The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 14, 2014

4-H’ers participate in Washington conference

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — A group of 45 Oklahoma 4-H’ers and adults are participating in Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) in Washington, D.C.

Every summer, hundreds of young people from across the country participate in CWF, an educational conference that takes place at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center near Washington.

Tracy Beck, state 4-H events and activities coordinator, said for more than 50 years CWF has provided 4-H youths with an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at our nation’s capital, as well as opportunities to explore, develop and refine their community and civic engagement skills to be outstanding leaders in their communities. Oklahoma’s delegation started the journey June 12 and return June 22.

“Leadership development has long played a big role in 4-H programming. Our club members have an awesome opportunity to explore Washington, D.C., and learn more about the leaders who have shaped our country,” Beck said. “CWF will provide delegates with an opportunity to strengthen their communication, leadership and citizenship skills on the national level. In addition, youth will experience hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of Washington, D.C.”

Blake Gabriel and Carter Postier, both members of the Pioneer Pleasant-Vale 4-H Club in Garfield County, are members of the 2014 CWF delegation. Gabriel is the son of Randy and Martha Gabriel, and Postier is the son of Michael and Deirdre Postier. On the way to Washington, they visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Gettysburg and Independence Square in Philadelphia.

Beck said in addition to all of the educational experiences offered to CWF delegates, they will have an opportunity to meet members of Congress, hear motivational speakers and take part in workshops and assemblies that will increase their individual commitment to citizen involvement. Some workshop topics include citizenship toolbox, bill writing, congressional issues, strategy, action planning and Capitol Hill orientation.

“Throughout their time at CWF, delegates will progress through a series of workshops with the basics of good citizenship and culminating with action planning for their own communities,” Beck said.

While in Washington, the Oklahoma delegation will have an opportunity to visit landmarks such as the Capitol Building, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, presidential and war monuments and memorials and some of the Smithsonian museums.

The week’s signature event is called Nightview, and is an evening tour of some of the most historic sites in Washington.

“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,” she said.