Spengler to represent Minnesota at Boys Nation


NEW ULM — New Ulm high school student Peter Spengler is one of two delegates selected to represent Minnesota at the 2018 American Legion Boys Nation in Washington, D.C., July 20-28.

Spengler was the New Ulm High School delegate to the Minnesota American Legion Boys State at St. John’s University, Collegeville, June 10-16. He was sponsored by the Seifert-Bianchi American Legion Post 132.

Two representatives from each of the nation’s 49 Boys States (excluding Hawaii) represent their state at Boys Nation, where the young leaders receive an education on the structure and function of federal government.

The other Minnesota delegate selected to advance to Boys Nation is Joseph Privratsky from Blaine.

The first Boys Nation — then called Boys Forum of National Government — convened at American University in Washington in August 1946. The 1946 American Legion National Convention adopted the event as an official youth activity. Three years later, it became American Legion Boys Nation.

At the event, each delegate acts as a senator from his Boys State. The young lawmakers caucus at the beginning of the session, then organize into committees and conduct hearings on bills submitted by program delegates.

Senators learn the proper method of handling bills, according to U.S. Senate rules. Participation in the political process is emphasized throughout the week, including organization of party conventions and nominating and electing a president and vice president.

The week of government training also includes lectures, forums and visits to federal agencies, national shrines, institutions, memorials and historical sites. On Capitol Hill, Boys Nation senators meet with elected officials from their home states.

Since Boys Nation began in 1946, a number of its graduates have been elected to public office, including U.S. presidents, congressmen, state governors and state legislators.

Minnesota American Legion Boys State is a week-long experience of learning about Minnesota government at the local, county and state levels by “doing.” It is a week of intensive study and involvement. The participants organize and participate in the various levels and branches of government, in addition to participating in athletics, music, writing for the newspaper or holding leadership positions across all levels of the program. Every boy participates in the process of city, county and state government. Minnesota Boys State is a program for young men who have just completed their junior year of high school. Highlights of the week include political speakers, mock trials, campaigning, elections, and announcement of the Boys State governor and state constitutional officers.

About 270 Minnesota outgoing juniors represented their high schools at the 2018 Minnesota American Legion Boys State.