After careful consideration, the American Legion Texas Boys State Executive Staff has made the decision for the 2021 program to be held via virtual session.
This decision was made in light of COVID-related restrictions on youth programs at the University of Texas at Austin campus. At this time, we anticipate that no youth programs will be allowed on campus for the remainder of the year. The Executive Staff has a long-standing partnership with UT-Austin, and we have been in constant communication with the university over the past months to explore any viable in-person alternatives. We also polled other university campuses across Texas with the robust facilities to accommodate a program of our size, and found none that would allow our program.
Last year, as the world shut down around us, the Texas American Legion and the Executive Staff made a bold and unprecedented decision to attempt an all-virtual program. We count our 2020 program a great success, with 659 delegates completing a week-long program that closely resembled what we do in the typical in-person program. In conjunction with American Legion, the Executive Staff has been dual planning for 2021, and this time around we have the time - and the experience from 2020 - to make the 2021 virtual session even more polished.
Our program combines more than 80 years of heritage with constant innovation and refinement. Like every year before it, the 2021 Texas Boys State program will serve as a leadership laboratory where young men will get hands-on experience running for office, forming party platforms, and drafting legislation. Participants will conduct all of this using videoconferencing platforms that have become the “new normal” in real-world American political processes today! Boys State has always been a hands-on, “learn by doing” program. Rest assured, the 2021 virtual program will be active and engaging and will not be a long series of online lectures. The innovations and more engaging opportunities enabled by technology will no doubt make future in-person Boys State programs even more in-touch with real-life politics and government going forward.
We are excited to improve upon the first ever virtual program and know that the 2021 virtual session will be even more successful. We rely upon and welcome the continued enthusiastic involvement of Legion posts and high schools across the state of Texas to make the American Legion Texas Boys State program the best in the country.
- Texas Boys State Executive Staff