The American Legion Department of Michigan 212 North Verlinden Ave, Suite A, Lansing, MI 48915 (517) 371-4720 Phone (517) 371-2401 Fax

American Legion Michigan Boys State

Dates for 2018 will be June 17 - June 23 at Grand Valley State University - Allendale Campus *Map*

Helping to Build the Leaders of Tomorrow


Every year The American Legion Boys State program and The American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program teach young men and young women in their junior year of high school the function of government,  a glimpse of life in a college dorm setting, leadership, management and communication skills.  In the course of 7 days they will also develop friendships that will last a life time.


“I am so grateful to you for this chance of a lifetime.  I did have the time of my life!  Boys State is going to go down as the best activity I’ve done in high school.  It really sparked my interest in how the government works – at all levels.  I can’t wait to start participating in voting and politics.” –Alec F. class of 2010


Everyone says “we need more young people to get involved’

The American Legion teaches them how.


What is Boys State?


Boys State is an educational program sponsored by the American Legion Departments across the country to help young men learn about government and how it works. Our motto is “Learn by Doing.” The Boys State educational staff’s goal is to facilitate the learning process by giving the citizens of Boys State an opportunity to govern themselves, and to run their own state.


Boys State is LEARNING.


Delegates have the opportunity to learn more about their city, county, and state government in one week at Boys State than in an entire semester in a formal classroom setting. Boys Staters meet with elected and appointed officials to learn more about the duties and responsibilities of a variety of positions in government from people on the “inside.” Additionally, in Boys State, each citizen has the opportunity to learn for himself that his government is just what he makes it.


Boys State is POLITICS.


The first half of your Boys State experience will expose you to the world of politics. You will nominate candidates for partisan and non-partisan offices on the city, county, and state level. You will also, no doubt, be exposed to the “seamy” side of politics...the wheeling and dealing, the promises that cannot be kept, the vote trading, and the cajoling, to give a candidate or a party that “extra advantage.”



Boys State is GOVERNMENT.


When the dust has settled from the conventions, campaigns, and elections, Boys State needs to be governed for four days by its elected and appointed officials. Boys Staters will find themselves performing exactly the same functions as real office holders in the everyday world. Education and University Boards must make policies for their areas of responsibility. City councils, county commissions, and the state legislature must make ordinances and laws for their constituencies. Executive departments and other administrators must see that laws and policies are properly interpreted.


Boys State is INVOLVEMENT.


Come to Boys State determined to become as involved as possible in the many activities that are available to you in this mythical 51st state. The more active and involved you are, the more you will benefit from the program.

Boys State builds strong leaders of the future


•Rush Limbaugh Jr. (radio personality)

•Tom Brokaw (TV news anchor)

•Bill Clinton ( Former U.S. President)

•Michael Jordan

•Dan Kildee (U.S. Rep, MI)

•Mark L. Wahlberg (Actor)


Boys State is FRIENDSHIP.


You may arrive at Boys State knowing no one else. However, one of the fringe benefits of Boys State is how easy it is to get to know people, many of whom may remain your friend for the rest of your life.



Contact Jerry Kelley at (734) 434-8272 / or Ashley at (517) 371-4720 ext.23 /

Are you a Post, Organization, Alumni, or Boys State Booster that would like to sponsor a young man to attend Boys State, but don't have a delegate to sign up? We have many students that would like to attend, but can't find sponsors. Let us help get these students to Michigan Boys State! Use the button below to submit a donation to help sponsor a delegate. Full sponsorship for one student is $375, but any amount will help.

2018 Forms & Information

Boys State Application

Deadline is May 25, 2018

Boys State Forms

Boys State Handbook

Samsung Scholarship is now completed online - Deadline is June 17th to submit

Samsung Scholarship FAQ



Must be a junior (11th grade) in high school or in the equivalent of an 11th grade accredited home-schooled program, must be 15+ years old by June 4, 2018, and have an interest in government.



Anyone can sponsor a boy(s) to attend the program such as American Legion Posts, Sons of the Legion, American Legion, Auxiliary, civic organizations, businesses, clubs, schools, families, and interested individuals.



Any boy who, for unforeseen reasons, can not fulfill his obligations to attend the program before the application deadline date of May 25, 2018 will need his sponsor to submit a written request to the above mentioned address to receive a refund in full. Refunds in writing received from May 17 - June 17, 2018, will result in a deduction of $45 (administration fee) per boy. Once the Boys State Program starts, there will be no refunds for boys who don’t attend the program.



Yes, The Michigan American Legion Auxiliary Girls State