POMEROY —The American Legion has been a sponsor of Boys State since its creation by the Illinois Department of The American Legion.
Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card began the project to stress the importance and value of “our democratic form of government and maintain an effort to preserve and perpetuate it.”
After its adoption by the Illinois group in June 1935, the first “Boys State” in the nation was held on the grounds of the Illinois State Fair. The program spread among other American Legion Departments and by 1941, 34 states were conducting “Boys State” programs.
Today, there are programs in 49 states; Hawaii is the exception. Delegates from the District of Columbia attend either the Maryland or Virginia Boys States.
The first “Buckeye Boys State” was held in 1936 in the cattle barns on the Ohio State Fairgrounds with more than 440 delegates in attendance, and has been held annually, with the only exceptions being in 1945, when World War II restrictions forced a suspension of activities and a flood prohibited the use of Camp Perry in 1952. The program has been held at several locations since its inception, among them Ohio Wesleyan, Otterbein College, Miami University, Ohio University and Ashland College.
Bowling Green State University has been the site for Buckeye Boys State since 1978 and will again host the largest Boys State program in the nation in 2016, with an expected attendance of over 1,200 young men.
During this eight day “Hands On” experience, delegates will be exposed to the operation of the democratic form of government, the organization of political parties and the relationship of one to the other in shaping Ohio government.
Through the Boys State goal of “learning by doing,” young men will be exposed to city, county and state government through a non-partisan, objective, educational approach. In addition, special program segments on Ohio laws and the court are available to expand skills and interest. The sessions are conduced by staff member versed in their area of expertise.
Another objectives of Boys State is to encourage the formation of lifelong friendships with other young men in the program.
American Legion Post 39 is a supporter of Buckeye Boys State, and Commander John Hood announced their 2016 delegates and sponsors during a recent dinner for the group.
Delegates include representatives from Eastern and Meigs Local High schools: Austen Heater, Brandon Peterson, Dillion Mahr and Grant Adams, sponsored by People Bank, Farmers Bank and New Lexington American Legion Post 188. Alternates are Jake Roush, Keynath Rowe and Trae Hood.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext.2551.