About the Program
At Boys State, participants learn the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of franchised citizens. Its purpose is to awaken within the youth of our nation a sincere conviction that a well-informed, intelligent, and participating citizenry is most vitally needed to protect and preserve our American traditions. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county, and state government. Operated by students elected to various offices, New Hampshire Boys State activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, mock-trial, and recreational programs. Students also interact with real New Hampshire public servants, ranging from town-wide officials to the Governor. The program culminates with a visit to the state capitol, where students debate mock legislation on the floor of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Boys State grows out of the American Legion’s faith in our young people and its firm belief that the future leaders of our country should be given the tools necessary to keep it: a deep appreciation of active citizenship, an understanding of democracy, a familiarity with our American form of government, and the discernment to select – and to be – productive leaders.
All students will be eligible to apply for American Legion New Hampshire Boys State scholarships, totaling over $7,000.
Students arrive at Boys State with draft legislation that they believe should be enacted statewide. Over the course of the week, the boys are split into the State House of Representatives and the State Senate. These legislative bodies debate, modify, and vote on all bills brought before the floor. The process is informative, exciting, and challenging.
Students will have the opportunity to run for office at all levels of government. From city clerk to Governor, positions across the state will be open for election. Boys will have the opportunity to craft speeches, work on campaigns, refine platforms, and debate policy throughout the week.
Boys State staff hold various activities throughout the week. Popular programs include trivia, point/counterpoint, mock trial, and outdoor sports. There is also ample time for interacting with other Boys Staters to build lifelong friendships. The camaraderie is a highlight of the week for many.
Each year, the Boys State program is able to award more than $7,000 in scholarships and awards through the American Legion and the Sons of the American Legion Scholarship. Winners are announced during the graduation ceremony at the end of the week.
The Eli Marcoux Award
The Eli Marcoux Award is given each year to one student who exemplifies the overall good citizenship goals of Boys State. Eli Marcoux was a previous department commander of the American Legion.
Students of exemplary citizenship, character, and sacrifice have the opportunity to receive a college scholarship ranging from $500 to $1,000.
Worldwide electronics leader Samsung endowed a scholarship fund of $5 million to be administered by The American Legion in 1996. Meant to show appreciation for U.S. veterans who came to Korea's aid during its struggle against communist forces in the Korean War, the Samsung American Legion Scholarship Program established a series of scholarships derived from interest and other income from the principal amount. As of 2019 the Samsung American Legion Scholarship has awarded more than $6.5 million in college scholarships to 2,308 applicants since its inception in 1996.
Samsung scholarships may be used for undergraduate studies and applied toward tuition, books, fees, and room and board. Winners are selected according to academic record, involvement in school and community service.
Ten National Scholars receive $10,000 each (two from each region)
Ten National Runners-Up receive $5,000 each (two from each region)
Remaining Department Finalists receive $1,250 each guaranteed
Scholarship applications are restricted to high school juniors who attend the current session of either The American Legion Boys State or American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program and are a direct descendant - i.e. child, grandchild, great-grandchild, etc. - or a legally adopted child of a wartime U.S. military veteran who served on active duty during at least one of the periods of war officially designated as eligibility dates for American Legion membership.
Applicants who are direct descendants of Korean War Era Veterans will receive 3 bonus points.
Applicants with membership to the American Legion Auxiliary or Sons of the American Legion will receive a bonus point. Or, they can receive a bonus point by uploading a membership card of a parent. No more than one bonus point for an application.
To learn more about the Samsung Scholarship, please visit the American Legion Website here.
Two representatives from Boys State will be selected to represent New Hampshire at Boys Nation in Washington, D.C., where young leaders receive an education on the structure and function of federal government. Boys Nation Senators caucus at the beginning of the session, then organize into committees and conduct hearings on bills submitted by program delegates. Senators learn the proper method of handling bills, according to U.S. Senate rules. Participation in the political process is emphasized throughout the week, including organization of party conventions and nominating and electing a Boys Nation President and Vice President. The week of government training also includes lectures, forums, and visits to federal agencies, national shrines, institutions, memorials, and historical sites. On Capitol Hill, Boys Nation senators meet with elected officials from their home states, as well as the President of the United States. Since Boys Nation began in 1946, a number of its graduates have been elected to public office, including the presidency.