EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - The Madison Scouts, an internationally-known drum and bugle corps ensemble, have been practicing its latest set in Eau Claire ahead of its performance next weekend.
Originally founded as a Boy Scout troop back in 1938, the Madison Scouts have since become a renowned drum corps. Currently, the scouts are made up of 165 members from 29 states and three countries.
Drum Major, Daniel Modl, said he first became interested in joining the Madison Scouts when he attended Chippewa Falls Senior High School. Now a member, he said the four weeks spent rehearsing this performance is hard work but is worth it when the Madison Scouts come to life.
"They're known for always having the most exciting shows, being the ones who have been the innovators and the activity, and seeing them made me really want to do this because I was like, 'I want to be part of a group that's so cool, so innovative, so exciting,'" Modl said.
This is both the first year the Madison Scouts are rehearsing in Eau Claire and its first year as a gender-inclusive ensemble. Director David Lofy said because of its origins in Boy Scouts, up until now, only males had ever been allowed to join the corps.
"We just decided now is the time, educationally and otherwise, for us to transition," Lofy said. "We think the values and things we teach here are things that should be taught to everybody, and so we decided to open that up."
The Madison Scouts have just a few more days of rehearsals at UW-Eau Claire before taking its show on the road. But before they leave, the group will be performing at Carson Park for free on Saturday, July 24 starting at 8 p.m.