4-H Agent, Lauren Langley and Pender County 4-H’ers Taylor Philemon and Jesse Gales embarked on a journey called 4-H Citizenship NC Focus, A Capital Experience! The event was held in downtown Raleigh, NC from June 11-June 13, 2012.
The first day was exciting as youth were welcome by Dr. Marshall Stewart, Department Head and State Leader for 4-H Youth Development. After lunch, delegates attended workshops including a house simulation, action planning, advocacy 101, and an introduction to citizenship focus! The day ended with a dance in the ballroom!
Day 2 of Citizenship NC Focus started off with a great breakfast followed by several workshops including local government, budget planning simulation, and active citizenship! With lunch came greetings from Ms. Nelle Hotchkiss from North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives- Touchstone Energy and Dr. Joe Zublena, Associate Dean and Director for NC Cooperative Extension Services. Following lunch, youth were able to sit in on NC SPIN’s mock show. NC SPIN is a statewide TV and radio talkshow where four topics are selected for discussion each week, based on what is timely and topical for each show. Four panelists are carefully chosen to debate these topics based on political, philosophical and demographic diversity. The end result is intelligent and balanced civil discussion each week. Delegates were able to ask questions to the panel at the end of the mock show! Our very own Taylor Philemon even asked a question!
Following NC SPIN, delegates boarded buses to visit the Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh! At the museum, 4-H’ers were given a scavenger hunt and had to choose teams to complete the hunt while at the museum. Pender County 4-H teamed up with Wilson County 4-H to become the “Wild Ponies Team” in the scavenger hunt!
More photos from the Museum of Natural Science:
This was the big day we had been preparing for, the legislative visits! The morning started early at 6:00am where we waited for our legislatures to arrive for breakfast! After breakfast we departed for the Legislative Building!
Upon arrival at the Legislative Building, we took a couple of photos while we waited for our meeting with Senator Bill Rabon.
When 9:30am rolled around it was time to meet with our Senator! We met with Senator Bill Rabon to discuss 4-H and NC Cooperative Extension. Jesse and Taylor introduced themselves and told the Senator what they have done in 4-H and what they have learned so far at Citizenship NC Focus. After a quick photo, Senator Rabon told us to follow him so we did not knowing what to expect and he took us out on the Senate floor and showed us around! What a unique and exciting opportunity for all of us!
We were unable to meet with Representative Carolyn Justice due to a schedule change where she had to rush off to a committee meeting. However, we did enjoy some free ice cream in between the Legislative Buildings prior to experiencing the Senate in action!
More photos from the Legislative Building:
The State 4-H Officer Team:
That concludes our trip to 4-H Citizenship NC Focus in Raleigh! Special thanks to the Pender County Commissioners for providing funding for both of our Pender County 4-H teens to attend this event! We are already looking forward to next year! A product that comes out of attending this great event is each delegate writes an action plan to implement back in their counties. The action plans that Jesse and Taylor came up with were a clothing/shoe drive and a voter registration drive. I will keep everyone informed on their action plans as they progress!