The American Legion – Department of Texas

Boys State Manual

Boys State Pledge

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:

  • Take a serious and conscientious interest in discharging my duties as a citizen
  • Obey the rules of Boys State
  • Respect the judgment of the Boys State Director, Counselors and Staff
  • Participate in all activities
  • Seek election or appointment to office, and if elected or appointed, serve that office
  • Keep myself neat and well groomed at all times
  • Avoid the use of profane language and actions
  • Refrain from injurious habits such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs, and
  • Upon my return home from Boys State, I will make a formal oral or written report to my sponsor(s) and brief next year’s Boys State nominee(s)

Boys State Song

(to the music of "Giant")

Texas, Our Texas

  • Texas, our Texas! All hail the mighty State!
  • Texas, our Texas! So wonderful so great!
  • Boldest and grandest, Withstanding ev’ry test;
  • O Empire wide and glorious, You stand supremely blest.
  • [Refrain] God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
  • That you may grow in power and worth, Thro’out the ages long.
  • Texas, O Texas! Your freeborn single star,
  • Sends out its radiance to nations near and far.
  • Emblem of freedom! It sets our hearts aglow,
  • With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo.
  • [Refrain] God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
  • That you may grow in power and worth, Thro’out the ages long.
  • Texas, dear Texas! From tyrant grip now free
  • Shines forth in splendor your star of destiny!
  • Mother of heroes! We come your children true,
  • Proclaiming our allegiance, our faith, our love for you.

Parliamentary Procedure


Addressing the chair
Mr. Chairman, Madam Chairman, Mr. President, Mr. Moderator
Announcing the Vote
Affirmative votes announced first, negative, second, regardless of outcome of motion
Challenge to a ruling of the chair
Slips of paper for voting
Same as passed or adopted when referring to outcome of a motion
Private session in advance of a scheduled meeting
Chair, Chairman
The presiding member. To chair to preside over
Chairman pro tem
For the time being. He is also addressed as Mr. Chairman
Refer to a committee
Open a session
Cum die
With day (set for next meeting)
Slow down
Ex Officio
From office, by right of office
Remove from records
Closely related
Holding the Floor
Recognized by Chair and thus entitled to speak
Immediately Pending Question
The question next to be acted on, the last proposed
In Order
Correct according to parliamentary procedure
More than half of those voting
Written record of business transacted
A proposal to do something
To propose — "I move..."
To propose a name for office
Obtaining the Floor
Securing permission to speak
Old Business
Unfinished business of last meeting
Orders of the Day
The agenda for a meeting
Take precedence over
Parliamentary Adviser to presiding officer
Pending Question
An undisposed motion
Not a majority but more votes than any other single candidate received
Point of Information
Request for information concerning a motion
Point of Order
Challenge to error in procedure
Rank, coming first or ahead of
Previous Question
Immediate vote requested without further discussion. Proxy: A person authorized to vote for another
Number of members required to be present to conduct Business
Nodding to or calling name of member by chairman
Motion beginning with "Resolved."
Restricted Debate
Argument limited strictly to motion immediately pending
To indicate support of a motion by saying, "I second the motion."
Considering a motion part by part, section by section, etc
Sine Die
Without day (to meet again).
List of candidates
Viva Voce
By voice (vote)
Give way to (another motion or speaker)

Fundamental Principles of Parliamentary Procedure

  1. Rules exist to promote cooperation and harmony
  2. The vote of the majority decides
  3. All members have equal rights, privileges and obligations
  4. The minority has rights which must be protected
  5. Full and free discussion of all propositions is a right
  6. Simplest and most direct procedure should be used
  7. Logical precedence governs introduction and disposition of motions
  8. One question at a time is the necessary order of business
  9. Members have a right to know what their votes mean
  10. The membership may delegate power but must retain responsibility
  11. Rules must be administered impartially

Basis Pattern for Good Meetings

If the bylaws do not contain an order of business, parliamentary law has established the following pattern for a meeting:

  1. Call to order. If there is an invocation or roll call, this usually follows the call to order
  2. Reading or disposition of minutes of the previous meeting
  3. Reports of officers, boards and standing committees
  4. Reports of special committees
  5. Unfinished business
  6. New business
  7. Announcements
  8. Adjournment

Steps in Handling a Motion

  1. A member rises and addresses the presiding officer
  2. The presiding officer recognizes the member
  3. The member states his motion
  4. Another member seconds the motion
  5. Presiding officer states the motion to the assembly
  6. Members may discuss the motion, if debatable
  7. Presiding office takes the vote
  8. Presiding officer announces the result

Types of Motions

Main Motions: These proposals bring before the meeting a particular subject for consideration. There are two types — general and specific.

  1. General Main Motion: Brings new business before the group.
  2. Specific Main Motion: Brings a subject before group that relates to business already before the group, or past or future action regarding it, as:
    • a. Reconsider (reopens motion already acted upon).
    • b. Rescind (voids motion previously passed)
    • c. Resume consideration (take from the table)
    • Create orders (of future business)
      1. General: Designated day
      2. Special: Designated day and hour

Subsidiary Motions

These proposals are made to facilitate proper disposal of the question before the group.

  1. Postpone temporarily (lay on the table)
  2. Vote immediately (previous question)
  3. Limit debate (curtail or extend)
  4. Postpone definitely (delays consideration until a certain hour or date)
  5. Refer to Committee (gives motion more detail attention or permits it to be handled in privacy)
  6. Amend (delete, strike out, insert, add, substitute). Purpose: to refine the motion. Must be germane to motion under consideration
  7. Postpone indefinitely (kills the motion under consideration).

Privileged Motions

Not related to pending question but of such importance they may be brought before the group without delay.

  1. Adjourn (terminates the meeting)
  2. Recess (a motion to interrupt a meeting for minutes, hours, or days)
  3. Question of Privilege (a motion relating to the comfort or rights of individual members, or to comfort or rights of whole assembly)

Incidental Motions

Motions that arise out of some question on the floor

  1. Appeal (challenges a rule of the chair)
  2. Point of Order (challenges error in procedure or lack of decorum in debate)
  3. Parliamentary Inquiry (a motion asking for information)
  4. Withdraw a Motion (permits member to remove his motion from consideration)
  5. Suspend Rules (makes a parliamentary or special rule temporarily inoperative)
  6. Object to Consideration (suppresses business that is irrelevant, undesirable, or that might prove damaging to an organization)
  7. Division of a Question (separation of a proposal into two or more parts)
  8. Division of Assembly (call for rising [stand up] vote when a member doubts the accuracy of a voice vote)

Precedence of Motions

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.

Transaction of Business

Introduction of Motion

  1. Introduction of business
    • a. May be introduced by the chairman who asks that a motion be made.
    • b. May be introduced by a committee.
    • c. May be introduced by any individual member.
  2. Recognition.
    • a. Member must be recognized for a bona fide action
    • b. When more than one asks for the floor, the chair decides

The Second and the Statement

  1. Seconding the Motion
    • a. All motions must be seconded, except:
      1. Objection to consideration of a question
      2. Leave to withdraw a motion
      3. Point of order
      4. Division of a question
      5. Parliamentary inquiry
      6. Questions of Privilege
      7. Division of Assembly
    • b. One need not rise and be recognized by the chair
    • c. The chairman may second the motion.
  2. Stating the motion
    • a. Before discussion the chair states the motion
    • b. If a long motion, the secretary should read the motion


  1. All discussion must confine itself to the immediately pending motion
  2. Limitation may be imposed to limit discussion
  3. Undebatable motions
    • a. All privileged and incidental motions, except the appeal
    • b. To close nominations
    • c. To limit debate
    • d. To obtain an immediate vote
    • e. To lay on the table
    • f. To take from the table


  1. Informal alteration
    • a. Before the motion has been stated by the chair or before discussion begins, the member may alter, may incorporate new ideas, or withdraw the motion
    • b. After discussion begins, he may change or withdraw if one objects
  2. Forms of Amendments
    • a. Adding or inserting words, phrases, sentences or paragraphs
    • b. Striking out words, phrases, sentences or paragraphs
    • c. Striking out words, phrases, and inserting in their place other words, phrases, sentences or paragraphs
    • d. Amendments may consist of substituting an entirely different set of phrases
      1. The substituted paragraph may express quite a different purpose
      2. The substituted paragraph may express the exact opposite
      3. It must be related to the original motion
    • e. Before the amendment may be discussed, the entire amended motion must be stated
  3. Discussion of a Motion
    • a. A main motion may be divided if each part can stand alone
    • b. The motion to divide is made, seconded, and voted upon and passed, then the amended half is dealt with
  4. Amendment of an Amendment
    • a. An amendment to an amendment cannot be amended
      1. After an amendment to be the amendment has been made, voted upon and passed, then the amended amendment may be amended
  5. Relation of Amendment to Motion
    • a. Discussion of an amendment must relate to the amendment only, unless the whole motion is involved by substitution
    • b. If a motion is defeated after all adopted amendments have been accepted, all amendments are thereby defeated
  6. Unamendable Motions
    • a. To adjourn
    • b. To amend an amendment
    • c. To ask a question of privilege
    • d. To close nominations
    • e. To obtain an immediate vote
    • f. To lay on the table
    • g. To postpone indefinitely
    • h. To reconsider
    • i. To rescind
    • j. To take from the table
    • k. All incidental motions

Putting the Question and the Vote

  1. Putting the question
    • a. Chair calls for a vote
  2. Majority vote
    • a. Unless special rules apply, a majority decides
    • b. Majority means a majority of those voting
  3. Two-thirds vote (special rule applies)
    • a. To object to the consideration of a question (1/3 negative)
    • b. To obtain an immediate vote
    • c. To suspend rules.
    • d. To limit debate.
    • e. To close nominations.
  4. Method of Voting
    • a. Unless otherwise provided, call for "ayes" and "nays."
    • b. The chairman may vote in all ties except upon appeals from his ruling


  1. A majority of members of an organization, usually constitutes
  2. An organization may define its own quorum
  3. If the organization has no defined enrolled membership, the persons present constitute a quorum


  1. Simple motion of adjournment may be made by a member, may be made during the consideration of other business but not while someone is speaking, and if untimely chairman may suggest it be withdrawn
  2. Cannot interrupt voting
  3. Not debatable
  4. Cannot be amended
  5. When made and seconded, comes to an immediate vote, except for announcements
  6. If the motion is killed it may be made again only after the expiration of some business
  7. Motion is out of order if meeting has previously fixed the time for adjournment
  8. Out of order when meeting is arranging for the time and place of next meeting

Motions for Special Purposes

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:

The Purpose — The Motion
  1. To present an Idea
    • Main Motion — "I move we hold a banquet."
    • Informal Discussion — "I move we discuss the problem of fund raising informally."
  2. To Enforce Correct Procedure
    • Point of Order — "I rise to a point of order" or "Point of order" (correct a mistake)
    • Parliamentary Inquiry — "I rise to a parliamentary inquiry" or "Clarification" (ask a question)
    • Division — "I call for division" (vote by rising)
    • Appeal — "I appeal from the decision of the chair" (let assembly decide).
  3. To Change a Motion
    • Amend — "I move to amend by adding the words 'next month'" or "by striking out..." or "by substituting..." (words, phrases, or motion)
    • Division — "I ask that the question be divided into two motions, the first to read"
  4. To Regulate or Stop Debate
    • Limit Debate — "I move to limit (or extend debate by limiting each speaker to two minutes" or "limiting debate to two speakers on each side" or "limiting discussion to one hour."
    • Vote Immediately — "I move to vote immediately on the motion" (previous question)
    • Postpone Temporarily — "I move to postpone the motion temporarily." (Lay on table)
    • Postpone Definitely — "I move to postpone the motion until next meeting."
  5. To Delegate Work
    • Refer to Committee — "I move to refer the matter to a committee of three."
  6. To Suppress a Motion
    • Object to Consideration — "I object to the consideration of the motion" Chairman says, "How many members wish to discuss it?"
    • Withdraw — "I withdraw my motion."
    • Postpone Indefinitely — "I move to postpone the motion indefinitely."
  7. To End a Meeting
    • Recess — "I move we recess for ten minutes."
    • Adjourn — "I move to adjourn."
  8. To Meet Emergencies
    • Suspend Rules — "I move to suspend the rules so that we may hear our speaker now."
    • Question of Privilege — "I rise to a question of privilege. I’d like the window closed."
  9. To Change Action Already Taken
    • Rescind — "I move to rescind (or repeal) the motion to build a new club house."
    • Amend — "I move to amend the motion for a new headquarters, passed Jan. 5, by taking out the limitation of $500."
  10. To Consider a Question Again
    • Resume Consideration — "I move we resume consideration of the motion to build a library, which was postponed temporarily at the November meeting" (take from table).
    • Reconsider — "I move to reconsider the vote on the motion to buy a new television" (in order on same day as original vote or on the following day only).


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.


  1. Nominations
    • a. By committee
    • b. By ballot (writing in a name)
    • c. From the floor
  2. Closing nominations
    • a. By motion and second, and 1/3 vote (but will not prevent write-ins)
    • b. Nominations may be made even after the closing (thus the process of closing is really superfluous).
  3. Voting
    • a. Voice vote (viva voce)
    • b. Show of hands
    • c. Ballot
    • d. Rising
    • e. Unanimous-consent procedure (if there be no objection)

Better Meetings

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.

Presiding Officers

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.

  • Firmly — you must make certain decisions. "If there is no objection, we will have the report of the Executive board later."
  • Courteously — never forget "please" and "thank you." "I'm sorry, but you’re out of order. As soon as the chair states the motion, you may speak on it."
  • Impartially — "We've heard three speakers who favor this motion. Let's hear from someone who opposes it."


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:

  • Hold members to time limits — "Pardon me, Mr. Fuller, your time is up. Mr. Jones, you may have the floor."
  • Keep members on the subject — "The question is shall we publish a magazine. Please speak only on this point."
  • State motions and take votes promptly — "If there is no further discussion, those in favor say aye."


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.

  • Encourage the shy member — "Several other members have studied this problem. What do you think of this plan?"
  • Discourage the member who talks too much-too often — "Just a moment, Mr. White, I’d like to recognize someone who hasn’t spoken."


Don’t permit personalities in discussion.

  • sConfine speakers to issues only — "Mr. Blake, your last remark is out of order. You may talk against this revision all you wish but you cannot reflect on the motives of the committee."



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

  • Clear and definite? Not like this — "I move we do not favor the refusal of the Council not to allow the park to be used for concerts, which are not free."
  • Workable? Not like this — "I move we cut down noise by prohibiting barking of dogs."
  • Complete? Not like this — "I move we greatly enlarge our membership." Add how and by how many.


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.

  • Mr. Everett’s judgment is always sought. He leads in decision-making.
  • Mrs. Harrison is usually the first to speak up when volunteers are called for. She leads the volunteers
  • Mr. Hughes smoothes ruffled feelings and explains misunderstandings. He leads in tact.


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.

  • Like this — "Mr. Chairman, I fought against the motion just passed. It won. Now that we’ve decided to build a new club house, put me down for a hundred dollars to start the fund."



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.

Characteristics of a Committee Meeting
  1. Start and finish on time
  2. Speaker not required to stand
  3. Recognition not required in order to speak
  4. Chairman participates as freely as any other member, but adheres to schedule
  5. Discussion neither limited nor suppressed
  6. Matters are discussed without any motion
  7. Formal motion, second, etc., are not usually necessary. Most decisions made by unanimous consent of members
  8. Formal procedure invoked when necessary

Types of Committees

  1. Standing Committees (Constitutional):
    • a. By authority of the Constitution
    • b. Appointed, elected, or ex officio members
    • c. Permanent
      1. Report made in order named in Constitution.
  2. Special Committees
    • a. Created for special reason or problem
    • b. Membership by motion, appointment, election, or ex officio
    • c. Temporary
    • d. Those functioning longest report first

The Committee Report

  1. Form (oral or written)
  2. Content (statement of meetings, summary of facts only of investigation)
  3. How presented (usually by chairman when committee is called)
  4. Disposition of (“received” or “received and filed with Secretary”–Chairman making it clear that recommendations be taken by assembly only on separate formal motion, one at a time)

Committee Chairmen

  1. Call the meeting to order
  2. Start discussion with a few comments on the nature of the committee’s problem
  3. Keep on the track. Avoid small talk. Follow the agenda
  4. Do not talk too much; draw out the quiet members
  5. Help members enjoy working on the committee by getting things done. They avoid committees that waste their time.
  6. Save everybody’s time by bringing the tools for the committee’s work. These will help:
    • a. A copy for each member of the list of committee members, with addresses and phones
    • b. A written statement of committee’s job, its duties and powers
    • c. Instructions from president or organization
    • d. Reports of previous committees or any material which will be useful. e. Rules or policies of the organization which apply to committee’s job
  7. Encourage but don’t boss. Committees are created because a group decision is wanted. Don’t try to decide everything yourself
  8. Be informal. In committees, no seconds are required, speakers are not limited, the chairman can make motions and talk, too.
  9. Divide the work. Appoint sub-committees if needed. Give everybody a job
  10. Let members share in preparing the report. Vote on it at a meeting of the committee, not on the telephone.
  11. Take a vote on each committee recommendation. Submit them separately from the report.
  12. Share credit with your committee. If the committee has done a good job why not ask the members to sit on the platform while report is read or introduce each one.

References and Source Material Used

  • Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure by A. E. Sturgis.
  • Successful Leadership in Groups and Organizations by J. A. Wagner.
  • Helpful Hints for Better Meetings, text by A. E. Sturgis, McGraw-Hill Book Company
  • Pan-L-View Slide Rule, Graphic Calculator Co., Chicago. Edited by Dr. T. Russell Woolley, Jr., The University of Texas

City Olympiad



  1. A point is scored when a team advances a ball through two cones at one end of the field
    1. The ball may be carried by an offensive player or passed ​through​ the cones to another offensive player.
  2. The ball may be advanced by any pass, lateral, toss, or hand-off in a 360° direction to a member of the same team.
  3. The ball may also be advanced by the person in possession of the ball.
    1. Once the person in possession of the ball begins purposeful movement in a 360° direction, they are subject to being down by contact (one-hand touch) unless they either score or pass the ball to another teammate before being touched.
  4. If a player catches the ball and makes an immediate attempt to stop their running progress, they are allowed to maintain possession of the ball and attempt to either pass the ball or begin moving with the ball.
    1. When remaining stationary and attempting to pass the ball, defensive players may approach the offensive player to attempt to defend against a pass. They must maintain a distance of one arm’s length from the offensive player and not attempt to swat the ball from the offensive player.
  5. The offensive team turns the ball over to the defensive team when:
    1. The ball touches the ground through an incomplete pass or a moving player fumbles the ball.
    2. A moving player is touched by a defender while still in possession of the ball.
    3. An interception is thrown to the defensive team.
    1. When a turnover occurs on the opposite side of the scoring line, the team now in possession of the ball may return to a designated spot in front of the scoring line (about 5 yds), whereby they must either remain stationary to throw the ball or are subject to the movement to contact rule.
    2. When a pass is incomplete in the field of play, the defensive team assumes possession of the ball at the point where the ball touched the ground.
  6. Upon scoring, the offensive team remains on the end of the field which they just scored, and the defensive team moves to the other end, where they will receive either a throw or kick-off from the scoring team.
  7. Teams play for 30 minutes, with a score counting for one point in the first 15 minutes and two points in the second fifteen minutes. The team with the most points at the end of the time period is the winner.
  8. If the game is tied at the end of the time period, a sudden death point will be played, kicked/thrown off by the most recent team to score a point.

Program Operations & Information


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.

Athletic Equipment

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.

Alcoholic Beverages

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.

Boys Nation

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.

Campaign Material

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.

Capitol Visit

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 may assemble in the House Chambers for a Session of Boys State.

Cell Phones

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).

Cigarettes & Tobacco Products

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 10:00 p.m.

Illicit Drugs

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.

Items to purchase

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:

[Citizen’s Name]
The American Legion Boys State
[Roster Number, Boys State City Name]
University Station
Kinsolving Dormitory
2605 Whitis Avenue
Austin, Texas 78705


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.

Medical Treatment

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.


See Automobiles


Each Boys State appointee must sign the Boys State Pledge on their Application form.

Post Office

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.

Recreation (known as the City Olympiad)

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.

Safety Deposit

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.

Talent Show

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 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 any sessions on Friday, which includes the College Fair and Parents Day at Boys State.