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Hierarchy

Boys State

Legislative District

Town and City Government

Town Committees

 

Political Organization

Upon arrival at Boys State, the citizens are assigned to one of two political parties, the "Nationalists" or the "Federalists." These labels are in no way reflections of the major political parties in American Government, but are established to allow instruction and participation in the two-party system of government. One of the chief duties of the Boys State delegates is to develop a platform on which the parties will stand for election.

An effective political system is created at Boys State to operate at both the local and state level. The political organization is broken down to its smallest components at the town committee level and graduated to the state level, concluding with a nominating convention.

The government organization provides for many key features.

  • city and state elections
  • party caucuses and conventions
  • speeches, platform committees and organization of component units such as commissions and legislative committees
  • local functional government units such as town boards, agencies or courts.

 

Instructional Program

The Instructional Program is carried out in three phases: limited classroom instruction, functional activities and general assemblies. Its important to note that more than 50% of the program hours at Connecticut Boys State are spent in hands-on, functional learning activities.

Classroom Instruction is held on subjects such as law, civil service, election procedure, and parliamentary procedure. Other special “schools” are held to inform candidates of the duties of the office they seek, and, following election and appointment of officers, to instruct in the operation of the respective offices held by the citizens. Occassionally general assemblies are used to instruct on certain phases of government with individual instruction given for particular Boys State officials.

All citizens of Boys State receive instruction in and are expected to use Parliamentary Procedure and every citizen is expected to participate in one or more special training sessions. Citizens may receive training in law enforcement, judicial operations, legislative procedure, and various phases of municipal government. Classroom instruction includes detailed explanation and instruction on the legislative, judicial and executive procedures of Connecticut state government.

Functional activities start with local town committee planning sessions. Citizens choose their own method of nominating candidates for local offices. The program concludes with the nomination, election and inauguration of the Governor of Boys State. Along the way citizens participate in functional activities such as elections, caucuses, conventions, operation of courts, legislatures and municipal government, law enforcement and town planning activities. These activities constitute the heart of the Boys State program and its "learn by doing" approach.

Special Features

Planned supervised recreation is an important part of the Boys State experience. Organized athletic competition between towns is held  in basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball. In addition, the facilities of ECSU, including the swimming pool, tennis courts and outdoor basketball courts are available for use by Boys State citizens during the daily two-hour recreational period. In addition, citizens may participate in music activities through the Boys State band and talent show, explore their journalistic talents through the Boys State Times daily newspaper, or enjoy other more passive activities with new friends from high schools across the state.

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