COVID-19 Program Impacts

Learn more about COVID-19’s impacts on Arkansas Boys State and visit for the latest COVID-19 information.  

Updated: January 12, 2021

Arkansas Boys State 2021 to be hosted virtually May 30 – June 4

Arkansas Boys State 2021 will be hosted virtually May 30 – June 4, per a recommendation by the Arkansas Boys State Commission out of concern for the health and well-being of Arkansas Boys State delegates and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision ensures that our life-changing leadership program will continue to serve Arkansas’ next generation of leaders throughout the coming year.

Registration for Arkansas Boys State 2021 opens to high schools on January 19. We ask that high schools nominate their best and brightest male students entering their senior year: mature leaders in the classroom, on the field, and throughout the community who are ready to shape the future of our state. We are also proud to announce that the 2021 program will be open to students who had been nominated to attend Arkansas Boys State 2020, which was canceled due to COVID-19. 

“We had every hope of reconvening in-person for our 2021 program, but with so many uncertainties about COVID-19 yet facing our communities, this was the right decision to ensure that our prestigious program occurs in 2021,” Dr. Lloyd Jackson, executive director of Arkansas Boys State, said. “We are hopeful to be in-person for our 2022 program and to invite our alumni to visit us during that week.”

The deadline for high schools to nominate students to attend Arkansas Boys State 2021 is February 26. Following that deadline, we will begin contacting those nominated students to complete their registration process.

Details regarding the planning and programming of Arkansas Boys State 2021 will be announced in the coming weeks as our staff works to design and deliver our premier leadership program virtually. Updates will be posted on our website: www.arboysstate.org/covid19.

Arkansas Boys State is remarkably grateful for the commitment of our state’s educators to serving our next generation of leaders, and we look forward to honoring that commitment during our 2021 program. 

For questions regarding Arkansas Boys State 2021 or general inquiries about our program, please email info@arboysstate.org

Arkansas Boys State 2020 canceled amid COVID-19 pandemic

On April 2, 2020, Lloyd Jackson, executive director of Arkansas Boys State, announced the cancelation of Arkansas Boys State 2020. Below are updates to our stakeholders about the impact of COVID-19 on our program. For more information, please use the contact information to the right.

May 14: update to local high schools
The Arkansas Boys State leadership team wanted to provide you with an update on the status of Arkansas Boys State amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, last month we announced the cancelation of our 2020 program

First, we would like to thank you for your continued partnership and support of our program. You are crucial partners in the work that we do, and we value our relationship wholeheartedly. Moreover, the service and care displayed to your students during this pandemic is inspiring. Thank you. 

Second, our leadership team is actively considering future plans for our program as it relates to 2020 and 2021. Any decisions made in our planning processes that impact you and your students will be communicated immediately, so please keep an eye out on your inboxes. 

Third, we understand the disappointment that your students are feeling in missing our program and having their school year interrupted; we are equally disappointed in missing the opportunity to serve them. We are encouraging our local schools to provide a letter to your students who were selected to attend that explains their anticipated participation and completion of the program. We hope this letter can aid your students in applications for scholarships, colleges, etc. Click here to view a sample letter that you may download and use for your students. 

Thank you again for your continued support of our program and of your students. Our students and our state are better because of the work that you do. 

Please reach out if you have any additional questions or concerns. Visit www.arboysstate.org/contact-us to reach out, and we will communicate any new updates directly to you accordingly. 

Sincerely,
Arkansas Boys State

May 14: update to nominated students
On behalf of the Arkansas Boys State staff and the expansive network of alumni who have experienced our life-changing program, congratulations on your selection to attend Arkansas Boys State 2020. As you know, last month we announced the cancelation of our 2020 program

We want to use this space to express how deeply regretful we are that we will not be spending our favorite week of the year with you. While our decision to cancel our program was made in full confidence, we know that you are disappointed. We are, too. 

Your nomination to attend our program speaks volumes about your superior character and exemplary behavior. Each year, we ask our schools to send us their best and brightest: leaders on the field and in the classroom, mature, beaming with potential, and ready to shape the future of our state. That’s you! What an honor to be chosen for this program. 

Moving forward, we have these encouragements for you:

  • Please keep an eye out on your email inboxes. Any additional information regarding the future of our program and your involvement in that will be communicated to you via the email that you provided to us. 
  • Follow us on social media. We’ll post content there about our program, and it’s the best place for you to stay connected to the Arkansas Boys State family.
  • We have asked our schools to make available to you a letter that confirms you nominated to attend Arkansas Boys State. If you’re interested in this letter, please reach out to your school’s representative who nominated you for attendance. 

More information about our program is available on our website: www.arboysstate.org. There, you’ll find links to follow us on social media, and you can explore what our staff and alumni have said about their life-changing experiences with our program. Finally, check us out on YouTube for a glimpse at what past programs have looked like and for some valuable advice and guidance from some of our state and nation’s best and brightest leaders. 

Again, what an honor it is for you to be chosen to attend our program. We look forward to staying in touch with you — an important member of our Arkansas Boys State family. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. 

Sincerely,
Arkansas Boys State

May 14: update to local American Legion posts
On behalf of the Arkansas Boys State leadership team, thank you for your unwavering support of our program each and every year —  but especially this year in what has been a unique and challenging experience for our program. As you know, last month we announced the cancelation of our 2020 program

First, we would like to thank you for your continued partnership and support of our program. You are crucial partners in the work that we do, and we value our relationship wholeheartedly. Moreover, your service and care displayed to the students in your community is inspiring. Thank you. 

Second, our leadership team is actively considering future plans for our program as it relates to 2020 and 2021. Any decisions made in our planning processes that impact you and your community will be communicated immediately, so please keep an eye out on your inboxes. 

Third, we are encouraging our local schools to provide a letter to students who were selected to attend that explains their anticipated participation and completion of the program. We hope this letter can aid these students in applications for scholarships, colleges, etc.

Thank you again for your continued support of our program and of your community. Our communities and our state are better because of the work that you do. 

Please reach out if you have any additional questions or concerns. Visit www.arboysstate.org/contact-us to reach out, and we will communicate any new updates directly to you accordingly. 

Sincerely,
Arkansas Boys State

April 2: cancelation announcement from Arkansas Boys State executive director Lloyd Jackson
The Arkansas Boys State Commission is committed to the safety and well-being of our staff, students, and schools who are all crucial partners in the work that we do. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has assessed information while prioritizing the health of the Arkansas Boys State family. Given the latest information from the Center for Disease Control, state and national leaders, and American Legion leadership, the Arkansas Boys State Commission has recommended that the Department Commander cancel Arkansas Boys State 2020.

Since our program began in 1940, we have thrived on a simple idea: democracy depends on me. That is truer now more than ever, and while this decision is delivered regrettably to our staff and the young men who we looked forward to serving, it is one made in full confidence. This moment in history asks us to act out of love and care for our fellow brother and citizen — to understand that we’re in this together — just as we’ve been committed to since the beginning.

Moving forward, our team will establish communication with our schools, students, and local American Legion posts who have registered for our 2020 program. Refunds will be administered in full, and information on these processes will be communicated in the coming weeks and posted to our website: www.arboysstate.org.

Continue to follow health recommendations from local, state, and national officials as well as the Center for Disease Control. The tireless efforts of our public officials and healthcare workers — many of whom have contributed to our program in incredibly meaningful ways — reflect the simple idea that we’ve known to prove true time and time again: democracy depends on me.

Our team will be in touch soon with more details. Thank you for your cooperation and patience during this time.

Sincerely,

Lloyd Jackson
Executive Director
Arkansas Boys State

Arkansas Boys State 2021 registration

High schools and nominated students both play a part in the registration process. American Legion Posts may also play a role in registration. Visit the corresponding registration pages for more information.

General Questions

For general questions and concerns about the cancelation of our 2020 program, please visit our contact page.

Media Inquiries

Questions from media can be directed to our media relations coordinator.

Kaleb Turner
501-454-9651
kaleb@arboysstate.org

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