Updated: May 14, 2020

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

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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