American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students. A participatory program in which students become part of the operation of local, county and state government, Boys State was founded in 1935 to counter the socialism-inspired Young Pioneer Camps. The program was the idea of two Illinois Legionnaires, Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card, who organized the first Boys State at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a separate but similar program for young women called Girls State.
At Boys State, participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments. Operated by students elected to various offices, Boys State activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs.
Legion posts select high school juniors to attend the program. In most cases, individual expenses are paid by a sponsoring post, a local business or another community-based organization.
Boys State programs currently exist in all Legion departments except Hawaii. As separate corporations, Boys State programs vary in content and method of procedure, but each adheres to the same basic concept: teaching government from the township to the state level.
For more information:
The American Legion, P.O. Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206
California Girls State is a leadership program of the American Legion Auxiliary designed to increase awareness and knowledge of governmental processes while learning about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Delegates come away with a greater appreciation of the American Flag and of the sacrifices made by our veterans. While at Girls State, they make friends with outstanding girls from around the state and have a fun week they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. California Girls State is a program sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Department of California.Nearly 300 California Units work all year to raise money in order to provide scholarships to students to attend Girls State. Local Units recruit from area high schools and select young women who are just completing their Junior year to attend the summer session.
How to Participate in Legion Baseball
With an alumni base that includes more than half of current Major League Baseball players, American Legion Baseball is one of the most prominent and tradition-rich amateur athletic leagues in existence.
The program is always growing, and participation is easy.
About 5,000 teams compete each year, so there’s ample opportunity for new players to join, and for coaches who want to start a team. The league also employs a large number of umpires and other volunteers.
Contact your local Legion post. Look for the address and phone number in the local White Pages or at www.legion.org/baseball. Click on “Find a Post” and fill in your city, state and ZIP code. Players can only sign up for the post that is the shortest driving distance from their residence.
However, some exceptions exist. A player whose parents are living separately can declare either parent’s home as his main residence. Additionally, a player who is attending a private school has the option of enrolling with the post closest to his school; in this situation, a Team Declaration Form (Form 77) must be filled out.
Players who are cut from a team, or try out but don’t make the roster, can play for the post that is the next-shortest driving distance from their residence. If a player doesn’t make that team, he can try out with the next-closest post. He can continue until he finds a team to join.
Coaches who want to start a team should contact the department baseball chairman in their state. A full listing of chairmen can be found here. The department will send a new team packet, which includes copies of the state and national rules, insurance information and registration forms. A coach must first fill out a new team registration form. After that’s accepted, an American Legion Baseball registration form must be sent in for insurance purposes.
In 2012, coaches will be able to register online.
Usually, local umpire associations provide departments with umpires. Department chairmen can nominate umpires to officiate the national tournament. Umpires can also nominate each other.
Legion Baseball can always use your help. Volunteers can serve in a variety of ways, ranging from statisticians to serving Gatorade during games.
For more information, contact your local post.