4-H’ers learn and make memories on Citizenship Washington Focus trip

Logan County 4-H Members and CWF Delegates Jada Cleek (left) and Audrey Allen (right) at Gettysburg.

STILLWATER, Okla. – A delegation of Oklahoma 4-H’ers not only learned more about the nation’s governmental process, but they also had fun, made life-long friends and created lasting memories during the Citizenship Washington Focus trip.

Twenty-eight club members and three adult sponsors made the bus trip to Washington, D.C., June 15-24 where they participated in educational workshops, wrote mock legislation, and toured many of the sites in the nation’s capital.

Attending from Logan County were Audrey Allen and Jada Cleek, both members of the South Logan County 4-H Club, and Juniors at Guthrie High School.

One of the goals of the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program is to encourage club members to become civically engaged in their communities and provide opportunities for them to grow into productive adults.

“In 4-H we do hands-on learning,” said Cathleen Taylor, state leadership and civic engagement specialist with the State 4-H office at Oklahoma State University. “How better to learn about the government than being in Washington, D.C. and experiencing the sights, sounds and history? This is an experience that takes youth beyond their classrooms and textbooks and puts them in the middle of the action.”

The group stopped at Gettysburg where they experienced a guided tour, and they also attended a Lancaster Barnstormers baseball game. A stop in Philadelphia allowed the group to visit the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

After arriving in Washington, D.C., the delegates had several busy days full of educational workshops and tours. Some of the sites they visited include the Whitehouse, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, Marine Corps War Memorial, Pentagon Memorial, World War I Memorial, the Holocaust Museum and some of the Smithsonian Museums. They also took part in a night tour of the city.

Taylor said the delegates developed a state action plan to implement in Oklahoma later this year.

“This is one of the things I have been looking forward to since I started being in 4-H because I have heard from so many former 4-H members that this is a lifechanging experience,” said Allen,.”

“We got to learn a lot about American history, which is really important if you are looking to grow into a leadership role in 4-H or otherwise,” added Cleek.

Other activities included a scavenger hunt at the O Museum in the Mansion; visits to Capitol Hill and meeting with Representative Josh Brecheen and other legislative aides to learn more about the legislative branch of government; a presentation of Twilight Tattoo and a walk-through, live-action performance about the history of the U.S. military.

Sponsors for the CWF trip for Allen and Cleek included Guthrie Rotary Club, Kellogg Insurance Agency, The Beauty Lounge in Guthrie, Guthrie Pet Hospital, John R. Meinders, PC, Bank 7 in Woodward, Bank of Western Oklahoma, Waste Connections of Oklahoma, Custom Dental of Guthrie, Interbank of Guthrie, as well as two anonymous donors. 

At the conference, the Oklahoma 4-H Delegation traded pins and/or state keepsakes with delegates from across the nation. Helping Allen and Cleek with donations for this activity were Eskimo Joe’s, Guthrie Chamber of Commerce, Guthrie Tourism, the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, Oklahoma 4-H, and other friends and family.

Visit the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development website or the county OSU Extension website for more information about opportunities available through 4-H.


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