85th Session of American Legion Boys State of Kansas Set for June 4-10 in Manhattan

85th Session of American Legion Boys State of Kansas Set for June 4-10 in Manhattan


May 22, 2023 — High school students from across the State of Kansas will participate in the 2023 session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas, Sunday, June 4, through Saturday, June 10, at Kansas State University in Manhattan. This will be the program’s 31st consecutive session at KSU and 85th overall.


The Kansas Boys State program includes students who have just completed their junior year of high school (will be seniors in the fall) and sophomore year of high school (will be juniors in the fall).


The objective of the ALBSK is to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to community, state and nation. Kansas Boys State provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for government and the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy.


Among the major events during the week (the below events are open to the public unless noted; members of the media are invited to attend all events):


Sunday, June 4

  • Delegate check-in, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Goodnow Hall

This event is not open to the public.

  • Opening ceremonies, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., McCain Auditorium

o   Keynote speaker: Kendall Gammon, 15-year NFL veteran with the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers. Considered the best long-snapper in the NFL, Gammon, a 1987 graduate of Rose Hill (Kan.) High School and 1991 graduate of Pittsburg (Kan.) State University, was a member of Pitt State’s 1991 NCAA Division II national championship team. He also played in Super Bowl 30 and in the 2005 Pro Bowl. Gammon talk will draw on personal life challenges with a message threaded with vulnerability and authentic stories to inspire attendees to use emotional strength to embrace change, build strong relationships and positively impact growth and success.

Media note: Starting at approximately 2 p.m., the KBS delegates will walk 

from Wefald Hall to McCain Auditorium – great photo/video opportunity.


Monday, June 5

  • Swearing in of Kansas Boys State mayors, 7 p.m., Kansas Boys State Assembly Area (Goodnow Hall/Marlatt Hall parking lot [between buildings on Claflin Road]).
  • Party caucuses, 7:30 to 10 p.m., Federalist Party, Fiedler Hall, Room 1107; Nationalist Party, Rathbone Hall, Room 1073 (each party will select their candidates for the six state offices and formulate their party platforms.)

This event is not open to the public.


Tuesday, June 6

  • Kansas Boys State governor candidates’ debate, 1 to 2 p.m., McCain Auditorium
  • Announcement of Kansas Boys State general election winners for state offices and swearing in ceremony, 7 p.m., KBS Assembly Area.


Wednesday, June 8

  • Flag retirement ceremony, 7:30 p.m., World War II Memorial in front of McCain Auditorium. The event is an observance of the proper respect for the American flag and how unserviceable flags are properly disposed. The honor guard from American Legion Pearce-Keller Post No.17 in Manhattan will present the ceremony. Dr. John Lindholm, a 1949 KSU graduate who provided the dog tags as a model for the “Tags of Honor” sculpture at the Memorial, was a longtime Kansas Boys State staff member as a Legionnaire advisor before passing away in January 2020.

Media note: This event is a great photo/video opportunity.

  • Evening ceremonies, 8 p.m., McCain Auditorium.

o   2023 Kansas Boys State governor’s inaugural address.

o   Address by Jeremy Ehart, Hutchinson, Kan., American Legion Department of Kansas commander, and introduction of Kansas American Legion dignitaries

Watch and read Ehart’s cover story from the February 2017 issue of The American Legion magazine.

o   Kansas Boys State band, chorus and talent show.


Friday, June 9

  • Announcement of delegates who will represent Kansas Boys State as senators at Boys Nation in July, 8:30 a.m., KBS Assembly Area.


Saturday, June 10

  • Closing ceremonies, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., McCain Auditorium

o   Announcement of Kansas Boys State outstanding citizens, Kansas Boys State Samsung American Legion Scholarship winner and various awards, including Advisor of the Year, Counselor of the Year, New Counselor of the Year, William “Bill” F. Stahl Outstanding Justice Award, Outstanding Senator Award and Outstanding State Representative Award.

  • Final State Assembly/Final Flag Lowering, 10:45 to 11:15 a.m., KBS Assembly Area


In addition to the above events, the public is invited to view the daily morning assembly/flag raising at 8:30 a.m. (8:45 a.m. on Saturday) and evening retreat/flag lowering at 7 p.m. (6:50 p.m. on Monday). For those who cannot attend these events, Boys State of Kansas will provide updates during the week on its Facebook page, facebook.com/KansasBoysState.


— #KSBoysState —


The American Legion Boys State of Kansas is an interactive simulation that teaches high school seniors-to-be the value of democracy and civic duty. Participants form mock governments and campaign for positions at the city, county and state levels. After the elections, participants find out firsthand the difficult decisions made daily by those in government through a series of challenging simulations. Delegates, nominated to attend by their high school counselors and other influential people in their lives, are sponsored by American Legion posts and various civic organizations from across the state. All delegates demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities in student government, athletics and/or other activities.

The Boys State program was founded by Legionnaires Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card in Illinois in 1935, and was first held in Kansas two years later in Wichita. The Kansas program moved to the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1963 and remained there until 1991. The following year, it moved to its current location at Kansas State University in Manhattan. For more information about the American Legion Boys State of Kansas, visit ksbstate.org.

2 thoughts on “85th Session of American Legion Boys State of Kansas Set for June 4-10 in Manhattan”

  1. Great opportunity for young men to understand public service and the basics of state government. I was fortunate to attend in 1976 and remember the experience well.
    Hopefully several gentlemen from Fort Scott are able to attend.

    1. Great leadership experience. I was also fortunate enough to be nominated and sponsored in 1957. I met a lot of good people there. I hope those from Fort Scott will use the experience as it is intended and come back to Fort Scott ready to accept the challenge of making our city a better place to live and prosper.

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