patrol (onsite at Hawkeye Boys State), Boys State medical staff or ambulance will transport you to a medical facility in Des Moines. If you must utilize Boys State medical facilities, please inform your city counselor. Should an emergency arise, your counselor is well briefed on procedures to follow to get immediate aid.
While you are attending Boys State, you are covered by a blanket Accident and Liability policy maintained by The American Legion of Iowa. This coverage is EXCESS COVERAGE to insurance maintained by your parents. In the event you receive treatment at Boys State, the bill will be directed through your parent’s health insurance. Bring a copy of the front and back of your parents’ medical insurance card.
Plan to arrive at Camp Dodge between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Sunday, June 11, 2017. Lunch will be available for Boys State delegates from 12 to 1 p.m. All delegates must arrive no later than 12 p.m., as the first activity begins Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. If you cannot make the 12 p.m. check-in deadline, you must notify Boys State by calling 515-727-3324.
YOUR SPONSORING AMERICAN LEGION POST WILL HELP YOU WITH TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENTS. YOU MUST CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL AMERICAN LEGION POST FOR INSTRUCTIONS AS TO YOUR TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENTS.
When you arrive at Camp Dodge, you will be met by Boys State traffic control personnel, who will direct you to park and to check-in. Please follow their instructions. Wait to unload your luggage until after you check-in. We request that you notify a parent or guardian of your safe arrival.
All of your fees are paid prior to session by a local American Legion Post. Please thank them properly for your attendance! You will be required to turn in all medications at check-in, and they must be in their original prescription container (a requirement of the Camp Dodge Security Facility). Bring a copy of the front and back of your parents’ medical insurance card.
Camp Dodge is located north of Johnston, Iowa. ANYONE ENTERING CAMP DODGE MUST HAVE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION SUCH AS IOWA DRIVERS LICENSE, SCHOOL IDENTIFICATION, OR ANOTHER OFFICIAL PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. THIS MEANS EVERYONE!
You will be housed in an assigned barracks on the grounds of Camp Dodge. Two barracks is a ‘city.’ The barracks you reside in and your city name will be given to you at check-in. Bring a complete bedroll, including blankets, sheets, pillow and pillowslip. You may bring a sleeping bag if desired. NO BEDDING IS AVAILABLE AT CAMP DODGE. TAG EVERYTHING WITH YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS. Please have adequate clothing and supplies for ONE FULL WEEK.
Meals are provided at no cost to you. Your sponsoring American Legion Post, as part of the enrollment fee, pays the meal cost. You will eat in a dining area assigned to your Boys State city. You will eat with your Boys State city and your city counselor will direct you to the correct dining hall.
Shirt and shoes are required in the dining areas. No swimming trunks are permitted. The official Boys State badge is admission to the dining area, and will be issued to you at your city when you arrive. Meals are not available for your friends or relatives. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served by schedule. Breakfast: 6:45 a.m.; Lunch: 12 p.m.; and, Dinner: 6 p.m.
You will be able to send and receive mail while at Boys State. A mailbox is located at the Boys State Headquarters Building (C-3). Outgoing mail is taken to the Post Office daily. Incoming mail is picked up by Boys State staff on a daily basis and will be routed to you through your city counselor/city mailman.
ADDRESS: Your address for the week will be:
Boys State (Building C-3)
ATTN: (Your Name)
7105 N.W. Beaver Drive
Johnston, Iowa 50131
Your barracks will not have a telephone. In case of emergency, you can be reached at 515-727-3324. Cell phone, and use of Tablets/I-Pads, is permitted only when activities are not in session (during free time). Wi-fi usage is extremely limited, as you are on a military installation and security measures are followed.
The National Guard PX will operate a canteen for the benefit of The Boys State delegates. Candy, ice cream, soft drinks, postage stamps, soap, toothpaste and other articles may be purchased daily. As this is a military PX, please observe their rules as to purchases allowed. This is a privilege they extend to Boys State, and normally utilized ONLY by military personnel and retirees. Be extremely respectful to our military hosts.
Delegates bringing cars WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO USE THEM DURING BOYS STATE except in emergencies, and then only with the permission of the Director. After you have unpacked, you will be directed to park in a lot patrolled by Camp Dodge security. Keys must be turned in to your city counselor and kept at Boys State Headquarters (C-3). You may pick them up on the LAST DAY from your city counselor or from headquarters. This restriction is necessary for the safety of Boys State delegates and conduct of Boys State program.
While attending Boys State, you will be photographed professionally with your fellow citizens, for inclusion in the Boys State CD, which will be mailed to you a few weeks after you return home. Candid photos of activities throughout the week will also be included on the CD. The American Legion of Iowa and Boys State, Inc. are not responsible for photos posted by fellow Boys State citizens or visitors, to any of the social medias by fellow citizens or visitors.
Boys State awards and scholarships are made available to those students who have exemplified “statesmanship” in their qualities of character, scholarship, citizenship, patriotism and leadership. Some of them include:
The National Headquarters of The American Legion conducts a program called AMERICAN LEGION BOYS NATION, held at Marymount in Arlington, Virginia, and picks up in the instruction process on government where respective American Legion Boys State programs leave off.
· At American Legion Boys Nation, young men learn about the federal levels and process of our government, through “hands-on” participation, like Boys State. American Legion Boys Nation follows the national political process and culminates its program with election of the President of Boys Nation.
· The American Legion Boys Nation program is conducted at Marymount College in Arlington, Virginia.
· Two (2) Boys State citizens will be selected to represent Iowa and Boys State in the week-long American Legion Boys Nation program. Two (2) alternate citizens will be selected to attend American Legion Boys Nation in the event a principal delegate from Boys State is unable to attend.
· At Boys State, candidates to be considered for Boys Nation are nominated by their city counselors and interviewed by an American Legion Boys Nation selection panel, comprised of Boys State staff members.
· The American Legion National Headquarters pays for the transportation costs of all delegates to American Legion Boys Nation.
You are attending Boys State on the recommendation of your school officials and members of The American Legion Post in your community. Uphold the confidence placed in you. Conduct yourself in a manner to reflect credit not only upon yourself, but your school and community, as well. Being selected to attend Boys State is an honor and a privilege.
· The use of any TOBACCO is not permitted.
· No one is permitted to have LIQUOR or DRUGS in his possession.
· Possession of FIREARMS or EXPLOSIVES of any kind is not permitted.
· GAMBLING in any form will not be tolerated.
· ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY for the entire week. Boys State delegates may not leave the grounds without the permission of the Boys State Director and then only in emergencies.
· The use of profanity, either written or spoken, will not be tolerated. Conduct yourself in a manner to bring honor to Boys State, not embarrassment.
· A violation of any of the rules will subject you to a DISHONORABLE DISMISSAL, without refund, and A CALL TO YOUR PARENTS AND SPONSORING AMERICAN LEGION POST.
· Since the first Boys State, there have been many landmark events in the evolution of our program.
· Perhaps the strongest evidence of this heritage is the good reputation built by delegates who participate each year.
Upon completing Boys State, you will join alumni of hundreds of thousands, numbering among their ranks judges, lawyers, educators, military leaders, and federal, state and local government officials. Many of these individuals credit their success to the experience gained at Boys State. BE PROUD OF BEING SELECTED TO ATTEND BOYS STATE! IT IS AN HONOR AFFORDED ONLY A SPECIAL GROUP OF YOUNG MEN EACH YEAR.
DO bring lots of ideas for campaign signs, gimmicks, slogans, etc. with you.
DO NOT bring any prepared campaign material with you. YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO USE IT.
DO bring comfortable clothes. T-shirts and shorts can be worn on most occasions. Candidates for office should dress accordingly. Your Boys State T-shirt and acceptable khaki shorts or nice jeans will be worn for evening assemblies and the trip to the State Capitol.
DO NOT bring clothes that are not respectable.
DO plan on making a week-long commitment to The Boys State program.
DO NOT plan to leave Boys State early to attend another program, baseball games, basketball tournaments, family vacations, or for other reasons. Attendance at Boys State for the entire program is MANDATORY. Exceptions are granted only by the Director.
DO learn the name and number of The American Legion Post that is sponsoring you at Boys State.
DO NOT bring a large amount of cash or anything with you that is extremely valuable. All personal items are your responsibility. Although a “lost and found” will be created at Headquarters, Boys State assumes no responsibility for any lost items.
DO plan on reporting about your week at Boys State at your local American Legion Post, school, community, clubs, etc., after your return home.
DO NOT hesitate to keep your local American Legion Post informed of what you are doing. They are proud to have you represent them.
DO come to Boys State with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Be prepared to spend long, but rewarding hours learning with The Boys State program.
DO NOT think you are coming to a recreation CAMP BUT have fun with the organized sports and activities.
DO plan to report to the check-in site at Camp Dodge after 9 am and before 12 pm on Sunday, June 9, 2019.
DO plan to be picked up/leave not earlier than 1 p.m. on Friday, June 14, 2019.
DO NOT think you can’t do something without trying first.
DO extend yourself to the fullest within Boys State.
Read this information in its entirety! After reading this booklet, write down any questions you may have here and address them at the orientation or to your local American Legion Post that is sponsoring you.
Iowa’s Premiere Civic Education Program
Information concerning Boys State may be found on the website at www.ialegion.org or by contacting your local American Legion Post.