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American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students. It is a participatory program where each participant becomes a part of the operation of his local, county and state government.

Boys State has been a program of The American Legion since 1935 when it organized to counter the Fascist 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.

At American Legion Boys State, participants are exposed to the rights and privileges, the duties and the responsibilities of a franchised citizen. The training is objective and practical with city, county and state governments operated by the students elected to the various offices. Activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and recreational programs.

High school juniors are selected by local American Legion Posts to attend the program. In most cases, expenses associated with attending this program are paid by a sponsoring American Legion Post, a local business or another community-based organization.

For New York State, Boys State runs for 5 to 6 days starting at the end of June. The Rockland County American Legion typically arranges bus transportation for our county participants. Students interested in attending must apply on-line, but do not do so without first discussing with your local American Legion Post.

The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a similar program for young ladies called Girls State. For online details visi

Tappan Zee High School Juniors - the Perry Post typically sponsors two juniors from Tappan Zee High School to attend Boys State. If your son or daughter is a Junior in Tappan Zee High School and interested in attending Boys or Girls State, contact the post at 845-365-4586 or


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