As the end of the school year approaches, three local juniors are starting to prepare to learn leadership skills at Boys State.

Ian Flood, from Prince of Peace, Drew Lakin, from Clinton High School, and Colin Sullivan, from Clinton High School, learned in January they had been nominated by their schools and selected by American Legion Post 190 to attend the week-long camp. They all said their families were excited when they learned of the nominations.

“At first I was curious about what it was, cause I hadn't really heard much about it. And then when I started to hear more information about it, I really started to get excited about it,” said Lakin.

Boys State is a camp that has been sponsored by the American Legion since 1935 and is offered in every state except Hawaii. Iowa Boys State will be held at Camp Dodge on Interstate 35, near Des Moines, from June 14 to 19.

Don Krambeck, chaplain and Boys State coordinator for American Legion Post 190, said the boys will have a variety of opportunities to learn about leadership and have fun. They boys will be able to play sports, participate in choir or in bands. A large portion of the camp will feature politics and elections. Krambeck said the boys will have a chance to run for various positions in five fictitious counties and cities.

The participants also will be taken on tour of the state capital.

While there, the boys can run for offices and positions, such as state senator, governor, treasurer or a member of the Supreme Court.

“And they will sit in those chairs and they will have the real senators, the real representatives, the real judges telling them what the job is like,” said Krambeck.

He said attending Boys State is an experience that builds a boy’s character and also looks good on a college application.

Krambeck said all participants for Boys State are chosen for exhibiting leadership qualities. Flood said he has participated in football, baseball, basketball and track. Lakin said he has been involved in football, tennis, baseball, Student Council, SADD and National Honor Society. Sullivan listed football, baseball, tennis, wrestling, SADD, Student Council, Letterman’s club and National Honor Society as activities in which he has participated.

“Well, I've always been interested in politics. And I think it's going to be a great way to see actual politicians doing what they do and it will be a great learning experience,” said Lakin about why he is excited to attend Boys State.

Flood is looking forward to learning more about how government runs, while Sullivan is looking forward to meeting the other people attending the camp. Krambeck said this event is a great place to make friends.

“I have had a lot of boys come back and then three, four, five years later, they are still corresponding with the guy that was in their bunkhouse,” said Krambeck.

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