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Published: Friday, 6/13/2003

Buckeye Boys State starts tomorrow

BOWLING GREEN - Legions of all-American boys from across Ohio will convene at Bowling Green State University tomorrow to participate in the Ohio American Legion's 67th annual Buckeye Boys State program.

Buckeye Boys State, which is the Ohio branch of the national American Legion Boys State program, is a week-long mock government conference designed to educate boys about the workings of government while promoting good citizenship.

The program is intended for boys who have just completed their junior year of high school. To attend, boys have to have been recommended by their high school principal to their local American Legion post.

The participants will be dropped off by their parents at BGSU tomorrow morning and will spend the next nine days engaged in activities that simulate all facets of city, county, and state government.

During the week, participants will draft legislation, engage in debates, organize campaigns, and elect an entire state senate and house of representatives as well as a full slate of state officials, including a governor.

Other activities include a band and a newspaper, as well as a special mock crash presentation that will be given by the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Buckeye Boys State is the largest state branch of the national American Legion Boys State program. More than 1,300 boys are expected to attend the program this year, said Jim Exline, the public relations director for Buckeye Boys State.

At the end of the program, two of the participants will be selected to serve as delegates to Boys Nation, a mock government program at the national level, which will be held in Washington in July.

Buckeye Boys State hosts notable speakers from government to share their experiences with the Boys State delegates. This year's program will feature visits from Chief Justice Thomas Moyer of the Ohio Supreme Court, 2002-2003 Boys Nation President Brad Johnson, and Gov. Bob Taft, who will speak to the Boys State delegates on the evening of June 20.

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