Editor’s note: This article was written by local 4-H Club member Winston Lagergren, a 16-year-old Glen Rose High School sophomore, about his trip  to the nation’s capital last November to attend the Texas Leadership Conference. The trip was made possible by the LDL Educational Foundation. He wanted to share his story with the community in hopes of motivating other kids to pursue projects in 4-H and to give thanks to LDL. 

Jet lag and 10-12 miles each day walking for five days! It was worth it on a 4-H leadership trip to Washington D.C. with 17 other fellow 4-H members from around the state of Texas.

All of us were Texas State Champions in 4-H Record Book completion, in various categories. I competed in Wildlife and Fisheries. I never dreamed that I would have been able to do something like this through 4-H.

Day One, Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day, we leave Love Field in Dallas bound for Reagan National Airport then got to our very plush hotel just long enough to change for a Thanksgiving dinner and a night-time tour of the national monuments.

Most of our transportation was via the Metro buses. That certainly was a new experience for me. First stop was walking around the White House taking lots of pictures, then the Washington Monument.

An interesting fact about the Washington Monument is that it has an aluminum cap with the words “Laus Deo,” meaning “Praise be to God.” Those words face east toward the rising sun.

The Capitol Building lit up was like a beacon in the night sky.

Day two, we are off to the National Zoo. This was the first time I’ve ever seen a panda.

Later that day, the Ford’s Theatre where President Lincoln was shot. We went across the street to the Petersen House, where Lincoln passed away.

At Ford’s Theatre we saw the productions of “A Christmas Carol.” The performance was excellent.

Next back on the Metro to a very good restaurant. In just two days I’ve eaten the best food, ever, in my life. That evening another night-time tour of the national monuments.

The tour was awesome, except for the fact that it was about 20 degrees outside and a strong wind was blowing.

We learned many interesting facts about the monuments in D.C. For example, the way that the Lincoln Memorial was built ensures that Abraham Lincoln is always moonlit.