More than 70 4-H and FFA students gathered at the Oklahoma state Capitol June 27-28 for Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s second-annual Capitol Camp.
Formerly known as the Youth Legislative Experience, Capitol Camp is an immersive two-day experience for high school juniors and seniors to learn about Oklahoma’s legislative process and how bills become law through a mock legislature held on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
“I decided to do this to broaden my horizons about the entire legislative process – just to be able to sit in their seats and to actually do what they do on a daily basis,” said Davin Budy of Cherokee FFA. “I can definitely see myself being a legislator.”
Throughout the event, students in attendance had the opportunity to present and lobby a piece of legislation they wrote about an issue important to them. Bills were first heard in committees, and those that advanced were heard on the House floor.
Capitol Camp delegates elected a governor, speaker of the House and floor leader to run floor sessions in the House chamber both days.
“I have been involved in agriculture policy a lot because it is something that I find extremely important because nothing happens without it,” said Capitol Camp House Speaker Courtney Blagg of Nowata FFA. “This has been one of the best legislative experiences I have been to.”
The group enjoyed dinner Tuesday night in the Phillips Pavilion at the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion where they heard from Oklahoma House Speaker Pro Tempore Kyle Hilbert. Students heard from a number of other guests during the two days, including Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, OKFB President Rodd Moesel, Oklahoma Institute of Child Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman and several members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.