May 20, 2024 — High school students from across the State of Kansas will participate in the 86th session of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas, Sunday, June 2, through Saturday, June 8, at Kansas State University in Manhattan. This will be the program’s 32nd consecutive session at KSU.

Among the major events during the week. Unless noted, these events are open to the public; all cities listed in Kansas unless noted.

Sunday, June 2
Opening ceremonies, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. (end time could be earlier), McCain Auditorium

Opening remarks: Tom Wierman, Kansas Boys State executive director, a 1976 KBS delegate from Ransom High School and current resident of Wichita, and Sam Houston, Kansas Boys State 2023 governor and 2024 graduate of McPherson High School.

Keynote speaker: Kendall Gammon, 15-year NFL veteran with the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers. Considered the best long-snapper in the NFL, Gammon, a 1987 graduate of Rose Hill (Kan.) High School and 1991 graduate of Pittsburg (Kan.) State University, was a member of Pitt State’s 1991 NCAA Division II national championship team. He also played in Super Bowl 30 and in the 2005 Pro Bowl. Gammon talk will draw on personal life challenges with a message threaded with vulnerability and authentic stories to inspire attendees to use emotional strength to embrace change, build strong relationships and positively impact growth and success.

Conversation with John Celock, a New York based award-winning author, media affairs advisor and special projects editor of City & State New York, a magazine focused on politics and government. Celock authored The Next Generation: Young Elected Officials and their Impact on American Politics, a 2010 book examining why people aged 35 and under run for elective office, the challenges they face and how their age impacts their views on public policy. Celock is a former state politics reporter and Patch liaison for The Huffington Post where he covered state-level politics and policy across the country, along with U.S. Senate races, as well as coordinated presidential campaign coverage and breaking news events. Celock’s work at The Huffington Post has been credited with impacting state-level legislation in Kansas and Alabama.

John Milburn, KBS associate director and a 1985 KBS delegate from Pittsburg High School will moderate the discussion. A resident of Lawrence, Milburn is the special assistant for communications and policy for the Kansas Secretary of State.

Monday, June 3
Swearing in of 2024 Kansas Boys State mayors, 6:50 p.m., Kansas Boys State Assembly Area (Goodnow Hall/Marlatt Hall parking lot [between buildings on Claflin Road]). Scott Schwab, Kansas Secretary of State and 1989 KBS delegate from Great Bend High School, will provide remarks and swear in the KBS mayors.

Party caucuses, 7:30 to 10 p.m., Federalist Party, Fiedler Hall, Room 1107; Nationalist Party, Rathbone Hall, Room 1073 (Each party will select their candidates for the six state offices and formulate their party platforms.). This event is not open to the public.

Tuesday, June 4
Kansas Boys State governor candidates’ debate and introduction of other state office candidates, 1:30 to 2:45 p.m., McCain Auditorium.

Announcement of Kansas Boys State general election winners for governor and other state offices, and swearing-in ceremony, 7 p.m., KBS Assembly Area.

Wednesday, June 5
Flag retirement ceremony, 7:30 p.m., World War II Memorial in front of McCain Auditorium. The event is an observance of the proper respect for the American flag and how unserviceable flags are properly disposed. The honor guard from American Legion Pearce-Keller Post No.17 in Manhattan will present the ceremony. Dr. John Lindholm, a 1949 KSU graduate who provided the dog tags as a model for the “Tags of Honor” sculpture at the Memorial, was a longtime Kansas Boys State staff member as a Legionnaire advisor before passing away in January 2020.

Evening ceremonies, 8 p.m., McCain Auditorium.
2024 Kansas Boys State governor’s inaugural address; Address by Randy Frank, Hillsboro, American Legion Department of Kansas commander, and introduction of Kansas American Legion dignitaries; and Kansas Boys State band performance, chorus performance and talent show.

Thursday, June 6
Candidates for Boys Nation, two of whom will represent Kansas Boys State as senators in Washington, D.C., July 19-26, will present speeches, 8:30 a.m., KBS Assembly Area.

Friday, June 7
Announcement of delegates who will represent Kansas Boys State as senators at Boys Nation, 8:30 a.m., KBS Assembly Area.

Saturday, June 8
Closing ceremonies, 9:15 to 10:45 a.m., McCain Auditorium.
Announcement of Kansas Boys State outstanding citizens, Kansas Boys State Samsung American Legion Scholarship and KBS Executive Director Scholarship winners, and announcement of various awards, including Advisor of the Year, Counselor of the Year, New Counselor of the Year, William “Bill” F. Stahl Outstanding Justice Award, Outstanding Senator Award and Outstanding State Representative Award; Farewell address by KBS Executive Director Tom Wierman; Closing Address by 2024 KBS Governor.

Final State Assembly/Final Flag Lowering, 11 to 11:30 a.m., KBS Assembly Area

Members of the Kansas House of Representatives and Senate are expected to make visits to Kansas Boys State during the week, based on availability due to a potential special session being called by Gov. Laura Kelly.

In addition to the above events, the public is invited to view the daily morning assembly/flag raising at 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, as well as the evening retreat/flag lowering at 7 p.m. on Sunday and Tuesday through Friday, and at 6:45 p.m. on Monday. For those who cannot attend any events, Boys State of Kansas will provide updates during the week on its Facebook page, and on its website at

The Kansas Boys State program includes students who have just completed their junior year of high school (will be seniors in the fall) and sophomore year of high school (will be juniors in the fall).

The objective of the ALBSK is to inculcate a sense of individual obligation to community, state and nation. Kansas Boys State provides a relevant, interactive, problem-solving experience in leadership and teamwork that develops self-identity, promotes mutual respect and instills civic responsibility. Boys State is a “learning by doing” political exercise that simulates elections, political parties and government at the state, county and local levels, providing opportunities to lead under pressure, showcasing character and working effectively within a team. It’s also an opportunity to gain pride and respect for government and the price paid by members of the military to preserve democracy.

— #KSBoysState —