The American Legion of Iowa

"For God and Country" - "Lest We Forget"

Boys State

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American Legion of Iowa Boys State

"Iowa's Premier Civic Education Program"

Camp Dodge - Johnston, Iowa

June 9-14, 2019

A Training Program in Citizenship and Democracy


The American Legion of Iowa Boys State is a weeklong "Hands-On" experience in the operation of the democratic form of government, the organization of political parties, and the relationship of one to the other in shaping Iowa government. Through the Boys State objective of "learning by doing", young men will learn more about city, county and state government in one week than they would in an entire semester of high school.

Boys State is an exercise in leading as well as following others. Elections are an opportunity to show the ability to perform under pressure and to show character in the face of victories and/or defeats. Boys State will test skill in solving problems and working effectively within a team.

Boys State is an opportunity to gain pride and respect for our form of government and the price paid by people to preserve democracy. The week contains ceremonies and assemblies as well as marching and pageantry. Guest speakers, such Past National Commander of The American Legion David Rehbein, and former Director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Bernie Saggau, along with Iowa Government Leaders attend each year to offer their vision and advice. Daily flag raising and lowering ceremonies are conducted at Boys State.

Boys State is a chance to meet new people. Boys State offers an opportunity to meet people who represent Iowa's diversity in heritage and culture. One of the finest objectives afforded to young men by Boys State is the friendships they will form with other Boys State citizens, many of whom will become lifelong friends.


American Legion Posts:


American Legion Posts may now RESERVE delegate spots for the 2019 session of Boys State. To make reservations, go to  Complete the online reservation and send in your check ($250 per delegate reservation).

As Boys State continues its efforts to cut costs and go ‘green,’ it is requested that each Post provide a good e-mail address for someone in the post who will be responsible for relaying information that he/she receives from Boys State to the post members for appropriate action. This will not only help cut down on no-shows, but will also allow posts to have sufficient time to contact delegates with orientation information, changes, transportation issues, and much more.

Posts may print the Chairman’s Guide from the website at or request a copy by calling Department Headquarters at 1-800-365-8387. The guide will give you information on how to select your delegates, and information pertinent to your post's selection committee.


Boys State Delegates:


Register Online After January 15, 2019:


Contact your local American Legion Post for your official selection letter that will provide detailed information on how to register online. The letter contains the proper information for you to submit under the correct sponsoring post. The website for online registration is VERY specific and should be typed in to the ADDRESS BAR, NOT A SEARCH ENGINE. A confirmation e-mail will be sent approximately 7-10 days after you register online.


Once registered, delegates should download a copy of the handbook. Delegates should also stay in contact with their local, sponsoring American Legion Post, for information on their District orientation date/location. Important information is distributed at these orientations, to include how to apply for the coveted Samsung Scholarship. Make plans to attend a DISTRICT ORIENTATION!


Questions not answered in the online Boys State Handbook, may be directed to your sponsoring American Legion Post, District Chairman, or:


The American Legion of Iowa
ATTN: Boys State
720 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309



Samsung American Legion Scholarship:

To fill out this online application, click on the link below to get started!


The Samsung Scholarship application is available ONLY through this link to the national website. Delegates who wish to apply, must go to Samsung Scholarship.  Boys State Delegates will be required to register with a username/password in order to apply for the scholarship. A hard copy is no longer required.


Boys State Resources:


Orientation Materials:

Orientation Dates (PDF)

Boys State Orientation Slideshow

Boys State Orientation Slideshow Notes

Boys State Orientation Outline

Boys State Orientation Video      

Other Links:

Boys State Informational Video

Boys State Handbook (PDF)

Post/District Chairman's Guide (PDF) - A guide to selecting your delegates

Counselors and Staff:


The American Legion of Iowa Boys State Board of Directors is very proud of the staff and counselors. The list starts with you.  Please make your commitment early, and register. It is our intention to make staff/counselor assignments as early as possible! There are now TWO links to sign-up to be a counselor, and you should click on one below:


FORMER counselors register at


NEW counselors register at


The links are VERY specific and can be typed in to the ADDRESS BAR, NOT A SEARCH ENGINE. A confirmation e-mail will be sent after you register online. That e-mail will prompt you to submit information for The American Legion of Iowa Boys State to run a background check (required).  You may submit for that at any time: Click on "Boys State" and then click on "Board of Directors" and "Apply for Position." Please keep in mind that the background check will be done just prior to Boys State (June 9-14, 2019), and the fee to run the background check is paid by The American Legion of Iowa Boys State.  Please make sure you have made a firm commitment for the proper dates, as we will order staff/counselor shirts based on the information you provide.


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Copyright © 2006 The American Legion of Iowa
Last modified: 09/19/18