Buckeyes Boys State program concludes this weekend at Miami


Photo by Lukas Nelson

More than 600 high school boys attended the annual Buckeye Boys State program at Miami University this week.

By Lukas Nelson

This week, over 600 high school students from all over Ohio have come to Oxford to learn more about politics, government and the ways it can shape our lives.

The Buckeye Boys State program, founded in 1936, is run by the American Legion and is usually the largest Boys State program in the nation with more than 1,200 attendees. This year, due to COVID-19, only about 600 students are attending. All students attending will be going into their senior year of high school.

The program started Sunday, June 13, and will end Sunday, June 20. The program’s motto: “A week to shape a lifetime.”

Buckeye Boys State is being held on Miami’s campus. Attendees, often referred to as delegates, are staying in dorms on North and East Quad. Each dorm is a unique “county” in the program while each floor is a “city.”

Delegates are divided into two political parties: Federalist and Nationalist. Starting Monday, the delegates went through an election process for city, county, and state officials. Elected positions include mayor, city councilmen, county commissioner, county sheriff, and state legislature members, among other positions. After both parties choose their nominees for each elected position, a general election is held. 

On Tuesday, elections for statewide elected offices were held: These positions included Governor, Treasurer of State, Secretary of State and state Supreme Court Justices, among others. 

Starting June 23, delegates began their new jobs. If a delegate was unsuccessful in running for office, they were appointed to a job working at the city, county or state level.

Each night, there is a general assembly for all delegates held in Millett Hall. Wednesday night’s assembly included a swearing-in ceremony for all participants “elected officials.”  While city and county officials and state legislatures stood with their cities for the swearing-in ceremony, all statewide executive elected officials were sworn in on a stage. Real-life Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy swore in the statewide officials.

After the swearing-in ceremonies, newly-elected Buckeye Boys State Governor Cael Saxton gave his acceptance speech. After that, Justice Kennedy spoke to the delegates.

Delegates will work at their jobs until Saturday. On Sunday morning, there is a graduation ceremony, where delegates will get a certificate for completing the program.