CWF: Citizenship Washington Focus

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. 


Trip Date

June 19-27, 2020


Orientation

To be announced in February 2020


Youth Registration

Deadline to register is January 17, 2020. 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 15 and April 15, 2020.

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, CWF Additional Information and Center Conduct Release Form

These forms are due by April 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 click the link on the upper right hand side of the webpage.


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 10, 2020. Interviews will be conducted prior to selection of chaperones. Cost for chaperones is at a discounted rate of $850 for the week.

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 gail@iastate.edu or 641-423-0844


Fundraising Ideas

Total cost of the trip is $1850 and includes all lodging, travel, tours, and a majority of your meals. Below are fundraising ideas and how any money received should be handled in red italics (in keeping with Iowa 4-H financial guidelines).

  1. County 4-H: many county 4-H programs choose to provide some scholarship funds to support this opportunity.
    • Counties who choose to provide this support will send the money directly to ISU/Registration Services for your registration. Counties should establish eligibility criteria that can be used in future years for consistency of CWF support.
  2. 4-H Club: some 4-H clubs are in a position to help support a member’s experience. That is for a club to vote on and determine. This is an appropriate club expenditure. This vote should be recorded in the minutes of the club meeting.
    • Best practice is for clubs to establish eligibility criteria that can be used in future years with other club members. Again, any monies provided should be sent directly to ISU/Registration Services for your registration.
  3. Service groups: 4-H members have been supported by local Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Jaycees, etc. Many of the groups have speakers at weekly meetings, so a member could offer to do a presentation on the trip upon return.
    • If you choose this option, please first talk with your county youth coordinator. Be sure to know if the county wants to receive a check be made out to the county office or directly to ISU/Registration Services. Service group funds must be made payable to either ISU or the County Agricultural Extension District; funds/checks may not be made payable to the individual 4-H member(s).
  4. American Legion.
    • If you choose this option, please first talk with your county youth coordinator. Be sure to know if the county wants to receive a check be made out to the county office or directly to ISU/Registration Services.  Funds from American Legion, VFW, or similar organizations must be made payable to either ISU or the County Agricultural Extension District; funds/checks may not be made payable to the individual 4-H member(s).
  5. Fundraising: some members have taken it upon themselves to raise the money for the trip through various fundraising efforts – collecting cans, Schwan’s sales, etc.
    • Be sure to talk with your county youth coordinator so they can approve your plans. This Fundraiser Request Form 4HP 3020 (Resource) (11-2018) will help guide you. Be sure to let people know exactly why you are raising money and the exact costs of the trip. While you do get to keep expenses for supplies needed, all money must be turned into the county extension office and the office should send one check to ISU/Registration Services for your registration.
  6. Family: Holidays are coming – sometimes asking family members to contribute to an experience rather than purchasing gifts to unwrap can raise the needed dollars.
    • You get to handle this however you choose.

Here are some ways to look at breaking the trip into blocks or portions for fundraising:

  • CWF breaks down to about $205 each day for 9 days.
  • Getting to the National 4-H Center, we will cover approximately 1106 miles. That is approximately $1.67 per mile.

Rather than asking people to buy something, you could "sell" donors on the idea of paying for half a day or a full day OR certain numbers of miles.

Sample donation letters

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