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American Legion Boy’s State

January 28, 2009
Traer Star-Clipper

These young men will be among Iowa teens from across the state participating from June 14 -19 in the American Legion Hawkeye Boy's State, a week long event which has been held for over seventy years at Camp Dodge in Des Moines.

Nearly 600 young men between their junior and senior years are brought together to learn more about the American form of government and to improve their understanding of Americanism and patriotism. Each year, over 25,000 youngsters from across America experience government in a practical sense by actually participating in it. Historically, many careers in public service have resulted from this program. Participants also benefit from developing friendships with their fellow citizens which continue after the program ends.

All the boys are nominated within a two party system to either a state, county or city position. They then campaign for office and elections are held. Those losing the elections proceed to getting an appointed position. The remainder of the week is spent actually setting up and running "Boy's State Government." The government consists of 24 cities, 6 counties, and a complete state government including judicial, legislative, senatorial and executive branches.

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Boys State provides an opportunity to gain pride and respect for our form of government and the price paid by people to preserve democracy. The week contains ceremonies and assemblies as well as marching and pageantry. Iowa government leaders attend each year to offer their vision and advice. Daily flag raising and lowering ceremonies are conducted at Boys State.

Carston Calderwood, son of David and Patty Calderwood of Traer, participates in many extra-curricular activities at North Tama High School. He plays football, and is a member of the GR-NT Wrestling Squad. He is also active in band, vocal music, and National Honor Society. In addition, Carston is a member of BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) and plays both the piano and organ at his church.

Corey Jones, son of Mike and Christine Jones of Traer, spends his time outside of school as a member of the North Tama Bowling Team and the Sea Cadets of Marshalltown.

Terry Van Dyke, son of Terry, Sr. and Jodi Van Dyke of Buckingham, is an active member of FFA, JEL (Just Eliminate Lies). TATTOO (an anti-tobacco program), and student council at North Tama High School. He also does farm work and helps his dad rebuild cars.

James Weida, son of Jason Wieda of Traer and Tina Hassleman of Reinbeck, is presently spending a lot of the time on the wrestling mat, but also is a member of the North Tama football and track teams. He is part of JEL and is president of his class. Outside of school, James enjoys hunting, swimming, and working out.

Dylan Youel, son of Craig "Josh" and Cindy Youel of Traer, is a member of the football, track and baseball teams at North Tama High School. Other activities include the fall play, chorus, National Honor Society, JEL and Academic Decathlon. Outside of school, Dylan belongs to BASIC, delivers the Sunday Des Moines Register, works as a pool guard in the summer and enjoys playing video games.



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