The portfolio of American Legion youth programs at the national, state and local levels are designed to strengthen minds, bodies and understanding for young people as they transition to adulthood, whether or not they join the U.S. Armed Forces. The American Legion sponsors hundreds of Junior ROTC programs throughout the country – and even around the world at American schools attached to military bases. American Legion Baseball, which originated in 1925 in South Dakota, has been promoting fitness, discipline and teamwork for generations. Boys State and Boys Nation arose at first to counter communist Young Pioneer camps in the United States and went on to prepare thousands of young men for public service. The National Oratorical Contest, which starts locally and finishes at a national championship, awards more than $138,000 in scholarships, and requires contestants to speak on the U.S. Constitution. Junior Shooting Sports, an official national youth program since 1991, has roots that reach back to Legion marksmanship teams of the 1920s. The Youth Cadet Law Enforcement program, which began in American Legion departments in the 1960s and 1970s, received national encouragement beginning in the mid-1980s and became an official program in 2016. Within each youth program is a connection to the founding American Legion interest to strengthen young people, educate them and increase their understanding of the values for which military men and women have fought.