Jane Kleeb of the Nebraska Democratic Party and Kenny Zoeller of the Nebraska Republican Party made presentations to Boys and Girls State. Following their remarks, they answered questions from the delegates. Each shared planks of their party’s platform and discussed the major issues of today.
Governor Ricketts took time out of his schedule to visit, one on one, with delegates at lunch.
The Thursday night talent show is always a hit at Boys State. Staters audition and are selected based on talent, entertainment value, and variety. This year, acts included piano, singing, magic, beatboxing, and an Elvis impersonation.
by: Matthew Wachtel
There are forty-nine different Boys State programs across the country that gather annually to educate rising seniors about their local and state governments. Each Boys State offers unique daily activities and hosts differing numbers of delegates. I interviewed Ben Lipson, from New Hampshire, and Yosua Siguan, from North Carolina, both of whom were Boys’ Staters in 2017 to learn about their experiences and compare it to my own.
First, a few similarities between the three. Cornhusker and New Hampshire Boys State both send their delegates to their state capitol building at the end of the week. North Carolina and Cornhusker Boys State have town, county and state elections. North Carolina and Cornhusker Boys State both have at least one sport. All three have newspapers to depict daily events. Beyond the daily activities of these Boys State programs, one major similarity between all three, that both Yosua Siguan and Ben Lipson touched on, is the massive gaining of knowledge and experience in the realm of politics and leadership. I, myself, can relate to this sentiment as Cornhusker Boys State has taught me a great deal about Nebraska issues and what form of leadership best fits my personality.
Next, the differences between the three. Cornhusker Boys State is actually the last state that holds joint sessions with its American Legion Auxiliary counterpart, Cornhusker Girls State. Also Cornhusker Boys State has four sports whereas North Carolina has just basketball and then New Hampshire has none. New Hampshire has 78 delegates attend, North Carolina has 250 and Cornhusker Boys State has 450. North Carolina Boys State has a speech contest. Additionally, before attending North Carolina Boys State you have to write a bill whereas at Cornhusker and New Hampshire Boys State you write bills when you get there. At New Hampshire’s program one big job of the executive office after they are elected is to pass a budget whereas North Carolina and Cornhusker Boys’ State both don’t pass a budget. The North Carolina session bills pass through a house and senate legislature then it must be approved by the governor and his cabinet. This is in contrast to the Cornhusker Boys State unicameral system.
Boys State programs differ throughout the country. In my interviews I learned that while they all might be different in certain aspects and the same in others they are all unique. The American Legion continues to politically socialize the youth of America and through their Boys State programs, young men from around the country can attest to the success of this mission.
A Look Back at Former Governor James Moseman Boys’ State Experience
Governor of the 2015 Boys State, James Moseman, used hard work, prior experience, and sheer determination to get him to the top. James has come back to mentor Boys Staters ever since the end of his high school career and he had many interesting stories to tell about his own experience at Boys State.
Mr. Moseman’s desire to run for Governor started long before he even set foot at Boys State. In his hometown he was an active member of the Nebraska Governor’s Youth Advisory Council where he was given the opportunity to travel to Lincoln and consult the Governor of Nebraska on what he thought would make the state better. This made Mr. Moseman have a better understanding on what the Governor was all about and he knew that he had a good chance to run and win for Governor. When he arrived at Boys State, Mr. Moseman was placed into Gettysburg and he had a town to rally behind him with full support for his ambitions to run.
As the campaign got into full swing, Mr. Moseman had quite a bit of fun getting to know everyone at the camp, and getting to argue with other candidates during the debates. The debates were quite formal and even though his opponents did not agree on many things, they were able to, “agree to disagree” and move on without any bad blood. Mr. Moseman had some formidable opponents to beat if he wanted to make it to the top, one of which was Christopher Zenn, who was an Alamo candidate who Moseman knew was well-versed in politics and had a good chance of beating him, but luckily Mr. Zenn was beat out, and James Moseman was able to stay afloat with his hometown supporters.
Mr. Moseman knew how to campaign, and since he was a part of a “Re-Elect the Senator Campaign” that was taking place in his hometown not too long before Boys State, he had fresh experience on making advertisements, and speeches for campaigns and he was more than prepared to utilize his prior knowledge and the knowledge of his supporters to get what he thought was the “winning edge” in his campaign. When the final ballot for the Governor campaign came in and James Moseman was elected as the Governor of Cornhusker Boys State 2015 he was overjoyed. He could not believe that he had accomplished his goal of becoming the leader of the Boys State.
Ever since 2015, Mr. Moseman has been coming back to Boys’ State to support the program through helping with the newspaper team each year. Next year he will be the head supervisor of the newspaper team and is excited to help at Boys State for, “Decades and decades to come.”
James Moseman put in a high amount of effort to get the position that he strived for in Boys State. The main thing that one should take from James’ story is with determination, self-confidence and experience (a tinge of luck wouldn’t hurt either) you can accomplish your goals