Road Trip Across the U.S. with 4-H
I was surprised when I read a Forbes article reporting that “eleven percent of survey respondents [had] never traveled outside of the state where they were born” (Lea, 2019). Traveling not only helps us better understand ourselves, but the world. It’s not always easy to plan and take a road trip across the United States to learn about the country’s rich history and civics. 4-H, however, has organized an event for that specific reason and everyone should take advantage of it!
On June 13, 2019, four Johnson County 4-H’ers along with 30 other Kansas delegates, left for a 10-day trip across the U.S. called the Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF). Not only did they have an opportunity to meet other 4-H’ers across the country, but they had an opportunity to visit historical sites and learn about the political process through a visit with Kansas Congressional and Senate delegations.
Aidan, a member of the Prairie Moon 4-H chapter, said he was skeptical of this trip that his dad made him go on, but by the end of the trip he was glad he took the opportunity. He said that this trip helped him look at people in a new light. “People from all walks of life may be different from me, but we have common goals and can work together to make a win-win situation,” said Aiden. One such example was during mock debates where he learned that people will have a difference of opinion but can find common ground on nearly any issue. Aidan now has friends across the U.S. and he called this a “once in a lifetime opportunity” that he recommends to others.
Maddie joined us on her brother’s recommendation and she said she came back learning so much about the history of the country and with facts about Kansas she didn’t previously know. “I was very surprised to see George Washington’s war tent, the part that really surprised me was the fact that it was still in decent condition,” said Maddie, after visiting Philadelphia. For Maddie, the most memorable part of the trip was exploring the Smithsonian Institute museums and the National Mall with her new friends.
CWF is more than a trip to Washington D.C. It is a learning experience aimed to develop communication, leadership and citizenship skills through hands-on learning. It is with these powerful experiences that we can grow future leaders and citizens actively engaged in making the best better.
Learn more about the trip at
- Kansas 4-H: https://www.kansas4-h.org/events-activities/national-regional-events/citizenship-washington-focus/index.html.
- National 4-H: https://4-h.org/parents/citizenship-washington-focus/#!workshops-tours
Lane, Lea (2019, May). Percentage Of Americans Who Never Traveled Beyond The State Where They Were Born? A Surprise. Forbes.com. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/lealane/2019/05/02/percentage-of-americans-who-never-traveled-beyond-the-state-where-they-were-born-a-surprise/#4ed979f92898