Youth in Governance


The Calumet County Youth in Governance Program’s (YiG) goal is to get young people excited and engaged in county government. To meet this goal, youth are invited to join Calumet County committees and bring their voices to the table. By doing this, youth will get to develop valuable life skills such as leadership, communication, and networking skills, as well as grow in their knowledge of county government. This will foster the development of the next generation of youth leaders in Calumet County.

Program Structure

Each Calumet County youth representative will be appointed to a committee for one year terms fromĀ May through May. Each youth will be paired with a supervisor mentor and/or a Calumet County staff member. YiG mentors will aid the youth in learning about county government and how to participate in it. Committee meetings are held in a professional, formal manner, based on Robert’s Rules of Order. Each youth member will have a non-binding advisory vote in their committees.

In addition to attending committee meetings, youth representatives will attend YiG meetings where the youth representatives have time to connect with other youth representatives and YGP education meetings, which offer a forum for fostering relationships with fellow youth representatives, expanding knowledge, and developing civic involvement, youth leadership, and other critical professional competencies.

Program Expectations

The requirements to participate in Youth in Governance are:

  1. Youth entering the program must be in high school when applying and during their term.
  2. Youth must be a Calumet County resident.
  3. Must be able to attend the committee meetings, typically occurring once or twice a month and one County Board meeting.
  4. Stay up to date on committee business and read necessary material in advance in order to stay engaged in committee meetings.
  5. If a meeting will be missed, notify mentor, committee chair, and YGP facilitator. No more than 3 absences without notice.
  6. Youth must attend orientation held in April.
  7. Youth members will not be paid a stipend or mileage for attending meetings.

Application Process

Applicants must send in completed applications by the deadline. The application consists of brief answers regarding the applicant’s desired goals for the Youth in Governance program and how it will advance their civic consciousness and leadership abilities, along with basic contact information and school information.

Participant Materials

Apply online here or pick up a paper application and return it to the Calumet County Courthouse by March 1, 2024, to be a part of the 2024-2025 YiG cohort.

Outreach Materials

Calumet County Board Committee Descriptions

The following are brief descriptions of each of the eight Calumet County Board Committees that youth are able to join. It does not encompass the full scope of their tasks and work. Ask the Committee Chair for a more in-depth description of the committee.

  • Administrative Services Committee: Oversees county employee-related matters, the purchase and sale of county land, and has policymaking responsibilities for Corporation Counsel, County Administrator, Economic Development, Emergency Management, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Maintenance, and Real Property Lister. The Committee shall also confer and have policymaking responsibilities, to the extent permitted by law, for the Office of the County Clerk, Treasurer, and Register of Deeds.
  • Aging and Disability Resource Center Advisory Committee: Oversees the Aging and Disability Resource Center; represents and promotes the services it provides; reviews received feedback; confers with and advises the Health and Human Services Board on the Aging and Disability Resource Center.
  • Extension Education Committee: Connects 4-H to the county and allows the county to hear about everything 4-H and the University of Madison Extension are doing. They also review current county extension programs and find potential programming needs throughout the county. This is an advisory committee and not a policymaking committee.
  • Highway Committee: Oversees the annual budget, purchases or sells county machinery, disburses funds for highway upkeep.
  • The Land and Water Committee: Oversees the annual budget and reviews financial reports. It also makes recommendations to the county administrator while holding policymaking responsibilities for the Land and Water Conservation Department.
  • Public Safety: Oversees county jail conditions and inspects the jail register, showing the names, ages, and cause of committal of each prisoner. Policymaking responsibilities for the Clerk of Circuit Court, District Attorney, Family Court Commissioner, Medical Examiner, Register in Probate, and the Sheriff.
  • Health & Human Services: Ensures compliance with public health, home health and hospice, human services, and veteran services statutes, rules, and regulations. Advocates for adequate public health services that meet reasonable needs. Develops policies and leadership that promote local involvement and commitment.
  • Planning, Zoning, and Farmland Preservation Committee: Oversees the budget and financial reports and makes recommendations to the County Administrator on what needs to be done. Responsible for matters related to recreation, transportation, natural resources, community facilities and utilities, and housing. Has policymaking responsibilities for the Planning, Zoning, and Land Information Department.