What are the dates for the upcoming session?
The dates for Palmetto Boys State are located at the top of this page.
What should I bring with me to Boys State?
First and foremost, bring a positive attitude, a solid work ethic and an open mind. Boys State is NOT a recreational camp, so be ready to work while having fun. Regarding supplies, please see our Packing List.
What should I leave at home?
There are a few things that you should not bring to Boys State. Things to avoid bringing:
- Expensive jewelry, watches or any keepsake that would present a problem if lost or stolen.
- Electronic equipment such as laptop computers, cell phones, pagers, PDA’s, CD players, stereo systems are not necessary at Boys State.
- Pre-printed campaign materials and supplies are prohibited.
- Water guns, toy guns and any other toy items deemed inappropriate by Boys State staff are prohibited.
- Of course, any illegal drugs or controlled substances are prohibited and will result in an immediate dismissal from Boys State. Prescription medication should be cleared through the medical staff upon registration at Boys State.
- State laws prohibit the use of alcohol and tobacco products by minors. Anderson University is a smoke free environment. The use of alcohol or tobacco products by Boys State citizens is prohibited. Violation of these rules will result in immediate dismissal.
- Laser pointers and any other laser emitting devices are prohibited.
What should I expect?
You should expect a fast-paced, high-energy educational program designed to test your leadership, citizenship and scholastic abilities. You should expect to compete with the best and brightest high school students in the state of South Carolina. You should expect to push yourself like never before. You should expect to commit yourself to the program for the entire week and not allow yourself to be distracted by outside influences. Finally, you should expect to leave the program a better person than you were before you came. Learn more about what to expect here.
Can I drive my car to the program?
Yes! You are allowed to drive your own vehicle to Boys State. There is even a place for you to park it. However, when you check in with your city we are going to ask you for your keys. This keeps you from having the urge to go cruising around Columbia. At the end of the week, your car will be in the same exact spot as you left it; same mileage and all!
Can I bring my laptop computer, stereo system, or other electronic equipment?
No. There is no need for you to bring most of these things with you to Boys State. If you would like to bring a small radio that is allowed, but Boys State cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items. Because of the shear size of the program and the number of citizens we cannot keep track of expensive and valuable belongings for nearly 1,000 students. As a special precaution items of value can be locked up with your counselor, but please do not bring items that have great financial value. Items such as computers, PDAs, pagers, stereo systems and CD Players are not needed at the program so please leave them at home.
Can I bring my cell phone?
Citizens will be permitted to use their cell phones only at designated times and places. PBS cannot be responsible for the security of a Citizen’s cell phone or its use. PBS is sensitive to the need and desire for citizens to communicate with their families and friends. Nevertheless, failure to follow PBS guidelines regarding the use of cell phones may result in the loss of this privilege.
What should I do to prepare for the program?
Get plenty of rest! Boys State is a fast-paced program. Also, read the Program Schedule by clicking here. The more you know about the program the better you will fare. You may also want to brush up on your public speaking skills since you will need them!
Can I bring a musical instrument?
If you are interested in participating in the band and chorus you are welcome to bring your instrument. In fact, we encourage it!
How much money should I bring?
We recommend you bring about $40 – $60, which can be stored with the PBS Bank. When you go through registration, you have the opportunity to deposit your money into the bank for safe keeping. You will be given a bankbook to keep track of your deposits and withdrawals. The bank is conveniently located in the PBS Office.
Can I bring my own campaign materials?
No. When you, the Citizens, arrive at Boys State, you are all on a level playing field. You will have access to all of the things you will need to produce your campaign materials while at the program.
What offices can I run for?
There are elected offices on three levels – citywide, countywide and statewide. You can run for any office you want whether it be Mayor of your city, or Governor of the whole state. All it takes is determination and the will to succeed. If you do not win an election, run for another office! Boys State runs on the leadership of its elected officials.
What time do I have to arrive at Boys State?
Registration is on the first Sunday morning of Boys State. All participants MUST be registered NO LATER THAN 12:00 noon on this first day of Boys State. If you must arrive after 12:00 noon, you must arrive NO LATER THAN 6:00 pm on Sunday and check in with the Boys State office immediately upon arrival on campus.
Do I have to stay all week?
Yes! Gaining the best experience possible at Boys State is dependent on your full participation during the whole course of the program. You have been selected over many others at your high school to attend this program. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, leaving early not only wastes your sponsor’s money, but also keeps another student from the experience of a lifetime. Citizens may not leave the program prior to 8 a.m. on the final Saturday of the program. Those who do not stay the entire week will lose eligibility for scholarship money and college credit. Students should commit to staying the entire week.
Where is the program located?
The Palmetto Boys State program is located on the campus of Anderson University, located in the north-western part of our state. Learn more about AU here.
Will I see other people from my high school during the week?
Probably. However, we try to take the students from the same high school and place them in different cities. Because there are nearly 1,000 participants in the program, you will most likely not see your friends. When you leave the program, hopefully you will have made countless others from around the state.
Can my best friend be my roommate?
No. We want you to have the experience of meeting new people. We try to divide up the students who come from the same high school into different cities. The chances of you seeing one of your friends from home are very slim due to the sheer number of citizens at Palmetto Boys State.
Are there phones so I can call home?
There are a few pay phones available for you to use. Every effort will be made for you to have the opportunity to call home, but time is limited. You will be able to call home periodically, but should not expect to do so every night.
Will I have access to my email?
You will probably not have any way to access email while at Boys State.
Can I have visitors while I'm at Palmetto Boys State?
Yes. We welcome parents and other family members to come and see the program. We do however, ask them to not interfere with the program…just observe. Contact with your son will be limited and should not interrupt the flow of events during the week.
What are the lodging arrangements?
You will stay in the university dorms for the entire week. You will have at least one and possibly two roommates. To learn more about what you might bring, see our packing list.
What is the food service like?
The Anderson University cafeteria provides dining facilities for the entire week. We provide three square meals a day with a variety of menu items during the week.
What kind of sporting activities are available?
Beginning on Monday of the program, there will be an athletic period each afternoon before the evening meal. Every citizen is required to participate in a variety of sporting events. Those events include: basketball, swimming, track & field, and other sports as facilities are available.
How much free time is there?
We keep you busy pretty much the whole week. During the day there may be some free time set aside, but this should be used to study for your schools of instruction. Meals are also considered “free time” but you are required to sit with your respective city. “Lights Out” is set at 10:30pm, but due to some events this may be pushed back. You may think this is too early, but at the end of each day, you will be tired. At 6:30am, everybody is up and preparing for breakfast which is at 7:00am in the cafeteria.
Can I leave the campus during the week?
No. You must stay on campus during the entire week. The Boys State program takes place entirely on the campus of Anderson University. If you leave campus, you are no longer able to participate in the program. We must have your complete attention throughout the week. Boys State program boundaries will be fully explained at the beginning of the week. We ask for your full cooperation. If you drive a car, we will ask you for your keys to help alleviate the temptation to leave the campus.
I'm 18 years old, am I allowed to smoke?
Even if you are of legal age to smoke, Anderson University is a smoke-free campus and smoking will not be tolerated.
What is the political structure of Boys State?
Boys State is a pure democracy in that every citizen is allowed to vote and participate in the political process. Each citizen will be assigned a political party prior to coming to Boys State. Boys State employs the two party political system. The two parties at Boys State are called the Federalist Party and the Nationalist Party. Neither party is associated with any real life political party. Each year, citizens develop their own party platforms and their own style of governing.
What is a typical day like?
After reviewing the citizen’s schedule you’ll see that each day is packed with activity. Breakfast starts at 7:00 a.m. and “Lights Out” is at 10:30 p.m. or later. Schools of Instruction typically take place in the morning, lunch is at noon and city/county activities are in the early afternoon. Sports competitions are right before the evening meal and general assemblies featuring keynote speakers take place immediately after.
Do I have to participate in all the activities?
Boys State is what you make it. If you don’t involve yourself, you are missing out on a great opportunity. Every activity you involve yourself in earns points for your city. The more you are involved, the better your city’s chances of winning, and the more you will take away from the program.
How long does the program last?
Palmetto Boys State lasts 7 days (Sunday to Saturday). Please consult the information packet sent to you with your acceptance. The session concludes after the awards ceremony, usually around 10:30 a.m. on the last Saturday.
What if my son is taking the SAT/ACT?
Often, the SAT/ACT is scheduled on the Saturday before or the Saturday after Boys State. Boys State is a rigorous program and we can promise you that your son will be exhausted by the end of the week. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are clearly the 3 biggest days at Boys State and days that they do not want to miss. If at all possible, please do not schedule for your son to take the SAT/ACT on the last Saturday of Boys State.
What scholarship opportunities are available to me?
You can learn more about scholarships here.
Can I receive mail while at Boys State?
Sure, here is the address to use:Palmetto Boys State Anderson University 316 Boulevard Anderson, SC 29621