​​The Rotary Youth Exchange Committee coordinates and supports the Rotary High School exchange program.  The goal of youth exchange is to help foster international understanding, goodwill and peace.

Every year the Club sponsors two students to attend Badger Boys State at Ripon College and Badger Girls State at UW-Oshkosh.  Students are selected by a committee from the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary.

Both programs are similar, and involve a week-long program which teaches the workings of government “by doing,” where students function on city, county and state levels by electing officials in the manner prescribed by regular election procedures and conducting business on those levels.  Students learn about our system of government and American traditions, leadership skills, and what it means to be an effective citizen of the United States.

Approximately 870 young men from every part of Wisconsin participate in Badger Boys State and over 725 delegates participate in Badger Girls State. The students are grouped into cities and counties which form a “51st state” of the United States. For eight days, the citizens of this “new state” will carry out all the main functions of city, county, and state government using basic laws and fundamental procedures of the State of Wisconsin as their guide. The program is designed to teach its “citizens” that the American form of government is stronger and more vital in today’s world than ever before.

 The participants elect their own municipal, county and state officials. As alderman or county supervisors, they frame, present and pass their own ordinances and laws, while their own police and sheriffs will enforce them. As attorneys, they will prosecute or defend. As judges, hear cases in their own courts.   Through this program, these leaders of the future should develop a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation.

Each Year, the Rotary Club of Waupaca selects two to six students to attend the District 6220 RYLA conference where they are exposed to team building exercises and events to learn about the fundamentals and ethics of leadership.  One adult Rotarian also has an opportunity to participate in the program.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is Rotary International’s leadership training program for young people. RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth, and aims to:

  • Demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth
  • Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders
  • Encourage leadership of youth by youth
  • Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities

Since 2000, the District 6220 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference has grown to become one of the District’s most impactful programs of Rotary Service. Each year, almost 100 students with leadership potential attend an all expenses paid 3-day leadership retreat.  The program is offered to students who will be high school sophomores or juniors during the current school year. The conference brings out leadership skills in individuals through team building concepts and outdoor based activities that include trust building exercises, problem solving initiatives, and low and high challenge course experiences.  Past participants say that this life-changing experience builds inner strength and lasting friendships. 

Students can apply through Rotary to be sponsored for this international seminar that focuses on current global topics and trends and is held at Carroll College.

The World Affairs Seminar is the vision of Rotarian Dr. Dale Brock, whose goal was to bring about better understanding of world problems among a select group of young people from around the globe. He imagined and built WAS to study current issues. In the course of this study, the WAS provides opportunities for participants to discuss issues with other young people from around the world. Emphasis is on promoting better understanding of the causes of international conflict with the idea that if the causes are understood, problems are more likely to be solved peacefully.

The World Affairs Seminar (WAS) is a unique interactive educational program for high school students. The week-long experience involves international students from a variety of backgrounds who discuss issues in a non-threatening environment. They experience new and different ideas and viewpoints brought forward both by their colleagues and by world renowned experts. In small and large groups students discuss information and ideas and put their new knowledge to use. Through public policy simulations they work through the complex interactions of different countries, corporations and organizations to develop their own policy initiative. The university setting provides a college-like experience, including use of the residence halls and campus dining. Throughout the week students have time for recreational activities which bring greater awareness and understanding of the world around them. Critical thinking, negotiation skills and the process of learning about new friends from around the world are all part of this incredible experience.

 Since WAS first accepted students in 1972, over 27,000 future world leaders have participated. Many have stayed in touch with the friends they made at WAS, forming business relationships, political contacts and family friendships.

Visit the Badger Boys State and Badger Girls State websites for more information: 



For more information: 



Since 1908, the Boys’ & Girls’ Brigade has offered camps at Onaway Island as an extension of the Character Development and Leadership Training program at Brigade. The Rotary Club of Waupaca has provided a grant to fund scholarships for up to seven Waupaca students to attend. Onaway Island is located on the beautiful Chain O’ Lakes near Waupaca. Camps are available June through August for boys and girls who have completed grades 6-12 the previous school year. Camp Onaway is open to all youth from across the state to all over the country; we even have youth from other Brigades around the world who visit during the summer.

Camp Onaway currently hosts four weeklong girls’ camps and three weeklong boys’ camps. The leaders interact with youth in mentoring roles to reinforce positive values, and character traits through the Four-Fold way of life of mental, physical, social, and religious development. Onaway provides an environment where youth grow, explore new opportunities, challenge themselves, experience adventure and ultimately succeed. Camp life is filled with fun and enriching experiences never to be forgotten and close friendships that will last a lifetime.

​APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP TODAY!  Scholarship applications are due 30 days before the start of each camp.  Click the icon to download a scholarship application form:

​Scholarship Application Form:

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