4-H Leadership Awareness Weekend a success
Youth from 12 counties developed and enhanced their leadership skills during this year’s Leadership Awareness Weekend (LAW), a statewide 4-H civic engagement event that North Dakota State University Extension’s Center for 4-H Youth Development organizes.
The youth participated in parliamentary procedure activities, a service project and judicial system activities during the three-day program held on the University of North Dakota campus in collaboration with the UND School of Law.
The parliamentary procedure activity, called “Parli Play,” ended with groups of youth showcasing the skills they learned.
“Loved the new knowledge and skills that I gained,” says Alyssa Thomsen of Barnes County. “I thought the Parli Play was going to be hard, but it was actually pretty fun.”
The second half of the weekend focused on the career paths and opportunities associated with law.
“The students got a chance to see that there is so much more to attending law school than just becoming an attorney,” says Brenda Jarski-Weber, a chaperone for the weekend.
Judges Don Hager and Daniel Narum, local attorneys, law students and professors helped youth experience real courtroom skills by arguing a case before a real judge. LAW participants also learned about courtroom etiquette and participated in a mock trial.
“I loved talking to the different lawyers and asking them questions,” says Isabel Engelhard, a 4-H’er from Ward County. “Doing the mock trial was cool, and we got to see how an actual courtroom was run. I had so much fun and learned so much!”
Ana Weber, a youth from Stutsman County, said this about LAW: “My favorite parts were argument wars and the mock trial because it was fun to see what court is like.”
Before youth headed home, they learned some additional information about the judicial system by deciphering puzzles to get codes that opened locks on a box with a memento from the weekend inside.
“This event proved to be a worthwhile experience for North Dakota youth,” says Sue Quamme, NDSU Extension’s 4-H youth development leadership and civic engagement specialist.