BHS students participate in Boys State program in Gainesville

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bainbridge High School rising seniors Zachory Johnson and Jalin Murphy recently learned about how various governments operate during their June 14 through June 20 participation in American Legion Boys State at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville.

They were among 380 rising high school senior boys from throughout Georgia. John Marshall, commander of Burns-Shivers American Legion Post 502, which sponsored the boys’ trip to Boys State, said it was a unique summertime educational program.

“Boys State does not emphasize classroom lectures and textbook learning,” commander Marshall said.

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“It instead focuses on participation and personal experience in a model state, complete with governing bodies and elected public officials at the city, county and state levels,” added Post 502 sergeant at arms and former Post 502 Commander Herbert P. Smiley.  “Many prominent Americans through the years have attended Boys State. President Bill Clinton, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and basketball super star Michael Jordan all attended American Legion Boys State in high school.”

While at boys state, Zachory Johnson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Givins, ran for city secretary and Jalin Murphy, whose guardians are Mr. and Mrs. Winston Rollins, ran for county sheriff. Both said the Boys State experience helped them better understand the responsibilities of government at all levels. It is among the most respected educational programs of government instruction for high school students.

Activities at Boys State also include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, chorus and recreational programs.

Boys State has been a program of the American Legion since 1935.

Post 502 is currently recruiting new members.

Any veteran interested in joining can call 229-329-1658.