Boys State or SS or Senate Page?

Fritz3180

Member
I was in the same situation last year, Boys State or SS. One thing to consider is that Boy's State will get you a small boost in your application as you can log it as an activity. However, SS is an amazing, rare experience to really get to know the Academy and reinforce your motivation to gain an appointment. On the advice of my ALO, I decided to go to SS, and am glad I did. I had more fun there than I would have at Boy's State, and I learned much more about USAFA. I would say go to whatever interests you the most, don't go to something simply to improve your package, you'll have a much better experience that way.
 
My son was selected as a Congressional Intern for our district during the school year, which is a great time commitment and he's getting so much out of it. I'm not sure what the weight of that would be, but as far as experience goes, he's coming home excited and learning so much about government, leadership, communication, managing conflict and team work.
 

Daretodream

5-Year Member
My DS had the same dilemma last year. He spoke with ALO about it and was advised that either would look good on his application and he could speak to having the chance to attend both during interviews. He attended both the USAFA and USNA SSs. He enjoyed both and it helped open him up to applying to more than just USAFA after the USNA week, but he followed it two weeks later at USAFA and was sold on USAFA as the best choice for him.
 

flieger83

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
I am an ALO...if you were my candidate and you came to me with this dilemma, here's how it'd play out.

"So...you have three amazing opportunities...which one interests you the most?" Notice I didn't say which do you think would be better for your application, I said "which one INTERESTS YOU the most!"

After that if you aren't willing to take the leap, I'll say (when you ask me what is my opinion) this: "OF the three...either Boys State or the Senate Page would be my choice and probably Boys State first. Summer Seminar is a nice "look-see" of USAFA, but will have ZERO bearing on your application should you apply for appointment...Boy's State is a nationally recognized leadership opportunity that in most cases is something you are selected for based upon the recommendation of your schools LEADERS as they see something special in you. It's not always that way, but "for the most part" it is. Senate Page is quite often something "accorded" to the son/daughter of a political donor, friend, etc. I'm not sure it shows a lot of leadership, you'd have to educate me there."

That's where I'd go with this.

You have three amazing, unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities...which appeals the most to you?

Steve
USAFA ALO
USAFA '83
 

DevilDog

10-Year Member
My son had the same dillema with Boys State and SS at USNA and USAFA. He called his admission reps at both academies. USNA said SS would be better, USAFA said Boy's State would be better. He went to SS at both places, was accepted to USNA in October senior year, then accepted to USAFA in November that year. He currently flies airplanes for the USAF. Who knows which is better.
 

Christcorp

10-Year Member
This isn't an uncommon circumstance. With so few SS weeks, and it with it right after school gets out; and Boy's state in the same time frame; many face this dilemma.

Let's break this down to "Pure Logic". Simplicity is best.

1. Did you contact the academy and ASK if you could switch Summer Seminar dates? Explain that boy's state is the same week, and you'd really like to do both. If you haven't asked; why not?

2. If changing dates isn't an option, then the question is: How sure are you that you want to go to the academy? Specifically the Air Force Academy? If you know "FOR SURE" that you want to go; and you have an idea of what you're getting yourself into; then attending Summer Seminar isn't important. It's designed 100% to sell the academy to the applicant; and to give the applicant a better idea of what they are getting into. But it has zero 0% percent influence on whether or not you receive an appointment or not.

3. Senate Page: Well, that's cool and all, and it is something to put on your application, but it doesn't come close to comparing to Boy/Girl's state.

So; what is my suggestion; (Assuming you asked the academy and they can't change your summer seminar date)....... YOU GO TO BOY'S STATE!!!

You happen to be in a great position. Most applicants don't get to do EITHER. The reason you're in such great shape, is because on your application, especially for your MOC when you're looking for a nomination, you can put down that you APPLIED and WERE ACCEPTED to go to Summer Seminar. This shows you had the initiative and desire to apply. That the academy means a lot to you. And stating basically what I said here; that you were 100% positive you wanted to go to the academy anyway, and summer seminar wasn't going to change your mind in any way; Boy's State seemed like the logical choice to gain some leadership experience and to get a better understand of civics and how our government operates and functions. With this answer; assuming you mean it; applying and being accepted to summer seminar, but going to boy's state instead, will give you just as good of a resume and impression with the MOC nomination board, as if you actually had attended both.

Again; going to summer seminar does absolutely nothing for your academy application. But simply applying, being accepted, and making a MATURE and LOGICAL choice to turn it down in place of Boy's State, will give you many kudos with the MOC Nomination board. Of course, a lot depends on how you PRESENT YOURSELF in your nomination application and interview; as well as your academy application and ALO interview.

Best of luck. Mike
 

fencersmother

10-Year Member
Founding Member
Christcorp, we seldom disagree but I am still all for the Senate Page. Huge prestige, security clearance, hobnob with giants of politics. Since we live in different parts of the country, it may be that the Senate Page position has more influence or prestige in my neck of the woods, where the B/G State is more "just another summer function." I understand this may not be true in other areas of the country, or even in my own state. I am no huge fan of Boys/Girls state, though I hold nothing against it, and understand at least some of its benefits.

I have known several students who have been pages and it is truly a stepping stone to great things.

You and I will be in absolute agreement on the Summer Seminar though.

For our OP, you've got great opportunities!
 

Christcorp

10-Year Member
I don't disagree with you my sister. But to qualify, my opinion is based on his application to the academy. In that senses, I think boys state would be the better choice. It allows for leadership and team building experience. Senate page is great. I just don't think it adds those leadership and team skills.

Then again, the OP may have more than enough leadership and team skills already. But not knowing him personally, no one but he can answer that.
 
I don't disagree with you my sister. But to qualify, my opinion is based on his application to the academy. In that senses, I think boys state would be the better choice. It allows for leadership and team building experience. Senate page is great. I just don't think it adds those leadership and team skills.

Then again, the OP may have more than enough leadership and team skills already. But not knowing him personally, no one but he can answer that.
Gotta disagree on the leadership and team building thing here. My DS is a Congressional intern, the first person visitors see or speak to at the office. He coordinates with fellow interns to divide duties, he de-esalates angry constituents using active communication skills (and teaches thise skills to other interns), he gets to direct office research, and coordinate events with the public. This is on a weekly basis, including research on his own time so he can best communicate with callers.

If Boy's State teaches government operations, Senate Pages/Interns are getting similar responsibilities in real time, with mission critical tasks.
 

Christcorp

10-Year Member
That's fine. Just make sure you "Sell It" on your MOC and academy applications. In the end, that's what this is all about. It's the "Job Interview" of your life. There's close to 12,000 initial applicants. In the end, there are 1,200 openings. You need to be one of those 1,200. Boy/Girl's state is established and highly recognized. What it accomplishes is also accepted and recognized. If you get the same from other activities, then it's up to you to sell it.

This exact same discussion has been had when discussing Sports. Inevitably, there are those that say that their time in band/marching band is just as physically demanding; requires just as much commitment; leadership; etc. I'm not here to disagree or argue. But it's up to you to sell it. There are individuals in band, CAP, and those who get the opportunity to be a senate page or other congressional aid. Some make the most out of it and they strive and excel to leadership positions. But there's just a many; if not more; that are the "FOLLOWERS". They don't take on the leadership roles and responsibilities. They just "Do their job". And there's nothing wrong with that. But that's not going to get you anything on your academy and nomination applications. The academy teaches you to be part of a team; and to be a leader. Those are the traits they are looking for in their applicants. Whatever it is you do and plan to include in your application, make sure you tailor it to how it made you a better LEADER and Team Player.
 

fencersmother

10-Year Member
Founding Member
Christcorp, right again ^ +++++

Part of being a good officer is the ability to convince those under you that you are right, know what you're doing... in essence, that you are a leader.

I'll be interested to know what our OP decides.
 
I had a great conversation with my DS about this on our drive to the office today. He gave me quite a persuasive 5 minute speech on how leadership applies. Great point in knowing how to sell it!
 

Pima

10-Year Member
Just my 0.019876 cents. Go Page, than Boys than SLS.

Here is one big reason. He will need a nomination for USAFA. The minority of MoCs use the principal or ranking method. However, if they do the Page over Boys or SLS they may have a higher chance of a nom.

I am from VA. It is insanely competitive here for a nom. The Moc's talk aka spread the wealth. If your child is/was a page for the Sen., than there is a name and a face, whereas, compared to SLS where it is just a EC on their resume.
~ It is not unusual to have 700 applicants for nominations.

Just saying if you are a Page for that US Senator than it is very unique, and impho carry more weight than the few weeks at USAFA for SLS.
 

af99

Member
I'm the OP, I'd like to clarify that I'm the dad and the question is for my DS.

I can't explain how thankful I'm for all the great responses I have got.

This is the summary of my understanding so far-
1. If you are pretty much decided on AFA then skip SS
2. If you are from a very competitive district/state then consider going to Senate page as this may help you secure nomination
3. Else, go to Boys State as this will help score bonus points on the academy application

My DS is pretty set for AFA so after reading through the responses, he wants to skip SS. I'm suggesting him Boys State but he is interested in Page, it's a paid position so he thinks he can use that extra money to get his private pilot license :)

Bottom line is that he is still deciding between Boys State and Senate Page. Thanks again for all the valuable input.
 

carolrich

Member
Just my quick little two cents. Senate page would be great, I had a friend who did it and she got her nomination really quickly. However, if the potential candidate has good stats for his area (depends on how competitive) a nomination shouldn't be a huge issue (it wasn't for me and at the time I wasn't at the top of my district). Also I saw the issue with boys state vs academy summer program at both NASS and SLE (I didn't apply to SS at AF). Kids piped up saying they skipped either Boys or Girls State to come to these summer programs. Immediately whatever cadets or leaders that were present responded you should have gone to either Boys or Girls State. I guess the academies weight it pretty heavily in the application (lots of points). Just what I know though. Good luck!
 

fencersmother

10-Year Member
Founding Member
if the potential candidate has good stats for his area (depends on how competitive) a nomination shouldn't be a huge issue
If this was true for most students, this site would barely exist. Nominations are a huge issue for many students. Please try not to generalize your experience, but realize that in other parts of the country 700 people are vying for just a few slots.

Boys/Girls State is noted and noteworthy at USAFA, SS not quite so much. I don't know how the admissions folks would "weight" a senatorial page position, but that's not the whole reason for participating in that.
 
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