Every year high school juniors across the state conjure at Wesley College for Boys and Girls State, which gives high school students an inside look at what it takes to work in politics.
The programs are held by the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary, and are an inside look into democracy where students run for office, learn public speaking skills, create and enforce laws and more.
Smyrna High School rising senior Andrew Morrison was one such lucky student but his glimpse into the life of a politician isn’t quite over as he is headed to Washington, D.C. later this month to participate in Boys Nation.
Morrison was recommended by Smyrna High staff for Boys State. He was initially interested in attending the statewide aspect of the program after talking with some friends.
“They all said it was a really great experience and they all loved it,” Morrison said. “So I wanted to be a part of that.”
Morrison attended Boys State in early June at Wesley College. He said the program was a lot of fun. There were guest speakers and the students participated in a mock government.
Like any typical government, students worked as representatives and even were given the chance to run for an office. Morrison ran for lt. governor but lost; however, the Smyrna High student didn’t miss a beat when he ran for speaker of the house.
“I can’t imagine being anything but [speaker of the house]. That was really fun, I was glad I lost the lt. governor spot,” Morrison said.
His favorite part of Boys State was a visit from a World War II veteran, who spoke to the students. The veteran, who told war stories, is a former participant of Boys State.
To participate in the upcoming Boys Nation camp, Morrison said students had to sign up and interview for a spot at Boys Nation. Morrison said the decision was also based on a student’s performance at Boys State. There were 101 boys in Boys State this year in Delaware; Morrison is one of two representatives from Delaware.
“I really wanted to continue my Boys State experience,” Morrison said. “All the advisors have been to Boys Nation and couldn’t talk highly enough about how awesome Boys Nation was.”
Students from each of the 49 Boys State programs across the country will come together in Washington, D.C. July 18 through July 26. In that time, Morrison said students will take a look around the political hub of the United States as well as participate in another mock government.
“It’s a whole other ball game, and we’ll get to meet [President] Barak [Obama]…that’s pretty neat,” Morrison said.
The trip is a couple of weeks away but Morrison is excited and thinks it’ll be an awesome experience.
“Thank you to the school district, and all my teachers for helping me along the way. I feel like they’ve had a huge impact on me with a lot of what I’m doing,” Morrison said.