Local 4-H’ers make their notch in Beltway
Kari Hadl remembered one of her trip mates bringing home an uncommon souvenir from their recent trip to Washington D.C. -- a guitar pick.
Hadl's trip mate didn't catch the pick from some longhaired heavy metal balladeer or a famous jazz guitarist, but rather from U.S. Congressman Dennis Moore.
Vive Las Washington.
"It was fun, we asked questions, and one of the senators sang a song for us," Hadl said.
Hadl along with fellow Eudora 4-H'er Samantha Box, and her father, Joe Box, attended the Citizenship Washington Focus event in Washington D.C. from June 4 to 11 along with other Douglas County 4-H members. The participants had to go through an application process with the 4-H organization and be at least 15 years old.
"It was great for the community because we got to meet our state congressman and state senators," Hadl said.
The group attended the program along with representatives from eight other states to learn about the inner workings of the U.S. Government.
Participants met with senators, toured the famous memorials and had a chance to work their own mini-assembly with the delegates from other states.
"We had to select presidents and stuff, and we had to do a vote thing, and we had to go around to every group and our representative had to talk about what made our
laws good," Hadl said. "Then we picked a representative at the middle of the week."
Joe Box, the boy's sponsor for the trip, saw Washington D.C. for the first time.
"The buildings were magnificent," Box said. "They spent a lot of money on marble and stuff. It was really pretty cool."
The group lingered at the various war memorials.
Hadl remembers the Holocaust Museum.
"That was an eye-opening experience, I thought," Hadl said.
Samantha Box enjoyed the World War II memorial.
"Just because it was so pretty with all the fountains," Box said.
The group saw the sites and steeped in the history of the District. But, they also had fun.
The groups, which came from eight states, had two dances during the course of the trip and one night, the Douglas County group hit the town.
"We dressed up one night and we went to a musical, like a Broadway show, 'Sheer Madness,' all the girls had boutonnieres to wear, and we had a dinner at the Kennedy Center," Hadl said. "It was very fancy, we didn't know a lot of the things we were eating."
For Samantha Box, who went on the trip for her last year, the experience has given her skills that will last into her beginning college career at Kansas State University and beyond.
"I learned to talk to people," Box said. "Not only people like me, I learned how to talk to senators and representatives. People of great importance."
Next year, Joe Box plans to return to D.C., but this time with his younger daughter, Whitney.
One of the best parts of the trip was being around the kids, he said.
For Hadl, the trip paid off after long hours of work.
""You work very, very hard but in the end it's all worth it because you get to meet several people from different states, and you get to learn about the government," Hadl said. "Yet you still have fun. You're not bored to death."