American Legion Boys & Girls State
Boys State and Girls State are summer leadership and citizenship programs sponsored by The American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary for high school juniors. Boys and Girls are usually nominated by their high school during their junior year, and they are then interviewed by Legion officers.
Boys and Girls State programs both began in 1937 and are held in each of the U.S. states, usually on a college campus, within that state. Male and female programs are held separately. Each State's program varies, but in general program participants are divided into subgroups referred to as cities. The citizens of each of these cities elect mock municipal officials and representatives to the mock state legislature. Many programs also have a county level as well. The participants also elect state officials, such as governor, lieutenant governor, and other state-level officials mirroring their actual State. The legislature meets to organize, elect leaders, and to pass bills, in a way that is similar to how their actual State Legislature operates. Some programs tend to have a more traditional education focus, providing speakers and training throughout the week and then concluding with mock political functions. Other programs take a more hands-on approach by running the mock government activities all week. For more information about NJ Boys State, click here. For more information about NJ Girls State, click here.