Plymouth High sends six to Badger State

Junior Jackie Snow, in flowered skirt, was among the Plymouth High School students to attend Badger Girls State this summer. — Submitted photo Junior Jackie Snow, in flowered skirt, was among the Plymouth High School students to attend Badger Girls State this summer. — Submitted photo Six students represented Plymouth High School at Badger Boys State and Badger Girls State this summer.

John Boeckman, Dan Levan and Anton Pohl attended Badger Boys State from June 14 to 21 at Ripon College. Ericka Bohrmueller, Jackie Snow and Elise Suttner attended Badger Girls State from June 15 to 20 in Oshkosh.

Both programs teach students entering their senior year about the workings of government, while instilling civic pride and leadership skills. Sponsorship and support comes from the local American Legion Post and American Legion Auxiliary.

A key component for participants is holding office during the weeklong experience, but the highlight for most students was the friends they made.

Elise, who was a school board member for her town, said she most enjoyed spending time with new friends and attending the rallies.

“The best part about Badger Boys was goofing off with some really fun guys,” said John, who was a county supervisor and a city delegate. “The first day is really hard but after that it gets better. Make sure you find someone with similar interests to hang out with.”

The PHS students agreed that there was an adjustment period. “It’s SUPER awkward the first two days, but once you get to know your roommate it’s a blast,” said Jackie, who was captain of her city. “I still talk to her and we bonded really well.”

Students said those with an interest in government would most enjoy the experience, but Anton noted it’s not all politics. “You are actively involved in sports, activities, organizations, and have some free time to explore the campus with friends,” he said.

Dan, who served as city assessor and the city party treasurer, said the week is what participants make of it. “To be successful at Badger Boys/ Girls means you have to be an effective and emotional speaker: someone who stands out from the crowd,” he said. His favorite part: “The swimming pool was great to cool off in, until too many other guys found out about it.”

Ericka, who was a county representative and helped others from her city run for state offices, initially was uncertain about going. “At first it sounds boring and not like something you wanted to do, but it is so much fun to be free to build the city however you want to,” she said. “Everyone’s ideas are heard. Even if people really aren’t that interested in politics, this was still such a great experience. You get to learn how everything works and why it does. Since we are society, we have the voice to change things, we just have to step up.”

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