When is Evergreen Boys State?
Evergreen Boys State is held from Sunday, June 21 through Saturday, June 27, 2015 at the Warm Beach Conference Center in Stanwood, Washington. Students attending are expected to be at the program from the time they check in between noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday, until dismissed on Saturday around 10 a.m.
Can I arrive late to the program? Can I leave early?
No. It is a very intense program and students must be committed to attending the entire time. You will be busy from the time you arrive until you leave and it is simply not fair to the other students who are there if they are having to carry an extra load because you didn’t get all the information and materials you need because you were late or didn’t complete the process by leaving early.
What should I bring with me to the program?
You should plan on packing clothes for temperatures in the low 60’s to the mid 80’s. Early summer weather can be unpredictable. You’ll want to make sure you have a comfortable pair of athletic shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Also make sure you pack semi-formal business clothes, including a tie and possibly a sport coat, as there are several times through the week when you will be required to be in a shirt and tie. All bed sheets and linens are provided for you for the week, but you should plan on bringing a towel for the shower. It is also recommended that you bring some shower shoes/flip-flops (although these can only be worn inside the dormitories). Make sure you bring your toiletry items like toothpaste, shampoo, soap, shaving supplies, etc. If you would like to bring some snacks you can, but all meals will be provided for you and there is a small “Boys State Store” where you can buy candy, soda, cookies and other items.
Can I bring my laptop computer?
Students have brought computers in the past to uses for various things. There are a few things you should know first, though. You will not have access to the internet while on campus. Also, you won’t have access to a printer. The facility is secure provided you follow the rules we’ve laid out to protect you, but we also want you to know that Evergreen Boys State can’t take responsibility for your valuable items like a computer.
Can I bring my cell phone?
Yes, BUT… You need to be aware of some basic rules for cell phones at Boys State that are strictly enforced. Cell phones are NOT to be used during any program meeting/function/gathering unless specifically stated otherwise. Cell phones may be used in the student dormitories during student personal time (typically breakfast, lunch and dinner or early morning/late night). We understand that a cell phone is an easy way for you to stay in touch with your parents while you are away, but you need to understand that they can be a huge distraction during the activity/function times of the program. SO only bring it if you are willing to follow the rules. If you violate the rule and use your phone at an inopportune time, it will be confiscated and held for you to claim in the Boys State office at the end of the week. The same rules also apply for things like I-Pods and personal video game devices.
Are there things I shouldn’t bring?
Yes, most definitely. DO NOT BRING drugs, alcohol or tobacco of any sort. If you are found with these items you will be sent home. Also, leave any item which may be construed as a weapon at home. This includes things like pocket knives, chains and tasers. Also, as mentioned above, don’t bring any valuable items like jewelry, as we can not be responsible for their security 24/7.
Can I bring campaign materials from home or things I have made ahead of time?
NO. We will supply you with all the materials you need for campaigning for whatever office you chose to run for. You’ll understand a lot more about the process used at Boys State once you see it, and we want everyone to start on an even playing field. You may not even end up running for the office you think you will before you get there. Plus, one of the basic principles of Boys State is that the focus should always be on the learning the process rather than the end product. Leave pre-produced campaign materials at home.
How much money should I bring?
You don’t need to bring any money at all actually. We provide all meals and all the necessary supplies. You can bring a small amount of money if you would like to buy snacks at the Boys State store. Also, there is traditionally a fun pizza party at the end of the week where students pool money to buy pizzas and soda in their city group. $20 to $25 should be more than enough for you to buy pizza, a couple snacks and have money left over. But again, you don’t NEED to bring any money.
Can I drive my car to Boys State?
Yes, you can. You won’t have access to it during the week, though. We will provide parking in a lit lot for you with a parking permit. Then during check-in you will turn in your car keys to the office after you’ve unloaded your luggage. You can pick up your keys at the end of the week after you’ve been dismissed to go home.
Can I leave campus during the week?
No. As you can imagine it is a big enough task for the staff to keep track of security and safety for so many students, so you will not be allowed to leave the assigned campus area. You will have plenty of room to roam and wander on campus and students who like to jog in the morning can do that. And all your meals will be provided, so you won’t have a need to go get food.
Will I have access to athletic facilities or a gym?
No. Costs of renting these facilities for our program and the associated insurance that is necessary makes it prohibitive. There are plenty of areas that students can run or jog in the morning, if you would like to exercise.
What is the food like?
The food is generally very good. Meals are prepared by the Warm Beach Conference Center dining services and we eat in one of the main dining room. All meals are cafeteria style and there are generally a couple of options of food at each meal. You can have second and third helpings if you like, we just ask that you wait until everyone gets through the line at least once so that the folks at the end aren’t waiting a long time to get food. Meals range from hamburgers and fries to chicken stir-fry to spaghetti. Special menu options are available to accommodate vegetarians, diabetics and those with allergies.
How many students attend Evergreen Boys State?
The number varies from year to year, but typically 250-300 students attend from all across the state.
Are there girls there?
Sorry to disappoint you, but no. Evergreen Girls State is held in a different location than Evergreen Boys State. We absolutely believe that the focus of this program is on the educational process and you getting the most personal growth from this program as you can in such a short time. Quite bluntly, we don’t have the time or resources to deal with many of the challenges that would come about from having both boys and girls at the same program.
Will I see other students from my high school?
You probably will see them and even interact with them during the week. Realize that part of the program is for you to meet new and interesting people. We try hard to create situations where you can meet as many people as possible, so we would encourage you to branch out beyond your comfort zone.
What are the living arrangements?
Student accommodation varies a bit throughout Warm Beach Conference Center. Rooms typically house three to five students, and there are a few large “bunk style” areas where eight to ten will sleep in a common area. All rooms come with all the bed sheets and linen. Each building has multiple bathrooms and shower facilities that are shared by everyone in that building.
Can I choose my roommate?
No. Students are assigned rooms based on the “City” they are assigned to be part of. This process is actually randomized by a computer to help create situations where you meet new people.
Will I have email or internet access?
No. As mentioned above, you are welcome to bring your laptop computer if you would like, but there is not internet access available to students at Boys State while we are on campus.
Can I have visitors at Boys State?
Sure. There are just a couple rules, though. All visitors must check-in at the Boys State office prior to coming to see you. You must attend all assigned activities and functions. And, all visitors must stay in common areas of the assigned buildings – visitors are not allowed in dormitory bedrooms.
What is the political structure of Boys State? What do the political parties stand for?
Political Parties at Boys State are based completely on fictional parties that we use to teach the process. We do not designate a conservative or liberal party. The political positions of the two parties will be determined by you and your fellow students. Students are randomly assigned to a political party by a computer and the two parties have equal membership. Just like in real life you probably won’t agree 100% with one party or the other. Again, it is much more about you learning the process than the final product.
Do I have to participate in all activities?
Yep, that is our expectation. We recognize that it’s an intense week and you will get tired, but you can’t afford to miss parts of the program and still be able to succeed. You’ll have plenty of time to lounge and sleep when you get home, and then you’ll look back on the week and be thankful that you did it all.