My name is Jeremy Cieslewicz, chief of police for the city of MacArthur in Cameron County for the 2013 session. I also was appointed the Distributor of News by Governor Johnson and member of the Badger Boys State band.
Badger Boys State was probably the best week I have had in a long time; I loved every day there and hope to return as a counselor. The single most rewarding part of that entire week was actually at one of the last assemblies. As a member of any musical group, you tend to feel slightly out of the light when you have governors and government officials speaking up on the stage next to you, and the practicing also takes its toll. But what made the whole experience worthwhile was something that I have never experienced besides at BBS.
We had just finished playing and the speaker on stage was preparing to close the ceremony down when a chant began: “One more time! One more time!” Before we knew it, everyone at Badger Boys State was chanting for us to play the Badger Boys State song again. It was probably the most amazing thing I have ever seen, the warmth from everyone in the gymnasium was directed towards us. Our conductor looked to the man on stage and got the OK to play, one more time. And we did, all of the 800-plus Badger Boys who weren’t in the band sang along louder than they had before. It was something to behold.
All in all, the whole experience was something else. I met a guy in my Badger Boys State city who, in reality, lives 15 minutes away from me. I met a guy who was the son of one of my uncle’s friends. I met so many great people. But what I really took away from Badger Boys State isn’t something like a title or a new friend—I took away a new me. I learned so much more about myself, I finally figured out who I was, and what I could be. The reason why I don’t call this my best moment is because I’ve always been this guy—I just didn’t know it.
Badger Boys State is so much more that what words can describe. The only thing I can surely say is that I am changed for the better.