White talks about attending Boys State
by Robert Joseph Baker | October 15, 2017 6:35 pm
Last Updated: October 17, 2017 at 1:40 pm
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second of several small profiles about students who attended the 71st Palmetto Girls State and Boys state sessions. The students, all seniors from various Clarendon County Schools, were sponsored by various American Legion posts and their auxiliaries. The students spoke to their sponsors on Oct. 3 during a reception at First Baptist Church of Manning.
Hunter White was one of more than a dozen students who talked Oct. 3 about his experiences at the 71st Palmetto Boys State session, which was held June 11-17.
White was sponsored by the American Legion Post No. 68 of Manning.
“I want to thank Post 68 for allowing me to go to boys state,” White said. “I’ve never been to anything like that before.”
The son of Tracey White, the senior plays varsity golf and is a member of the FFA, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Beta Club. He is also active with his school’s yearbook committee, his church youth group and with the Clarendon County Recreation Department, where he volunteers with baseball and golf.
Delegates selected to attend Palmetto Boys State are chosen based on individual qualities such as character, leadership ability and interest in government. A review of honors, awards, extra- circular activities, employment history and civic and church involvement are considered in the selection process.
As part of the selection process, each boy was asked to complete an application and answer three essay questions about government in their own words and were interviewed by members of the legion post.
The South Carolina Department of the American Legion has organized and administered Palmetto Boys State since 1937. Tuition for the program is paid for by the local chapter of the American Legion, which raises money through fundraisers and sponsorships provided by local businesses as well as donations. The program emphasizes many of the tenets of the American Legion, including the concept of “God and Country” and respect for the American Flag.
“It was a big change for me,” White said. “Once my mom and her fiancee left, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to do. The first few days went by, and I got more used to it.”
White said he’s now happy he went.
“I’m very glad, honestly,” he said. “I made a lot of bonds with people I would’ve never met.”
White’s only disappointment was running for several offices and not winning.
“I ran for Boys State city and county council, and I lost both,” Hunter said. “It’s fine; I kept my head up.”