A group of 44 Oklahoma 4-H’ers and adults got to see many sights recently as they traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF). The CWF is an educational conference that takes place at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center near the nation’s capital.
Addie Jackson from Oklahoma County was selected to attend the 2015 CWF delegation. She has been a member of the Harrah 4-H Club in for 3 years, and in 4-H for 8 years. She is the daughter of Tim & Tanya Jackson. Her project areas include entomology and bees, expressive arts, fabric & fashion, photography, and shooting sports.
Tracy Beck, 4-H events and activities coordinator with the State 4-H Office at Oklahoma State University, said for more than 50 years, CWF has provided 4-H youth 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.
“Our group is fortunate to be able to see so many landmarks and places of historical significance on this trip,” Beck said. “On our drive to CWF we stopped at St. Louis, Gettysburg and Philadelphia to see the sights. It’s quite an experience for them to see in person what they’ve been learning about in their American history and government classes. While in Washington, D.C., we had an opportunity to visit with Oklahoma’s representatives and tour the Capitol, as well as touring around town to see the Washington National Cathedral, National Archives, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, some of the Smithsonian museums and much more.”
Through the CWF conference, Oklahoma’s youth had an opportunity to participate in educational workshops and attend assemblies that increased their awareness and commitment to citizen involvement. The delegates were able to strengthen their communication, leadership, and citizenship on a national level, which are wonderful skills they can use at home in the local clubs and communities.
Some of the committees in which the delegates were involved focused on health, communication, government, responsibility, open-mindedness and talent; all of which will relate to their club work at home. Workshops included congressional issues, strategy, bill writing, citizenship tool box, and action planning.
“CWF is a catalyst for helping today’s youth understand the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they related to the development of better citizens and leaders,” Beck said. “It’s a great opportunity to exchange ideas and form friendships with other youth from diverse backgrounds.”
Something new the group did this year was go to the National Theatre to see the Disney play Newsies. The National Theatre, located near the Whitehouse, is the historic cultural center for the performing arts in Washington, D.C. and the oldest enterprise on Pennsylvania Avenue continuously operating in its original designated capacity.
“Overall, this is a great educational trip for our club members. The historical backdrop of Washington, D.C. is a wonderful learning environment for our youth,” Beck said.
To learn more about Oklahoma County 4-H, contact the OSU Extension Center at 405-713-1125 or visit the Oklahoma County website at http://oces.okstate.edu/oklahoma/.