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Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF)

Updated October 22, 2021
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Amanda Stade

SDSU Extension State 4-H Events Management Coordinator

Citizenship Washington Focus delegates and chaperones in the U.S. Senate Chamber with Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds and Governor Kristi Noem.
Courtesy: SDSU Extension

CWF is a week-long 4-H citizenship program for 4-H’ers, thousands of which come to Washington D.C. each summer, to learn about the democratic process, their role as citizens, and experience our nation’s capital. The 2022 South Dakota delegation will travel to CWF June 18-25, 2022.

Typical CWF Itinerary

  • Saturday: Leave South Dakota via coach bus
  • Sunday: Arrive at Hyatt Regency Bethesda; social time and pin trades
  • Monday: Tour Washington D.C. sights and workshops
  • Tuesday: Arlington National Cemetery, town hall, workshops and states night out
  • Wednesday: Capitol hill day
  • Thursday: Delegation day; closing ceremonies and farewell dance
  • Friday: Leave Maryland via coach bus
  • Saturday: Arrive in South Dakota

Who can participate?

4-H’ers ages 15-18, as of January 1 of the trip year are eligible to attend CWF. Contact the 4-H youth advisor for your county to determine other county-specific steps to apply for CWF. Counties give their selected CWF youth delegates initial instructions and forms in December to send to the State 4-H Office on/before January 17.

County Selection Process

CWF youth delegates are selected at a county level based on local policies and procedures. Delegates must be able to perform the following essential functions of the trip with or without reasonable accommodations:

  • Age-appropriate social and intellectual skills to actively participate in all activities
  • Physical stamina to walk long distances and endurance for participating in a 16-hour day

The State 4-H Office and the National 4-H Council coordinate registration, transportation, lodging, some meals, activities and events for the South Dakota delegation.

South Dakota 4-H’ers wishing to participate in CWF need to contact their 4-H youth advisor to find out if their county has CWF delegate reservations. If yes, then youth and their families need to complete the application steps that the county and state 4-H offices require.

What does CWF cost?

The cost for the 2022 CWF trip is $2,100 per youth delegate (transportation, lodging and most meals). Some leader associations provide scholarships. Youth delegates should plan to bring approximately $300 in spending money.

Non-Refundable Payment Schedule

  • December 1: The first payment of $600 is due to the State 4-H Office with the county’s completed reservation form.
  • January 17: CWF delegates’ completed forms and the second payment of $750 is due.
  • May 2: The final $750 payment is due to the State 4-H Office.

Chaperones

Responsibilities

  • Representing SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development per the South Dakota code of conduct; serves as a role model; provides a safe and caring environment for all youth delegates
  • Boarding the bus in Rapid City or at any of the assigned pick-up locations
  • Ability to chaperone all youth delegates within the framework of the trip’s itinerary
  • Willingness to listen to ideas from all youth and provide appropriate feedback
  • Enforcement of rules and expectations for all youth to ensure appropriate behavior per the South Dakota 4-H code of conduct, the specific trip’s code of conduct and the South Dakota 4-H dress code
  • Participate fully in the trip activities, providing supervision and guidance to all youth delegates from the trip’s start to its finish

Qualifications

Adults, age 21 or older, who have a strong interest in youth development, are experienced at chaperoning youth and are a:

  • South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor; or
  • SDSU Extension Field Specialist; or
  • Registered South Dakota 4-H Volunteer without restrictions.

Preference will be given to applicants without children on the trip.

Application