Skip to content

American Legion Destin Announces 2024 Florida American Legion Boy’s State Program

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.
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. Instruction will also be presented on the law and court system, parliamentary procedure, and Florida political History.

At Florida Boys State, citizens will gain hands-on experience to leadership by taking part in the political process through role-play civic exercises.

Citizens of Florida Boys State not only will be required to review knowledge already acquired concerning the political machinery of the state of Florida, but they will find themselves running for office as real candidates do in the everyday world.  Citizens will be organized into a mythical city, county, and state from where they choose their own officials in accordance with regular election procedures.  From there, they learn the duties of the various city, county, and state officers, and they introduce and argue their own bills in a Legislature.

The entire program is non-partisan. Problems will be considered without reference to any existing political party and will be free from propaganda to enable the boys to understand some of the responsibilities they will encounter when they become adults. The selection and assignment of the boys to the political parties is in no way connected with the existing political parties in Florida. The Florida Boys State uses mythical parties called “Nationalists” and “Federalists” where none of the principles characterized by any of the existing parties will be adopted by Florida Boys State.

To be selected for nomination or appointment as a Florida Boys State delegate, the candidate must demonstrate:
Strong academic performance (e.g., a quick study) to thrive in this fast-moving program
Excellent Interpersonal skills (e.g., gets along very well with others from all backgrounds)
Exhibited leadership (e.g., a leader of leaders)
Solid Oratorical skills (e.g., a persuasive speaker and confidence shown in group settings)

In addition, the candidate must:
be a Junior in a Florida High School (Public, Private, or Homeschool)
have at least one semester of high school remaining
has not previously attended Boys State
have parents’/guardians’ permission to attend
be certified by the sponsoring American Legion Post

A program of this scope encompasses many important objectives. The American Legion feels the following are the most important:
To develop civic leadership and pride in American citizenship. The American Legion hopes that each young man attending Boys State will return to his community a better citizen and display his willingness to make greater civic contributions.
To develop a keen interest in government.
To develop in the young citizens of Boys State a full understanding of our American traditions and belief in the United States of America. The American Legion Boys State teaches citizens the glorious traditions of this country
To develop in the young citizens a determination to maintain our form of government
If your son is interested in interviewing for Florida Boys State please contact your local Post to schedule an interview.

Important Dates
December through February – Post conduct interviews to select citizens for the Program
January 10, 2024 – Delegate and Alternate Online Registration Opens.
March 20, 2024 – Delegate and Alternate Online Registration Closes. If the selected Delegate does not register by the end of this day, an Alternate will be placed in his spot. If an Alternate does not register by the end of this day, he will not be placed on the Alternate list.
Varies – Boys State Orientations will be conducted. Ask your Boys State Chairman for information regarding your orientation.
June 16-22, 2024 – Boys State Session at Florida State University. Delegates are required to check in Sunday, June 16 at 7:00 a.m. and will be released Saturday, June 22 at 7:00 a.m.

Interested parties should contact Jim Wood, Destin American Legion Post 296 at (850) 502-9468 or e-mail:

Scroll To Top