4-H Capitol Experience
Preparing for Active Citizenship
4-H Capitol Experience is an annual 4-day conference that focuses on civic engagement and public policy. Up to 100 teens from around the state converge on Lansing, Michigan to experience state government in action and learn how they can influence policy issues. Participants interact with legislators, state agency staff, lobbyists and other resource people to learn how policy is made. Attendees will:
- Understand the responsibilities of a citizen
- Explore different aspects of a policy issue that may affect individuals and communities
- Explore various careers in public policy
- Attend bill writing session
- Have an in-depth meeting with someone in (or involved with) state government
Simulations and activities are incorporated to reinforce and apply what is learned about government. Teens leave the conference with the charge to share what they have learned and get involved with other leadership and civic engagement activities in their communities!
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Scholarships for up to half the participant cost ($155.00) are now available. To qualify, a completed application must be sent to the State office as outlined on the scholarship application.
- 2013 Michigan 4-H Capitol Experience Scholarship Application (Word)
- 2013 Michigan 4-H Capitol Experience Scholarship Application (pdf)
About the 2013 Conference
When and where: 3 p.m. Sunday, March 17, 2013 to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2013. Tours and agency visits will take place at the State Capitol and surrounding area.
Who should attend: High school students at least 14 years old and adult participant-chaperones. All participants must have pictured identification.
Cost: $310 4-H members, $320 non 4-H members. Includes all meals, lodging and material fees. Counties will be billed after the event.
Registration deadlines: Registrations are due in the county offices by February 6, 2013. Registrations are due in the State 4-H Office by February 13, 2013.
Cancellation policy: Once selected by the State 4-H Office to attend, the cancellation policy is as follows:
- Up to February 13, 2013: Conference fees fully refundable minus $25 handling fee.
- After February 13, 2013: No refunds after this date.
Application process: Participants who have attended in previous years will be considered based on space available. Space is limited to 100 teen and adult chaperon-participants. Each teen or adult participant-chaperone will need to complete an application. Contact your county MSU Extension office for more details.
Pre-conference activities: Participants complete a pre-conference activity to learn about citizenship at the local level. Examples include attending a local government meeting, interviewing the director or staff member of a non-profit organization or researching a local issue. All selected participants should write a letter to their representative and senator indicating their interest in meeting them at the conference. Visit Pre-conference activities for more activity ideas.
Post-conference activities, news releases & photographs: Participants should return to their county 4-H program and get involved with local public policy issues. Examples include giving an educational presentation on the conference to 4-H clubs, researching a local issue and presenting it to the county commissioners, city councils or township boards or participating in a service project. Participants should work with their county delegation to carry out a local project. Visit Post-conference activities to find activities and resources to help clubs and groups learn more about the political process.
A Web link to a post-event news release and county delegation photograph of participants and their legislator(s) will be e-mailed to counties for distribution to local media following the event.
Registering youth aged 18, 19 or 20: Any youth aged 18, 19 or 20 at the time of the event who is a registered 4-H member and who attends an event as a participant must not be housed with or share bathrooms with younger, unrelated youth unless he or she has completed a background check including one reference check and a criminal history check. The background check should be completed no more than once a year, unless circumstances warrant more frequent checks. When county staff are registering a 4-H member 18, 19 or 20 years old on the MSU Extension 4-H Workshop Registration System, they will be asked if a background check has been completed for youth in this age bracket. The state 4-H office will accept and process registrations only if a background check is completed
To Find Out More About Michigan’s Capitol
You can visit a variety of Michigan government and institutional sites to learn more about Michigan, the state’s history and society:
- List of representatives and district maps: http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/
- Michigan Senate’s Find Your Senator: http://www.senate.michigan.gov/fysenator/fysenator.htm
- Michigan Legislature: http://www.michiganlegislature.org
- Michigan.gov-The Official State of Michigan Web Site: http://www.michigan.gov/
For more information on how to get involved as a youth or volunteer, contact your county MSU Extension office or: