FAQ

Can anyone attend Illinois Boys State?

Boys State is open to all who meet the eligibility requirements. Just about all of the Legion Posts in the State of Illinois sponsor at least one student. You should probably start by contacting your local Legion Post and asking for the Boys State Chairman of the post. Legion Posts sponsor boys and arrange for transportation as well.

My Legion Post isn’t responding or has filled their spots. Can I still attend?

Yes, you may. A student may be sponsored by a Legion Post, Civic Organization, club, union, church, institution, bank or even a parent or grandparent may sponsor a boy for Boys State. The registration fee must accompany the registration form. See the registration portion of the website for further information.

Is there a limit to the number of people from my high school who can attend Boys State?

No. There never has been a limit to the number of boys who can attend from a particular school.

I plan to take the ACT on the same day as registration…is that a problem?

Boys Staters begin arriving around 1:00 pm to the campus of EIU. Activities begin with an orientation session at 5:00 pm, with supper at 6:00. All participants are strongly encouraged to arrive by 5:00 pm, as the intensity of the program necessitates 100% participation. You may, however, arrive late if necessary.

Can I drive myself to Boys State?

Due to limited parking facilities, as well as for security reasons, Boys Staters are discouraged from driving their own cars to Boys State. If that is your only way to get to Boys State, you may drive your car, but upon arrival you must surrender your car keys to the General Headquarters. Your car keys will be returned to you upon completion of the program. You may NOT have access to your car during the Boys State session.

What if I have to leave early?

In general, we discourage Boys Staters from leaving the program early. The program peaks on Thursday and Friday with the announcements of scholarship winners and state constitutional officers. If, however, you must leave early, arrangements must be made PRIOR to the start of the program. Please email the webmaster if you register and have to leave early.

I want to play in the marching band, but I won’t be bringing my instrument. Can I still participate in the band?

Boys State has purchased some of the larger instruments for use during the Boys State session as no charge. If you are interested in participating in the band, and have specific band questions, email the band director.

Can I leave campus during the week?

No. With over 500 students participating in the program, off campus travel is limited to pre-arranged events and emergencies only.

What is the drug/alcohol policy of Boys State?

If you are caught in possession of, or using alcohol and/or other drugs, you will be sent home immediately at parental expense. We will contact both your sponsor and high school to explain the reason of your dismissal. Your sponsor will receive no refund.

What is the smoking policy of Boys State?

Boys State respects the needs of those who smoke. Laws of the State of Illinois are followed during Boys State. Keep in mind that since EIU is a state university, there is no smoking in ANY building on campus.

Can I make my campaign posters and such at home and bring them?

No. Boys State rules prohibit the creation of campaign materials before the session begins. You will also be limited in your spending for each campaign. Details will be provided upon your arrival.

What sports are offered during the week?

Boys Staters have full access to the EIU Student Recreation Center (SRC). Team competitions will take place in organized basketball, flag football, soccer, 16″ slow pitch softball, and volleyball.

How much money should I bring?

The registration fee includes your participation, housing, and three meals each day. ‘Late night pizzas’ are quite common, and you may wish to purchase a souvenir at the bookstore. Campaign expenses at each level are limited as well to a maximum of $20 per campaign per individual. Campaign fundraising may be done as well. There are three major levels of election: city, county, and state. Outside of the above, there are really no incurred expenses. Note: Boys State provides a no interest bank for the safekeeping of the money you bring. All citizens are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to deposit most of their money in the Boys State bank for security reasons. The bank is open for every meal in the cafeteria throughout the week. If you happen not to have enough money there are on-campus ATMs across the street from Lawson Hall in the parking lot and in the Student Union.

Can I bring my stereo, computer, and television?

Mostly for security reasons, these are discouraged. Computers will be available for your use should you need them. In addition, each dorm has lounges for television viewing. Due to the intense schedule of the program, you realistically won’t have the time to use these anyway.

What about card games and/or tournaments at Boys State?

Due to the nature, intensity, and uniqueness of the Boys State program, the playing of any card games is strictly prohibited. Boys State is an intense once in a lifetime experience. Leave your cards at home.

What if a Boys Stater needs medical attention?

Boys State has an outstanding relationship with the Health Services Department of EIU. When appropriate, parents will be notified if medical attention is needed. In the case of emergency, the campus is minutes away from Sara Bush Lincoln Health Center and Hospital.

Are Boys Staters under supervision during the week?

Each dorm floor will have at least one adult counselor and usually at least one assistant counselor. In addition, each county (comprised of four cities) has an adult county counselor and an adult assistant county counselor. There are also over 50 members of the administrative staff who assist in the supervision of Boys Staters. All organized activities of Boys Staters take place under the guidance and direction of adult supervision.