Badger Boys State

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Badger Boys State is a week-long youth program held each June to teach Wisconsin high-school students leadership and the workings of government. Forty-nine states[1] (all except for Hawai'i) have a similar yet distinctive program for boys[2] and a separate program for girls.[3] The program hosts approximately 850 students (called citizens while attending the program) and over 100 volunteer staff members for 8 days on the Ripon College campus. During the week, a mock government is created as citizens elect leaders in 27 cities, 9 counties, and a "51st" state that encompasses the entire program. The oath of office is administered by Chief Justice Ann Walsh Bradley of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Badger Boys State has helped in the growth and training of a number of notable members of society, including Wisconsin governors Scott Walker, Scott McCallum and Martin Schreiber.[4] The staff and the American Legion seek to provide an educational experience to those who attend the program. Many citizens find the experience memorable and impactful.[5]


During the mid-1930s, an American Legion program known as Boys State was originated in Illinois. In October 1938, the State Executive Committee of the Wisconsin American Legion authorized Alonzo Cudworth Post No. 23, Milwaukee, to proceed with its plans for the organization of Badger Boys State.

Badger Boys State adopted a program based upon the experience of the Illinois Boys State which was sponsored by the Illinois American Legion and had been in operation since 1935. Four hundred eighty-four high school juniors attended the first session of Badger Boys State at St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin, June 16–23, 1939. The project proved very successful and was unanimously authorized to proceed as a state program by the Wisconsin American Legion Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The individuals responsible for founding the Badger Boys State program officially on April 8, 1939 were:

  • Val E. Ove, President 1939, Director 1940-1971, Director Emeritus 1971-1980
  • William E. Fletcher
  • Benjamin Pettitt
  • Ashley Swan
  • Steven Shepherd
  • Henry C. Fuller, Secretary - Milwaukee
  • Lawrence H. Smith, Vice President - Racine
  • George D. Haupt, Treasurer - Milwaukee
  • Grover C. Fillbach, Director - Milwaukee
  • Herbert H. Helble, Director - Appleton
  • Henry O. Regner, Director - West Bend
  • G. H. Stordock, Director - Milwaukee
  • Major George E. Ballhorn, Director - Milwaukee

Due to the limited capacity of St. John's Military Academy, a survey of the various college facilities throughout the state was made in 1941 which resulted in moving Badger Boys State to its present location at Ripon College (Wisconsin). Ripon College's entire facilities are made available for the purpose of accommodating Badger Boys State.

Wartime restrictions forced the suspension of operations in 1943, 1944 and 1945. Badger Boys State resumed its sessions in 1946 with a memorial service for 35 former Badger Boys Staters who gave their lives in the service of their country.

The operation of an actual session of Badger Boys State and the execution of its program now requires a full-time volunteer staff of over one hundred people, plus a part-time special lecture staff of 45. Attendance has grown from 484 in 1939 to an all-time high of 1,066 in 1982. Ripon College was forced to place some restrictions on space in the late 1980s whereby total citizen attendance is restricted to 973 per session.

Many Badger Boys State graduates serve public office or work in business, the professions, industry, and the armed forces.[6]


2011 Governor Matt Walker is the son of current Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, a BBS alumni himself.

Boys Nation Senators

  • 2015 Jacob Malinowski (Greendale) ; Ryan Latham (Boscobel) Template:-
  • 2014 Hunter Lisko (North Fond du Lac) ; Ian Dyrbye O'Hare (Osceola) Template:-
  • 2013 James Broomfield (Whitefish Bay) ; Daniel Shepard (Kickapoo) Template:-
  • 2012 Alexander Lux (West Alis) ; Alex Rathke (Random Lake) Template:-
  • 2011 Brian Jacobs (Franksville) ; Tyler Thomsen (Waukesha) Template:-
  • 2010 Zachary Henderson (Marshall) ; Connor Zwick (Waukesha) Template:-
  • 2009 Nicholas Bohrer (Eau Claire) ; Ivan Fan (Appleton) Template:-
  • 2008 Troy Tauber (Sturgeon Bay) ; Patrick Revord (Appleton) Template:-
  • 2007 Alex Palmer (Elm Grove) ; Daniel Ewert (Germantown) Template:-
  • 2006 Joe Francaviglia (New Berlin) ; Zach Dugan (DeForest) Template:-
  • 2005 Charles Workinger (Marshfield) ; Michael Noshay (Menomonee Falls) Template:-
  • 2004 Riley Catlin (Rhinelander) ; Andrew Christman (Mequon) Template:-
  • 2003 William Davison (Lake Mills) ; Michael Gaspar (Waukesha) Template:-
  • 2002 Daniel R. Suhr (Mequon) ; Trent Benishek (McFarland) Template:-
  • 2001 Bradley Vogel (Kiel) ; Dane Skillrud (Dane) Template:-
  • 2000 Brandon Dimond (Greenbay) ; Ryan Tilot (Denmark) Template:-
  • 1999 Jon Fitzsimmons (Shorewood) ; Bryan Early (Janeville) Template:-
  • 1998 Erik Eisenmann (Waukesha) ; Michael Vilitchka (Wausau) Template:-
  • 1997 Doug Conners (New Berlin) ; Daniel Peterson (Waukesha) Template:-
  • 1996 Dante Houston (Milwaukee) ; John Bauer (West Allis) Template:-
  • 1995 Clifton Parker (Wautoma) ; Thomas (Sahr Lublin) Template:-
  • 1994 Benjamin E Kinney (Whitefish Bay) Template:-
  • 1993 Gabriel L Stanek (Neenah) ; Jay B Varkey (Brookfield) Template:-
  • 1992 Daneil A Volkmann (Ripon) ; Joshua D Rogaczewski (West Allis) Template:-
  • 1991 Mark J Muehl (Stevens Point) ; Daniel P Goemans (Wauwatosa) Template:-
  • 1990 John M Richardson (Oshkosh) ; Penn R Vieau (Green Bay) Template:-
  • 1989 Eric A Lundberg (Germantown) ; Jeffrey S Nelson (Rhinelander) Template:-
  • 1988 Joseph M Eckberg (Green Bay) ; James R Wall Jr (Greenleaf) Template:-
  • 1987 Matthew M Knott (Lake Geneva) ; Erik D Rydberg (Appleton) Template:-
  • 1986 James R Vyvyan (Union Grove) ; Randall Dean Wickman (Ripon) Template:-
  • 1985 Scott Walker (Delavan);[7] Jeff J Bowen (Wausau) Template:-
  • 1984 Grant E Grudzina (Lancaster) ; Steven L Bray (Wauwatosa) Template:-
  • 1983 Scott A Shuda (Stevens Point) ; Daniel J Hurdle (Oconomowoc) Template:-
  • 1982 Dennis S Schell (Baraboo) ; Jay F Hein (Shawano) Template:-
  • 1981 Peter A Pranica (Sobieski) ; Douglas J Binzak (Menomonee Falls) Template:-
  • 1980 Christopher M Natzke (Oconomowoc) ; Larry Massen (Arkdale) Template:-
  • 1979 Steve Litzow (Elm Grove) ; Michael E O'Neill (Osseo) Template:-
  • 1978 Brian J Donovan (Fond du Lac) ; Jeffrey G Stellrecht (Shell Lake) Template:-
  • 1977 Martin J Wojtysiak (Genoa City) ; Thomas T Barney (LaCrosse) Template:-
  • 1976 Eric D Kovacic (Milwaukee) ; Michael L Schowalter (Wauwatosa) ; Bradford L Smith (Appleton) Template:-
  • 1975 Christopher G Kinast (Boloit) ; Daniel T Heaney (Beloit) Template:-
  • 1974 Douglas L Schmidt (Appleton) ; John C Sommerer (Wauwatosa) Template:-
  • 1973 Robert L Illinski (Marshfield) ; David M Kisner (Wisconsin Rapids) Template:-
  • 1972 Peter J Biersteker (Combined Locks) ; Andrew M Paul (Madison) Template:-
  • 1971 Jon E Willman (Manitowoc) ; Alan D Deda (Oshkosh) Template:-
  • 1970 David L Hall (LaCrosse) ; Mark S Scheller (Wauwatosa) Template:-
  • 1969 Robert S Barwa (Franklin) ; Peter R Pivonka (Cato) Template:-
  • 1968 Jerome C Olin (Centuria) ; Evan J Cutting (Wausau) Template:-
  • 1967 Ronald W Woerpel (Madison) ; Thomas H Boettcher (Madison) Template:-
  • 1966 R Peter Henschel (Wauwatosa) ; Mark A Mangerson (Rhinelander) Template:-
  • 1965 Daniel H Schmitt ; James W Koleas Template:-
  • 1964 David J Boeklke (Eau Claire) ; David B Marth (Wausau) Template:-
  • 1963 Brent W Poppenhagen (Sheboygan) ; Thomas G Smith (Seymour) Template:-
  • 1962 Richard L Schwaab ; Thomas A Heberlein Template:-
  • 1961 John L Froiland (Viroqua) ; John T Blakely (Beloit) Template:-
  • 1960 Jay A Zymmerman (Milwaukee) ; Mark A Gennvich (Merrill) Template:-
  • 1959 Barry D Gaberman (Madison) ; Charles W Asher Jr (Sturgeon Bay) Template:-
  • 1958 Charles H Klopf (Wauwatosa) ; Michael E Wheeler (Platteville) Template:-
  • 1957 Lee Huebner (Sheboygan) ; Thomas Petri (Fond du Lac) Template:-
  • 1956 Thomas N Hart (Milwaukee) ; Edward O Sandvold (Fort Atkinson) Template:-
  • 1955 William A. Steiger (Oshkosh) ; Jerry C Hock (Green Bay) Template:-
  • 1954 Richard A Chilgren (Eau Claire) ; William J Ellmann (Waupun) Template:-
  • 1953 Richard I Aaron (Milwaukee) ; John F Pomperin (La Crosse) Template:-
  • 1952 Richard C Hotuedt (Wauwatosa) ; William A Heins (Eau Claire) Template:-
  • 1951 Richard Holt Gascoigne (Kohler) ; William G. Marshall (Madison) Template:-
  • 1950 Joel P Smith (Delavan) ; James K Moore (Racine) Template:-
  • 1949 Kenneth Turner (Racine) ; Mike Hammond (Appleton) ; Norbert Esser (Madison) Template:-
  • 1948 Allan R Redman (Shawano) ; Fortney H Stark Jr (Wauwatosa) Template:-
  • 1947 Gerald T Flom (Menasha) ; J William Murphy (LaCrosse) Template:-
  • 1946 Kenneth M Sachtjen (Madison) ; Henry B Meyer (Richland) Template:-

Board of directors

Member[8] Position Held Home Town
Russell H. Hanseter Chairman of the Board/Director Emeritus Seymour
Wayne Jensen Department Commander & President Milwaukee
David Schuler Vice President Chicago, IL
Fred Berns Director Whitehall
Lloyd Wagener Treasurer Horicon
Al Richards Assistant Treasurer / Assistant Director Grafton
David A. Kurtz Executive Secretary Portage
Nathan Grunewald Assistant Executive Secretary Brookfield
Erik Brown Member Waunakee
Mike Feirer Member Marshfield
George Fix Member Pewaukee
John Cumicek Member Seymour
Ted Duckworth Member New Lisbon
Bud Mautz Member Madison
Bill Cosh Member Lodi
Don Lechner Americanism Chairman Mayville
Denise Rohan Past Department Commander Verona
Robert Batty Member Cedarburg

See also


External links