Thank you for your interest in nominating a young man to attend the 2013 session, June 9 - 15, 2013 at Southwest Minnesota State University, in Marshall.

Group of Boys

To apply for the 2013 Session of Minnesota Boys State a delegate must be a male, currently in their Junior year of high school (with at least one semester remaining next fall), and be involved in extra-curricular activities in their school and community. By proceeding, the assumption is that your nominee meet those requirements. To nominate a student directly, email their name, home phone number, high school name, your name (and position), and their qualifications to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The best way to apply for Boys State is through the school counselor that may or may not have an already established relationship with their local American Legion Post. Every Boys Stater must ultimately receive the sponsorship of a Legion Post, whether it is their local Post, or elsewhere. If there is no existing relationship, the student should fill out an interest form online.

There are three options to register for Boys State

  1. Contact your High School Counselor/Principal/Social Studies Teacher for registration information.
  2. Contact your American Legion Post Commander for more information.
  3. Complete our interest form directly so we can contact you. If you are unable to find a sponsoring post, please contact Jennifer Kelly at Legion HQ to find a post that will sponsor you.

Enrollment Limitation and Deadline Enrollment is limited to 500 boys.

Applications will be considered on a "First Come, First Served" basis, when accompanied with proper fee and form.


Every boy for whom application is made to Boys State must be sponsored by an American Legion Post. A Post may sponsor as many as they desire from any High School. Financial assistance can be accepted from outside sources.


If a Boys Stater is unable to attend, the sponsor should immediately notify Department Headquarters and designate who the alternate is. There are no additional charges at Boys State, but the Student Union is available for usual items of confectionery and refreshments, so Staters may bring a small amount of spending money with them.

Welcome to Minnesota Boys State. Our program is one of the American Legion's Youth Programs. Founded over 60 years ago on the University of Minnesota campus, Boys State is now a national program practiced in 48 states. The program has been developed on the fundamental assumption that youth can best 'learn to do by doing.' The mechanics of government in Minnesota Boys State are patterned after the established agencies of city, county, and state government in Illinois. For all practical purposes, Minnesota Boys State may be regarded as a mythical 51st state with a constitution, body of law, and practices peculiar to it alone. Our student to staff ratio is 8:1, so plenty of personalized attention is given to all of our citizens.

Here is a video with more information for parents:

Boys State is a common college application activity at highly competitive schools. Participation in the program demonstrates good citizenship, leadership, and a sense of responsibility to our country. One could consider participation in Boys State the "National Honor Society" of citizenship. In Minnesota, participants are registered in numerous different fashions, including: parents, schools, school organizations, civic organizations, and Legion Posts, but every participant must officially be sponsored by a Legion Post. If your child attends, he is more than welcome to bring a sponsored friend. There is no limit to the number of students that may attend from any particular school.

Eligible participants have just completed their junior year in high school.

NBC's Tom Brokaw attended South Dakota Boys State as a young man, hear what he has to say in this video:

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