Our mission is to provide programs for youth in music and performance training through a positive environment that emphasizes character and social development, leadership, self-discipline, and the pursuit of excellence.

Our Vision & Values

To empower students to become the best versions of themselves.




About the Madison Scouts

In 1920, a young engineering student at the University of Wisconsin named Lewis Kessler began his service with the Four Lakes council of the Boy Scouts of America. A former Navy bugler, Lewis pursued the formation of multi-troop drum and bugle corps in the Madison area. On December 3, 1920 the organization formed as the Madison Boy Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps and had their first public performance on May 30, 1921. An active rehearsal and performance schedule was kept through 1925, after which the corps operations were less consistent and eventually ceased. In 1937, a group of businessmen were inspired to again have a drum & bugle corps in the Madison area. Under the counsel of Lewis Kessler, now a professor at U.W., the corps was re-established on February 8, 1938 under the direction of E.J. Hess and assisted by C.H. Beebe. Soon thereafter, C.H. would take over as director, a position he held until his passing in 1968.

Forging past its humble beginnings, the Madison Scouts has established itself as a premier youth performing arts organization on the modern drum and bugle corps scene. “Proud, Loud, and Pleasing the Crowd”–a mantra of the corps–the Scouts are known for their entertainment-focused programs that consistently bring audiences to their feet.

Today’s corps boasts over 150 performing members selected from an audition process that spans the course of several months. Maintaining a diverse membership, performers join the corps from across the globe each year.


The first formation of the Madison Boy Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps in Madison, Wisconsin.


Reformation and continuously operating since February 8, 1938, making the Madison Scouts the oldest youth music and performance organization in the State of Wisconsin.


Typical number of members performing annually.


Madison Scouts alumni, worldwide.


Annual miles traveled touring North America.


Annual cost of operations.

What is Drum Corps?

The drum corps activity is the ultimate team sport. To succeed, it requires a collective mindset while simultaneously demanding individual excellence. It teaches self-reliance, leadership, team building, and accountability. It makes its participants get comfortable with the uncomfortable, to navigate unpredictability, and to maintain an effective disposition throughout. It pushes the athletic boundaries of the body, the musical abilities of the musician, and the awareness of the performer. The drum corps environment is one of the most unique activities with which a young person can engage, immerse, and thrive as an individual and as part of a group.

Join the Madison Scouts

If you are looking to develop your skills as a leader, as a muscian, as a performer, we encourage you to take the first steps towards becoming a Madison Scout and registering for the audition process today.

We Need Your Help

Do you have free time this summer and love the Madison Scouts? Come volunteer with us!