By: Christian Dames
On Wednesday, the Boys’ Staters all had the opportunity to attend a breakout session. The boys were split into three groups.
Those that attended the session, titled “Issues Advocacy”, heard two speakers present on how each of their organizations practice promoting their ideas. Issues advocacy organizations choose to politically advertise a broad issue rather than a single candidate.
The first speaker was Vice President of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Craig Head. Head discussed how the Farm Bureau works to push an agriculture agenda in government. This can take the form of bills that benefit agriculture businesses or lobbying at various offices.
Jason Valandra from Bold Nebraska spoke next. He shared that their main objective is to fight against the ongoing Keystone Pipeline project. They block progress in the Keystone Pipeline by promoting contrary arguments to the government.
The boys in attendance all came prepared with questions to ask the speakers.
It seems clear that the breakout sessions were an overall success with its participants gaining valuable perspectives on hot-button issues.
By: Hayden Hoos
The first question was, “what’s your favorite part of Boys’ State?” Nathan Weidner, a counselor, replied, “seeing 400 boys come on Sunday as individuals but leave as close friends and family.” John Willey answered, “interacting with campers, counselors, and staff. Seeing the new and old faces.”
The next question was, “how has Boys’ State changed?” Nathan Weidner said, “it’s different being a counselor. As a Boys’ Stater last year, I was trying to become a leader. As a counselor, I am out in front leading all the time.” Micah Wilson concluded, “I see more behind the scenes work, like longer days, more management, and counting ballots. With all of this, I have to know my stuff a lot better.”
The final question was, “what advice would you give about Boys’ State?” Nathan Weidner said, “get out of your comfort zone, and try new things. Set aside your ego, and just have fun.” Micah Wilson replied, “if you have something you want to do, do it. You’re with some of the greatest boys in Nebraska, so have fun, and get to know the best of the state. Get out there.”
A highlight of the Wednesday evening session was the motivational messages form several husker coaches. Coach Frost, Cook, Williams, and Miles were in attendance. Additionally, former Washington Boys Stater and UNL athletic director Bill Moos offered words of wisdom and encouragement to the delegates.
Sen. Kate Bolz visited Cornhusker Boys State on Monday. Sen. Bolz discussed the unicameral legislature and how it works. In addition, she discussed some current issues facing the legislature and took several questions from the delegates. Sen. Bolz is from Lincoln and represents the 29th district.
Several area attorneys, lead by Wayne Jansen, guided newly formed city councils through their first simulation activity. The councils discussed meeting procedures and potential ordinances. These groups will hold meetings multiple times during the week.