Pillsbury To Help Represent Wisconsin At Prestigious Government Training Boys Nation
For some it is as close as you can get to politics without running, while others have used it as a launching pad for the future.
Incoming Shawano Senior Gage Pillsbury is about to embark on a journey to Washington DC after being selected to help represent Wisconsin at Boys Nation in July. The process of being selected included being selected over more than 800 other Badger Boys State Delegates last week in Ripon.
“I was contacted by my Badger Boys Counselors, and I was told that they wanted me to be their representative for my city and then I was selected through an interview process to represent the County that I was in” Pillsbury said.
“I moved into the top nine boys, and I had to sit in front of a board and describe how I would be a good candidate for Boys Nation.”
Pillsbury said he was able to impress the board by what he accomplished and the dreams that he had at such a young stage in his life.
“They said they wanted leadership skills and people who went above and beyond their call of duty at Badger Boys” Gage said. They said they wanted to see people who pushed other people to succeed, while becoming a better person themselves.”
While at Badger Boys State, Gage was elected Mayor of his city, won a County seat and even ran for Governor. That along with his experience as an Eagle Scout, not only helped him earn votes from his peers, but was secretly making him stand out among all the delegates.
“The board was made up of Veterans, so I expressed that ever since I was little, I wanted to be in the military and serve. I believe that was a key factor” Gage said.
Gage and one other delegate from Wisconsin will get the chance to act as a Senator. He and the other Senators will caucus at the beginning of the session, get into committees and even submit and vote on bills.
“Imagine Badger Boys with one percent of the boys and four times the number of activities” Gage explained.
While the action is all just an exercise, it is as close to real thing as possible. Senators learn the proper method of handing bills, participate in the entire political process and even nominate and president and vice president for election.
“It is a full expense paid trip that I have been nominated for. We get to DC and have to go through procedure and run for federal positions this time” Gage said.
“We get to meet the President of the United States at the Whitehouse. We get to go to Arlington and lay a wreath and get to get the grand tour.”
The Senators will also get a chance to meet with elected officials from their State.
“It is just jaw dropping. I am still in shock and it is pretty much everything I always wanted to do wrapped up in this program. I can’t thank the American Legion enough.
Gage said he is most looking forward to shaking hands with President Trump.
“No matter what President, it’s the title not the person. I would not care if it was Donald Trump or Barack Obama.”
The trip will be at the end of July, and it comes at time that Gage had other plans. As soon as he got the invite, he changed those plans.
“I was supposed to be going on a trip that I paid in full to the National Jamboree in West Virginia, but I cancelled it just so I could go on this once in a lifetime trip.”
It may be an opportunity too good to pass up. Along with all the activities, the Senators will have memories and will get to be a part of a list of some well-known past Boys Senators, including Scott Walker, President Bill Clinton, Rush Limbaugh, Neil Armstrong, Michael Jordan and Jon Bon Jovi.
“My name will forever be listed on the website with a pretty big group of names. I hope to have future success because of this program like others did” Gage added.
Only two other Badger Boys from Shawano have gone to Boys Nation since it was started by the American Legion in 1946.