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The American Legion Boys State of Missouri Logo
"Boys State was an awesome experience for me in 1977, and now my son has been nominated!"

-- Josh L. Butler '77
Holden, 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 at each high school with the guidance counselor or the individual designated by the high school as the primary contact.  Following the guidelines recommended by Missouri Boys State, the counselor/contact will establish a process to nominate outstanding students to represent their school. 

Missouri Boys State is a leadership and citizenship training program.  Students who are interested in participating should discuss the opportunity with their counselor/contact.  All students MUST meet the eligibility criteria, follow the established nomination process, and complete an online application.

Online applications are available in the fall.  Online applications are NOT automatically transmitted to the Missouri Boys State Headquarters for consideration.  After completing the application, the student MUST follow the instructions given to him by his high school representative to become eligible for Missouri Boys State. No applications are accepted without the endorsement of the high school principal.

(Please note, for the 2021 Session, we no longer require a paper copy of the applications nor the student, parent, or high school signatures.)

The counselor/contact will collect the names and information from the students nominated as the primary applicants and alternates, and submit those student names to Missouri Boys State HQ for consideration by the application deadline of March 1.  The American Legion Boys State District Chair makes the final decision on who will attend Missouri Boys State.  The Executive Committee of The American Legion Boys State of Missouri, Inc. reserves the right to accept or reject any application.

Local American Legion Posts, community-minded civic organizations, businesses, and individuals (not related to the applicant) pay the $500 per student program fee.  There is NO EXPENSE to the student or his family.  Any request of the applicant or his family to pay any portion of the program fee, make a deposit or financial guarantee prior to being accepted should be reported to the Missouri Boys State Headquarters.


Eligibility Information:

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

  • EACH CANDIDATE MUST be between the ages of 15 and 19 by the first day of the program.
  • EACH CANDIDATE MUST have successfully completed his junior year at a Missouri high school and have at least one semester of high school remaining after the close of the Missouri Boys State session.

Homeschooled Students

Homeschooled students may submit an application to the local American Legion Post Boys State Representative or the American Legion Boys State District Chair for consideration.  Documentation verifying the homeschooled student has completed the required credit hours to hold the rank of a junior in high school should be submitted with the application.  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 sons of our active duty armed forces families and support personnel serving 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 and support personnel serving OCONUS.

This initiative began in 2003 with a single citizen from Osan High School, Korea, with active participation since.  These future leaders were able to interact and compare experiences from the various Missouri locales to the numerous postings of military families.

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.  Applications must be submitted by the high school and will be reviewed and accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Funding for both the program fee and ground transportation to and from the Kansas City International Airport ($550.00) are the responsibility of the overseas sponsor.  For more information, please contact MBS Headquarters.


Only young men exhibiting the qualities of leadership, character, scholarship, and citizenship should be considered candidates for Missouri 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 segments of a high school’s student body.  However, students who excel in Civics, Government, American History, and Political Science courses will be better suited for the curriculum offered at Missouri Boys State.  Missouri Boys State is NOT a program for underprivileged youth.

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