4-H Capitol Experience is an annual four-day conference that helps prepare youth for active citizenship by focusing on civic engagement and public policy.

March 15-18, 2020

Registration for the 2020 event will open in December.

Registration Link: https://events.anr.msu.edu/4HCapEx/

4-H Capitol Experience is an annual four-day conference that helps prepare youth for active citizenship by focusing on civic engagement and public policy. Up to 130 teens from around the state converge on Lansing, Michigan to experience state government in action and learn how they can influence policy issues. Participants interact with legislators, state agency staff, lobbyists and other resource people to learn how policy is made. Attendees will:

  • Understand the responsibilities of a citizen
  • Explore different aspects of a policy issue that may affect individuals and communities
  • Explore various careers in public policy
  • Attend bill writing session
  • Have an in-depth meeting with someone in (or involved with) state government

If you want to see more, you can check out this video

Simulations and activities are incorporated to reinforce and apply what is learned about government. Teens leave the conference with the charge to share what they have learned and get involved with other leadership and civic engagement activities in their communities!

Learn more by reviewing the one-page 2017 Impact Summary.

letter for your school is available for the days at the event.

Promotional Flyer

Find 4-H Capitol Experience on Facebook!


Please contact your local 4-H Program Coordinator or local 4-H office to inquire about local funding opportunities. Scholarships may also be available through your local Farm Bureau office.

About the 2019 Conference

When and where: 3 p.m. Sunday, March 17, 2019 to 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at the Okemos Conference Center. Tours and agency visits will take place at the State Capitol and surrounding area.

Who should attend: High school students at least 14 years old and adult participant-chaperones. All participants must have pictured identification.

Cost: $360 for 4-H members, $380 non 4-H members. Includes all meals, lodging and material fees. All registrations must be paid in full by February 16, 2019. Any registration no paid in full by this time will be canceled and the space will be offered to registrants on the wait-list.

Registration deadlines: Registration is collected online via a secure web-based platform. Interested participants must register by February 10, 2019. We ask that this registration is completed with both the participant and a parent/guardian present, as digital permissions and agreements will be requested during the registration process.

If you have any questions on the registration process, contact your county 4-H program coordinator.

Registration Linkhttps://events.anr.msu.edu/4HCapEx/

Non 4-H Members are also required to enroll in 4-H Online.

Cancellation policy: Voluntary cancellations received between February 1-17, 2019 will incur a $30 cancellation fee. Registration fees are non-refundable if cancellations are received after February 17, 2019.

Registration process: Participation is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited to 150 total participants (which includes MSU Extension event staff and youth steering committee members). Each participant will need to register online. Note that communications for this event are made via e-mail, so please provide and email during registration that is checked on a regular basis. All registration payments must be made in full by February 17, 2019. If full payment is not received by this time, your registration will be cancelled and your spot offered to a registrant on the wait-list.

Pre-conference activities: Participants complete a pre-conference activity to learn about citizenship at the local level. Examples include attending a local government meeting, interviewing the director or staff member of a non-profit organization or researching a local issue. All selected participants should write a letter to their representative and senator indicating their interest in meeting them at the conference. Visit Pre-conference activities for more activity ideas.

There will also be a pre-conference meeting held virtually within two weeks of the conference start date. After registration has closed and your payment has been made in full, you’ll receive a packet of information which will include connection details for the meeting.

Post-conference activities, news releases & photographs: Participants should return to their county 4-H program and get involved with local public policy issues. Examples include giving an educational presentation on the conference to 4-H clubs, researching a local issue and presenting it to the county commissioners, city councils or township boards or participating in a service project. Participants should work with their county delegation to carry out a local project. Visit Post-conference activities to find activities and resources to help clubs and groups learn more about the political process.

A Web link to a post-event news release and county delegation photograph of participants and their legislator(s) will be e-mailed to counties for distribution to local media following the event.

MSU Extension 4-H Capitol Experience Program Handbook

The 4-H Capitol Experience handbook includes the Michigan 4-H Youth Code of Conduct and 4-H Capitol Experience Rules. All participants, volunteers and staff members are expected to abide by the code of conduct, the event rules and all other MSU regulations in order to attend this program. Everyone involved in this program must sign an agreement stating they’ve read, understand and agree to the Michigan 4-H Code of Conduct and program rules in order to be allowed to participate in the program. **2019 handbook will be available in January.

To Find Out More About Michigan’s Capitol

You can visit a variety of Michigan government and institutional sites to learn more about Michigan, the state’s history and society:


For more information on how to get involved as a youth or volunteer, contact your county MSU Extension office or:

Jackie Martin,  4-H Educator
Email: marti623@msu.edu
Phone: 734-222-3877

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