NEW! Youth and Government Program at the Bath Area Family YMCA

About Our Program

YMCA Youth & Government is a program that brings together students from all over the state to re-create all three branches of the Maine State Government. There are also opportunities for those interested in lobbying or the media. It includes weekly preparation meetings, two virtual training days, and, of course, the conference in Augusta for a weekend in November.

The Bath Area Family YMCA is excited to begin offering the Youth and Government program, which engages students statewide in a legislative experience in the chambers of the Maine Capital.  The youth and government program has been in operation in Maine for 80 years and is expected to be bigger than ever for the 2023 school year!

Our weekly meetings will be held on Wednesdays, with the exact time to be determined based on participant schedules. At the weekly meetings, we review bills, prepare speeches, and learn how to conduct formal debate. Members of the delegation will offer suggestions on your bill and how best to present it. Participation on Wednesdays also helps the delegation form an identity that will help at conference time. Delegates should plan on attending Wednesday delegation meetings.

*Join us for an Open House at the Bath YMCA on Wednesday, September 6 from 7-8 p.m. You do not need to sign up for the Open House.

Maine YMCA Youth and Government

A unique experience in civic engagement, Youth and Government (YAG) is a student-driven simulation of state government, which involves Maine youth in grades 9-12. Each year high school students from across the state assemble in Augusta for the Maine YMCA Youth and Government State Conference.

Together students create a legislative experience that approximates the real assembly in the chambers of the Maine Capital. Students participate in legislative committees and present their bills in the chambers of the Senate or the House of Representatives.

Students discover how bills are passed, vote on candidates, acquire skills for tough debates, improve public speaking and understand the coalition building process. All these concepts allow individuals to develop leadership qualities that will follow them throughout their careers and the rest of their lives.

2023 Program Timeline

  • August 15 - Registration Opens
  • September 6 - Bath Y Delegation Open House
  • September 13 - Weekly Delegation Meetings Begin
  • October 3 - Y&G State-wide Zoom Meeting
  • October 18 - Online Caucus Session A
  • October 23 - Online Caucus Session B
  • October 27 - Bill Submissions Deadline
  • November 4 - Final Payment Due
  • November 9 - Leadership Training
  • November 10-12 - AUGUSTA STATE HOUSE SESSION

How to Get Involved

Who Can Participate?

Any high school student is welcome to participate on our
delegation. You can attend our no obligation open house on
September 6 to learn more. Once you decide to join, you can register online, noting the Bath Y Delegation as your delegation.

You can visit the state Y&G website at: yiginme.org for more information or contact the Bath Y delegation advisor at yag@bathymca.org.

 

Positions for Participants

Legislative Branch

Student Representatives and Senators elect their leadership, research current events, and write all the bills for this year’s program. For these legislators, the Youth in Government experience culminates by debating their bills in the Maine
House and Senate floors and seeking signature by the Youth Governor.

 

Executive Branch

Each year, the Youth and Government has a race for next year’s Youth Governor. Candidates create platforms and advocate their qualifications during the Conference Debate and through “grassroots” campaigning. Once elected, the Youth Governor becomes the leader and face of the Program for the following
year. The Youth Governor selects his/her student Cabinet who are there to advice and work with our Youth Governor to pass the package of bills they have developed.

 

Media
Media can be considered the fourth branch of government. Student journalists research and draft articles, post to a blog, use various social media to update people about the program and updates on bills. We also ask them to keep the rest of the participants up to date at each event and throughout the entire program year.

 

Lobbyist
Be the voice of a group of concerned citizens, a business or an organization testifying at hearings, and collaborating with the legislators and the executive branch to get your legislation passed.

 

Supreme Court
The Justices will work to interrupt current bills and deal with the Constitutionality. Attorney General will present cases, and Bill Sponsors will offer rebuttal and the Court will rule on individual cases.

 

Registration Fee

$200 

Includes all meals, hotel stay, and all materials needed to participate in program. 

As with all Y programs, financial aid is available to ensure all interested students can participate!

Latest Youth in Government in Maine Newsletter

Click on each page to enlarge and read.

For More Information

 

Questions? Contact us:

Kevin Vendt, Youth and Government Volunteer Coordinator

YAG@bathymca.org