Training and Preparation
Orientation for Youth Participants
It is important to provide an orientation session focusing on the role of the board or committee on which the youth representatives will serve and on local government as a whole. An orientationalso allows youth representatives to meet each other and establish relationships before their experience. This could also provide an opportunity for veteran representatives to meet the incoming participants and offer advice.
More information about orientation content is available from county staff in Douglas and Washburn Counties.
Orientation for elected officials
A portion of a meeting or a separate event can be used to briefly introduce elected officials to the program and the role they are expected to play. For example, Waupaca County conducted a session with both youth and adults that focused on perceived barriers to working together from both youth and adults followed by a discussion about how to overcome them.
Timely Access to Packets and Agendas
Youth appreciated being able to review the agendas and issues before the committee meetings because it allows them time to prepare questions. Ideally, youth receive the information about a week in advance, allowing ample time for them to read the material and ask their mentor any necessary questions.
Opportunities for Reflection
Aside from the initial orientation, youth may benefit from meeting with one another throughout the year to discuss their involvement with the county board. Such opportunities allow youth time to reflect and learn from each other. Without this opportunity, youth felt disconnected from one another and expressed a desire to meet more frequently throughout the year. Though their schedules are hectic, the youth unanimously agreed they would like the opportunity to meet before serving on their respective committees.