Five boys and five girls from Cony High School will attend Boys and Girls State as a result of the efforts by The Armory Street Branch of Camden National Bank in Augusta, Cony High School, Augusta American Legion Post 2, and two Auxiliary Units in Kennebec County.

The students include Danielle Brox, Alee Cloutier, Haley Gagne, Brandon Gosselin, Tara Jorgensen, Michael Levesque, Sean Tenney, Olivia Varney, Brent Vicnaire and John Wroten.

The Department of Maine, American Legion and its women’s auxiliary will organize the four-day, overnight, immersed programs at Thomas College and Husson University in June.

The participants can learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens while having fun in competitive, intramural fun while at the event.

The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments. Operated by students elected to various offices, Boys State activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs.

High school juniors interested in attending can apply either through their neighborhood or area American Legion post, their high school guidance department, or directly to the Department of Maine, American Legion. For more information, call 582-3897 or email [email protected].

The legion select high school juniors to attend the program. In most cases, individual expenses are paid by a sponsoring local American Legion post, a local business, another community-based organization, parents or individual donors.

American Legion Boys/Girls State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students. A participatory program in which students become part of the operation of local, county and state government, Boys State was founded in 1935 to counter the socialism-inspired Young Pioneer Camps. The program was the idea of two Illinois Legionnaires, Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card, who organized the first Boys State at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

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

Boys State programs exist in all legion departments in the United States except Hawaii. As separate corporations, Boys State programs vary in content and method of procedure, but each adheres to the same basic concept: teaching government from the township to the state level.

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