Missouri Boys State

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Missouri Boys State
Abbreviation MBS
Formation March 1938
Type Not-For-Profit Corporation
Legal status Active
Purpose "To promote leadership, citizenship and the value of the individual voice and vote."
Headquarters Warrensburg, MO
Region served
Official language
Matt Dameron[2]
Parent organization
American Legion
Affiliations American Legion Department of Missouri
Website http://www.moboysstate.org

Missouri Boys State is an 8-day youth program held each June to teach Missouri high school students leadership and the workings of government.[3] Missouri is one of forty-nine states[4] (all except Hawaii) with such a program for boys[5] and a separate program for girls sponsored by The American Legion Auxiliary.[6] The Missouri Boys State program hosts approximately 960 students, or citizens, and more than 130 volunteer staff members for 8 days on the University of Central Missouri campus. During the week, the citizens of MBS create a fully functioning mock government [7] modeled after the State of Missouri. Citizens are divided into 16 cities, with two cities per county, and into two political parties (Nationalists and Federalists).


The concept was originally developed in Illinois in 1934 by Dr. Hays Kennedy and Harold Card, both educators and members of the Illinois American Legion. The Boys State program was designed to promote democracy, and counteract the fascist principles taught to the youth in Germany.[8]

The individuals responsible for founding the Missouri Boys State program officially in the Spring of 1938 were:

  • Jerry F. Duggan (1886 - 1952)
  • Harry M. Gambrel (1896 - 1962)
  • Dr. Truman L. Ingle (1894 - 1954)
  • A. B. Weyer (1889 - 1977)


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