Every summer, thousands of young people from across the country participate in 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus, an educational conference that takes place at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. A group of 47 Oklahoma 4-H’ers, volunteers and adults were among those attending the conference.
“The Oklahoma 4-H Program is known for its leadership development and there’s no better place than our nation’s capital to explore the history of our country and learn about the leaders who have shaped it,” Becky Walker, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Pontotoc County said. “Washington, D.C., is a living classroom where our youth can apply the leadership and citizenship skills they know, and take home the new skills they learn from being a 4-H CWF delegate.”
Those attending from Pontotoc County included Alicia Daniel, Homeschool 4-H Club; Sami Jo Scifres, Meat Science 4-H Club; Sarah Burrows, Roff 4-H and Kayla Thomas, Roff 4-H. The group left Oklahoma June 16 and returned June 26. On the way to Washington, D.C., they stopped in St. Louis, Gettysburg and Philadelphia.
One of the goals of CWF is to provide youth with an opportunity to strengthen their communication, leadership and citizenship skills on a national level. In addition, club members will gain a better understanding of the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they relate to the development of better citizens and leaders.
Walker said in addition to all of the educational experiences offered to CWF delegates, they also will have a chance to meet members of Congress, hear motivational speakers and take part in workshops and assemblies that will increase their individual commitment to citizen involvement.
While in Washington, D.C., the Oklahoma delegation will see sights such as the Capitol Building, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, presidential and war monuments and memorials and some of the Smithsonian museums.
“One of the highlights of CWF is called ‘Nightview,’ which is a spectacular evening tour of some of Washington, D.C.’s most historic sites,” Walker said. “Overall, this is a great educational trip for our club members. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to see first-hand what they have been learning in their history and civics classes. This is a trip they earn through their 10 year 4-H careers.”