News and Events

Gilchrist County SWAT Students Visit Tallahassee for 4-H Day at the Florida Capitol
By Chandler Ash, Gilchrist County 4-H SWAT

On February 28th, Gilchrist County 4-H SWAT members made their way to Tallahassee for an event known as 4-H Day at the Capitol. Every year, many 4-H’ers from around the state gather in Tallahassee to go on tours, meet politicians, and learn more about Florida’s government. This year, a whopping 600 4-H members attended.      
To start off the day, the 4-H SWAT members had the chance to meet with their Representative, Elizabeth Porter. They discussed 4-H in Gilchrist County, and some of the projects SWAT has done. One of the main things SWAT members talked to Elizabeth Porter about was the issue of candy flavored tobacco. SWAT members told her about the work they had been doing letting the decision makers in Gilchrist County  know how candy flavored tobacco is targeted toward children. As a result, the County Commissioners passed an ordinance in Gilchrist County putting candy flavored tobacco behind the counter.  Florida 4-H honored Gilchrist County SWAT 4-H Clubs by featuring them in advertisements for the 4-H Day at the Capitol called “Revolution of Responsibility” based on their work on the candy flavored tobacco issue in the community.  SWAT members gave Representative Porter a framed picture of Gilchrist
4-H’s Revolution of Responsibility advertisement in which they were commended for passing a candy flavored tobacco ordinance.

Gilchrist 4-H SWAT Members visit Rep Porter

Later, they moved to a workshop where they learned about civic engagement and civic involvement in their communities. There, they learned about the types of civic engagement, and how people all react differently to politics and events. They did an exercise in which all of the participants in the workshop separated into groups and worked on a project that represented different civic engagement styles.  This way, the participants learned how to deal with people of all different opinions.

Finally, the SWAT members moved to the highlight of their day; The Florida Supreme Court tour. During this tour, they learned several different things. First, they went through the Florida Supreme Court building, and learned what the seal of the Florida Supreme Court means. Then, they went into the actual courtroom. The tour guide gave them a short lesson on the basics of how the court system works. Then, a few participants were picked to take part in a mock trail. SWAT members Allie Madlem, Chandler Ash, Briana Keller, Helen Rogers, and Katy Cleary were picked to be Justices and Tucker McDaniel was chosen to act as an attorney. During this exercise, they learned how an actual Supreme Court trail would happen, and how laws are reviewed and interpreted by courts.

Gilchrist 4-H SWAT Youthy visit Florida Supreme Court

4-H Day at the Capitol was a great experience for the SWAT members. Through the event, they learned much more about how their government works, and even got to meet their State Representative. This greatly educated Gilchrist SWAT members, and they gained skills they can use back home in the community.