By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News
While many people are still planning their summer vacation, Mt. Pleasant Community High School juniors Aaron Bodenham and Sam Beatty know where they will be spending a week of their summer break.
Bodenham and Beatty will represent Mt. Pleasant?s American Legion Post ? Bob Tribby Post 58 ? at Iowa?s Boys State in June at Camp Dodge near Johnston.
For Bodenham, it will be following in his brother Adam?s footsteps, who was one of the local representatives two years ago. Bodenham, however, was quick to remark that following his brother was not a major factor in his decision to apply for the selection.
?I kind of thought about it after my brother went because he said it was such a good experience,? Bodenham said. ?I got fairly excited when I applied and was hopeful I would be chosen. I feel honored because I know a lot of kids apply for it.?
Boys State is a program in which high school seniors-to-be are selected by their hometown American Legion posts for the honor of attending. The impetus of the program is to expose attendees to the governmental process. A governor, lieutenant governor and other officers are elected by their peers during the week.
Beatty said he applied ?because it sounded like a good opportunity.?
?I wanted to learn more about state government and the democratic process,? he said. ?I think what I learn at Boys State will help me down the road.?
Like Bodenham, Beatty also did his research. ?I talked to Maison Ashton (who was one of Mt. Pleasant?s representatives last year), and he said it was a good opportunity and that he had a good time.?
Bodenham, son of John and Dawn Bodenham, is involved in marching, symphonic and jazz band at MPCHS as well as a member of the trapshooting team. He said trapshooting is one of his favorite activities. ?I like it a lot because unlike most other sports, it is an individual sport, but also incorporates the elements of team sports. All of my friends are in it, and I?ve met a lot of good people through it.?
Beatty is the son of Jim and Connie Beatty, and participates in basketball, track and the silver cord program. He said he was excited when he was notified that he had been chosen. ?I was happy because there aren?t that many people who get to go, so it is something to be proud of.?
Both said they hope to get a deeper understanding of government and the democratic process during their week at Camp Dodge.
?I think it will be a lot of fun,? Beatty said. ?Government is an interesting subject to learn about. I also look forward to meeting other people.?
Bodenham said he wants to be an informed citizen and believes Boys State will aid him in his quest. ?This will help me learn about government. I just want more experience and knowledge about government.?
Following high school, Bodenham is considering attending Iowa State University to study either industrial or mechanical engineering. Beatty wants to attend either Iowa State or the University of Northern Iowa. Despite being a ?townie,? Beatty has a deep fondness for agriculture and hopes to major in either agriculture, agriculture-business or business.
A benefit chili/salad supper to help offset the costs of the trip to Boys State is planned for Saturday, Feb. 17, at Veterans Hall in Mt. Pleasant. Serving will be from 5:30-8 p.m.