RIPON – Governor Scott Walker addressed young men from throughout Wisconsin selected to attend Badger Boys State tonight at the 76th Annual Inauguration Ceremony.
Badger Boys State is a unique, 8-day experience where participants are grouped into cities and counties to form a “51st state.” Throughout the week, the young men elect municipal, county, and state officials to carry out the duties of and function as a government.
“We often talk about the importance of providing the young men and women of Wisconsin with hands-on opportunities that prepare them for their higher education, career, and life,” Governor Walker said. “The future success of our state depends upon our ability to provide the bright, young, minds of today with the skills they need to succeed tomorrow. As a Badger Boys State alum, I know first-hand how valuable this experience is. Badger Boys State sparked my interest in state government, and I can only hope that a few of the young men in attendance this week are inspired as I was to make a difference and go on to become future leaders of Wisconsin.”
First held in 1939 at St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Badger Boys State later moved to Ripon College’s campus in 1941. The program is sponsored every year by the Wisconsin American Legion and has grown from 484 participants in 1939 to approximately 870 young men from across the state this year.
The Badger Boys State experience provides young men in Wisconsin with a hands-on learning environment built upon citizen interaction, patriotism, and learning the value of United States citizenship. Students are nominated to attend Badger Boys State, and local American Legion Posts usually serve as the clearing center for sponsoring organizations.
Governor Walker has also proclaimed the week of June 10 – June 17 as Badger Boys State Week. A copy of his proclamation can be found here.