On one hot and muggy Saturday in June, I stumbled out of a car with a suitcase packed with a week's worth of clothes and toothpaste onto the University of Central Missouri's campus. I was there for Missouri Boys State.
Missouri Boys State is a seven day camp sponsored by the American Legion. A thousand dudes from all across the state assemble and form their own city, local, and state governments. (Keep in mind, this also is done for young women in Missouri, too with Missouri Girls State.)
During my time at Boys State, I was elected a member of the House of Representatives, watched one of my best friends become Governor (shoutout to fellow Blue Jay Journal TV staff member Cason Suggs!), and ate a bunch of low-quality reheated college dorm food. But this blog isn't about all of that. This blog is about all of the amazing guys I met in my city of Ingle at Boys State.
When I first arrived I knew absolutely no one in my city. On my dorm floor, there were 58 other guys I had never seen before in my life, but when I left it was as if I never knew my life without them. It was an amazing experience.
Once Boys State was over I had a specific memory for each and every one of them. My roomate, Kaleb, for instance brought 15 cans of Febreeze and planned to sell room spray services to people. Another guy, Tennessee, (yes, that is his name) brought his ukulele and played it in the stairwell as we all sang along one day. Another dude, Jonathan, happened to sound exactly like Ted Cruz.
I could go on and on, but I think the point has been made: everyone from Ingle carries a memory with me. What all of those guys showed me that week was how people from all walks of life could come together and form such a strong bond that transcends so many man-made barriers, both physical and societal.
After Boys State, whenever I come across a challenge or obstacle in my life, whether it be a bad test grade or any type of personal trouble, I know that 58 guys have my back and they know that I have theirs. The inspiration they gave me to lead my life will truly have a lasting impact on my life.
And for the boys from Ingle: #IngleMakesMeTingle #HOYYYEEEAAAAHHH