In January, a of Wisconsin 4-H members took part in the trip of a lifetime: an civics education experience in Washington D.C. that coincided with the 2017 U.S. Presidential Inauguration.
The crew of 31 Sconnies aged 14-18 represented their state among 500 youth from around the country for Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) — Presidential Inauguration. The group prepared for their trip in the months leading up to the Jan. 17 take-off date by learning about how the U.S. Executive Branch of government functions.
The experience guided youth on a real-world tour of America’s democratic process as they developed valuable life skills like citizenship and leadership. Aside from participating in Inauguration Day activities, the youth visited monuments like the Lincoln, Jefferson and FDR Memorials and the Newseum, an interactive museum focused on the history of the First Amendment. The Wisconsin delegation also visited the National Archives together. There, they saw the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Washington County 4-H members filed stories to the Washington County Insider as their experience unfolded. Read their dispatches from Washington D.C.
Before attending the inauguration, participants held mock campaigns, elections and discussion groups on issues facing the country today. They also engaged in a day of community service, developing work skills while assisting individuals and organizations. The networking skills that young people gained during the week will help them address youth needs in their communities and state following the program.
Wisconsin 4-H, part of UW-Extension, hosts three other summer Citizenship Washington Focus Program educational travel experiences to Washington D.C. annually. This is the first year that an inauguration-related program has been offered by the National 4-H Council. For more information on Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development Citizenship Programs, contact your county’s extension office and visit http://fyi.uwex.edu/wi4hcitizenship/.