Every summer, thousands of young people participate in the program to strengthen their communication, leadership and citizenship skills on a national level; understand the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they relate to the development of better citizens and leaders; exchange ideas, practice respect and form friendships with other youth from diverse backgrounds; and experience hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of Washington, D.C.
CWF participants enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at our nation's capital and the chance to meet Members of Congress; motivational speakers, educational workshops, and assemblies that increase individual commitment to citizen involvement and build lifetime skills for success; participate in activities that encourage new and lasting friendships; and an enthusiastic staff of young adults that work directly with them.
Registration for 2017 IS OPEN!
Click the “Register for CWF” button at the top of the page to complete your registration form.
Are you interested in bringing a delegation but not sure how it all works? Contact your state office to see if your state currently has a delegation. If not, contact Maria McNeely for information on how you can experience these life changing events for yourself!
What's Your Focus?
What does it mean to be a good citizen or a leader? Are you being a strong civic leader for your community, country and world?
For more than 50 years, thousands of high school youth from all across the country have travelled to Washington, DC each summer to partake in the preeminent 4‑H citizenship and leadership experience—Citizenship Washington Focus.
CWF is more than just another DC field trip – 4‑H’ers learn essential civic leadership skills and leave with the tools that will allow them to bring about real change in their communities.
General questions: National 4‑H Conference Center
Contracts, dates, and rates: Stephanie Collins or call 301-951-3064
Rooming lists, transportation or t-shirts: Jeunice Salita-Lim or call 301-961-2892
Programming or educational opportunities: Maria McNeely or call 301-961-2812
Program Assistants or the application process: Kelsey Conklin or call 301-961-2810
CWF is sponsored in part by Farm Credit.
Participants are immersed in the culture and history of Washington through educational workshops, facilitated by our highly trained collegiate program assistants. Workshops start with the basics of good citizenship and culminate with action planning for their own communities.
Delegates begin to explore and define what it means to be a good citizen and learn how to use their individual skills to become leaders in their own communities.
Open dialogue and varying perspectives are the critical elements for this workshop as delegates discuss several national issues that our country is currently facing to gain an understanding of how similar issues relate to every citizen.
Issues have included: Youth Labor in Agriculture, Food Labeling, Renewable Resources, Regulations on School Lunches, College Tuition Rates and Federal Funding for Arts Programs in Schools.
Delegates receive in-depth instruction about the bill writing process that takes place in the House of Representatives and use this knowledge to compose a bill of their own that addresses current issues facing their country and communities.
Delegates will learn and put into practice the skills of teamwork, consensus building, gathering support, persuading others, and public speaking as they plan and implement their strategy behind supporting (or not supporting) and lobbying for public opinion for different bills.
Putting practice into action. Using all that they have learned, delegates will discuss issues important to their communities and develop Action Plans to take home to their schools and communities.
Capitol Hill Orientation
Delegates learn about varying resources on Capitol Hill and prepare for their day of speaking to their members of congress about issues important to their constituencies.
Washington, DC Youth Tours
CWF tours are more than just sightseeing in Washington DC. Our licensed Program Assistants, many of whom are outstanding 4‑H alumni, immerse delegates in the culture and history of our nation’s capitol. Delegates don’t just “see” various monuments and memorials; they instead use DC as a living classroom, learning about the history of our nation, the leaders who have shaped it, and their own role in civic affairs both nationally and locally.
CWF Tours Include
- Our signature “Nightview” event featuring the most famous DC monuments and memorials
- A day on Capitol Hill – delegates see the U.S. Capitol, meet with elected officials from their state, and tour the Library of Congress and Supreme Court
- Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, and the Washington National Cathedral
- Delegation day, which may include Smithsonian Institute Museums, cultural events, or other notable sites in and around the District
Their Focus Helped Rebuild a Library
Georgia 4‑H delegates joined forces at Citizenship Washington Focus to help a local community after Fort Valley State University’s public library in Twiggs County, Georgia burned down as a result of a lightening strike.
Through their efforts, the group was able to raise more than $1,200 that went toward getting new books and furnishings for the library. The 4‑H’ers efforts helped support the rebuilding of the library which will provide the people of the county with the resources lost in the fire.
What Makes CWF Unique?
Citizenship Washington Focus isn’t just another school sightseeing trip to Washington DC. Our “focus” is life-long civic empowerment and engagement for 4‑H members. It truly is a program unlike any other you will find.
National and Local Viewpoints
Using Washington, DC as a living classroom, youth learn about the history of our nation, the leaders who have shaped it, their role in civic affairs both nationally and locally, and how they can apply these invaluable lessons when they go home to bring about real change in their own communities and the world. CWF also brings together 4‑H delegations from across the country to engage in civic discussions and problem solving, offering youth a viewpoint very different from their own.
Licensed, Collegiate Facilitators
Youth are mentored and taught by highly trained and licensed facilitators. We are one of the only programs to utilize collegiate facilitators, many with 4‑H backgrounds, who can best relate to and share experiences with high school age students.
Safety and security
Youth stay at the National 4‑H Conference Center, a facility uniquely designed with the safety, security, and educational needs of youth in mind. The Center is located on a 12-acre campus-like setting just one mile from the Washington, DC border. Unlike many hotels, no alcohol is allowed on the property, and security guards monitor the campus 24 hours a day.
Exclusively 4‑H focused
CWF is a 4‑H tradition that dates back more than 50 years, and is the only such national citizenship and leadership program designed for and offered exclusively to 4‑H members. And as a nonprofit organization, our Center is not about the bottom line. Our profits are put back to work in the 4‑H movement nationwide, assisting 4‑H in developing the next generation of leaders by supporting clubs and volunteers.
Register Your CWF Delegation
What’s a delegation? Typically, states or counties arrange for groups or “delegations” of 4‑H members to attend CWF. 4‑H members do not register with us individually, instead they work with a CWF coordinator within their state to do so. Registration deadline is January 27, 2017.
CWF 2017 Costs
Inclusive of all taxes.
Youth: $840 per person (based upon quad occupancy)
Adults: $880 per person (based upon double occupancy)
Transportation package: $169 per person
- 6 nights lodging and 14 meals at National 4‑H Youth Conference Center
- Citizenship Washington Focus polo Shirt and lanyard
- Arrangements and logistical support
- Curriculum materials
- Various tours and workshops
- Admission and ticket fees to sites on CWF itinerary (not trips arranged by delegation)
- Facilitation by our highly trained and licensed collegiate program assistant team
Souvenir packs include a backpack, water pouch and sunglasses. (additional $12 per person)
What Can You Expect from Your CWF Experience?
Discover and develop your own leadership style
Through a series of speakers, interactive workshops, field trips and social events, you are given the opportunity to explore, develop, and refine skills needed to be an outstanding leader.
Customize your experience through committee work
Choose to serve on the health, communication, talent, government, open mindedness or responsibility committee.
Make new friends from across the country
Nearly 1500 youth from more than 35 states will be in attendance this summer.
Experience national treasures
See famous locations and landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial, the National Archives and the new MLK Jr. Memorial.
Be a part of the tradition
CWF dates back more than 50 years and is the only such national citizenship and leadership program offered exclusively to 4‑H members.
Meet Your Program Assistants
New York, State University of New York
South Carolina, College of Charleston
Maryland, Virginia Tech
Wisconsin, University of North Dakota
California, College of the Sequoias
Montana, Montana State University
Florida, University of Florida
Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University
Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin – Platteville
Arkansas, University of Arkansas
Become a CWF Program Assistant
A National 4‑H Council Program Assistant will become a licensed Class B Tour Guide for the District of Columbia metro area and will facilitate National 4‑H Council’s educational curricula to groups of youth from across the country. These job functions are accomplished in collaboration with each group’s coordinator as well as Council program staff and planning staff.
National 4‑H Council programs are intense and exciting learning experiences for youth and adults from all over the United States and the world. Program Assistants make these programs successful by using their skills and knowledge to help the participants have the most educational and fun experience possible in Washington D.C. and at the National 4‑H Conference Center. The hours of a Program Assistant are very long and often include evenings, weekends and holidays.
Program Assistants for the Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) and Leadership Washington Focus (LWF) programs must be able to successfully fulfill the requirements of the D.C. Tour Guide License.
- Have experience in leadership roles, public speaking, and presenting
- Be flexible and work well under pressure and with others
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have at least a high school diploma or equivalent, with education beyond high school preferred. Courses in political science, communications, history, and education preferred
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Be able to read, write and speak the English language
- Pass a satisfactory background check
- Successfully complete the tour guide exam and meet the medical and physical requirements of DCRA
Specific Program Assistant Roles
Program Assistants lead trips into the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and provide commentary on points of interest throughout the city, so that participants learn from these educational opportunities. PA’s are the primary liaison between the National 4‑H Conference Center and each group during their stay at the National 4‑H Conference Center.
Program Assistants lead educational workshops conducted at the National 4‑H Conference Center. This role may include checking the arrangements for room-set-up, audio-visual, entertainment, speakers, transportation, field trips, workshops, recreation, and developing specific curriculum for ongoing programs. PA’s facilitate educational curriculum focusing on civic engagement and citizenship. PA’s must also meet with adult and group leaders where they assist and orient groups as they arrive, help to provide recreational and other free-time activities for participants, facilitate workshops, and other program needs.
A weekly stipend to defray expenses is provided. Program Assistants receive room and board through our on-campus housing site, Warren Hall, and our on-campus café, the Clover Café. Dates of position are May-end of July. Travel to and from Washington, D.C. is at the PA’s own expense.
National 4‑H Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Dan A. Klingenberg Leadership Circle
The Dan A. Klingenberg Leadership Circle is an endowment fund that supports the role of the Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) Program Assistant. Your support allows Program Assistants to grow, learn and build job skills and career readiness.Donate