Virginia Boys State Application Process

Eligibility Qualifications

High school juniors are selected by local American Legion posts to attend the program. In most cases, expenses associated with attending this program are paid by a sponsoring American Legion post, a local business or another community-based organization.

  • Only young men, who have successfully completed their junior year of high school and have at least one semester of high school remaining, are eligible.
  • Home schooled boys are eligible provided they meet these qualifications: Home School Qualifications
  • Any boy who has previously attended a Boys State is not eligible to attend a second session.
  • Outstanding qualities of leadership, character, scholarship, loyalty and service to their schools and community are considered.
  • The applicant should exhibit an interest in the governmental process.
  • The applicant will have above average scholastic standing.
  • The prospective delegate and their parents must be residents of the state of Virginia.

Selection Process

  • The high school counselor where eligible boys are enrolled, recommends a list of candidates to members of the local American Legion post. Legionnaires at these posts interview the list of Boys State candidates.
  • The legionnaires, Virginia Boys State representatives, select delegates for the next session and verify that all eligibility requirements listed above are met. The final candidates chosen to attend Virginia Boys State are selected by American Legion posts … not by high schools.
  • Those not selected as primary delegates may become alternates if so designated by the interviewing American Legion post in cases where the primary delegate cannot attend. Alternates must meet all requirements to attend the program.

Home School Qualifications

Home schooling has positively impacted various youth organizations including the Virginia Boys State program. Potential home school candidates must have completed the 11th grade successfully in prescribed credit hour courses mandated by the Department of Education. Juniors chosen, have one more year of school remaining (or at least one more semester), in which to serve as leaders in their high schools and communities.

The American Legion’s National Americanism Commission as well as the American Legion Department of Virginia have established certain qualifications for prospective Boys State citizens. These two organizations work within the respective program guidelines to insure compliance.

It is the responsibility of the home schooler’s parents to contact the local American Legion post when nominees are selected from their respective high schools, and private schools. Further, it is the responsibility of the said parents to set an interview during the dates and times set forth by the local American Legion post’s Boys State committee.

Under no circumstances will a home schooler be accepted at Virginia Boys State without first having his eleventh grade courses and unity completed and approved by the division superintendent, the division superintendent’s assistant, or such designated person.

Defining public school and private school students needs no further comment; however, defining home schooling is a bit more complicated. A home schooler is a student who is taught away from the public or private school, usually at home by a parent or by groups of parents. Some of these parents may be qualified to teach, while others may not: teaching in either an academic-oriented curriculum or a religious-based curriculum.

Students may be taught in non-accredited situations for 180 plus days, ranging from (1) no specific days or hours, (2) to that of free subject choice, or (3) to one of a strict battery of specific classes taught by degree holding family members or neighbors.

Admittance Procedures for Home Schoolers to Attend Boys State,
Working Through and in Cooperation with Public School Personnel

The division superintendent, division superintendent’s assistant or designated person in the public school system, in a written statement, must indicate to the American Legion local Adjutant or Boys State Chairman that the student has successfully completed (or will successfully complete by June 1 at the latest), the same curriculum courses of a public school eleventh grader and to be a student in good standing as stated in the Virginia Code, § 22.1-254.1. Declaration of policy; requirements for home instruction of children

  • 3 units of English
  • 2 units of Math
  • 2 units of Science
  • 2 units of Social Sciences
    • Virginia and U.S. History
    • Virginia and U.S. Government
  • 2 units of Health and Physical Education
  • 1 unit of Fine Art or 1 unit of Vocational Training or 2 electives
  • 5 other electives

The document verifying units completed can be sent to the local post by school officials. Alternatively, the parents of the home schooled applicant can present the document to the local post Commander or Adjutant. Names of these Legionnaires can be obtained by calling the Legion Department Headquarters in Richmond at (804) 353-6606.

Admittance Procedures for Religious-based Home Schoolers
Following a Non-academic Program

Under no circumstances will a home schooler be accepted at Boys State without first having his 11th grade courses and units evaluated and approved by the earlier stated public school officials or by the Virginia Boys State Educational Committee composed of educators and other professionals.

Home schooled youth following a religious-based curriculum must also be judged by the same academic course level of attainment as 11th graders attending the public schools. In this situation the Boys State Director must approve the home schooler’s scholastic curriculum records.

Parents of all home schoolers, public, private or religious-based, might want to include, along with curriculum data, any other test scores, sport activities, organizational membership, community involvement, patriotism and leadership examples for review.

American Legion Interviews of Home School Applicants

It is the responsibility of home school parents to find out when the local American Legion post will be interviewing Boys State nominees from the local high schools. All Boys State nominees are interviewed by some forum and home schoolers must compete in this process at the specified time.

All delegates selected to attend Boys State have their tuition paid for by a variety of sponsors; these include the American Legion, public and private schools, fraternal, business, civic groups and others. Home schoolers, if selected to attend, receive the same tuition as those from other schools.

The final selection of all Boys State delegates is determined by each individual American Legion post, judging the merits of every invited candidate.


Districts and Chairperson Contact Info

Locate your hometown, city or county to determine your district. Contact your district chairperson for the rest of the application process. Each district has a unique process so be sure to contact the correct chairperson.


Click on the image for a larger version.

District Chairperson Hometown District Contact Phone
Bill Stramm Cape Charles 1 (703) 967-8676
Alonzo Scott Norfolk 2 (434) 401-8501
Matt Hartman Williamsburg 3 (757) 245-4490
Denis Confer Suffolk 4 (757) 403-4261
James Robinson South Hill 5 (434) 447-8867
James Flint Riner 6 (540) 763-9367
Arsenius Terrill Narrows 7 (540) 726-2150
Les Clevinger Pounding Mill 8 (276) 963-0743
Raymond Gaboy Fincastle 9 (540) 798-4747
Mike Gogan Huddleston 10 (804) 477-5487
Jim Walsh Glenn Allen 11 (804) 928-5461
Johnny Baker Beaverdam 12 (540) 273-1544
Richard Eaton Bremo Bluff 13 (434) 842-6618
Ron Hesson Stuarts Draft 14 (540) 337-4305
Frank Hillyard Middletown 15 (540) 535-5177
Robert Yowell Bealeton 16 (540) 359-1514
Michael Kimlick Fairfax 17 (202) 329-9940

Info for High School Guidance Counselors

2019 Letter to Counselors from the Director

As a high school guidance counselor, you have the vital job of identifying and nominating the most qualified students to attend Virginia Boys State. It is no exaggeration to say that this is a unique and influential experience. It is important that those nominated will be dedicated to the program and follow through with their commitment to attend the session for the entire week should they be accepted. We seek students with outstanding qualities of leadership, character, scholarship, loyalty and service to their schools and communities to attend Virginia Boys State.

Nomination Guidelines

  • Form a committee of administrators, counselors, teachers, and former Boys State citizens.
  • Review the qualifications and selection process.
  • Seek interested students by broadcasting during school announcements and/or placing information in the school bulletin or newspaper. Review lists of student leaders (e.g. honor society, student council, class officers, clubs, athletic teams, JROTC, community organizations – 4-H, Boy Scouts) to identify potential candidates.
  • Consider all eligible young men in the current junior class who meet the Boys State criteria.
  • Prepare a list of candidates and seek their interest and commitment to participate in the program. Each applicant must commit to attending the Boys State program in its entirety. No late arrivals or early departures will be allowed. We take no-shows and cancellations very seriously.
  • Direct potential candidates to our website (https://www.vaboysstate.org) for more information.
  • Schedule and hold an informational presentation at your school for eligible candidates conducted by a Virginia Boys State staff member. To schedule a presentation, contact us.
  • Select candidates to nominate. Qualified candidates may be ranked for consideration and recommendation to the district chairperson.
  • Select alternates to nominate. Alternates will be contacted if circumstances keep a candidate selected to attend from participating in the program or as additional sponsorships are located. Always submit alternates.
  • Contact your district chairperson and provide him or her with your nominations and alternates.
  • The Boys State district chairperson grants the final authorization in determining which young men participate in the program.

Please do not announce or publish the list of candidates and alternates until approved by the Boys State district chairperson and confirmed by Virginia Boys State Headquarters. Verify acceptance by contacting the registrar.


Step One

For Parents and Eligible Candidates

For Delegate Sponsors — American Legion post personnel and high school counselor only

  • Submit an Application for Sponsorship [PDF] (updated 2/12/2019) along with the application fee ($400.00 per delegate).
  • Money that accompanies the Application for Sponsorship must be sent to the Registrar prior to registration (in step two).
  • The Registrar will send you unique registration numbers for your candidates along with the username/password needed to register delegates online.

Step Two

Only Legion post Boys State chairpersons and in some cases, high school guidance counselors, are authorized to complete online registration.

Click on the “Register Delegates” button and enter the username/password sent to you by the Registrar (credentials are provided after payment is received).

Upon successful registration, you will see a confirmation page, and a receipt for each delegate registered is sent to the email address used for the post representative.

Register Delegates


Sponsorship Information — Program Fee

A sponsorship covers the program fee (plus transportation in districts providing a bus).

Sponsorship of Boys State participants must be undertaken by The American Legion Post or another civic, service, or fraternal organization, or business in your community. Sponsorships may also be funded by the school, PTO/PTA, or student organization. INDIVIDUAL OR PARENTAL SPONSORSHIPS ARE NOT PERMITTED. Neither the candidate nor the parent/guardian may pay any portion of the program fee or transportation fee and are not required to make any deposit or financial guarantee prior to being accepted to Virginia Boys State.

Most high schools have established lines of communication with their local American Legion Post or other qualified sponsoring organizations. If not, we urge you to contact your local American Legion Post or contact us for more information about sponsorships.

If you do not have sponsorships for your candidates, please let us know. We are ready to assist in finding qualified sponsors.