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4-Hers participate in state Capital Days

Local students travel to Harrisburg

HARRISBURG — Three Mifflin County students, two Juniata County students and one Juniata County 4-H counselor, each active in their local 4-H programs, recently attended the 2019 PA 4-H Capital Days in Harrisburg, held March 30 to April 1.

“Capital days is a great opportunity for anyone interested in how they can produce positive change in the world around them,” said Grace VanSciver, Mifflin County High School student. “You don’t need to be interested in politics to enjoy your time. Capital days teaches youth how to set themselves apart from the rest by presenting new ways to act more confident and mature.”

The event provided a tour of the state capitol and offered workshops for both novices and return participants, including how to read a bill, understanding civil discourse, advocating and campaigning as a non-voter and partaking in a mock legislative session.

“We participated in many informational seminars on how our government works and the effective system it provides us as American citizens,” VanSciver said. “I personally enjoyed the mock debate over a bill … where we got to be confident in what we had to say to support our party. I appreciate the time and passion (that) the speakers and the leaders of the event put into each person attending.”

Naomi Diehl, also from Mifflin County High School, said she liked the tour.

“My favorite part of the trip was touring the Capitol building and learning more about the architecture of it,” Diehl said.

Diehl said she also enjoyed learning how a bill becomes a low, about the history of Pennsylvania and the legislature’s breakfast.

“I enjoyed the trip a lot,” Diehl said. “I feel like I really learned a lot about how the government works.”

VanSciver said her favorite part of the trip was meeting and interacting with state representatives.

“It provided me a great opportunity to ask first-hand questions of the road I should take to achieve a similar position and what it’s really like in the political world, VanSciver said. “I appreciated (Representative John Hershey’s) willingness to attend and attentively interact with us.”

Skylar Peters, 4-H/Youth Development Educator with the Mifflin County Penn State Extension, said that PA 4-H Capital Days is an annual event, for 4-H students ages 14 to 18. According to a PA 4-H Capital Days Facebook page, “Capital Days is a unique experience designed to teach 4-H’ers about citizenship and civic engagement and provides an opportunity to share 4-H stories and be heard by those who make the decisions, set the budget and change laws for our state. This annual event also provides participants the opportunity to share with (legislators) the impact 4-H has on youth and their communities across the state and nationwide.”