American Legion Boys State is designed to bring out the best in America's future leaders. Attendees are selected because they are the best representatives of both their schools and their communities.
This pledge reminds all potential delegates of the honor and value that the American Legion has for and requires of each young man.
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands.
I have never attended The American Legion Boys State.
I sincerely want to attend Texas Boys State, and if accepted, will, to the best of my ability:
If the bylaws do not contain an order of business, parliamentary law has established the following pattern for a meeting:
Main Motions: These proposals bring before the meeting a particular subject for consideration. There are two types — general and specific.
These proposals are made to facilitate proper disposal of the question before the group.
Not related to pending question but of such importance they may be brought before the group without delay.
Motions that arise out of some question on the floor
The notions named "privileged" or "subsidiary" above have precedence or rank which determines when they may be brought before the group. The chair will allow only one question to be considered at a time. This question will be the one of highest rank, the last one received, and that one becomes the "immediately pending question." The other motions are "pending questions," and each take its turn according to its rank.
The main motion is the most important but last in precedence. The other motions on the floor must be disposed of first in order that the main motion can be disposed of in a manner that will accurately reflect the will of the group. Rank or precedence, then, operates to facilitate an orderly and smooth handling of business.
The following list classifies motions according to precedence and gives the principal rules that govern them.
Introduction of Motion
General: For most purposes the process of moving, seconding, discussing, amending, and voting one proposal (main motion) after the other is all that is needed to conduct the business of a meeting. However, many other motions may interrupt the normal flow of business. These motions differ from main motions in that they are proposed for the purpose of taking a particular action on a main motion. Unlike main motions that introduce a subject to a group, these "special" or "secondary" motions are proposed for a special reason, for a particular purpose. If a member of a group has something in mind he would like to do, he may proceed as shown below:
An organization’s by-laws normally set forth the date for elections, the method of nominating candidates, the procedure for voting, the period for holding office, the quorum, and the votes required to elect.
Parliamentary law is a system of rules designed to facilitate business meetings in an orderly manner. Too, there are common sense suggestions that help the membership make their organizations more effective.
Know the rules and you will preside with ease and confidence. Follow the rules yourself. Insist that everyone observe parliamentary principles which insure harmony, legality and achievement. Don’t emphasize technicalities and forget principles.
Lead firmly, courteously, impartially.
Help a member state his motions clearly. restate the motion yourself if it is confusing. If a member says, "I move that all dog owners be required to have muzzles on them whenever they appear in the streets," and after a second is heard the chairman might say, "It has been moved and seconded that all dogs be required to wear muzzles whenever they are allowed to run loose. Does that express your idea, Mr. Thomas?"
Keep the meeting moving steadily ahead:
Don’t allow "railroading." Example: Member — "I nominate Mr. Everett and move that nominations be closed." Chairman — "Your motion to close nominations is out of order until others have had an opportunity to nominate. Are there further nominations?"
Create a warm and friendly atmosphere which promotes discussion.
Don’t permit personalities in discussion.
Understand parliamentary rules and know your rights. Then you take part with confidence and no one can push you around. Parliamentary procedure follows common sense rules and principles of law applied to meetings. It is easy to understand and use. It works magic in meetings.
Think and work constructively. If you can build up or tear down your organization. If the programs are poor, don’t walk away muttering-make some good suggestions to the program committee. If they’re not accepted, try to get on the committee yourself next year and build programs with appeal to the members.
Phrase your motions carefully. Think them through. Poorly stated motions cause confusion, require amendments and waste everybody’s time. Test your motion. Is it
Encourage your fellow members. Showing appreciation costs you nothing but it makes you and the other fellow feel good all over. Congratulate the chairman who prepared a good program, the speaker who gave a stimulating talk, the member who drove 30 miles to be at the meeting.
Participate. It isn’t your duty to speak unless you want to. It is your duty to listen, weigh arguments, and vote. Members who listen carefully, consider thoughtfully, and vote, are valuable contributors. A vote can be as eloquent as a speech
Support the right of the majority to decide and to carry out their decisions. Protect the right of the minority to be heard and to oppose. If you follow these principles you will progress steadily and with unity of purpose.
Offer leadership, even though you hold no office. In every organization there are important leaders without title.
Attend meetings regularly. Meetings are the powerhouse where plans are generated. Every member who attends contributes. If you stay away, come late, or leave early, you have no right to criticize what the other members did.
Accept and support the decision of the majority. A majority vote, once taken, becomes the legal decision of all. It is your decision, too. Help give it a fair trial. If the vote goes against your beliefs, you will not lose face if you about-face and help.
General: In contrast to the formality of procedure used in business meetings, committee meetings are usually conducted in an informal manner. While committees are not limited as to membership and may number fifty or more, most committees are composed of from four to eight members. When the committee is small (four to eight members) formal parliamentary procedure is abandoned in arriving at a group decision. During these informal discussions, a formal motion, a second, a discussion and a vote are not necessary when the decision can be reached quickly by unanimous consent procedure. However, even in a committee meeting, if a subject is controversial and spirits rise, the chairman may have to resort to formal procedure in order to control and guide the group.
During the program, no citizen is allowed to depart Boys State except for a medical reason or family emergency. Appointees must plan arrival no later than scheduled registration and departure no earlier than scheduled dismissal. Late arrivals, early departures, and excused absences from the program are not allowed. Both the Director and Chairman must approve all emergency leaves of absence.
Citizens should bring personal athletic equipment such as shorts, socks, shoes, caps and towels. Some of these items, including towels, are available for purchase at Boys State. Citizens may check out athletic equipment as available.
Possession, purchase, consumption, or receipt of alcoholic beverages is absolutely forbidden and will result in immediate dismissal.
After selection, if an appointee learns he cannot attend Boys State, he should immediately notify his sponsoring Post. Failure to do so may require the appointee to reimburse the registration fee to the Post. All Boys State information received should be returned to the Post for issue to an alternate appointee (see Registration section for more information).
Citizens driving vehicles to Boys State do so at their own risk. Upon arrival, the car must be parked in a designated area, locked, and the keys deposited in the Boys State Safety Deposit area. Paid parking (payable in advance) is available in the appropriate Campus Parking Garage (as a FYI, the closest garage is the 27th Street Parking Garage on campus). Citizens are not allowed to drive their cars during the program. Although the University Police routinely patrol the parking areas, automobiles are vulnerable to vandalism, theft, and damage. The American Legion assumes no responsibility or liability for private vehicles belonging to Boys State citizens or staff members.
The Boys State Band is an intrinsic part of the program receiving very popular support from citizens, staff members, and guests alike. The band provides daily musical entertainment during flag ceremonies and evening general assemblies. Special concerts are also performed in the talent show and on the steps of the State Capitol. Approximately 75 members with musical talent ranging from the average to All-State quality are in the band each year.
Only fun music is played and many members feel their involvement in the band is one of the highlights of their Boys State experience. Interested citizens may enroll during registration, and if possible, should bring their own instruments and portable music stands. A limited amount of equipment such as percussion and large brass instruments are available for issue.
See Safety Deposit
The Boys State boundaries are well defined and explained during City orientation. Citizens are required to remain within them during the program. Violation of the Boys State boundaries is absolutely forbidden and will result in immediate dismissal.
Two delegates will represent Texas Boys State at American Legion Boys Nation in Washington, D.C. Senior staff members will nominate candidates based on the following characteristics: detailed knowledge of the political process and current events, motivation, leadership, adaptability to stress, oral and written communication, personal qualities, priorities, courtesy, and human relations. The Boys Nation selection committee will interview the nominees and select two primary delegates to attend the July conference. In addition, two alternates will also be chosen, in case one or both of the delegates is unable to attend.
Citizens are encouraged to bring personal cameras to Boys State for recording special events and activities such as the Capitol visit. Precautions should be taken to protect against loss or theft as neither The American Legion nor The University of Texas at Austin assumes responsibility for lost or stolen property.
Citizens may not bring campaign material to Boys State. Identical campaign materials are supplied to each political party. All material must be prepared and assembled during the program.
All citizens will visit the State Capitol during the last days of the program. The special visit will begin with a parade to the Capitol led by the Boys State band and color guard. After a concert on the Capitol steps, citizens are allowed to visit various State agencies including the offices of their own elected State Representatives. Following these activities, citizens will assemble in the House Chambers for a Joint Session of the Boys State Legislature and the final assembly.
Cell phones are permitted at Boys State; however, the American Legion and the Boys State program will not accept any liability for loss of a cell phone or other communication devices during the program. Additionally, use of cell phones is regulated during Boys State activities by both policy and guidance of the counselors (as designated in the Daily Schedule of Activities).
Possession, purchase, consumption, or receipt of cigarettes or other tobacco products is absolutely forbidden and will result in immediate dismissal.
The Boys State staff supervises citizens from the time of their arrival until their departure. Any citizen violating the rules of Boys State, the directives of The University of Texas at Austin or the laws of the State of Texas may be dismissed from the program by the Director. Such dismissal is automatic revocation of Boys State citizenship and any awards, honors, or recognition received. The sponsor’s fee will not be refunded for a citizen dismissed under these conditions.
The Boys State Dress Code requires the wearing of the Boys State T-shirt, casual sport slacks or jeans, socks, and comfortable walking shoes. During recreation, appropriate athletic apparel for the respective activity will be worn. Baseball caps and other headgear and shorts may be worn only during the recreational period. Citizens are expected to be neat and well groomed at all times, and they should bring sufficient clothing including towels, bath soap, and other toiletries to last a full week.
Citizens will be dismissed as directed by the program agenda on Friday (usually mid-afternoon). The sponsoring post should arrange for the return trip to the home location accordingly. Citizens should know their return bus or plane departure schedule before arrival at Boys State.
Citizens are housed in dormitories on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. If required, early housing may be available by special request through The American Legion Department Adjutant. The sponsoring post must make this request before the program begins. No housing is available once dismissed.
All of the facilities used at Boys State belong to The University of Texas at Austin. Repair costs for damage to university property will be billed to the individual(s) responsible. Citizens should make a careful inspection of their rooms and report any damage discovered to their city counselors. Citizens are required to keep their rooms and personal possessions in order at all times.
Possession of firearms is absolutely forbidden and will result in immediate dismissal.
Boys State Headquarters is located within the Kinsolving dormitory where we are to be housed. Daily office hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Possession, purchase, consumption, or receipt of illicit drugs is absolutely forbidden and will result in immediate dismissal. Citizens must inform the Boys State Clinic during registration of any perscription medication brought from home.
Convenience stores are located throughout the campus and are usually open most of the daylight hours on weekdays and a few hours on Saturday. Citizens may purchase laundry supplies, toiletries, food, drinks, university souvenirs, and other miscellaneous items.
In addition, Texas Boys State will have souvenir items from the program available for purchase throughout the week, including Graduation Honor cords, baseball caps, water bottles, frisbees, and the like.
Because of the program’s intense schedule, the time available for laundry is extremely limited. Citizens are encouraged to bring enough clothes to keep laundry requirements to an absolute minimum. Coin operated washing machines and dryers are available in several areas of the dormitories. Laundry supplies may be purchased in the convenience stores.
Citizens’ mail should be addressed as follows:
The first meal for citizens is served Sunday evening after registration. The last meal is served for Breakfast on Friday. A name badge is issued to each citizen during registration. It is required for every meal and for signing out athletic equipment as available. Lost or misplaced meal tickets should be immediately reported to the city counselor.
The Medical sections of the Boys State Application must be completed in detail and signed by the applicant, the parent/guardian, and the physician. When signing, the parent/guardian consents and grants permission, should the necessity of medical care arise, to the furnishing of medical treatment and hospital services for the citizen. The parents/guardians are responsible for any medical charges incurred. The American Legion purchases Group Camp Health Insurance coverage on an “excess” basis; that is, the policy will provide coverage only for those expenses not covered by the citizen’s personal group insurance.
Citizens will need some spending money during Boys State and should bring sufficient funds to meet their anticipated requirements. No more than $75-100 should be necessary for purchases such as extra T-shirts, toiletries, laundry supplies, refreshments, and souvenirs.
Each Boys State appointee must sign the Boys State Pledge on their Application form.
The Boys State Post Office is located within the dormitory complex. The Post Office provides the means for the delivery of packages and mail to Boys State citizens. For the mailing address, see Mail above.
A supervised and comprehensive recreation program using university athletic facilities, classrooms, and other landmarks is scheduled each afternoon. Participation in the recreation program is compulsory for all citizens unless excused for other Boys State activities.
Boys State registration is scheduled Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. It is located in the Kinsolving Dormitory at 2605 Whitis Avenue on the UT-Austin campus. Registering citizens receive their room assignments and other program information during this process. Appointees must plan their arrival before the end of registration, and any late arrival requests must be approved in advance. If an en route emergency will preclude arrival by 4:00 p.m., the appointee should immediately notify the Boys State Headquarters at the dormitory.
Upon return home, each citizen is expected to present a Boys State report to his sponsoring American Legion post, co-sponsoring organization(s), other interested groups, and his school.
Each citizen is required to attend all Boys State functions including precinct and city meetings, county, district, and state conventions, and general assemblies. He is responsible for all duties and obligations pursuant to his elected Boys State office or position.
The Boys State safety deposit process provides management of valuables. For security reasons, citizens must deposit car keys and transportation tickets during registration as well as any excess funds that a Stater wishes to deposit. Funds on deposit may be withdrawn according to the rules of the Safety Deposit program. Valuables as well as any remaining monetary balances are returned to the depositor prior to dismissal at the end of the program.
Boys State Supply is open daily. Boys State T-shirts and souvenirs are available for purchase. Citizens may check out some equipment during recreation.
A talent show including comedy, music, and other entertainment is scheduled the last night of Boys State. Citizens wishing to participate should bring any material they may need for their performances.
Because of the extremely fast paced and demanding schedule at Boys State, telephone calls to or from citizens should be restricted for emergencies only. Citizens have no access to phones that will allow long distance telephone calls. For emergencies only, parents/guardians may contact the Boys State Headquarters at the dormitory.
All transportation arrangements and travel expenses between home and The University of Texas at Austin campus is the responsibility of the appointee’s sponsoring American Legion post and co-sponsoring organization(s).
The Boys State Dress Code requires the wearing of the Boys State T-shirt at all times. Each citizen is issued one (1) Boys State T-shirt free of charge during registration. Six (6) T-shirts are the norm for most staters during the program (e.g., one T-Shirt per program day). Sponsoring American Legion Posts, parents, or citizens may purchase additional T-shirts for $5 each during registration.
Each Boys State city is under the supervision of a senior counselor and a junior counselor team. Senior counselors represent a diversified background of professional experience and junior counselors are outstanding former Boys State citizens. The Boys State program is coordinated and supervised by an administrative staff including junior and senior counselors, the Director, the Chairman, and the Boys State Committee.
All visitors should report to the Boys State Headquarters in the Kinsolving Dormitory (nearby parking is available in the 27th Street Parking Garage on campus). Because of the program’s intense schedule, visits to citizens are highly discouraged and must be restricted to emergencies only; however, parents are allowed to attend plenary session in the evenings. They are also encouraged to attend all the activities, including the College Fair and Parents Day at Boys State, which includes our parade to the Capitol and the events during our Capitol visit and takes place in the final 24 hourse of the program.