Importance of Boys / Girls State

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by RedDog22, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. RedDog22

    RedDog22 Member

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    My DS was recently received his appointment to USMA. He has accepted and actively preparing for the summer.

    Last year (junior year), he was STRONGLY encouraged to attend Boy's State as it would be looked upon favorably on his application. He applied and attended last June.

    I found it very interesting to learn that 3 students from his Boy's State "city" have also received appointments as of last week. With 3 students from his "city" gaining appointment, I think this information is somewhat telling.

    I've seen threads questioning the importance of attending Boy's State. I thought this information might be helpful for those questioning whether or not to attend. Clearly, our experience dictates that attendance certainly doesn't hurt.

    All 3 students ran for office. One student was elected to a local position. The other two ran for state level offices, but did not get elected. All 3 noted this on their application.

    Good luck to all. Hope this information is helpful.
     
  2. Vitalzt

    Vitalzt Member

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    This is true, I also ran for a state position and I talked about the experience in my application. Ran for U.S senate position.
     
  3. ans_usma'21

    ans_usma'21 Member

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    I went to girls state and girls nation.. not only does it look good on app., but I had the time of my life. Soon, I'll be on my way to West Point. If that isn't telling about the program...
     
  4. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    Who exactly was it that STRONGLY encouraged him to attend Boys State? Lots of older posts on this subject.
     
  5. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    I don't think that anyone disputes that attending Boy's/Girl's State is looked upon favorably by WP but what it is also true that it is not required to attend either of these programs. Many are accepted without this on their resume.

    My son chose to attend SLE instead of Boy's State and he is currently a cadet at USMA. It simply is not necessary nor is it required as there are many other ways to show leadership.
     
  6. dashg16

    dashg16 Member

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    Congrats to your son, but I have heard that if you have to make a choice, attend Boys State, as SLE is just a program to help you experience West Point better and does not look as strong and West Point. Admissions will know if they want to who was accepted to SLE. Of course, I enjoyed SLE better than Girls State, so I don't think your son made a bad decision :)
     
  7. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    I agree.

    Each year you will see threads on here of those who were very qualified and still got the TWE. No one single activity guarantees anything regarding admissions and you are in a competition with everyone else applying that year. Various combinations of sports/ECA's/leadership/academics can yield an appointment. Getting selected to attend Boys/Girla State adds to your resume, but so do a lot of other things.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  8. ontothefray22

    ontothefray22 Member

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    My FFR told me that Boys State now looks better than an Eagle Scout and having a position looks great.
     
  9. GreenMountainPatriot

    GreenMountainPatriot Member

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    My DD did a day tour of USMA last April. After the tour the Major in admissions reviewed her file and strongly recommended she attend GS. She attended in a neighboring state due to NASS conflicting with her home state's GS. She was elected Senator, and to some other local positions.
     
  10. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    I find this surprising because earning the rank of Eagle Scout requires a huge amount of time and effort on the part of the scout. In contrast, Boys State is a one week event.
     
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  11. ontothefray22

    ontothefray22 Member

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    I was surprised as well, just repeating what he has stated numerous times. He is part of a senator's panel which leads me to believe he is knowledgeable.
     
  12. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Boys State/Girls State does not merely look good on the application. It earns a specific number of WCS points. There is no other way to pick up quantifiable points so easily.

    SLE looks good, but earns no WCS points. SLE helps a candidate determine their level of interest - a valuable experience for anyone uncertain about USMA. It also allows them to knock out the CFA without risk - do well the score stands; poorly and it doesn't count.
     
  13. USMA 1994

    USMA 1994 Member

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    Again, @jl123 has it correct. This is not a beauty contest where things need to look good. The admission process is fairly objective and is basically a mathematical model.

    Everyone has the opportunity to be a varsity athlete and being voted Captain is not that difficult for most candidates who want to serve and lead soldiers. That is why the profiles show 90% of the accepted applicants have these activities. Things like Boys/Girls State and Eagle Scout have more limits and have much lower participation. If you look at a typical high school, there are 8-10 varsity sports and maybe 20-30 Captains. Boys State is limited to usually one individual at a school. They way to differentiate yourself in the process is to have more points than the other applicants. The easiest way to do this is to participate in activities that are not available to everyone else. In theory, if the top two candidates in the district have the same level of athletic participation and leadership as team captains, the one who attended boys state or is an Eagle Scout would have a higher WCS.

    You will also hear that the academies love re-applicants. What they should be saying is that the admission process gives additional weight in terms of WCS to college applicants that is not available to high school students. The same thinking applies; If two students with similar test scores, class ranking and school profiles are competing this year, the one that has a successful semester of college would easily have a higher WCS.
     
  14. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    There are now some areas of the country where anyone who pays the application fee can attend Boys/Girls state, making the selection criteria less important. Prior threads on this subject discussed that in more detail. How many points you get for this/that I will leave to those who like to quote that 10 yr old Rand study.
     
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  15. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    To clarify my previous comment, Boys/Girls State is helpful for a candidate in need of leadership WCS points - that is why it is important to communicate with the RC to find out what will make an individual candidate more competitive.

    For the majority of candidates, WCS score determines who gets appointed and who doesn't. It is weighted 60% academics, 30% leadership, and 10% physical. Someone who has already maxed out leadership would probably find greater benefit working on another area.
     
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  16. sdsmom

    sdsmom Member

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    DS met with RC last month on day visit and reviewed file. He suggested boys state to boost extracurricular activities. We have a conflict with the date. Looks like neighboring state would work. Was that difficult to set up, @GreenMountainPatriot ? We also have added 2 more items that we can check off their list of extracurricular activities and should know in the next month if he will be elected to officer positions in his student organizations.
     
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  17. shock-n-awe

    shock-n-awe Member

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    First of all, ask your RC what you need to do to improve your competitiveness, and execute as instructed.

    Personally I think the answer is relatively simple to this question and some others mentioned above. Anyone seeking admission to any of the SA's should look at the class profile and the percentage of students who participated in "X" activities, sports ,etc...to prepare themselves for a competitive resume.
    This gives a great idea of what a prospective candidate should seek to attain experience and participation in. All of those attributes are clearly what the SA's are looking for as these are accepted cadets! This doesn't mean that the prospective candidate should just "check the boxes", but actually choose those things that they would enjoy while making a positive impact as well. Regarding Boys/Girls State, I don't know how many states /districts allow you to buy your way in, but our district is competitive and selected by numerous teachers and guidance counselor. If there are districts allowing that, it may take away the fact that the student didn't compete and get selected to attend, but the fact remains more importantly they attended and experienced the week long event. My DS was fortunate to be selected and not only attended, but ran for high office. While he didn't win the seat, the overall experience was one of a lifetime for him, and the friendships forged in a short week were as well. Anyone who attends, I strongly suggest running for office and being an active participant!

    These are just a few things that will make any student more competitive for an SA, but most importantly, better off as a person regardless of the course of their lifelong journey....

    Oh, and did I mention to listen to your RC!
     
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  18. Ravens

    Ravens Member

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    Not all schools offer this program....my DD attends a private school and they had never heard of Girls State. She spoke to the AP Government teacher and the Guidance Councilor in the beginning of the year about Girls State and they didn't seem to be interested in looking into it. DD had to reach out to the ALA State rep and work through her to get into the program. She had to complete the application and interview prior to her file being placed into consideration. Once she was selected, a local sponsoring American Legion decided to pay her application fee and all fees to attend the program.
     
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  19. shock-n-awe

    shock-n-awe Member

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    This program is not offered by the school, its sponsored by your local American Legion post to the school. If the school is unaware of the program, the student should work with their guidance counselor and reach out to the American Legion in their area like your DD did, congrats to her!

    This entire Academy application process, and all of the things that applicants should be doing and working towards that they otherwise would never even have considered doing is sometimes the biggest challenges these kids will face in high school , especially if they have counselors unfamiliar with the process.
    DS is a first time WP appointee at his HS and I can tell you there were many challenges and unknowns when he began his journey to the Hudson.
     
  20. RedDog22

    RedDog22 Member

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    I feel I need to clarify the original post. I am NOT stating that Girls/Boys State is some kind of "magic bullet". Quite the contrary.

    I just was pointing out what I found to be an interesting occurrence with my DS and several people he met at his Boys State. Certainly there are many factors that play into whether someone is granted an appointment or not. However, our own experience with Boys State seems to validate the sentiment that it is a very good event to participate in.

    We were encouraged to attend this at an informational meeting for service academies.

    My intent in posting this was just to share our own experience with this and encourage others to attend if possible.