Love Survives a Storm
By Jared Campbell - Ingle City
Sirens blaring but getting lost in the sounds of a train right outside you shattered window. A family member is kneeling beside you screaming, “Cover Your Head!” You can’t make out the words they are saying because of the noise. As you duck down, the tornado tears through your home. Then it’s silent. You are covered in the pieces of what used to be your house. You make your way out and the sight you see is unimaginable. You wish you would have just stayed beneath the ruble. The people of Joplin did not do this on May 22nd, 2011. They loved their family, friends, neighbors, businesses, and city too much not to wipe all the ruble and pain away.
On February 29th, 2012, a tornado came through my hometown of Branson, Missouri. Luckily no one in Branson was killed, but the city was hurting. Destroyed businesses that had been there for years were brushed away. Branson citizens came to the realization if Joplin could get through what they did, there is no reason Branson can’t do the same.
On Tuesday, the citizens of Boys State got the opportunity to watch 26 minutes of a documentary titled Deadline in Disaster. This film depicts the responsibilities that the Joplin Globe newspaper had when an F-5 tornado struck their city. The film showed viewers the power of all the Joplin Globe employees who did everything they could to keep the newspaper running. The newspaper gave Joplin citizens a sense of normality and comfort despite the incredible challenges they faced during this time of…well there is no word to describe it. People were heartbroken. As the curtain opened, citizens were surprised to see four Joplin City citizens waiting to answer questions from the audience. They shared stories, experiences, and how they moved on. Although the Joplin tornado will go down as the 7th deadliest tornado in history, a quality of the city survived, as one of the Joplin citizens stated, “A tornado is no match for the power of love.”
161 people were killed in the storm. The film described how it was extremely important for each of the 161 people to be remembered respectfully. The Joplin Globe newspaper did not want to just write a paragraph or two about the deceased, so they went around the city and asked people how these were really like. One of the deceased was Will Norton, 2010 Missouri Boys State citizen. Will had been where each of the current citizens are now. Will sat in the seats we did, he attended the Journalism School, and was a citizen of Weyer City. Within the film there was a short clip of Will’s mother holding a photograph of her sun. This was a touching moment for the 2012 session of MBS. Losing a member of the MBS family impacts all of us and the 2012 received awareness that as we all go our separate ways back home, we must value every moment we have.
MBS Economic Report
By Thomas Spencer - Blair City
Fear not the current lackluster economic reality of the modern world, because the lessons being taught at Missouri Boys State demonstrate that the potential for success is unlimited. Forget Wall Street woes for a moment, because the near future of the economy is not just bright, but a brilliant beacon of hope for struggling communities around the state. These young men are taking a crash course in economic success. The MBS economy is driven by a diverse group of individuals and businesses in both the private and public sectors. All of these elements coalesce to form the overall success of the program.
The private sector is incredibly valuable at Boys State and politicians strive to support business in their platforms and campaigns. One thousand Boys State Bucks were disseminated to every citizen. With less than one million BSB circulating in the MBS economy, companies have to work hard for every penny. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have popped up across the University of Central Missouri campus. The process for starting a business is designed to mirror real life procedures. The first step is to gather the identification of all those involved in establishing the new industry. The entrepreneurs must go to the Registration Facility and pay a fee of $25 BSB. Once the Articles of Incorporation are completed, the business is prepared to take part in MBS commerce, which entails keeping a close accounting record and paying income taxes.
The government also plays a role in the economy. The State Office, a proverbial Jefferson City, is alive with ambitious young men taking direct lead of the MBS economy. Taxes are collected to cover congressional earmarks and public sector salaries. The money is then given to government officials to determine where it must be appropriated. Mitch Davis is a program counselor who works directly with the economy. He buzzes around the state office answering questions and dishing out the day’s work.
“The economic program at Missouri Boys State simulates real life as best it can. The citizens also figure out firsthand about taxation as soon as they arrive by paying one fifth of their income immediately in taxes,” Davis said. He also said that each MBS session is responsible for establishing the budget for the last half of their week at MBS as well as the budget for the first half of the following year’s session. This responsibility means that congress must control the budget, not only for their constituency but for future citizens as well. The lesson here is relevant because effective real-world politicians must be answerable for their decisions and think about the world after their term in office.
A thriving economy is now residing on the UCM campus. Businesses are as varied at MBS as they are in the real world and teach lessons in a way that is just as authentic. Everything from law firms to construction companies have popped up around the theoretical fifty-first state. One corporation in Whitfield even teaches citizens to tie a tie, which is essential for an aspiring politician who seeks to appear professional throughout the campaigning process.
The MBS economy has not yet run its course, but there is little doubt that by the end of the week, each individual will have learnt a valuable lesson about economic success. Anyone can take a class on the economy, but what makes Boys State so unique is that every citizen has the opportunity to build some of the real world economic skills, ambition, and knowledge which a successful business man or politician is equipped with.
Mitch Davis believes in the effectiveness of this teaching tool. “We’re getting kids involved in the economic system,” he said. Clearly, this involvement and the important fiscal lessons of MBS will play an integral role in the future of the individuals in attendance as they return home to their respective communities.
A Citizen’s Point of View
Matthew Kauzlacich - Lewis City
Sunday, Missouri Boy’s State had its first full day. Citizens are now starting to get to know each other better within their cities and cooperating in order to earn the title Model City. Saturday night, the mayors got the ball rolling in the city meetings. They assigned city positions to the citizens they felt were both qualified and would be best for the position. The Athletic Directors were working hard assigning sporting events to all the citizens. Cities wanted to get so much done; however, everyone had to get ready for bed.
Saturday, all the citizens were getting involved in one of the six Schools of Instructions, which include: Law, Legislature, Campaigning & Political Operations, Law Enforcement, Democracy Academy and Journalism. Everyone is attending governmental, political, and city meetings around the campus. Also, MBS participants are signing up for sports to play against other citizens and their cities. Small businesses are forming, ordinances being reviewed, and cities are coming together in order to help each other to gain revenue. People are going into other cities to be recognized for their running for state official positions and to get ideas for their own cities.
Saturday night, James Carville spoke at Hendricks Hall. According to the MBS Record, Carville is receiving the 24th Annual George W. Lehr Memorial Speaker’s Chair, which is given to prominent figures in our state and nation. He is recognized for working on Bill Clinton’s campaign for Presidency and for starring in Crossfire from 2002- 2005.
At the beginning of the session, most citizens were hesitant on making new friends and getting involved in activities, but now, as we attend our schools of instructions we are beginning to let go of our fears. Plus, we are getting to know the cities and citizens. Being here at Boy’s State is truly an interesting experience and we cannot wait for more to come.