Our Vision

We envision Arkansas Boys State as a premier leadership experience that maximizes impact on all delegates’ lives.


what delegates learn

Think critically about their views & communicate those views more effectively

Lead others, particularly in the pursuit of the common or collective good

Participate in American civic, social, commercial, & political institutions as lifelong leaders & engaged citizens

Build relationships with those of different worldviews







This data is gathered from a post-program survey completed by Arkansas Boys State 2023 participants.


In 2020, Arkansas ranked last among U.S. states in voter participation (the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election). 

Though civic and leadership education is an essential part of many Arkansas high school curriculums, we recognize that our State has room to improve.

We believe that the connection between civic engagement and social well-being is often overlooked — and that our State can reach its full potential only through an engaged and thoughtful citizenry. If our State is to reach its full potential, so must Arkansas’ level of civic engagement and participation.


At Arkansas Boys State, students experience monumental personal and professional growth, in alignment with our learning objectives, via:

  1. Elections: Delegates participate (e.g. run for office, vote in elections, etc.) in several elections while “citizens” of Boys State, including local and statewide positions.
  2. Simulations: Experiential learning at ARBS is intended to re-create key elements of state and local government or other segments of society that are covered by the ARBS curriculum.
  3. Breakout sessions: Experiential learning activities are supplemented with sessions taught by ARBS staff and outside partners with expertise in the topic.
  4. Leadership discussions: Counselor-facilitated discussions focused on aspects of leadership and citizenship provide delegates with an opportunity to reflect on and communicate their views.
  5. Speaker series: Daily speaking events with the community, state, and national leaders help reinforce important themes and messages of the ARBS program.
  6. Extracurricular/intramural activities: Sports, gaming competitions, the annual talent show, and other extracurricular activities help provide delegates with other ways to develop their leadership skills and relationships with other delegates.
Schools of Instruction

All Arkansas Boys State delegates are enrolled in one of three Schools of Instruction based on their preferences. Within each school are tracks that help guide the delegate’s experience throughout the program. Through a mix of real-world simulations and instruction from experts, these schools offer delegates a chance to dive deep into an area of individual interest.

The three initial schools and their tracks include:

Public Administration: focused on the operation of municipal, county, and state governments. Tracks include:

  • State Government: The State Government track focuses on state-wide public policy issues and how state officials execute those policies. Delegates will participate in simulated state administrative boards and committees where they will debate and vote on policies that will affect Arkansas Boys State.
  • Local Government: The Local Government track focuses on public policy issues at the county and city levels and how those policies are administered by local officials. Delegates will participate in simulated local administrative boards and committees where they will debate and vote on policies that will affect Arkansas Boys State.
  • Criminal Justice: The Criminal Justice track focuses on criminal law in the United States and the public policy implications of criminal law in our society. Delegates will participate in mock parole review boards where they will learn about the application of criminal law in a simulated proceeding.

Commerce: focused on the relationship between the economy and our civic and social life. Tracks include:

  • Research and Development (R&D) and Logistics: R&D is a process implemented by companies or governmental organizations to innovate or improve their products and services. Logistics describes the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies.
  • Sales: Sales involves helping prospective clients or customers by listening and understanding their wants and needs to find them what they’re looking for. Rather than persuading someone to purchase something, selling is focused on meeting the needs of the customer objectively.
  • Marketing: Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses.
  • Finance: Finance is a broad term that describes activities associated with banking, leverage or debt, credit, capital markets, money, and investments. In essence, finance represents money management and the process of acquiring needed funds.

Society and the Arts: focused on activities that are essential to the functioning of a democracy, including journalism, issue advocacy, and the visual arts. Tracks include:

  • Community Organizing: Delegates will gain knowledge on the value of their involvement in causes they feel passionate about through organizing campaigns and mock protests. They’ll put these techniques to use by actively seeking other delegates to join their cause and influence the School of Public Administration based on laws they’ve enacted.
  • Broadcast Journalism: Delegates will gain knowledge on reporting the news, including learning about audience, news values, and production. They’ll put these techniques to use by creating news stories for Arkansas Boys State that may be broadcast to the entire delegation and on social media. Delegates should be prepared to shoot and store footage on their cell phone for the week.
  • Audio Broadcast: Delegates will explore the art of audio broadcast via podcasting, which includes learning the fundamentals of creating, outlining, and producing a podcast. During the week, delegates will use this platform to have healthy dialogue about what’s taking place on campus: elections, intramural sports, leadership discussions, dormitory life, and the Boys State experience.

Additionally, a fourth school — the School of Public Service — will be available to delegates who are elected to local and state offices. When elected to one of these positions, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in both the School of Public Service and their initial school.

Please note: Arkansas Boys State will make every effort to place delegates in one of their top-ranked tracks. However, some delegates may not be placed in their top choice to ensure schools are relatively equal in size. Our team is committed to providing high-quality programming for all delegates regardless of school placement.


what delegates say

“It was a life-changing experience! It created a brotherhood that I’ll forever hold dear.”

– 2022 Arkansas Boys State Delegate

“The different perspectives that you gain from people around the state are extremely interesting. There are so many lessons to learn from people who think differently than the people you surround yourself with.”

– 2021 Arkansas Boys State Delegate

“An amazing experience! I lost every office I ran for, but still had so much fun. I built relationships that will last a lifetime. I love these guys and this program.”

– Arkansas Boys State Delegate

“Arkansas Boys State changed my life for the better. The connections, resources, wisdom, and knowledge I gained during that week will go down in my history book.”

– 2019 Arkansas Boys State Delegate

“One of the best summer experiences of my youth. It was enriching to be among a diverse group of critically conscious young men; many of whom I interact with today who are making a positive difference in their communities.”

– 1997 Arkansas Boys State Delegate

“I attended Boys State in 1972 and still is one of those incredible gifts that keeps on giving.

– 1972 Arkansas Boys State Delegate

42nd President of the United States & 1963 Arkansas Boys State Delegate Bill Clinton

“I was never quite the same after I went to Boys State and Boys Nation — after I realized what government was, what its role in our life was, what citizens were supposed to do to make it work. I never took it for granted again.”

Arkansas Boys State is proudly sponsored by

The American Legion


(501) 725-1258



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