My dad has worked for Arizona Boys State in some capacity for 41 years. He is now the Deputy Director, meaning he is second in command.
Here is a brief summary of Boys State, which was in no way written by myself:
American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students. A participatory program in which students become part of the operation of local, county and state government, Boys State was founded in 1935 to counter the socialism-inspired Young Pioneer Camps.
At Boys State, participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments. Operated by students elected to various offices, Boys State activities include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs.
Legion posts select high school juniors to attend the program. In most cases, individual expenses are paid by a sponsoring post, a local business or another community-based organization.
Starting in 1994 my dad took me and Nick with him to help out in the Boys State office. Can you imagine teenage me up there in Flagstaff with 350 high school boys? I don't know what my parents were thinking!
Anyway, I went every year from 1994 to 2002 and helped in the office. In 2001 and 2002, when I was working for the Arizona Senate, I helped teach the legislative school. Then I missed 8 years in a row. I took Spencer just to visit for a few days in 2010 when he was 2. Michael and I took the kids in 2013 to again visit for a few days.
Which brings us to now. I'm not sure when I will be able to go again (maybe not for another 2-3 years) so I decided to make an effort to take the kids this year. I think it's important for them to see their grandfather in this capacity. Plus, it's in Flagstaff where the June weather is so much more lovely than the greater Phoenix area.
We left last Wednesday morning. I should mention that I fully intended on starting to blog about this on Sunday, but my phone decided to freak out on me and wouldn't download 75% of the photos I took. It kept saying the files were corrupted. It was weird though because I could email pictures to myself and they would open. I was ready to go to Verizon to ask for help when I decided to turn the phone off and reboot. Lo and behold, no more problems.
It was no easy feat to work out, pack, and get everyone and everything ready and in the car by 8:30 am.
This was in our driveway.
This was at the hospital before PT. Spencer wanted to wear his sunglasses too.
Ms. Emily has now graduated and is no longer doing her internship. It was Elliott's last day with her.
After PT we gassed up the car and then blasted up the hill to Flagstaff. We arrived 15 minutes before my dad's Wednesday afternoon assembly. He was talking about what it's like to be a State Legislator. Have I ever mentioned my dad served 8 years in the Arizona House of Representatives? He was the Minority House Leader for 4 of those years.
Linda is the director's daughter. She's been helping in the office for probably close to 30 years. Elliott was smitten with her.
After the assembly we checked into our dorm room. Yes, we were staying in a dorm room. Actually, two dorm rooms with a bathroom in the middle. It was very exciting for the kids. It's probably as close to camping as they will ever get with me.
The beds were up high so I put Elliott's mattress on the floor. He still managed to roll off one of the nights.
I draped all of our clothes all over the furniture.
After we unpacked we ate dinner with my dad and the rest of the staff in the dining hall. And then we headed back to our room for a reasonably early bed time since we had three very full days ahead of us. I let Elliott watch one episode of Little Einsteins to unwind.
Spencer played games on my old phone. Laying on the floor. Blech.
Up next: Bearizona and the Inauguration!