Boys State & Girls State

Starting in 2012, the Hinckley Institute of Politics students and staff began providing instruction on youth civic engagement at Utah Boys State and Girls State. If you are interested in assisting, please contact


The Boys State program is sponsored by the American Legion in each respective state of the country to supplement high school civics instruction. The Utah Boys State assembly convenes each year for five days during the month of June at Weber State University. Participants reside in dormitory rooms as representatives of high schools in the State of Utah.

The program involves the study of American Government and government process. Students participate in mock trial and elections. Additionally, students participate in music, sports, and seminars with public officials. Each state program elects student senators that represent the respective state at Boys Nation in Washington, DC.

The Utah Boys State curriculum, in partnership with the Departments of Political Science and Continuing Education, permits each student to earn POLS 2920, three semester hours of university credit, graded as credit/no-credit. The university credit is generally transferable to other state funded universities. Additionally, students can apply for university and privately funded scholarships. In addition to (3) semester hours of university credit, each student receives a graduation certificate upon successful completion of the Boys State curriculum.

Participation in Utah Boys State is open to young men, based on availability, who maintain good citizenship and are in good academic standing. A student can only attend Boys State during the summer between his junior and senior year of high school. Further information regarding attendance at Utah Boys State can be obtained from the respective high school counselor or local American Legion Post. The Class of 2013 will assemble at Weber State University June 10-14, 2013. Tuition cost for the Class of 2013 is $425. The tuition is processed through Utah Boys State. The tuition covers all costs for housing, meals, materials, and university credit.

The Class of 2013 application can be downloaded from the Weber State University or the American Legion, Department of Utah web sites. The application can be forwarded through the local State of Utah, American Legion Post or mailed directly to the American Legion; Utah Boys State Admissions Coordinator; P.O. Box 783, Clearfield, Utah 84015-0783. The application requires signature of the Student, Parent or Guardian, and High School Counselor. Telephone contact can be made as: Program Information @ (801) 539-1013; Academic Information @ (801) 626-7157; or General Information @ (801) 626-8732.


The American Legion Auxiliary Girls State is a nonpartisan program that teaches young women responsible citizenship and love for God and Country. Since the inception of the Girls State program in 1937, nearly 1 million young people have had the opportunity to learn firsthand how their state and local government works.

High school girls who have completed their junior year spend an intensive week of study, working together as self-governing citizens at Auxiliary-sponsored Girls State programs in every state (with the exception of Hawaii). Utah Girls State is also hosted on an annual basis by Southern Utah University.

Participants learn how to participate in the functioning of their state’s government in preparation for their future roles as responsible adult citizens. Two girls are selected from each Girls State program to attend Girls Nation, a national government training program. Girls Nation “senators” meet for a week in Washington, DC, where they run for political office, campaign for the passage of legislation and possibly meet with state representatives and senators. Capping off the week of Girls Nation is oftentimes a meeting with the President of the United States at the White House.

Girls State offers training in the practical processes of good citizenship as practiced in a democratic society. Each summer, approximately 20,000 enthusiastic young women participate in Girls State sessions across the nation. At Girls State, the “citizens” study local, county and state government processes. They do this by setting up their own miniature city, county and state governments. Then, they administer them according to the laws of their particular state.

After arriving at Girls State, the citizens are divided into two political parties to gain knowledge about the operation of a two-party system. Girls State citizens participate in these instructional political parties, and elections are held to fill city and state positions. Activities include legislative sessions, campaigning, party rallies, debating and voting. The citizens also receive special instruction in parliamentary procedure.

Girls State gives participants the experience of living together as self-governing citizens with the privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. This learning experience helps educate young women about their duties as United States citizens and encourages their participation in the democratic process.


We are now accepting applications for Fall 2014 semester internships. Apply now.