American Legion Boys State of South Dakota is the premier summer program for enabling South Dakota youth’s understanding of the system of government in South Dakota and the United States. In addition to a program that includes sessions led by South Dakota government leaders, the citizens of Boys State create and operate their own mythical state government.

Starting with electing their city governments, they proceed to county and state government including electing a governor, legislature, and Supreme Court.  Citizens assume the roles associated with the government positions elected to and operate each level of government.

At the end of each year’s session a number of awards are presented including Outstanding Citizen, Outstanding Speaker, and Boys Nation delegates. Boys Nation delegates are chosen to represent South Dakota at Boys Nation in Washington D.C. later in the summer.

Senator John Thune talking with Boys Staters.