Feb 22, 2021 10:59 AM

Boys State of Kansas returns for 2021 session with new dates

Posted Feb 22, 2021 10:59 AM

News release

MANHATTAN — The American Legion Boys State of Kansas has announced that due to the uncertainty of coronavirus vaccines being fully available to the general public by the start of June, the 2021 Boys State of Kansas session will move from its traditional early June event to the first part of August. The 2021 ALBSK session, which was to be held Sunday, June 6, through Saturday, June 12, will now be held Sunday, Aug. 1, through Saturday, Aug. 7, at Kansas State University in Manhattan. 

The program, which was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be in its 83rd year.

“We did not want to cancel the event a second year in a row,” said Tom Wierman, Kansas Boys State executive director. “After consulting with numerous individuals, we decided holding a virtual event was not feasible nor of interest to potential delegates after having spent most of the last 15 months going to school virtually. With the assistance and blessing of Kansas State University officials, it became clear that moving the date was in the best interest of the delegates, staff/volunteers and the University.”

Traditionally, Kansas Boys State is for individuals who have completed their junior year of high school.

With last year’s cancellation, the ALBSK program announced in January that it was expanding the pool of registrants for this year’s session to include those who have completed their senior year of high school (those who missed out on last year’s event due to the coronavirus pandemic), as well as individuals who have completed their sophomore year of high school.

The American Legion Boys State of Kansas program provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for government, and the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy. 

Those wishing to attend the program should visit ksbstate.org to register.

In addition, anyone can nominate individuals to attend Kansas Boys State by going to ksbstate.org and submitting the person’s name, mailing address, e-mail address, high school and phone number. You can also submit nominees for future years as well. 

The new deadline to register to guarantee a spot in the program is Monday, May 31. 

The cost to attend the Boys State of Kansas program is $350; however, in many instances, sponsors pay the majority of the fees, with the delegate or his family paying $50. Potential sponsors, such as American Legion posts, civic organizations, businesses, clubs and interested individuals, or those with questions, should contact Troy Fowler, ALBSK director of operations, at [email protected]

ABOUT BOYS STATE

The American Legion Boys State of Kansas is an interactive simulation that teaches high school seniors-to-be the value of democracy and civic duty. Participants form mock governments and campaign for positions at the city, county and state levels. After the elections, participants find out firsthand the difficult decisions made daily by those in government through a series of challenging simulations. Delegates, nominated to attend by their high school counselors and other influential people in their lives, are sponsored by American Legion posts and various civic organizations from across the state. All delegates demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities in student government, athletics and/or other activities. 

The Boys State program was founded by Legionnaires Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card in Illinois in 1935, and was first held in Kansas two years later in Wichita. The Kansas program moved to the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1963 and remained there until 1991. The following year, it moved to its current location at Kansas State University in Manhattan. For more information about the American Legion Boys State of Kansas, visit ksbstate.org.