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Learning about government by acting as a government

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By The Staff

Among the participants in this year’s American Legion’s New Mexico Boys State, Daniel Roybal represented Los Alamos.

Boys State officially kicked off May 30 and concluded Friday at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.

It is the 63rd annual New Mexico Boys State session.

The delegates consisted of high school upcoming seniors who prepared for a week of establishing their own state government, reflecting on real democracy in action and learning the importance of civic engagement.

Vernon Kerr, Boys State chairman, said he was pleased with this year’s participants. “It was magnificent,” he said. “This is the second year in a row we have had a tremendous group of boys.”

The delegates were submerged into the program as they were introduced to their temporary community.

The delegates broke into fictitious political parties and immediately began campaigning for municipal elections.

The polls were opened and the results followed. Additionally, a mock trial was held.

The whole purpose of Boys State, Kerr said, is to learn about government. “Boys State is a civic course … they learn government from the bottom, up,” he said.

Boys State has been held since 1948.

To be involved in next year’s program, Kerr said enrollment packets are typically available through high school counselors.