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The American Legion Boys State of Missouri Logo
"The experience is a foundation not only for senior year in high school, but for a career and life still ahead. You go home physically tired but mentally exhilharated."

-- Chris Turner '81
Jefferson City, MO

Applying to Missouri Boys State

2004 Gov. Terence Williams addresses the Missouri Boys State general assembly after being sworn in.

The selection process begins with students who are interested in attending Missouri Boys State and their high school guidance counselor (or other party as designated by each high school). Is is very important for students to express their interest in Missouri Boys State to their local school officials!

Local high schools then make their recommendations for their primary applicants and alternate candidates to local American Legion representatives.

Applications for the 2021 session are accepted from around November each fall until the deadline of March 1st the following Spring. The American Legion Boys State District Chairman makes the final decision on who will attend Missouri Boys State. Additionally, the Missouri Boys State Board of Directors reserves the right to accept or reject any application as they deem appropriate.

In the actual selection of students as citizens of Boys State, merit and ability are the basis for selection. Students are NOT selected based on economic status. Boys State is NOT a program for underprivileged students, nor is it a recreational summer camp. Missouri Boys State is a leadership and citizenship training program.

Local American Legion Posts and other community-minded organizations pay all fees, or the 'tuition', with NO EXPENSE to the student or his family. If you are asked to pay a portion of these fees, please contact MBS Headquarters immediately.

One of our main goals is to have at least one (1) representative from each high school in Missouri attending Missouri Boys State.

Eligibility Information:

The following basic criteria must be met for eligibility under guidelines set by The American Legion and the Missouri Boys State Board of Directors:

Each candidate must be between the ages of 15 and 19 by June 12, 2021. Each candidate must have successfully completed his junior year in a Missouri high school and have at least one semester of high school remaining after the close of the Boys State session. Home schooled students residing in Missouri are also eligible.

Homeschooled Students

Homeschooled students may submit an application to the local American Legion Post Boys State Representative or the American Legion Boys State District Chairman for consideration.  A letter of recommendation and endorsement from a community or civic leader (other than a relative) must accompany the application (i.e., Boys Scout Master, 4-H leader, clergy, local or state elected official).  The application must also be signed by that individual.  All other Missouri Boys State eligibility rules remain the same.

OCONUS Students

Missouri Boys State proudly offers participation to selected young men who are military dependent students and are attending high schools Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS).  The Board of Directors recognized that talented U.S. citizens living OCONUS do not have ready access to programs such as Missouri Boys State.  In the spirit of "taking care of our own" and the long heritage of The American Legion, the Missouri Boys State Board of Directors unanimously agreed to open Missouri Boys State to sons of military families serving OCONUS.

This initiative was begun in 2003 with a single citizen from Osan High School, Korea and continued each session since. These future leaders were able to interact and compare experiences from the various Missouri locales to the postings of our military families outside the Continental United States.

Missouri Boys State places no Missouri residency restrictions on OCONUS students.  A limited number of available seats will vary from year to year.  Furthermore, these limited seats do not displace any of the 960 seats available each year to Missouri high schools.

All other eligibility criteria remain the same.  Funding for both the program fee and transportation ($500.00) are the responsibility of the overseas sponsor. For more information, please contact MBS Headquarters.


Only young men exhibiting qualities of leadership, character, scholarship, and citizenship should be considered candidates for Boys State.

Citizens have their photo taken for their photo id badges at the 2004 session of Missouri Boys State.

Potential leaders come from all facets of a high school’s student body. Some may not necessarily be recognized as the best scholars. However, those students who excel in Civics, Government, American History, and Political courses will be better suited for the curriculum offered at Boys State. Boys State is NOT a program for underprivileged youth.

Each candidate must agree to participate for the entire week of the Boys State program. Arriving late, leaving early or leaving and returning will NOT be allowed. There are no exceptions to this policy. Those individuals who cannot commit the entire week need not apply.

Are you ready to begin the journey? Apply now for The American Legion Boys State of Missouri, Inc. -- a Week to Shape a Lifetime!

Apply Now!!



The 81st Session of MBS will be held on
June 12-19, 2021
on the campus of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO.

High School Counselors
If you have additional applicants, please make sure to send their information to MBS Headquarters in the event an alternate is needed to replace a previously accepted student who is unable to attend.


Did you know...
Over 50,000 high school juniors have participated in Missouri Boys State? Are you ready to become the next leader in Missouri? Apply now!

Apply Now!!



"My oldest had the greatest experience. For the first time in his life he felt like he was in a place where everyone was on the same intellectual level."

-- Stephanie Gray, mother of J. T. Gray '11 from Highland High school

The American Legion Department of Missouri

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