Director’s Guidance

Director’s Guidance

Clay A. Ballenger, Director

  1. Ensuring the safety and security of the delegates is our most important duty.  These boys’ parents have entrusted us with their children and we will not let them down.
  2. Oklahoma Boys State is first and foremost an American Legion Program.  The ideals of God and Country will remain the central focus and it is our duty to educate the delegates on the American Legion and teach respect for Legionnaires and veterans.
  3. We must always strive to improve the program.  It is our responsibility to make Boys State interesting, relevant, and enjoyable so that it will continue to be as successful as it has in the past.  Oklahoma Boys State will continue to be the absolute best Boys State program in the nation just as it has been in the past.
  4. We must ensure that the property and facilities of NEO A&M College are treated at all times with respect and that no damages occur due to negligence or intentional destruction.  We have a superb reputation in this area and we must maintain that in the future.
  5. Each staff member must be dedicated to the success of the program and not his own objectives.  Boys State is bigger than any one staff member including the director and senior staff.  If any of us feels we are more important than the ideals and goals of the program, we must politely excuse ourselves from participation.  Any of us can be replaced for the good of the program.
  6. The backbone of Oklahoma Boys State is the counseling staff.  Although each staff member is vital to the success of the program, the quality and dedication of the counselors can make or break the session.  These positions must not be filled lightly and they must be supported at every level.
  7. Our staff as a whole must function as a close “Band of Brothers” willing to aid and support one another whenever the need arises.  No one can be an island on the Boys State staff.  We have strength in numbers.
  8. I would like for every staff member who is eligible, to join either the American Legion or the Sons of the American Legion.  Without the Legion family, Boys State would not exist and I believe we should encourage support for these organizations.  My goal in this area, is to see every staff member who is eligible, wearing a Legion cap by the 2016 session.
  9. Staff members shall look, act, and speak professionally in front of delegates.  Other than the type of shirt, the staff “uniform” is the same as the delegates.  There shall be no profanity in the presence of delegates.  Using fowl language in a professional setting shows a lack of discipline and shows disrespect for those around.
  10. Although this is a volunteer organization, there are certain guidelines that must be set forth for the safety of the delegates and the integrity of the program.  Therefore, no staff members who have any contact with delegates will consume alcohol at any time after the delegates arrive on campus.
  11. It is absolutely imperative, that during the week of Boys State, we adhere strictly to the schedule.  Cities must arrive at each event at least a few minutes early.  Late arrivals throw the entire schedule for that day off course and this is unnecessary.
  12. Each staff member must know his own limitations.  Never take on a responsibility or duty that you know you cannot perform.  If you are not comfortable as an instructor for example, do not teach.  We have plenty of duty choices so that each staffer should easily find one that suits his skills and preferences.
  13. In the event that staff members disagree on a matter or have a conflict with one another, it must be resolved out of sight and earshot of the delegates.  We must always show a united front as staff members and maintain the “team” integrity.
  14. I want Oklahoma Boys State to be as realistic and exciting as possible.  Each of us must always strive to create an atmosphere that gives the delegates a sense of ownership in their government while at the same time, never letting them forget that we are watching.  The goal of our program should not be just to teach, but to foster a learning environment through hands-on participation.  Many times, trial and error is the most effective way for delegates to quickly learn.