The high school counselors throughout the state of Wisconsin play a very important role in spreading the word about our program and, often times, are involved in the selection process determining who attends. If you are a school counselor at the high school level, thank you for visiting our site and for your interest in learning more about our program. On this page, we hope you will find not only answers to some questions you may have but also resources you may find useful.

What is Badger Boys State?

Badger Boys State is a premier Wisconsin youth program that creates an environment in which future leaders develop—and put into practice—skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. This is a bold statement—one that we feel is credible.

Each participant of Badger Boys State will complete the program with different experiences, skills, growth, and overall outcome. However, the environment created provides everything necessary to help promote leadership and learning through a framework of hands-on creation of their own mock government among some of the best young men of Wisconsin. Gathering such a diverse and quality group of young men, is by itself, powerful. Add a proven framework, dedicated staff, access to quality presenters and guest contributors from throughout the nation, and the experience is truly like that of no other program or youth leadership conference.

What Badger Boys State is not

The program is operated under the guidance and sponsorship of The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin. However, it is not run as a military unit or operation. The program derives much of its pride and stability from its long history as a Legion program—one of its most cherished youth programs. However, the Badger Boys State program, which started with hints of military routines, is no longer operated in this way. Badger Boys State has matured and grown through its nearly 70-year history and operates more as an executive training retreat than a school program. A few routines, such as meals and meetings, are regimented due to the logistics of servicing nearly 1,000 people efficiently. These are now the exception and the boys are provided more freedoms within the program to interact with each other, the presenters, and the staff.

Testimonials from past Badger Boys State participants

We felt that the best way to communicate the experience we provide at Badger Boys State is to record participants from previous years and allow them to speak directly about their experience. Visit our YouTube channel or our media page to see these videos and more.

Scholarships available for Badger Boys State participants

For information on scholarships available for those attending BBS, please visit The American Legion Department, of Wisconsin website.

Participant sponsorship process for Badger Boys State

The sponsorship process occurs between the organization and Badger Boys State before January 31. Often, after sponsorship arrangements are confirmed, a sponsor will provide information to the local high school. We do not have visibility or involvement in that process but can help provide sponsor contact information if your school has not received anything from a sponsor or if you have questions on who local sponsors are in your area. Feel free to contact or office via or contacting our office.

How participants are selected for Badger Boys State

Many school districts and sponsoring organizations entrust the selection of their Boys State candidate to you and other school officials. Please do not take this responsibility lightly. In this capacity, you will help decide which boy(s) will have the opportunity to experience our program, which, for many, can be life changing and maturing event. Please select candidates who are responsible and have an interest in growing and learning. We sometimes have boys attend expecting our program to be sports centric and quickly are disappointed when they arrive. Candidates need not be the top in their class but should show potential for being more than they are now. However, Boys State is not meant to be a disciplinary program and candidates requiring close supervision are often not good selections.

A more detailed list of recommended selection criteria can be found on our 2017 brochure.

Once candidates are selected, please ensure that they attend an orientation either in person or online. Resources can be found for both of these can be found on the orientation page. These are strongly recommended to aid in communicating to the candidate what to expect when arriving. This also ensures that those selected are interested and will participate actively when while at Boys State.

Promotional materials and resources

Boys State promotional poster
2018 Badger Boys State brochure

Contacting us with further questions

If you have any questions on your role in regard to our program or any specific inquires about the content, please contact us at If you have any questions concerning how the selection process should be handled, please direct those to the sponsoring organization. Each organization can have specific procedures or requirements in regard to how they wish the selection to be performed. If that is not possible, please contact us at