Benefits of attending Boys State?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Mr.2021, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Mr.2021

    Mr.2021 Member

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    I am a junior in GA, and I want to apply to USAFA in the coming year. Every summer my AFJROTC corps goes to a leadership camp, and to become corps commander we have to go to it all three summers leading up to senior year. The dates are the exact same for the camp and Boys State. Which one would you choose? Thanks
     
  2. zachcleigh

    zachcleigh Member

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    It's all about making yourself look more well rounded. In terms of leadership, corps commander is worth a lot of points. However, so is boys state. I don't think anybody knows the exact point values (or at least no-one who is willing to disclose the information) of each of those "activities," so it's hard to say which is a better choice.

    I am in an NJROTC unit. We have something similar to what you are describing, called leadership academy. It is a great experience, but I also attended boys state (in GA 2015, wound up being runner up for Lt. Gov.) and it was an outstanding experience as well.

    I think that in terms of point value for the whole person score..... the difference wont be huge. At this point I'd say what's more important is attending the one that you would prefer. If you've already attended this AFJROTC summer camp, then maybe boys state would be a nice change up/experience. On the other hand.... you may desire to be a commander more than you want the boys state experience.

    You've got a decent amount of time to weigh the pros and cons of each. However, which ever one you choose I'm sure it will be a great experience and extremely beneficial to your application come next year.
     
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  3. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    My son had a similar issue with SS at USNA and SS at USAFA. We called the admissions office, USNA said SS was more important, USAFA said Boy State was more important. Look up the admissions office phone number call them, they know better than anyone else.
     
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  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Call your admissions counselor or your ALO.

    My sons never went to Summer Seminar nor to Boys State - and had a very successful career at USAFA, and now are ADAF pilots.

    There are plenty of ways to "skin the cat." Pick what you love, and do it.
     
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  5. RedDragon

    RedDragon Member

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    Boys State is a great program. Is it going to be the ticket into an SA? No, but it can be a piece to a successful application puzzle. Both of my sons attended and one is at USAFA and the other has 2 appointments and 2 ROTC scholarship options to weigh. Both had other significant leadership roles as well. They both attended initially because of the perceived value to the SA app but both thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
     
  6. 2018DAD

    2018DAD Member

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    Echoing Fencer (seem to be doing that a lot lately;)), pick something you will like doing!
    It seems to me that by following this forum for some time now, there seems to be a very prevalent tendency that keeps raising its head. This tendency is how can I smoke my application with the magic 'pixie dust' that will be guaranteed to make me irresistible to the various Academies.
    As been pointed out time and time again here by those that really are in the know, after meeting all the basic requirements, what the Academies value in the Whole Candidate Score is passion and willingness/desire to accept and succeed at challenges.
    Now, does checking a box off on some "sure to impress activity" really cause you to be passionate about it and have that passion flow to ALO, MOC, and admissions interviews and essays. I don't think so.
    It is a given that the majority of applicants have impressive applications and usually all of the Academies are "fishing' out of the same barrel. What is going to make the difference when everyone is so close in performance?
    Is it any wonder that a large majority of second time applicants win an appointment? What these applicants have is the passion and desire to attend and have climbed back up from a big disappointment from losing out the first time around. Second time applicants are not usually looking at 'gaming' or 'padding' their applications. What they seem to stress is what they did to pick themselves up after being denied and HOW they have used their time since then. Most everyone will attend some college, take the most challenging courses, bust their butt to make the best grades that they can and all of this with an essay shows passion and dedication. Even the ones that are denied the second time around usually end up pursuing another path to becoming an officer. Isn't that what the end game should be?
    Reminds me of a talk that was given at USAFA a year or two ago to Doolies. Backdrop was the classic graduation picture: graduates, hats in the air, and of course Thunderbirds overhead. The challenge from the general was pointing to the graduation picture (paraphrasing) This is what you are looking forward to, graduation? No he continued, look higher than that, you want to be the one flying one of the Thunderbirds, in charge of maintaining them, supplying them.
    In other words, the Academy is just a means to an end, officer service the the Active Duty Air Force. Contributing, leading, serving, and making consequential decisions...does this sound like something that would result from seeking the magic admissions check-off instead of pursuing something because you were interested in it, did well in it, achieved leadership positions, if available, or just did it because it made you a better person all around?
    Box checkers are seldom passionate about anything other than finding the next box to check-off.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    2018Dad, you are totally right.

    In the box checker world, fencersfamily would hardly have qualified - never went to regular school, participated for years in a "weird" non-school sport, worked like dogs at a daily 5:30-7 a.m. paper route, seven days a week, 365 days a year, 20+ hours a week at part time jobs (dishwasher, grocery clerk), volunteering as time allowed, dual enrollment in two different colleges at the same time... just none of that is typical for the (even above) average high school student.

    Now, PIMA's son is in the exact same place as my son (literally). He was passionate about his sport (martial arts BIG TIME!!!), worked (I forget now how many saves he had as a life guard but it is an impressive number), excelled in high school, and when it came down to it, pursued a different path to become an officer and pilot.

    Yes, one must check some boxes - many of them. But it is indeed the PASSION, the PERSEVERANCE , the DEDICATION, and the ability to work through some adversity with success and diligence. That is what will make an applicant shine! Boys State! Sure. Summer Seminar - Go for it! But there are other activities, other ECs, that will catch the eye of someone in admissions, some MOC's Academy Committee. Again I will say: DO WHAT YOU LOVE!!!
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    * To answer our OP's question: I would go to the camp.
     
  9. Mr.2021

    Mr.2021 Member

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    Thank you so much to all of you who took time to reply. It's astounding how much support is in these forums. I appreciate all of the advice!
     
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