Harpers Ferry American Legion Post 722 sponsors Waukon High School pair for 2016 Boys State

Two Waukon High School juniors, Austyn Ede and Adam Gruman from Harpers Ferry, have been selected to attend Hawkeye Boys State being held this week, June 12-17, at Fort Dodge in Johnston. Ede is the son of Hillary and Tom Ede, and Gruman is the son of Marcia and Bernie Gruman, all of Harpers Ferry. Both young men are sponsored by Scenic Post 722 American Legion of Harpers Ferry.

Iowa conducted its first “Hawkeye Boys State” in 1938 and has held one every year since, with the exception of 1945, when World War II gasoline rationing made it impossible. Hawkeye Boys State is a six-day course in self-government. Participants will learn more about the functioning of city, county and state government in the state of Iowa than 75% of the population of Iowa.

The knowledge young men gain will be by actual experience, as Hawkeye Boys State is a total “hands-on” program. The young men will be divided into 32 cities. Four cities constitute a county and eight counties constitute a state. In each city, half of the citizens will be members of the National Party and half will be members of the Federalist Party.
Boys State delegates will hold party caucus meetings, conventions, conduct campaigns, and hold a primary and general election. Once the election process is complete, those young men elected to office will assume these offices, appoint the necessary staff to assist them in conducting the office, and immediately begin to govern in whatever subdivision they have been elected to.

As in real life, everyone cannot be elected to office, and everyone does not work for the taxpayers. At Hawkeye Boys State, there will be other jobs to be filled. There is a daily newspaper that will require the service of reporters, photographer, editors, cartoonists, layout and copy people, and business management.

There is a fully functioning Court System, General Assembly (House and Senate) and Law Enforcement System. To educate the young men on the process of how schools and school districts in the State of Iowa operate and function, a School Board Section provides instruction, again through a “hands-on” process, in the business of running Iowa schools.

For those young men with musical interests and experience, Hawkeye Boys State offers the opportunity to play and/or sing in the Hawkeye Boys State Band or Chorus. The band performs at all major functions during the week and the chorus sings several times during the week.

The staff of over 100 highly motivated and qualified individuals at Hawkeye Boys State is drawn from the Trustees and Commissioners of Hawkeye Boys State, the Iowa Highway Patrol, the agencies of Iowa government, the Iowa National Guard, the U.S. Military Services and Military Academies, professional career fields - such as lawyers, college admission counselors and teachers, and former delegates of the Boys State program.