Over the week of June 10-16, approximately 900 young men from across the state of South Carolina assembled at the campus of Anderson University for the 2012 encampment of Palmetto Boys State.
Alex Cole and Jake Buzhardt attended as representatives for Newberry Academy.
Upon arriving at Anderson University, all 900 “citizens” are assigned a political party—either Nationalist or Federalist—and a city named after one of the major South Carolina rivers.
Throughout the week citizens participated in tutorial sessions about the functions and operations of government at state and local levels, gave speeches and ran for offices in mock elections, participated in sports and recreational activities, and met other boys their age from across the state.
The citizens also received an opportunity to hear from many local and state political leaders as guest speakers. These included Congressman Trey Gowdy, S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellars, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, and Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts.
On Friday of that week, the citizen of Palmetto Boys State met up with the citizens of Palmetto Girls State at the state house. The two programs toured the state house and then ate lunch together at the historic horseshoe on the campus of U.S.C.
Overall, Palmetto Boys State was an invigorating and life changing experience for everyone involved. The program truly lived up to its claim to be “one week to begin the rest of your life.”
Both representatives from Newberry Academy considered it a privilege and an honor to be chosen as citizens. A special thanks goes out to John Talbot and the members of American Legion Post 24 for helping to provide this incredible opportunity.