Clermont County 4-H members learn leadership and civics at Washington Focus

Clermont County 4-H members Kerrigan Meeker (second row from front, fourth from left) and Kiara Parks (front row, fifth from left) were part of the Ohio delegates participating in Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) June 30-July 6. CWF is an intensive 4-H civic engagement program for high school youth.
Two Clermont County 4-H members learned about government processes in the living classroom of the nation’s capital as part of Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF), an intensive 4-H civic engagement program for high school youth held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD.

Kerrigan Meeker of Maple Rey Milk and More 4-H Club and Kiara Parks of Clover Cats 4-H Club represented Clermont County June 30 – July 6. Both teens were selected from an application and interview process that began last winter.

“Kerrigan and Kiara were chosen because of the hard work and dedication they have shown during their years in 4-H. It was felt both girls would take an active interest in the program to make it not only meaningful in their lives but to bring knowledge home to their respective clubs,” said Kelly Royalty, Ohio State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Educator for Clermont County.

For more than 50 years, National 4-H Youth Conference Center has invited 4-H members from across the country to travel to Washington, DC and participate in civic workshops, committees and field trips before returning home to make positive changes in their own communities.

CWF not only strengthens young people’s understanding of the government’s civic process, but it also boosts their leadership skills, communication skills and confidence.

Royalty accompanied Meeker and Parks on the trip, serving as a CWF advisor for the week.

“While riding on a bus with 20-plus teenagers had its challenges over the week, I was reminded of what a great program CWF is and what a positive experience 4-H is in general. I wish I could take all Clermont County 4-H members on this leadership trip,” Royalty said.

During CWF, youth get a behind-the-scenes look at the nation’s capital while meeting with members of Congress to learn more about how government works.

At the end of the program, youth draft step-by-step action plans to address important issues in their communities.

“CWF is a great opportunity for young people to come together, talk about the problems they see in their communities, and identify solutions to make their communities stronger,” said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., National 4-H Council President and CEO. “The experiences these young people gain during CWF gives them the proper tools and confidence to become successful, articulate leaders in the future.”

OSUE Clermont County is a non-formal education branch of OSU.

The office merges needs of local citizens with OSU’s research through four focus areas: Family & Consumer Sciences, 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources and Community Development.

For more information about 4-H in Clermont County, please visit