Badger Boys State is a week long program put on by the American Legion where rising seniors in high school from all over Wisconsin descend on Ripon, WI to create a mythical 51st state in order to learn about government, politics, and being a good leader…but it is more than that. Frankly it is a place where boys from all over Wisconsin take steps toward becoming men. I know my story would not be the same if it weren’t for Badger Boys State, not because of the program but the amazing people who make the program happen. Fred is one of those amazing people.
I first met Fred during Badger Boys State when he appeared to be hanging around trying to be as helpful as possible, just looking for places to serve and be of use. His persistence led him to being a vital cog in what happened at Badger Boys State and eventually running the program. Besides trying to find ways to add value to what was being done, he also sought ways to invest and connect with the young men of the program.
Fred taught me what it means to be present, be selfless, and also to ask good questions about the purpose of what I was doing. Even after my time at Badger Boys State was done I would get a random call from Fred, checking in on me. Just making sure I hadn’t forgot the lessons I had learned.
In honor of Fred and his service to Badger Boys State, I would like to raise a little money for the program and send another rising senior to Badger Boys State this summer. If you feel moved, head to the Badger Boys State Alumni Association website and submit a donation. I suggest $40 because Fred was a writer and #40ForFred has some alliteration going for it.
Thank you, Fred.