Ramsey TAKES Leadership Awareness Wednesday

Cindy Olson, Ramsey County 4-H
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

DEVILS LAKE - Youth from across the state developed and enhanced their leadership skills during this year’s Leadership Awareness Wednesday (LAW), a statewide 4-H civic engagement event organized by North Dakota State University Extension’s Center for 4-H Youth Development.

This year’s event was held June 1 at the Morton County Courthouse and focused on county government. Youth in grades 7 through 12 experienced what goes on in a variety of county offices and engaged with county personnel during hands-on activities. Educational sessions included topics such as how taxes are assessed, how planning and zoning work and a tour of the Law Enforcement Center.

“The information that I took away from [LAW conferences] will stick with me for the rest of my life,” says Savannah Lebrun, a 4-H member from Ramsey County who has attended three LAW events and values the different perspectives offered each year.

This year’s event included a leadership panel with local leaders, allowing youth to ask questions and learn about a variety of career paths at the county level. Panelists were Nathan Boehm, Morton County commissioner; Kathleen Jones, Burleigh County commissioner; Dawn Rhone, Morton County auditor; Wendy Bent, human resources director; Donnell Preskey Hushka, North Dakota Association of Counties and public affairs specialist; and Tim Nilson, Morton County parks director.

“LAW is such a great event,” says Sue Quamme Wehlander, 4-H youth development specialist, youth leadership and civic engagement. “Each year the focus is a bit different. During the years that the North Dakota legislature is in session, LAW meets in Bismarck with programing, tours of the capital and a chance for youth sit on the floor with a senator or representative from their own district.”

Youth are encouraged to participate in future leadership development opportunities through the Center for 4-H Youth Development. See www.ndsu.edu/agriculture/extension/extension-topics/4-h-youth-development/4-h-leadership-opportunities for more information.

Ramsey and Benson County 4-H members recently took part in a Leadership Awareness Wednesday (LAW) event . In addition to the LAW event, the Ramsey/Benson County delegation took in numerous leadership and career awareness activities. The delegation began the day prior to LAW with a tour of the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery in Riverdale, visiting the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn and touring the Bisman Community Food Co-op in Bismarck. The day after LAW, they took in a tour of the State Capitol, North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck and then Midwest Manufacturing in McKenzie, ND. They also enjoyed a little down time with picnics at Sertoma Park and on the grounds of the State Capitol and a sunset cruise on the Lewis & Clark Riverboat.