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The American Legion Boys State of Missouri Logo
"I did not know what to expect when I walked in, but when I walked out, I ended up making many new friends. At first, I thought that "A Week to Shape a Lifetime" was just a catchy slogan, but it ended up being exactly what it said it was."

-- Colin Landers Darnell '12
Rolla, 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, complete an online application, and be nominated by the high school.

Online applications are available in the fall for the program held the following summer. 

After a student completes an online application, it is electronically transmitted to the high school portal for consideration and nomination which includes being endorsed by the principal or school administrator. Applications for nominated students are electronically transmitted to the Missouri Boys State Headquarters. A paper copy of the application is no longer required.

The school counselor/contact should complete the nomination process though the high school portal no later than March 1. The list of nominated students can be printed from the high school portal on the Missouri Boys State website, if requested, and submitted to a sponsoring organization, local American Legion Post or Missouri Boys State District Chair for funding consideration.

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 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 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 should complete an online application which will be electronically transmitted to the Missouri Boys State Headquarters.  A request for consideration MUST be emailed to Missouri Boys State Headquarters. Additional information which must accompany the request for consideration includes:  documentation verifying the homeschooled student has completed the required credit hours to hold the rank of a junior in high school and a letter of recommendation and endorsement from a community or civic leader (other than a relative) such as Boys Scout Master, 4-H leader, clergy, local or state elected official. All other Missouri Boys State eligibility rules remain the same.

OCONUS Students

Missouri Boys State proudly offers participation to 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 Missouri students who are eligible to participate each year.
All other eligibility criteria remain the same. OCONUS students should complete an online application which will be electronically transmitted to the Missouri Boys State Headquarters. OCONUS students completing an online application and nominated by the high school 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 and/or stateside sponsor(s). For more information, please contact the Missouri Boys State Headquarters.


Only young men exhibiting the qualities of leadership, character, scholarship, and citizenship should be considered 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 nominee 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.

Missouri Boys State is a high energy, fast-paced experience.  If you’re up for the challenge, apply now for The American Legion Boys State of Missouri, Inc. - A Week to Shape a Lifetime!

Apply Now!!



The 82nd Session of MBS will be held on
June 11-18, 2022

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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