‘Boys’ assemble functional government in three days

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From June 16 through June 21, I had the once-in-lifetime opportunity to attend Hoosier Boys State at Trine University in Angola, Ind., and had the chance to further my education about how our state government works.

What did I learn that week? Unlike the fear of our “older” generations, our future is not damned. We “boys” were able to put together a functional government in three days.

Here was the deal: Each person was assigned a party, a county and a city. We started from the very bottom and worked our way up. From city precinct chairmen to governor of Indiana, we campaigned and we voted. We were able to make our voices heard, especially with the help of delegates who attended our conventions. We were the voice of our city. We listened to others and we listened to ourselves and in the end, we got stuff done.

You want to know how we got stuff done? We listened and we compromised and for the most part, we followed the rules – dirty politics exist everywhere. We had to get stuff done, because we had an inspection waiting for us and a non-operating government isn’t going to pass inspection.

Just like our federal government, we had things laid out for us. It was literally all right there. All we had to do was put it into action.

Now, why can’t the federal government do this? Sure, Hoosier Boys State isn’t anywhere nearly as complicated as the federal government, but that’s not what I’m getting at. At HBS we showed principals ... compromise, active listening, respect and personal responsibility. Can you say our federal government is showing any of these?

Politics aside, the friends and overall experience were amazing. From class with Mark Helmke, press secretary for Richard Lugar, to listening to Gov. Mitch Daniels take questions, superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz speak, and 6:20 a.m. marches, it was a great experience.

I highly recommend any junior to apply for this wonderful week, a week to shape a lifetime. Thank you so much to our local American Legion Branch 213, especially Albert Hagedorn, for sponsoring me on this trip. It was something I will never forget.

Tell City Junior-Senior
High School