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. . . .August . . . . . . .2, . . 2017 ...................................................................................................................

agriculture

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Weekly Publication

Polk County 4-H Teens Tour Washington D.C. M

CONTRIBUTED BY CARLA VAUGHT

cvaught@uaex.edu

onths of planning and fundraising paid off for nine Polk County 4-H teens earlier this month when they joined up with 26 other Arkansas 4-H teens to travel to Washington D.C. as part of the 2017 delegation to Citizenship Washington Focus. Abby Taylor, Lindy Price, and Emily McCarley from the Cossatot River 4-H Achievers club; Hannah Bellon, Keilah and Eden Barney from the Kountry Kids 4-H club; and Jacob Ezell, Rebecca and David Lehmann from the Mountain Fork Growing Clovers 4-H club represented Polk County and Arkansas as part of the 39 member delegation. The delegation was chaperoned by three U of A County Agents, including Polk County Agent Carla Vaught, and one volunteer 4-H leader. The group traveled by charter bus from Little Rock to D.C. They all agreed that the two 18 hour bus rides were the hardest part of the trip. Travel pains were quickly forgotten as the group settled into the National 4-H Center at Chevy Chase for the weeklong educational program centered on history and our national government process. Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) has been in existence for over 50 years. Thousands of 4-H youth between the ages of 14 and 19 have traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in CWF. It is a life-changing week that empowers 4-Her’s to take their leadership skills to the next level for themselves and their communities. 4-H youth are empowered to make a positive impact in their communities, their Country, and their world. In six days of programming, the delegation met 4-H youth from six other states, met both Arkansas senators and all four representatives, had a narrated bus and walking nighttime tour of D.C. monuments, visited George Polk County Delegation – Back row (l to r) Rebecca Lehmann, Washington’s home at Mt Vernon, witnessed the changing of the guard and a wreath laying ceremony at the David Lehmann, Hannah Bellon, Emily McCarley, Lindy Price. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, toured the Capitol twice – once with the regular tourist tour and one evening tour Front row (l to r) – Jacob Ezell, Keilah Barney, Abby Taylor, and specifically hosted for them by Representative Bruce Westerman, spent time in D.C. shopping and learning to Eden Barney. navigate the metro subway and bus lines. CWF program assistant Moriah Hensler (a former 4-H member from Wisconsin), spent every second with the group engaging them in trivia and pointing out historic landmarks in the area. In free time on Friday, the Arkansas delegation went back to Capitol Hill to enjoy the Smithsonian museums and any other sights they had missed during the week. It addition to all of the activities in D.C., back at the 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, the youth also got to learn to identify issues, write legislation, debate pending legislation, and vote to pass or fail proposed legislation. They all served on committees to make decisions about the success of the week in D.C. and were proactive in making this trip a trip of a lifetime. Our Arkansas delegation also got to attend a dinner theater performance of “Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat” at Toby’s in Columbia, Maryland. There is a long list of folks in our community that helped make this happen for our kids. The delegation made a commitment to raise 100% of the money required for the trip. 4-H leader, Shanae Floyd served as their fundraising advisor. She guided and motivated them to be successful. Many Polk county citizens supported the fund raising efforts. A few special folks stepped forward to make sizable donations. They are: Carole Martin, American Legion, Bob and Peggy Young, Chambers Bank, and Lead 4 Life 4-H club. Our Polk County 4-H delegates say “thank you”. They are also available to visit with you and share their experiences. Just give us a call at the Extension Office if you would like to meet with them!

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