Trailblazers Teen 4-H Club Attends Capital Fest

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Forsyth County 4-H Trailblazers Teen 4-H Club in front of horse and rider statueOn Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the Forsyth County 4-H Trailblazers Teen 4-H Club took a trip to Raleigh, NC for Capital Fest, which is organized by North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE). The event, which is held biennially, is highly anticipated by homeschoolers around the state. There are several workshops and tours offered that are suitable for younger and older children alike.

This year, the teens made appointments to meet with two of our state legislators. Regretfully, Representative Donny Lambeth (District 75, Forsyth County) had scheduling conflicts, but we were able to meet with Senator Joyce Krawiec (from District 31, which includes Forsyth and Davie counties). We learned Senator Krawiec is a 4-H alumnus, and she said she’d love to speak at our club at an upcoming meeting this year!

Another privilege we enjoyed this year was hearing several state government officials speak for five to ten minutes each. It was very encouraging for both parents and teens to hear, and our club really enjoyed this experience. Many of these legislators were former public educators and home educators. It was surprising to see how many were former and current homeschoolers!

One of our favorite workshops during our trip to Capital Fest was attending a workshop on the executive branch of government, led by Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. He told us about his life, background, how his children were homeschooled, and then he opened the floor for questions. His speech was uplifting to children, as well as parents.

The 4-H Trailblazer Teens also toured the Supreme Court and listened to Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby speak. He discussed how the Supreme Court functions and mentioned examples of the types of cases that make it to the Supreme Court level. He explained the history of North Carolina’s state constitution in relation to the dates listed on the banners of our state flag. Interestingly, Justice Newby’s family also homeschooled. Our group was privileged to have our photo taken with Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby at the end of the workshop.

The Capitol Building and Legislative Building in Raleigh were also open for tours, although our group (which consisted of thirteen Trailblazer Teens and nine members from the younger Trailblazer club) was unable to tour these due to time constraints and a record turnout: 1,300 were registered for Capital Fest 2019, which is staggering compared to the usual 400! The North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science were also open. Several members from our club enjoyed walking through these museums after the other tours and workshops. The temporary World War I exhibit in the North Carolina Museum of History was particularly fascinating.

Capital Fest had so much to offer this year, and we were so privileged to be able to talk our government officials! The Trailblazer Teens had a blast at NCHE’s Capital Fest and can’t wait to return in the coming years!

Written by: Laurelyn Ridge

Forsyth County 4-H Trailblazers Teen 4-H Club