Category Archives: Baraboo

Chapter 25 counter-recruiting, essay contest in Six Rural Southwestern Wisconsin High Schools

VFP Counter-Recruiting display at Baraboo High School.  Photo by David Giffey.

VFP Counter-Recruiting display at Baraboo High School. Photo by David Giffey.

In early 2016, Veterans for Peace Chapter 25 members spent lunch hours counter-

recruiting in six high schools in rural Southwestern Wisconsin. This photo shows

the visual display set up at Baraboo High School in March. Also included in the

counter recruitment and essay contest sponsored by Chapter 25 are high schools:

River Valley in Spring Green, Riverdale in Muscoda, Dodgeville, Boscobel, and

Richland Center. Students receive information regarding alternatives to the military

and details about the on-going essay contest. In 2015, a total of 39 seniors at the six

rural high schools wrote essays on the topic “Why I Believe War Is Not the Answer.”

The winning essay writer in each school received a $500 scholarship from Chapter

25. The counter-recruiting and scholarship essay program in Southwestern

Wisconsin is coordinated by Chapter 25 founding member David Giffey. Member

Randy Converse assisted with counter recruiting in the rural high schools. The

scholarships will be presented to the winning students at award night ceremonies at

each of the schools before the end of the 2016 school year. For more information

about the rural high school scholarship program, email David Giffey:

barnowl1941 (at) gmail (dot) com

VFP Scholarship Essay Contest Open to Students in Six Rural Southwestern Wisconsin Schools

Since 2006, Veterans for Peace Chapter 25 has offered $500 scholarships to a growing number of graduating seniors in rural high schools in Southwestern Wisconsin. To apply for the scholarship, senior students are required to write a 500- to 700-word essay on the topic: “Why I Believe War Is Not the Answer.”

In each of the six rural schools where scholarships are offered, a member of Chapter 25 provides information to students about the cost of wars – both human and monetary – and alternatives to the military. Veterans for Peace counter-recruiting takes place during lunch hours in the school cafeterias, where military recruiters often visit. Guidance counselors in the high schools list the Veterans for Peace scholarships each year along with dozens of other community scholarships available to the students.

Since the scholarship program began nearly a decade ago, the number of participating rural schools has grown, as has the number of students entering the essay contest. In some cases, 15 percent or more of a high school senior class has written an essay on the peace topic.

In addition to the scholarships in six rural Southwestern Wisconsin schools, Chapter 25 also offers a scholarship for students attending a high school in the City of Madison. (See this page).

This year, schools outside the City of Madison participating in the essay contest include: Baraboo, Boscobel, Dodgeville, Richland Center, Riverdale (Muscoda), and River Valley (Spring Green).

Essays are judged by the VFP scholarship committee, and awarded at honors ceremonies conducted annually at each high school and attended by hundreds of parents, family members, and friends. When awarding the scholarships, a Veterans for Peace representative briefly describes the peaceful mission of our organization to the crowd.

The scholarships are funded solely with donations to Veterans for Peace Chapter 25. While the scholarship/essay program includes only a fraction of the 425 school districts in Wisconsin, it represents an important effort to educate students and citizens about the unbearable costs of war.

After the scholarships are awarded, some of the essays will be made available on this website: