Mountaineer Boys State and Rhododendron Girls States

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The American Legion Mountaineer Boys State camp was created in 1936 and holds the second oldest charter in the nation. This is the 79th year for Mountaineer Boys State in West Virginia.

Mountaineer Boys State camp is the only program in the nation that is still held in the same location (Jackson’s Mill) where it was founded. Mountaineer Boys State typically has 400 “citizens” that graduate from the camps program annually. Mountaineer Boys State has six career paths that Citizens can participate in: Political, Legal, Newspaper, Banking, Law Enforcement and National Guard/Homeland Security. The camp is held annually during the second full week of June. This year the camp will run from June 12 through June 17.

The American Legion Mountaineer Boys State is among the most respected educational programs of government instruction for high school students. Each participant becomes a part of the operation of his city, county and state government. At the American Legion Mountaineer 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 boys from the junior class are selected by local American Legion Posts to attend the program. This year’s attendees from Greenbrier East High School are James Floyd, Daniel Bennett, Logan Hylton, Seth Brown, Nathaniel Byers Jered Whitt and John Lehman. Also, Dwayne McMillon from Greenbrier West High School will be attending.

At the 1937 American Legion Auxiliary National Convention, Girls State was organized as a national Americanism activity. Girls State is a practical application of leadership, citizenship and Patriotism. The program is a non-partisan, non-political attempt to teach and inculcate in the youth of America a love of God and country. A National Committee to direct the program was created at the 1946 American Legion Auxiliary National Convention. For most of the students attending, expenses associated with attending this program are paid by a sponsoring American Legion Post, a local business or another community-based organization.

Whether it’s running for an office, sharing their artistic side by designing Rhododendron Girls State literature, taking part in community projects or singing and dancing in the talent show, there’s a place for each girl to shine. As with Boys State the Girls are called citizens, learn about city, county and state government, as well as Americanism, leadership, professional development, public speaking, public safety and journalism. Learning how our democracy works by setting up a government complete with party structure and elections, Rhododendron Girls State Girls find and tune their voice at the week-long event. This year’s event will run from June 12 through June 17 at Wheeling Jesuit University.

High school juniors are selected by local American Legion Posts to attend the program. Greenbrier East High School attendee this year is Raechyl Beard.