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My ds knows a woman at church who involved with the American Legion Auxiliary and she is a fan of his 🙂 She introduced herself to me and told me she has his name in for next years Boys State and that she wants to make sure he applies. I thought that sounded great and just right for ds. His is very into the leadership and citizenship aspects of 4-H so this seemed like something he would like. My ds and my brother both went so we are familiar with it.

Well I thought that was cool and I texted my ds (he is out of town) and he says he is not interested. 

Any thoughts on it? I definitely feel like he should do it and it would be terribly embarrassing to tell this woman “no”. She is a cool lady and has taken such an interest in him (and now my younger daughter). But I rarely have “forced” my kids to do much of anything. I haven’t needed to. They make good choices (including this ds) and I’ve respected their preferences and I’m sure I will with this too.

Just thought I’d seek opinions here on the program and its worth. 

FWIW I know there is an element of rah rah God and country...that isn’t a problem for us.

 

Edited by teachermom2834

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Does he really know enough about it to make a decision already? Has he talked to teens who have attended recently? Did he give his reasons for not wanting to attend?

It’s great that the women thinks so much of your son, but before promising to get him in, she probably should have found out if he was actually interested. I don’t think I would force it if he still really doesn’t want to do it after getting as much information about the program as possible. I’m sure another young man would be thrilled to have his spot.

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No I definitely don’t think he has the information and we will make sure he has it before making a decision whether or not to apply. That is why I was asking for thoughts on the program here. It is one of the sources I go to for information which I then will share with him along with other sources. 

 I should not have said that she will make sure he gets to go. That was what I heard it as but really I think she was just wanting to make sure he applied and she would get it in front of whoever the decision makers are.  Normally it goes through school counselors and she knows ds just has me. But that was my own spin on it thinking “hey he has a chance to do this cool thing”  but I don’t think it is a case of him just having a sure way in. I am assuming knowing him and knowing the other typical applicants to her it was clear he would be well qualified. So I shouldn’t have phrased it the way I did. I have now edited the OP.

I mostly was interested in what experiences people here have had. My ds is out of town and the application process is several months away so I didn’t get into it with my ds while he is away at camp. So I am not sure what all of his reasons are but I was doing my own mom research. 

Edited by teachermom2834

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I'm pretty sure my DH went to Boys State. Do you want me to ask him about it? Granted, that was quite a few years ago now. He also went to Hugh O'Brain Youth Leadership and then became a counselor for it the following two, maybe three, years. I know HOBY made an impact on him. I do vaguely remember him talking about Boys State and having to set up a government. DH was really into leadership. He was our school's go-to leadership guy, so he was typically selected to do that kind of thing. The school counselor was in charge of selecting the Boys State delegates. I remember I was peeved my year because he failed to select a Girls State delegate as well. There were several of us who wanted to go. All of those kind of things we used as college application builders.

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DH went to Boys State in his state & I went to Girls State. I think it was a great leadership & government activity/ learning opportunity. Of my girls, I only have one that was interested, but the small town politics plus her being the first home schooler to ever apply kept her from the opportunity.

I'd have him read up on what Boys State is like from the website.  Your state should have its own website, too.

It was a great experience for me. I would encourage it for the right kid. (My next two girls would not be good candidates. Maybe one of my boys will be when the time comes.)

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My son went to Boys State two years ago. I will say that there is probably some variation between states. That said, he enjoys leadership events like this and had a good time. I think it helped him in a wide variety of ways: his own leadership skills and understanding of government were increased, it aided in his understanding of group living, he knew what living in a dorm with other guys would be like before college, he received multiple offers of college admissions and scholarships (without ever completing an application), and several of the scholarship programs and colleges he was applying to looked very favorably on his having attended Boys State. 

There are some light requirements as far as transportation and clothing but most everything is provided to the boys at no cost. Here in our area transportation was actually covered, we chose to pick him up and see their final event.

Finally, a word of warning, there is an expectation (I think nationally but certainly in Virginia) that an applicant will be completing US history and government (possibly state history and government as well) during their junior year in high school. Fortunately, my son is a history buff and was able to answer most of the interview questions on these topics but we had saved US History and Government for senior year and that made things a bit awkward.

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3 hours ago, JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst said:

Finally, a word of warning, there is an expectation (I think nationally but certainly in Virginia) that an applicant will be completing US history and government (possibly state history and government as well) during their junior year in high school.

Nothing like that in our state. In fact, the Boys State candidates didn't have to interview at all. (Girls State did have interviews, but the questions were mostly on local & state representatives.) 

If she had been picked to attend, my DD would have been eligible for a special scholarship because of all the veterans in our family.

In Missouri, there are special scholarships for attendees of Boys/Girls State. I remember there was a question on one of DD's college applications for a Missouri state school relating to attendance.

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2 hours ago, RootAnn said:

Nothing like that in our state. In fact, the Boys State candidates didn't have to interview at all. (Girls State did have interviews, but the questions were mostly on local & state representatives.) 

If she had been picked to attend, my DD would have been eligible for a special scholarship because of all the veterans in our family.

In Missouri, there are special scholarships for attendees of Boys/Girls State. I remember there was a question on one of DD's college applications for a Missouri state school relating to attendance.

As I said, I think each state has its own quirks in the process. The course requirement in Virginia may be to Boys State's advantage in terms of their own education component and I think US/Virginia history is part of the state standards in grade 11 so its the perfect tie-in.

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My DS is registered to go to IN Boys State here in a couple weeks. It's definitely right up his alley - public speaking, politics, and lots of social interaction LOL If I remember, I'll try to post when he gets back about what he thought about it.

The American Legion had a booth at our state homeschool convention and so I assumed they were actively recruiting homeschool students, which I thought was pretty cool.

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If he doesn't want to go, simply tell her that it won't fit into his plans for the summer and thank her kindly for thinking of him. 

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On 6/5/2019 at 9:56 PM, teachermom2834 said:

My ds knows a woman at church who involved with the American Legion Auxiliary and she is a fan of his 🙂 She introduced herself to me and told me she has his name in for next years Boys State and that she wants to make sure he applies. I thought that sounded great and just right for ds. His is very into the leadership and citizenship aspects of 4-H so this seemed like something he would like. My ds and my brother both went so we are familiar with it.

Well I thought that was cool and I texted my ds (he is out of town) and he says he is not interested. 

Any thoughts on it? I definitely feel like he should do it and it would be terribly embarrassing to tell this woman “no”. She is a cool lady and has taken such an interest in him (and now my younger daughter). But I rarely have “forced” my kids to do much of anything. I haven’t needed to. They make good choices (including this ds) and I’ve respected their preferences and I’m sure I will with this too.

Just thought I’d seek opinions here on the program and its worth. 

FWIW I know there is an element of rah rah God and country...that isn’t a  for us.

DS just got back from his week at Boys State. He enjoyed the week a lot and said it was a good leadership experience for those who are willing to really jump right in and participate and get the most out of it. He said someone who wasn't initially interested could still get a lot out of it, but not if they're the type to just show up but not participate. From a homeschoolers perspective, it was a very different experience from what he's used to. In his hs'ing extra curriculars, everybody is there because they actively sought out this opportunity and they want to make the most of it. He thought a lot of the other boys there were immature and were only there because a teacher recommended them and they wanted to spend a week away from home. Lots of bad language and one of the "cities" they created was centered on the prostitution industry 🙄 because that's what 17 year old boys think is funny apparently. But he also said he was able to have some interesting deep conversations with young men from very different backgrounds than his. He says he would go again and would recommend the experience!

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Thanks for the report. I actually had someone else mention that it could be culture shock with the behavior and language of the other boys for a homeschool kid. I’m not super worried about that because ds has been away to all sorts of things before. 

I get what you are saying about not everyone there being invested in the experience and fully participating. My ds is very active in the community and 4-H Leadership which is why this lady thought he would be perfect. So, I would expect him to get into it if he did go. But I can see how it would be a waste of time if he went begrudgingly and didn’t participate as he should.

Thanks and I am glad your ds had a good experience. 

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