Boys State vs SLCDA, which one is more important to Academy Admissions if you could only attend one of them?

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If a USNA candidate were to apply to Boys State and SLCDA, and he were fortunate enough to be offered a spot at both programs, but they both happen to be held during the same week so that he could only attend one of them, which one should he choose?

We know that all of the service academies really like Boys State, and that it counts for a lot of admissions points, but I can't help but think that SLCDA is at least as valuable as Boys State, especially to Annapolis.

I'd love to know what others think on this matter. Thank you.
 

bookreader

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My 2 cents.
By way of background, my son is at WP currently. He had the option to attend Boy's State or SLE (summer leadership experience) at WP. The dates conflicted so he had to choose one and he chose SLE. At that time, we had no idea that Boy's State was such a big deal to the academies. My son had wanted to attend SLE for years, so it was a simple decision for him. Only later did I learn why Boy's State is valued - because it can go towards leadership points. However, if you already have enough leadership points, then attending Boy's State isn't going to help your application. So, in my opinion, if the applicant has enough leadership in other areas, and the applicant would prefer to attend SLCDA, then I say why not attend SLCDA.
 

ThePatternisFull

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My 2 cents.
By way of background, my son is at WP currently. He had the option to attend Boy's State or SLE (summer leadership experience) at WP. The dates conflicted so he had to choose one and he chose SLE. At that time, we had no idea that Boy's State was such a big deal to the academies. My son had wanted to attend SLE for years, so it was a simple decision for him. Only later did I learn why Boy's State is valued - because it can go towards leadership points. However, if you already have enough leadership points, then attending Boy's State isn't going to help your application. So, in my opinion, if the applicant has enough leadership in other areas, and the applicant would prefer to attend SLCDA, then I say why not attend SLCDA.
How do you know how many leadership points you have??? If there is a conflict candidate must choose an option. The Academies are known for putting too much on the plate and one must prioritize and choose which is more important to do and why. This is all part of the process! Will attending one or the other help or penalize the candidate yes or no. No one knows. Yet, the academies have stated Boys State is more important than their summer programs. IMHO the academies have told you their preference, now you decide.
 

Heatherg21

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Our son was trying to choose between Summer Seminar and Boys State. He chose Boys State. He was very glad he did as he was elected Governor and selected for Boys Nation. Lots of opportunities via Boys State.
Just our experience.
 

HCopter

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You can never have too much leadership! Boys/Girls State all the way!

In your CARs, Boys/Girls state is a checkbox category!!!! Summer programs, and at least one of them did have SLCDA, those are more within the personal data section, like family history in military etc which is statistical data!

To future classes, remember you can apply SLCDA as a rising junior. I highly recommend doing this and then freeing up rising senior year for the 4 SA camps and Boys/Girls State - DD went to SLCDA as rising junior b/c she knew she wanted AIM week #3 which would likely conflict.

Don't forget about SFAAP!!! You can take a mentor with you!!!!!

I also looked for substitute leadership programs to Girls State just in case DD was not selected/able to go. I have NO IDEA if these are legit, so do your own due diligence: free-ish.
4 Star Leadership (OK)
Camp 43 (The Situation Room Experience) 10-12
 

time2

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The topic of "leadership programs" comes up here every so often. There are many programs out there which operate as money making ventures for those who run it and simply calling it a 'leadership program' doesn't mean the SA's will find it of value. Leadership isn't something you can buy.

Make sure you know the actual purpose of the event and if anyone can attend who pays a fee, it probably means less in your SA application. Part of the reason Boys/Girls state programs have been valued by the SA's in the past was due to the fact they had an established selection criteria looking at some of the same factors SA's consider. In some parts of the country, Boys/Girls state is now just another 'pay to play' type of event, so be aware of that.

SA's value 'leadership' as tangible things you have accomplished. Attending a paid seminar which might include various people talking about how to be a leader is not an example of the type of 'leadership' the SA's value. While there is nothing wrong with attending such events, don't approach these as a way to pad your application.
 
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Thank you all for the feedback. It seems apparent from all of the responses that Boys State is clearly the best option (should he have an option).

Just one more question: If my DS is accepted to both programs (Boys State & SLCDA) and he attends Boys State, does the fact that he was accepted to SLCDA, but did not attend, still count for points toward the Whole Person Multiple?

Thanks.
 

ThePatternisFull

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Thank you all for the feedback. It seems apparent from all of the responses that Boys State is clearly the best option (should he have an option).

Just one more question: If my DS is accepted to both programs (Boys State & SLCDA) and he attends Boys State, does the fact that he was accepted to SLCDA, but did not attend, still count for points toward the Whole Person Multiple?

Thanks.
I wouldn't think so.
 

FMHS-79

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The topic of "leadership programs" comes up here every so often. There are many programs out there which operate as money making ventures for those who run it and simply calling it a 'leadership program' doesn't mean the SA's will find it of value. Leadership isn't something you can buy.

Make sure you know the actual purpose of the event and if anyone can attend who pays a fee, it probably means less in your SA application. Part of the reason Boys/Girls state programs have been valued by the SA's in the past was due to the fact they had an established selection criteria looking at some of the same factors SA's consider. In some parts of the country, Boys/Girls state is now just another 'pay to play' type of event, so be aware of that.

SA's value 'leadership' as tangible things you have accomplished. Attending a paid seminar which might include various people talking about how to be a leader is not an example of the type of 'leadership' the SA's value. While there is nothing wrong with attending such events, don't approach these as a way to pad your application.
Thank you @time2 - all too often we see the question "does program A or program B score more WCS points" instead of "does program A or program B provide a more meaningful leadership experience"?

This resounded with me as recently I talked with a couple of HS juniors who were venting about some of the activities they attending because their parents thought it would look good on their college applications. While these activities may help pad their résumés, their emotional detachment were preventing them obtaining from any personal growth from the experiences.

JMPO, but follow your passions... you'll have a much more compelling application than those who simply participate in activities to garner a few more WCS points.
 

Objective

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The summer programs are for marketing. They absolutely do not affect your chances of gaining an appointment. Conversely, all the academies value Boys/Girls State and have stated as much publicly. Go to Boy's State. It's not even close
 

NJROTC-CC

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I get that Boys State is a more valuable experience and that no chance to go should be passed up. But, what I am interested in is whether SLCDA has any value for a rising Junior if it doesn't conflict with anything else. I am sure the answer is YES. It is free, and a chance to spend a week at Quantico. So, what could be the downside in participating?
 

jl123

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There is no downside to participating in the summer programs offered by the SA's. An unlikely exception would be if a participant did something stupid behaviorally, which arguably could benefit both the applicant and SA in terms of avoiding wasted time in the future.

I'm not familiar with SLCDA, but USMA's SLE does offer a few benefits that take a little bit of hassle out of the application process. Also, in my opinion SLE is better than an overnight visit in evaluating the academy.

That said, Boys State still trumps summer program.
 

HCopter

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@NJROTC-CC

Apply to SLCDA, especially your rising junior year!

SLCDA: SUPER FUN!!!
Holocaust Museum Tour w/special guest speaker (Holocaust survivor)
Washington Mall/Sunset parade
Sleep in barracks w/50 new BFFs!
Not one, but two bathroom buddies!
Wake up to morning PT
Or wake up for your turn for guard duty!
Leadership reaction course and OCS Confidence course - make sure to practice on the monkey bars before you go! DD watched videos and practiced on her old stomping grounds (playground!) to make sure she could get across the wide bars and do pull ups.
Clean headstones at Arlington National Cemetery (community service)
Travis Manion Foundation (If not me then who)
HMX-1 flyover
Career social (Q&A)
Taking Chance Movie (with special guest star appearance!!!)
Interesting guest speakers
MREs are fun to eat! (I may be confusing this with DD's JCLC)
and so much more! again, cannot do this program justice with just this list. DD had a great time.
check out their facebook page

Parent's perspective:
1. The stuff you buy for this will be put to use again for SA camps and overnights!
2. SLCDA application is quite extensive - application, essay, fitness test, forms, picture, rec letter, more forms, it's like a mini SA application! But this is a GOOD THING. The side benefit is your teachers/GC will get on their radar that your DD/DS is likely interested in SAs.
3. Free was nice! If this is your DD/DS's first time to fly solo, it's excellent b/c then they are experienced for the next year to take trips to SAs by themselves! They do a really good job and have things very organized!
4. I would not make a trip to the closing ceremony. They streamed it.
 

Twincho88

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Sep 8, 2019
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I would have him apply for Boys State. My DS went to Boys State and had invaluable experiences, he got an opportunity to attend to Boys Nation in D.C.
 

ChoirDude

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Mar 27, 2018
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My son was notified about SLE first and then found out about Boys State. The dates conflicted and he reached out to WP to inquire if he could be moved to another session. WP said they would try but if they couldn't not get him on another session, they would prefer he attend Boys State rather than SLE. Fortunately, he was able to attend both and also NASS, all of which were amazing experiences.
 

txfwindian

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Can somebody point me to summer 2020 dates of TX girls state? Since the SA summer seminar applications are about to open, want to make sure we have the dates handy. I looked at the Texas website for girls state, but could not find any information, tried googlng also but no verifiable dates.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
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Can somebody point me to summer 2020 dates of TX girls state? Since the SA summer seminar applications are about to open, want to make sure we have the dates handy. I looked at the Texas website for girls state, but could not find any information, tried googlng also but no verifiable dates.
Have you tried reaching out to your local American Legion post? The American Legion Auxiliary runs Girls State and they're the ones who should be pretty close to the first to know.
 
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