About the Program

Louisiana Boys State is a leadership development program sponsored by the Louisiana Department of the American Legion. Founded in 1940, Boys State maintains a reputation as the premiere leadership development program for young men in the state. It cultivates personal growth, civic involvement, and practical governance knowledge in its participants to help build stronger, more well-informed and influential leaders for our communities, our state, and our country.

At Louisiana Boys State , participants (termed “Citizens”) are tasked with creating a functional government on the City, Parish, and State level. The program operates under the motto “Learn by Doing”, a philosophy that guides everything from how we approach teaching about government to how we view leadership development. Citizens are given a basic framework in which to operate their new positions and then given the opportunity to investigate the intricacies of elected office and civic leadership for themselves.

Citizens of Boys State learn about the political machinery of a state in large part by performing the same duties as elected or appointed officials in the everyday world. The Citizens organize their own city, parish and state governments and choose their own officials in accordance with regular election procedures. They learn the duties of offices at each of these levels. They introduce and debate their own bills in the state legislature, administer justice through their own law enforcement agencies and courts, and experience the nomination process in political party conventions. The week culminates with the use actual voting machines for the election of state officials.

The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a similar, but separate, program for young women called Louisiana Girls State.

For more information, visit the other pages in this section. If you still have questions, feel free to contact your local American Legion post or visit the Contact Us tab to email Boys State Staff.