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What do high school seniors learn from Boys State? Just ask any of the 315 males attending the 53rd annual Boys State Convention at Weber State University this week. They'll tell you the same thing: learning insights into government and politics and making new friends.

Boys State is sponsored every year by the American Legion. The program is designed to teach last year's high school juniors the functional aspects of citizenship. The Legion's motto is "to educate our youth in the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship."In talking to some of the participants Tuesday, all said they were having a good time.

Dressed in a blue T-shirt with "Boys State" printed on the front, Brian Kenworth of St. George even described his stay in Ogden as "pretty cool."

Ricky Jorgensen of West Valley City said he was making new friends from the teenagers who have gathered from around the state to attend the weeklong conference. "I've had a lot of fun, actually," he said. "Especially learning about the two-party system."

Not only do the youths learn about how government works, they also lobby and seek office for elected positions in cities, counties and national government. Jor-gen-sen said he was running for senator for Boys Nation. If he wins, he'll travel to Washington, D.C.

Benji McMurray from Salt Lake City said he was pleased to be selected as a Boys State candidate. "Everyone's just the cream of the crop," he said. "It's fun. I've learned a lot about government and politicking."

Josh Humphrey from Orange-ville near Price said he was also enjoying his experience. "It's fun 'cuz you meet new people from all around the state. You get close to them and make good friends," he said.

Spencer Powelson of Tooele said he lost his election to become a circuit court judge, but was elected a county secretary. He also hopes to win a seat as a state representative.

"I think it's a lot of fun," he said. "It's really neat to experience. It's pretty cool."