(Opinion) question about Boy's State

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by ruralakay, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. ruralakay

    ruralakay Member

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    Obviously, this will be a "what do you think?" kind of question, since there's no way to really know if this would factor favorably for my son or not on his AFA application, but here goes...

    This spring, his school counselor came to him and said they (the faculty) wanted DS to be the school's representative for Boy's State. By then, he had already been accepted to AFASS and had already committed to his week (next week), and it so happens that next week is when they are having the Boy's State conference. So, he explained the conflict and turned down the offer. Makes sense...obviously can't be in two places at once.

    Well, as I study up more on things that the Academy looks favorably upon, it is clear that Boy's State/Girl's State is one of the big ones. So, my question is: Would it benefit him at all (in your opinions) to go ahead and mention on his app that he was selected/nominated by his school to be a representative at Boy's State, but could not accept, due to a conflict with SS? On the one hand, it would show that his school views him as a leader, but on the other hand, does the Academy only care, if they actually WENT to Boy's State?

    (I should clarify that the school counselor had already talked to our American Legion and they also wanted DS...it wasn't just the school wanting him).

    Thanks for any advice.
    Rural
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  2. Sneak

    Sneak Member

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    It might benefit his application to mention that he was selected to be the Boy's State delegate. However, at least on the USNA application (USAFA might be different, not sure as my portal has not opened yet) the section containing the Boys State checkbox said "Please select all of the extra-curricular activities that you have participated in".

    In addition, Boys State can be a fantastic opportunity to gain leadership experience that will be beneficial to his application. I went to my Boys State orientation last week and there is a large number of positions that one can hold during the program that will look good on a service academy application. And you obviously cannot hold such a position if you don't attend boys state at all.

    Then again, if I recall correctly, the USNA app only had a checkbox for if you were a governor/Lt. Governor at boys state so who knows.

    At the end of the day, if he has decided to go to AFASS anyway then there is nothing you can really do but check all the boxes and hope for the best.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Yes, boys state is a biggie. Summer seminar on the other hand is totally about giving your son the opportunity to see the academy, experience a little bit about it, and for the academy to SELL the academy to your son. No different than many of the types of visits traditional universities have. Going to summers minarets has no impact on your sons application or chances of getting in. So few individuals get to go to summer seminar; not because it's some highly competitive program. But because they only have a couple weeks and can only get so many individuals into it. Remember too, the academy knows very little of your son or anyone else going to summer seminar. Anything they know is strictly self provided. There are no official sat or act scores, no transcripts, etc.

    Now, having said all that, I would recommend getting on the phone immediately and see if the academy can change your sons summer seminar week. See if he can go to that another week. If not, then ensure that the counselor he speaks with, puts a not in his records indicating that summer seminar week conflicts with boys state and that he is turning down summer seminar for boys state. Also, when interview time comes for your son with his alo and mic, make sure he mentions that he was accepted to both, but could only choose one because the times conflicted.

    Finally, this is all dependent on assuming your son is 100% sure he wants the Air Force academy and the Air Force. If he's not 100% and has any doubt, he might want to attend to summer seminar so he can get a feel for it. My son grew up as an Air Force brat. He knew exactly what he was getting into. We also live 2 hours from the academy and he's visited there numerous times. He didn't need to go to summer seminar, but he did anyway. He also attended boys state and had to get the summer seminar rescheduled. Not sure if there's enough time for your son to get it rescheduled.

    So that's what I recommend. Call the academy and see if you can get another summer seminar slot. If not, let them know, and have it in your sons application that he turned down summer seminar to attend boys state. That the dates conflicted. Best of luck.
     
  4. FutureCadet12

    FutureCadet12 Member

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    Boys State is viewed upon as favorably as Eagle Scout, whereas AFASS is more for the candidate to get a glimpse of what it's like at the academy.
    Boys State adds points to your son's application, whereas AFASS does not.

    At the end of the day, it's your son's choice to make.
     
  5. ruralakay

    ruralakay Member

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    Thank you all for your responses. Unfortunately, the "chance to go to Boy's State" ship has already sailed. This was a couple of months ago, and, though I'm not 100% certain, they probably extended the opportunity to someone else, after DS turned it down. Our ALO gave us the impression that SS was a "must do"...not necessarily to gain him an edge in the process, but to really solidify my son's goals. If my DS had mentioned the conflict with Boy's State, the ALO may have had a change of opinion, but, like I said, that ship has sailed. I don't blame his ALO for the strong opinion about SS. I think our MOC was pretty frustrated that out of all the candidates he nominated last year, none got an appointment or they turned it down, so our district is really wanting to make sure these kids are sure this is the path they want and are willing to put forth the effort to get there. Understandable.

    As far as switching weeks, while that is something to consider, I am unfortunately locked in to my time off from work, now. I have to travel to do border operations after we get back, and my husband has a time conflict, so, even if the Academy could somehow squeeze him in, neither of us could get him there. I was mainly just wanting to see if it would be something that could be mentioned on his app. Sneak, when the portal opens for him to start his application process, we will look to see if there is a way to add it in, somehow, or if it even makes sense to do so.

    Thanks again for the responses.
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Well, being boys state is no longer an option, I guess I'm confused about what your question or concern is. It has always been my position, that you only concern yourself with things that you can control. Don't waste your time or stress over things you can't control. If your son doesn't have the option of going to boys state now, then there is absolutely nothing to think about. Would of, could of, should of, mean absolutely nothing. You can't affect it. Same with the CFA or once the application cycle closes and you're done with the process. It's over with and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it, so why stress about it.

    The only thing about this thread, is the possibility that someone else who may be in the same position next year may read it. They can learn from it and realize that boys state is more important. But for you and your son, it's a moot point. There's nothing you can do about it, so why even worry about it. Worry only about those things you can affect change with. Don't waste time worrying about that which you have no control over.

    One thing your son can do. In his academy application, he can mention that he was selected for boys state, and that he chose summer seminar because of the date conflict. It will at least show the academy that the school thought enough of your son to nominate him for boys state. Good luck. Mike.
     
    FutureCadet12 and ruralakay like this.
  7. ruralakay

    ruralakay Member

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    Precisely, and you just answered it. :) My question really was whether or not it was advisable (or even possible) to mention in his app that the school/local American Legion had been interested in him for Boys State. I guess, when it comes down to it, he will have the opportunity to explain all of that to his ALO, particularly since the ALO was the one who led my son to believe that, this summer, nothing was as important as being selected for SS. You are right, though, that there's no point in stressing over things that you can't go back and rectify, and we certainly have enough on our plate to think about in the very immediate future.

    Absolutely. This occurred to me, when I was typing the question. My son may have misunderstood the points system, as it relates to the leadership stuff, but my hope is that someone else coming along and reading this will benefit from our "education" on the subject. After all, that's kind of what this forum is for (guidance), and I, for one, appreciate being able to come on here and learn things to aid in this journey with my son. I only wish I had come across it earlier. Not that we or our DS haven't been receiving an education all along this journey (which really did truly start 5 years ago, when he first became interested in AFA). The whole process, from start to finish, has been enlightening. But it does help to come on here and read perspectives from ALO's, current cadets, past cadets, future cadets and parents. That's an education that is worth its weight in gold.

    Thank you for your help with this question, Christcorp!
     
  8. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Whether your son goes or doesn't go to Boys State, or SS, may make zero difference on his application. My sons went to neither. And especially, if he was going to either just as a "leadership box to check..."

    Remember, your son's (or daughter's) WCS is what's important, not whether he spent a week "being a leader."
     
  9. katwswim

    katwswim Member

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    Is there a way to know what the whole WCS score is?
     
  10. ruralakay

    ruralakay Member

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    True. I think we have it covered on leadership (class pres or VP every year, NHS, Kiwanis Club "Sophomore of the Year" scholarship winner for community service, CAP c/maj...about to promote to c/lt col., CAP Cadet Commander, CAP Cadet Executive Officer, CAP Cadet Flight Officer, CAP Cadet Flight Sgt, Squadron Cadet Officer of the Year, support staff at CAP Basic Cadet Encampment, etc), but it never hurts to add more, when the chance avails itself.

    I do agree that it isn't about what you can add to pad your resume. My son has been involving himself in leadership opportunities for a long time, mainly because he enjoys them, so, hopefully, the loss of the chance at Boys State will not be an issue.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It can't hurt to mention Boy's State along the lines you stated. He just can't check any "I attended Boys State" box on his application. Attendance is not a make or break item.
     
  12. ruralakay

    ruralakay Member

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    Thanks, kinnem!
     

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