The American Legion Destin Post 296 has chosen two lucky high school students to attend Boys State at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

American Legion Boys State is a educational program about government for U.S. high school students. Students become part of the operation of local, county and state government. Boys State was founded in 1935 to counter the socialism-inspired Young Pioneer Camps. The program was the idea of two Illinois Legionnaires, Hayes Kennedy and Harold Card, who organized the first Boys State at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

The Destin post has selected Fort Walton Beach High School student Drew Bachman and South Walton High School student Cole Varner to represent them at Boys State this year.

“We asked high school guidance counselors to pick out a few students who are interested on how the government works and this year we selected two amazing students,” said Skip Overdier, the 1st vice commander for American Legion Destin Post 296.

The boys will join other student participates and learn the structure of city, county and state governments for a week starting June 18.

“These are straight A students and it always amazes me how they have taken control of their lives,” Overdier said. “They are going to receive leadership training and learn how to be better citizens.”

Excited to learn and gain new experiences, Bachman, 16, said his guidance counselor advised him to apply for the program.

“It’s a good opportunity to do during the summer and it will be good for networking,” he said.

Bachman, who will be a senior in August, said his ready to learn how the government works.

“I’m looking forward on running for office and electing members,” he said. “I encourage students to learn as much as they can during their high school years.”