Boys State

Countdown To Boys State








Posts, make your reservation today!

Camp Dodge – Johnston, Iowa

June 9-14, 2019

Boys State District Orientation Schedule

The 2019 District Orientation Schedule is available. These orientations are run by the districts, not the state. Please note the dates and times. If you have further questions, please note the point of contact for your district. While it would be beneficial for a delegate to attend an orientation within their district, we understand schedules may not permit that. If such is the case, a delegate and/or parent may attend another district’s orientation if convenient.

A Training Program in Citizenship and Democracy

The American Legion of Iowa Boys State is a week-long, 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 about city, county and state government more 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 as 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.

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 - Reservation & Registration Guide

American Legion Posts may reserve delegate spots for the 2019 session of Boys State. To make reservations, follow this link.  Complete the online reservation and send in your check ($250 per delegate if done before January 1 – $300 if done Janauary 1 or later) to Department Headquarters:

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

As Boys State continues its efforts to cut costs and go ‘green,’ it is requested that each post provide a good email 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. The guide will give you information on how to select your delegates, and information pertinent to your post’s selection committee.

Refund Requests

American Legion posts eligible to request refunds for delegate reservations may do so up to April 1. Requests for refunds done after April 1 will not be honored. Please contact Department Headquarters if you have further questions.

To request a refund, fill out this form completely during January 1 – April 1.

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 email will be sent approximately 7-10 days after you register online.

Once registered, delegates should download a copy of the Boys State 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 Department Headquarters.


Samsung Scholarship

To fill out this online application, by clicking on the link and following the online instructions.

The Samsung Scholarship application is available only through this link to The American Legion National Website.  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.

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:

Returning/Former Counselors register at here.

New Counselors register at here.

A confirmation email will be sent after you register online. That email will prompt you to submit information for The American Legion of Iowa Boys State to run a required background check.  Please do not delay/postpone filling out the application. Follow this link to Averity Background Checks. Click on Boys State and then click on Board of Directors and Apply for Position.

Please keep in mind that the background check must 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 staff/counselor shirts will be ordered based on the information you provide.

Regarding 2018 Photo DVDS

A DVD was mailed to all 2018 Boys State participants and counselors which was supposed to contain photos of the program week taken by our professional photographer. Unfortunately, the DVDs were shipped with a glitch that is not readable by a dvd player or computer. Tim McConnell Fine Photography has provided a digital archive for the 2018 session which you can download and burn to disc yourself through the link below. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. We have emailed all 2018 participants, contacts and counselors.

If you participated this past year and would like a hard copy DVD, please email with your mailing information. Thank you for your understanding.

Photos from the 2018 Boys Nation Program held in Washington, D.C. by Lucas Carter – The American Legion.