CAMP VERDE - At 1 p.m. Feb. 6, American Legion Post 93 will host the first in a series of oratorical contests for High School students from the surrounding area.
American Legion Area C comprises a region roughly encompassing Black Canyon City to the south, Flagstaff to the north and from Camp Verde to Prescott and as a whole, will have five speakers competing.
Camp Verde High School student Beau Bullard will participate in this competition and is sponsored by American Legion Post 135 in Cornville.
Young orators earn some of the most generous college scholarships available to high school students. More than $138,000 in scholarships could be awarded each year.
The overall national contest winner gets an $18,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $16,000, and third gets $14,000. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest's first round receives a $1,500 scholarship.
Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The American Legion's National Organization awards the scholarships, which can be used at any college or university in the United States.
High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round that decides the three top finishers.
Orators are rated on a number of categories and points are either awarded or deducted based on oration. Finally, the orators are given four additional subjects that they must become familiar with in advance.
One of those four subjects is randomly selected at the time of the competition. Speakers are then given approximately five minutes to prepare and then must give a three- to five-minute speech on that assigned topic.
Speeches must stay within eight to 10 minutes long and must be given without notes.
American Legion Post 93 is located at 276 S. 3rd St. in Camp Verde.