HELPING YOUTH THRIVE
Legion Youth Programs
Get involved in one of our wonderful legion youth programs. The American Legion Department of Connecticut supports many programs for young people who want to participate in educational and recreational activities.
AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL
The American Legion is committed to America's youth, and that is why we have sponsored American Legion Baseball since 1925. The goal of American Legion Baseball is the development of team discipline, individual character, and leadership development qualities in young people. American Legion Baseball is the oldest and largest nationwide baseball program in America. American Legion Baseball became a National program in 1925. Over eight million teenagers have played American Legion Baseball since its inception.
For team standings, video and radio broadcasts, team locations, and more, visit Connecticut's American Legion Baseball website. For more information on the National American Legion Baseball program, visit the national Legion site.
Applications and information for Boys State are available in the Documents and Forms section of our site. At the state level, 49 Departments of The American Legion host The American Legion Boys State programs each summer for outstanding high school juniors. Nearly 28,000 young men were sponsored by local American Legion Posts to attend the week-long government education program last year.
Two outstanding leaders from each Department Boys State program are selected to attend The American Legion Boys Nation in Washington, DC. There, they learn the mechanics of the federal government by role-playing as senators and representatives in a complex dual-party system. The American Legion Auxiliary conducts parallel programs for young women through Girls State and Girls Nation.
Connecticut American Legion Boys State is held at Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, in June. Connecticut American Legion Auxiliary Girls State is normally held the week after Boys State. Visit the Connecticut Boys State website to learn more.
The alumni of Connecticut Boys State represent a "Who's-Who in Connecticut" and includes former Governor Bill O'Neil and Senator Joe Lieberman, just to name a few. Candidates for service academies might be interested in knowing that attendance at American Legion Boys State ranks just below an Eagle Scout as one of the common denominators of young people selected, according to one admissions official.
Each year, thousands of high school and home school students gain a deeper understanding of the U.S. Constitution and share that knowledge with a vast audience through the American Legion High School Oratorical Contest. Hundreds of students win scholarship awards at the Post level for speeches that explore the substance and meaning of the Constitution. Other objectives of the contest include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and preparation for acceptance of the duties, responsibilities, rights, and privileges of American citizenship.
The contest consists of a prepared oration and an assigned topic with specific time constraints. State and local contests run annually from December to March, culminating at the national level in April.
In Connecticut, Posts participating in this contest conduct the initial program by the end of January and send the winner on to their district. The district competition will be held during the first two weeks of February. The seven district winners compete for the state title, held in March. The State Winners receive the following cash awards:
- First Place: $1,500
- Second Place: $1,000
- 3rd-7th Place: $500
The Connecticut champion then competes at the national competitions at University Place Conference Center in Indianapolis. The top three scholarships are for $14,000, $16,000, and $18,000. All state champions who compete are awarded a minimum of $1,500. For more information, visit the national Legion site and search for the word "oratorical."
STATE POLICE YOUTH WEEK
The Connecticut State Police, in conjunction with the American Legion, run an annual State Police Youth Week that is open to 16- and 17-year-old high school students throughout Connecticut. Youth week is modeled after State Police recruit training and provides students with a unique opportunity to gain insight into the training, duties, and expectations of Connecticut State Troopers. This program is a mini State Police Academy and a national model for The American Legion. During the week of training, all "recruits" will participate in a variety of mental and physical challenges, including patrol techniques, use of laser speed measuring equipment, accident investigation, emergency vehicle driving, firearms training, and criminal investigation. The "recruits" will also participate in daily physical conditioning, daily inspections, drill and ceremony, and 5:15 AM reveille. The week concludes with the Warrior's Path safety and survival course followed by a graduation ceremony. Warrior's Path represents the culmination of all of the skills and knowledge the recruits learned during the week. It is designed to emphasize the importance of teamwork and overcoming adversity. For more information please contact The American Legion Department HQ or your local Post.
State Police Youth Week Applications are available now in the documents and forms section of our website. The cut-off for applications is May 3, 2019.
RECOGNIZING THOSE WHO SERVE
Veteran of the Month
The National Americanism Commission began its administration of the "Veteran of the Month" program following the adoption of a resolution submitted by The American Legion Department of Connecticut to the 1993 National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The program was already a successful operation in the Department of Connecticut. The very first "Veteran of the Month" program, as described in our booklet, was started by Legionnaires Arthur Shaw and Francis Fabbri of Tyler-Seward-Kubish American Legion Post 44 Bantam, Connecticut.
Most of the information found in our booklet came from the Post 44 guidebook, as authored by Legionnaire and Past Department Commander Arthur G. St. John, also of Post 44. Tyler-Seward-Kubish, Post 44, and PDC St. John received a George Washington Honor Medal from the well-known Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge in December of 1992 "In recognition of their efforts to create an All Wars Memorial and the Veteran of the Month Program." Post 44 offered their first Saturday of each month ever since. The National Americanism Commission is proud to have the opportunity to carry out the traditions as started by Tyler-Seward-Kubish American Legion Post 44 of Bantam, Connecticut.