CWF: Citizenship Washington Focus

Celebrate the 60th Year of CWF in 2019! 

Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) is a 4-H leadership and civic engagement program for high school youth (completed grades 9-12 at the time of the trip). Each summer teens gather at the National 4-H Conference Center to learn what it means to be a strong leader in their community, country, and world. 

Objectives for the program are: 

  • Strengthen communication, leadership, and other 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
  • Experience hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of our nation’s capital city, Washington, D.C.

These objectives are met through pre-trip education, speakers, workshops, daily excursions to view national sites, a day at the Capitol with elected officials, and a delegate designed and implemented action plan.

Citizenship Washington Focus brings together 4-H members from across the country. Read more from the national CWF website.  

CWF Flyer 

Trip Date

June 14-22, 2019


Orientation took place on the following dates.

Tuesday, April 30, 7-8:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 2, 6-7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 4, 9:30-11 a.m.
Monday, May 6, 5-6:30 p.m.

The orientation was held online, so participants did not need to travel. Join the meeting by using the online link:

Youth only need to attend one orientation meeting. The final meeting is recorded and available online for those who were unable to join a scheduled meeting. 

Orientation Recording from May 6, 2019:
CWF Orientation PowerPoint slides (PDF)

Youth Registration

Deadline to register is January 15, 2019. Space is limited to first 48 delegate registrations.

Trip cost is $1850. This includes all lodging, travel, tours, and a majority of meals.

A $650 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. The remaining balance is two payments of $600 each due on March 1 and April 15, 2019.

Some county 4-H youth programs offer financial assistance to teens. Please contact your county extension and outreach office to see what resources might be available. Also, some individual 4-H clubs or local civic groups might provide support as well. (Please scroll to the bottom of the page for fundraising ideas.)

By completing the registration form, the teen participant and their parent/caregiver agrees the teen will:

  • participate in (or view) pre-trip orientation or educational sessions prior to the trip
  • complete needed paperwork and respond to questions in a timely manner
  • follow the CWF Code of Conduct at all times during the trip
  • complete an evaluation of the CWF experience

Online registration form and pay deposit with credit card

PDF registration form to fill out and MAIL IN with deposit paid by check or money order

Forms required for CWF: Medical Information Form and Center Conduct Release Form

These forms are due by March 15 to Gail Castillo; Cerro Gordo County Extension and Outreach; 601 S Illinois Ave; Mason City IA 50401.

If a 4-H member needs special accommodations, please contact Gail Castillo as soon as possible.

Adults Interested in Chaperoning

To indicate interest in being part of the Iowa 4-H CWF Chaperone Team, please return the chaperone application by January 15, 2019. Interviews will be conducted prior to selection of chaperones.

Why do I have to apply and be interviewed? We have many terrific adults who are willing to spend a week in the nation’s capital with the group of teens. Overall, we want to select and put in place a chaperone team for the trip that covers the spectrum of talents and skills needed to support a safe, educational, and fun experience. The number of chaperones selected will be based on the number of teens on the trip.

Learn more about chaperone roles, responsibilities, and cost

Chaperone application – to fill out and MAIL IN

Questions? Please contact Gail Castillo, CWF Coordinator, at or 641-425-6914

Fundraising Ideas

Check with your county extension and outreach office to inquire if they offer scholarships for this opportunity (for teen delegates or adult chaperones)

Sample donation letters