Northwestern State University will host Louisiana Boys State and Louisiana Girls State June 27-July 3. Louisiana Boys and Girls State is a summer leadership and citizenship program sponsored by the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary for high school students between their junior and senior years.  The programs will be held concurrently on the NSU campus.


Northwestern State University will host Louisiana Boys State and Louisiana Girls State June 27-July 3. Louisiana Boys and Girls State is a summer leadership and citizenship program sponsored by the American Legionand the American Legion Auxiliaryfor high schoolstudents between their junior and senior years.  The programs will be held concurrently on the NSU campus.

Participants in each program are divided into group and elect mock municipal officials and representative to a mock state legislature.  They also elect state officials who meet to hold elections and pass bills in a manner similar to the actual Louisiana legislature. The program is intended to teach high-achieving students to be informed citizens while developing a sense of community, service and responsibility.

Louisiana Boys State began in 1940, followed by Louisiana Girls State in 1941. The program was held on the Louisiana State University campus until 2007 when NSU began hosting the event. Delegates are sponsored by an American Legion Post, local business or community-based organization. The delegates will stay in campus residence halls and utilize several campus buildings. Programming will begin Friday with counselor schooling and briefings in preparation for the Sunday arrival of the citizens. 

Louisiana Girls State have 478 registered participants, according to Maggie Watts, director.  There will be 62 counselors and 28 American Legion Auxiliary staff. 

“This year Louisiana Girls State will add tornados to the emergency preparedness project.  This project helps many of our participants see inside every factor of evacuation and preparing for disasters and provides a public service for the communities to which they will be returning,” Watts said.  “All of our staff is looking forward to being at the NSU campus for the program again this year.”

Harold Burson, chairman of the Boys State Commission, said he expects 430 delegates, 50 counselors, eight staff and 12-15 American Legionnaires to participate in the Boys State program.  Dan Leonard, new state commander, will speak to the delegates.

“We have been especially pleased with how Northwestern treats us.  It’s a wonderful place and the university has gone overboard to accommodate us,” Burson said.  He complimented his campus liaison Reatha Cox, NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb, and the city of Natchitoches for the positive response Louisiana Boys and Girls State has received in Natchitoches.