The American Legion of Iowa

"For God and Country" - "A Year of Challenges"

Boys State

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Boys State

American Legion "Hawkeye" Boys State

Camp Dodge - Johnston, Iowa

June 12 - 17, 2016


Iowa American Legion Hawkeye 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. With over 500 delegates in attendance, 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 may now RESERVE delegate spots for the 2016 session of Hawkeye Boys State. To make reservations, go to  Complete the online reservation and send in your check ($250 per delegate reservation). 


Posts may print the Chairmanís 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 Legion Postsí selection committee.


The Samsung Scholarship application is now 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. Information will be provided to the Post and District Boys State Chairman at a special meeting, scheduled for Saturday, March 19, 2016, at Department headquarters (720 Lyon St., Des Moines).


Boys State Resources:


Orientation Materials:

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)

Orientation Dates (PDF)

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



American Legion Hawkeye Boys State Board of Directors is very proud of the staff and counselors. The list of highly qualified, meticulous counselors starts with YOU!  Please make your commitment early, and register by January 30, 2016. It is our intention to make staff/counselor assignments as early as possible! The link to register is 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. That e-mail will prompt you to submit information for Hawkeye Boys State to run a background check (required).  You may submit for that at any time: Please keep in mind that the background check will be done just prior to Boys State (June 12-17, 2016), and the fee to run the background check is picked up by Hawkeye Boys State.  Please make sure you have made a firm commitment for the proper dates, because once the background check is run, we cannot receive a refund.




To Register Online (required):


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

800-365-8387 or


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Copyright © 2006 The American Legion of Iowa
Last modified: 04/19/16