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Morrisville State College to Host Boys State

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.—Morrisville State College will host more than 1,000 young men during Boys State, a government camp sponsored by the American Legion, June 28 to July 3.

Participants, who are from various high schools throughout New York state and rank at the top of their classes, were nominated by their high schools and sponsored by their local legionnaires.

Boys State is a program in which participants learn about government by forming a virtual government. The nationwide program provides the experience, opportunity and organization to teach young men citizenship and workings of the government.

During the program, participants practice military drills, participate in legislative sessions, plan which bills they will introduce and support when the Boys State legislature convenes, and learn about county caucuses and state party conventions.

On Sunday, June 29, Fred Ashforth, of Waterville, NY, a professional speaking consultant, trainer and presenter, will discuss the proper way to give a speech. Also scheduled to speak during the event are Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara (Sunday, June 29), New York State Senator David Valesky and U.S. Congressman Michael Arcuri (Monday June 30), New York State Senator Joseph Griffo (Tuesday July 1) and representatives from West Point and the United States Naval Academy (Wednesday, July 2).

Throughout the week, Boys State is operated on a two-party system mirroring the current governmental organization of the state and its cities and counties. By the end of the week, elections are held for government officials from the mayor of a small city to the governor of the state.

During the week, two candidates for governor will be chosen at a convention which parallels real life in government as the parties try to get “their” candidates elected.

Each morning at 8 a.m., the young men line up and march military style to Hamilton Hall.

On Wednesday, July 2, participants and their Marine troop commanders will parade for friends and family, followed by dinner and the final assembly in which the Boys State governor’s state-of-the-state address is given along with awards. 

Two participants from this gathering will be chosen to represent New York state at the Boys State National (one as an alternate).

Developed by the American Legion in 1938, Boys State participants have influenced real government in the past. The junior driving license issued at the age of 16 was an idea passed on to the legislature in the 50s by Boys State.

Past Boys State participants have gone on to become lawyers, judges, law enforcement officials and president of the United States. Well-known participants who have participated in Boys State include: former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore and astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Boys State participants who choose to attend Morrisville State College are eligible for scholarships at the college.

Morrisville State College offers more than 75 bachelor and associate degrees and options. Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college was the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine.

The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers associate degree programs in accounting, business, computer systems technology, office administration, liberal arts transfer, nursing, early childhood, criminal justice and human services to south central New York residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the main campus.