U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King on July 23 welcomed Maine Boys Nation delegates Peter Spectre of Belfast and Seamus McDonough of Wells; on July 29 they welcomed Maine Girls Nation delegates Elise Dumont of Newcastle and Salma Mohamed of Auburn.

The American Legion Boys and Girls Nation Programs each select two representatives from each state to travel to Washington where the young leaders learn about the structure and function of the federal government.

“It was great to welcome Peter and Seamus to the Capitol today,” Collins and King said in a joint statement. “Boys Nation is a wonderful program that helps cultivate our nation’s future leaders, and we’re delighted to have both Peter and Seamus representing Maine and making our state so proud.

“Elise and Salma are very impressive young women, and it was a pleasure to welcome them to our nation’s capital today,” Collins and King said. “The Girls Nation program is an important window into how things work in Washington, and we are proud that Maine is so well-represented in this valuable learning experience for some of America’s future leaders.”

Since 1946, the American Legion Boys and Girls Nation have convened for a week in Washington to learn the qualities of leadership and good governance.

Each delegate acts as a senator from his state and learns to organize committees and conduct hearings on bills submitted by fellow delegates.