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National 4-H Conference
May 4, 2014
Hello again Pennsylvania 4-H!
This past month I had the tremendous honor to be able to attend the National 4-H Conference! For those of you who don't know the National 4-H Conference is a civic engagement opportunity for 4-H members all across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It takes place every year in Washington D.C. at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center. This year there were over 200 delegates in attendance.
The first night (Saturday) there were opening ceremonies. After that we had an activity where each state got together and made a poster and cheer/song/saying about their state that they presented to the entire delegation. For Pennsylvania, we made sure to emphasize that we were the great state that gave them Hershey's chocolate! Following that we had the traditional pin exchange that happens at every national 4-H event.
The next morning (Sunday) we had amazing speaker (Grant Baldwin, whom I highly recommend for any occasion)! Then the delegation split up into roundtable discussion groups that we had chosen before we came to conference. We had one session in the morning and one in the afternoon. My roundtable's topic was educational gaming! Most of what we did that day was get to know each other and do icebreakers! The other part of what we did that day was talk about what kinds of experiences we have had with educational gaming.
That day we also had a morning and afternoon session of a strength finders workshop. In the evening, the whole delegation was able to participate in an African dance workshop!
The next day my roundtable got down to business in researching about educational games because the next day we would be presenting to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy! We split into three groups. One group created a handout, one created a powerpoint, and one created speeches for each of themselves. I was in the group that created the speeches and would be giving them the next day. All of the separate groups collaborated in order to make sure that we all had the same information and so we knew that we were all including that information in our tasks. After the long day of hard work, the night was finished off by a fun version of clue, but with real people!
On Tuesday, each of the roundtable groups travelled to places all across Washinton D.C. to give their presentations to different government groups. As I said before, my roundtable was going to present to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The presentation went very well and the best part was, the people that we presented to were genuinely interested and cared about what we had to say to them. After the presentation, they walked to the White House with us to get a picture!
After that, we finished up the day with monument tours! This picture was taken the exact moment I was told we weren't supposed to sit on the cherry blossom trees! I was telling them to take the picture quickly!
On Wednesday everybody at conference went to Capitol Hill to meet with representatives and senators from their state to tell them about 4-H! Our Pennsylvania delegation split up into two groups and each group talked to three people. After each group had met with their repsrestatives and senators, we met up and had lunch in the packed dinning area! Since we had a little time before we needed to catch the buses back to the Cinference Center, we went and toured a few places. Our Pennsylvania delegation toured the Library of Congress and the Botanical Gardens! They were both amazing places that were definitely worth seeing! After we took the buses back to the Conference Center we had a dance/celebration that was a great way to end a great day!
Thursday came very quickly and was, unfortunately, the day that we had to go home! After many goodbyes and farewells, I rode home to Pennsylvania after a fantastic weekend at the National 4-H Conference! I am very glad that I was fortunate enough to be able to attend and would recommend Conference to anyone who has the opportunity to attend!
Until next month, Jesse Isenberg 2013/2014 Pennsylvania State 4-H Council
Vice President of Operations