By Wendy Sweeter
Two Lincoln County 4-H’ers finally got their chance to travel to Washington, D.C., for the first time.
Kaylee Bosma and Alicia Ruud were supposed to go on the 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus trip in 2020. Due to Covid, the trip was cancelled and the conference was virtual in 2021.
“I feel like this was our moment. We were so ready for it. It was a really cool experience so it was really worth the wait,” Bosma said.
They said that they did not have many Covid restrictions and that there were not many places in D.C. that had mask restrictions. Ruud said they had more security to go through, especially at government buildings.
They spent time at their host hotel with 4-H delegations from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio and Oklahoma. While at the hotel, they got to know each other and participate in workshops.
They said they learned how to civilly engage with other people in political conversations and media literacy.
“In the workshops we talked about giving people the chance to say what they have to say in whole and not interrupt them when they’re giving their opinion and then you can give your own opinion but you don’t have to give your opinion on their opinion because that’s how arguments start. You can respect their opinion and go on with your day,” Ruud said.
“A big one was media literacy so making sure what you are reading is factual and true and unbiased,” Bosma said.
Besides attending workshops, they also traveled to the capitol building. While there, they got to see the dome and statues before meeting with Sen. John Thune and Sen. Mike Rounds.
They also visited a lot of memorials. Bosma enjoyed seeing the National History Museum, American History Museum and Holocaust Museum.
Ruud enjoyed visiting the Library of Congress. She appreciated the architecture of the building and she and Bosma got a library card so they were able to go into the reading room.
Both Ruud and Bosma would encourage other 4-H’ers to go on the 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus trip to learn more about government and meet new people.
“If you’re interested in learning more about how government works or if you just want to experience the Washington, D.C., atmosphere while still learning things you can apply in 4-H, it’s a great experience,” Bosma said.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to visit our nation’s capitol and meet other people and learn more about our government. I had a lot of fun on it,” Ruud said.