Maple River senior selected to attend American Legion Boys Nation

Lippert represents Minnesota in Washington, D.C.

By Kevin Mertens – Staff Writer | Aug 22, 2021

Noah Lippert, who is going to be a senior at Maple River High School this fall, has had quite a summer.

Lippert, who lives on a farm north of Easton, not only was selected to attend the American Legion Boys State, he was then one of two young men chosen to represent Minnesota at the American Legion Boys Nation, which was held July 23-31, in Washington D.C.

“I did not even know if Boys State was going to happen in-person or online, and I was really hoping it would and I would actually be able to go,” Lippert says. “I found out late the Winnebago American Legion Post 82 had an opening and I was able to get in on a last-minute registration.”

The 2021 edition of Boys State was held June 13-18 on the campus of St. John’s University in Collegeville.

Minnesota American Legion Boys State is a week-long experience of learning about Minnesota government at the local, county and state levels by “doing.”

The participants, who have just completed their junior year in high school, actually organize and participate in the various levels and branches of government in addition to participating in athletics, music, writing for the newspaper or holding leadership positions across all levels of the program. Every boy will participate in the process of city, county and state government.

Highlights of the week include political speakers, mock trials, campaigning, elections, and announcement of the Boys State Governor and State Constitutional Officers.

Noah, who is the youngest of 10 children born to Tim and the late Dixie Lippert, had some prior knowledge of the Boys State program.

“My older siblings had attended and had a good time,” Lippert comments. “They said it was a good experience, fun and exciting.”

He says he also had his own reasons for wanting to attend Boys State.

“I have an interest in learning about local government. And being a Boys State representative does not look bad on a resumé,” he notes.

The 17-year old wasted little time getting involved at Boys State.

“There were 132 boys in attendance and we were divided into six cities with 22 boys in each city,” Lippert explains. “I ran for mayor of my city the first day but was defeated. I then took an appointment as an election clerk and later was elected to be the County Attorney.”

Lippert shares the boys were able to listen to a number of speakers, including the mayor of St. Cloud, a state representative as well as members of city councils.

“We also were able to hear a speech by Simeon Toronto, who was a former Boys State governor who later was elected the president of Boys Nation back in 2013,” Lippert mentions.

He may have lost his first election attempt for mayor, but Lippert apparently made quite an impression on the counselors at Boys State.

“The counselors selected an outstanding boy from each city and I was selected from my city,” Lippert says. “I, along with the other five boys selected, went before a panel and we were asked a series of questions. I was very fortunate to be one of two boys selected to attend Boys Nation.”

Lippert shares there were also two boys selected as alternates who got to attend Boys Nation when the state of West Virginia opted not to send any boys because of COVID-19.

So, Lippert was off to Washington D.C.

“Boys Nation is similar to Boys State except it is on a national level,” he explains. “We received an education on the structure and function of the federal government.”

The boys were split into members of two parties, the Federalist or the Nationalist parties, and they could run for positions within the party, such as chairman or parliamentarian.

“The motto for the week was “A Week that Shapes a Lifetime,” Lippert shares. “If you want to go into politics or law, Boys Nation provides a mock-up or run- through of the U.S. Senate.”

The boys were called senators and voted on bills and resolutions and other legislation.

“It was a good learning process of what a bill does and how it moves forward to the floor of the Senate,” Lippert says. “I had to introduce my own bill. It passed in committee but was never brought to the floor.”

He says there were five or six big elections and he found out some positions had more power than he realized.

“The head of the calendar committee had quite a bit of say in determining which bills were scheduled to be heard,” Lippert notes.

He was also able to take some time and visit some of the monuments and war memorials around the city.

“We also were able to visit Arlington Cemetery and witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” he says. “Two of our representatives helped place a wreath at the tomb.”

Eventually Lippert had to return home where he is preparing to go out for cross country for the Eagles this season.

“I am also active in drama, musicals and the one-act play competition,” he adds. “I participate in speech and knowledge bowl. I help with the yearbook and am a member of the National Honor Society. I joined track last year so when spring comes around I will be busy with that.”

If those things do not keep him busy enough, he is also a member of the Maple River robotics team.

He has also made two trips to Winnebago to speak to the organization which sponsored him.

“I spoke to them after I returned from Boys State and also after Boys Nation,” Lippert says. “I am so thankful for their support.”

So, will the people of southern Minnesota see Lippert running for office someday?

“The thought has intrigued me and perhaps one day I will want to get more involved,” he comments. “It was a very good experience and I was able to meet some incredible people from all around the United States. It was fun and interesting to learn how everything works first hand. We will have to see where life takes me.”