The Instructional Program

Tar Heel Boys’ State adheres to the basic concept of teaching government from the township to the state level. The Instructional Program is carried out in three phases: limited classroom instruction, functional activities, and general assemblies. Approximately fifty percent of the program hours of Tar Heel Boys’ State are devoted to government instruction and practice.

Classroom Instruction is held to a minimum on subjects such as law, civil service, election procedures and parliamentary procedure. Other special "schools" are conducted to inform candidates of the duties of the office they seek. Following the election and appointment of officers, instruction in the operation of the respective offices is held by the citizens. All citizens of Tar Heel Boys’ State receive instruction in Parliamentary Procedure.

Functional Activities start with nominating candidates for city offices and conclude with the inauguration of the Governor of Tar Heel Boys’ State. This is the heart of the instructional program. The functional activities (citizenship practice) such as elections, caucuses, conventions, operation of the courts and legislative assemblies are government in action. These activities take a considerable portion of the time allotted for instructional purposes and constitute the chief means through which citizens “learn by doing.”

General Assemblies are for all citizens and are intended as a means to spur enthusiasm and spirit, inspiration, and patriotism, political fervor and a real zeal for the “American way” Previous guest speakers have included Governor James Hunt, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Justice Henry Frye, former Governor James E. Holshouser, Jr., former North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Libba Evans, former Republican Chair Sam Currin, State Superintendent Mike Ward, U.S. Representative Bob Etheridge, former UNC football coach Carl Torbush, and former Wake Forest basketball coach Dave Odom.