Virtual Youth Government Day 2021

Welcome to the Sheboygan County Virtual Youth Government Day 2021!

County Youth Government Day is a program that is sponsored in Sheboygan County by the American Legion, Sheboygan County, and the Sheboygan County Division of Extension. This page provides youth with everything they need to engage in a practical study and exploration of county government. While this hands-on learning program may not look like it usually does, we are confident that it will provide you or your students with a unique look into the services provided in Sheboygan County!

Each lesson features a different department of services offered in Sheboygan County (and indeed in most counties). As you navigate the department you will read about the services provided within that unit, be able to dig deeper with links directly to that department and its services, have the opportunity to view videos from the people who provide these services, and engage in at least one practical educational application to find out what you know, have learned or next steps for learning more!

Lesson #1: Let’s Get Started: County Government Overview

Get Started: The Wisconsin Counties Association is an organization that exists to support the work of local government and the interests of county services. They do a great job explaining what a county is and providing an overview of county government in their Video: What is a County? Watch and find out if what you thought about a county is indeed in line with what the county actually does!

Dig Deeper: Sheboygan County is led by 25 Elected County Board Supervisors and a full-time County Administrator, Adam N. Payne with support from a Deputy Administrator, Alayne Krause. Alayne Krause welcomes you to Sheboygan County Government in this Video: Introduction to Sheboygan County. Check it out and learn more about the breadth of services provided in our county!

Check Your Learning: There are three different types of county government administration. Find out about each of them by checking out Three Forms of County Administration, then check your learning by these simple administration questions. Share what you’ve learned with your teacher.

So What: A new game allows students across the country to learn about county government in a fun and interactive online setting. The game is sponsored by iCivics, Inc., and the National Association of Counties (NACo).

The game, “Counties Work,” is geared for students in grades 6 through 12. It is designed to teach the students about the important roles and functions of counties by letting them run their own county.

While playing the game, a student will be a county official responsible for providing services, dealing with citizen requests, setting and raising revenues, and working within a budget. Along the way, students will learn about the various services provided by counties while having to make tough decisions on spending and taxes while also facing re-election.

Lesson #2: To Protect and Preserve: Planning and Conservation

Get Started: The Planning & Conservation Department plays a number of leadership roles throughout the County. Many comprehensive plans are maintained through the office, a number of ordinances are administered in the office, the County’s recreational facilities are managed by the office, a number of programs are managed in the office, and finally, in any given year a number of grants or special programs are administered through the office.

Dig Deeper: A series of videos are provided here, by Tyler Betry, County Conservationist to provide an overview of the services and programs of the Planning and Conservation Department. Check them out to learn more about the depth of services provided by this unique county department!

Check Your Learning: You have learned a great deal by watching these videos and checking out the information above. Check your learning by completing the Sheboygan County Planning and Conservation Department Crossword Puzzle with clues from the wide range of responsibilities within this department!

So What: Check out one of the local county parks or natural areas that you learned about in this lesson. What did you like best? Would you suggest a friend visit this site? What suggestions do you have for maintenance or improvement?

Lesson #3: It’s all on Record: Register of Deeds

Get Started: Our rich local and state history is a valuable asset for our residents. The office of records in each county holds that history in a variety of ways. The Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association clearly explains the functions of this office through their Video: Who We Are.

The Register of Deeds office is the primary source of legal documents, which affect virtually every individual living in Sheboygan County. This includes personal and real estate ownership and encumbrance records in addition to financing instruments that are the basis of individual and business credit ratings. This office executes the final acceptance and filing of new subdivision plats and Certified Survey Maps, administers the Vital Records Registration system, which includes registration of all births, marriages, and deaths of county residents, probate instruments, and business documents such as corporate filings.

Recorded land records are the basis of the real estate property tax. Translated into monetary terms the land records in the Register of Deeds office represent $8.6 billion dollars in real estate lying within the borders of Sheboygan County.

Dig Deeper: Did you know that the Register of Deeds position is an elected position? You can learn more about the Sheboygan County Register of Deeds office, view the stacks of documents, and hear from our elected Register of Deeds, Ellen Schleicher, in these videos explaining the process of Video: Recording Land Records as well as Video: Vital Life Records for the residents of Sheboygan County.

Check Your Learning: Your Register of Deeds is here to support our residents from birth to death. Check your learning by playing a round of Sheboygan County Register of Deeds Kahoot at www.kahoot.it.This single-player game will help you review what you learned above! Report your score to your teacher!

So What: Land, property, and ownership records can be an incredibly valuable tool for many people when trying to uncover genealogical history. Have you ever tried to track down your ancestors through the use of vital records? Your local Register of Deeds office as well as offices across the country can be your partner in this research. Find out why they are an important and reliable tool in this article. Try your hand and finding records for your own family history by contacting your Register of Deeds. Also consider the following:

  • What records can you access for your family history?
  • In what ways might these records be incomplete for historical minority races?
  • What types of records would also be helpful to uncover your family history and where can you go to find them?

Lesson #4: Care and Compassion: Rocky Knoll Skilled Nursing Facility

Get Started: Rocky Knoll Health Care Center is licensed and certified as a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) offering short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. At Rocky Knoll, we provide high-quality, skilled nursing and health care services to the residents of Sheboygan County. We maintain a proactive approach in anticipating the individual needs of each resident, ensuring that their health and welfare requirements are met. Check out our facility, our team, and more at https://myrockyknoll.com/ 

Dig Deeper: As one of the largest and most unique departments in Sheboygan County – our Rocky Knoll Healthcare Center has a lot to offer our community. Check out these interviews with Matthew Burton, Student Administrator at Rocky Knoll, as he shares the mission, scope, and successes of this special place.

Check Your Learning: Use these questions to guide a personal interview with someone who has stayed at or interacted with Rocky Knoll Healthcare Center. With your interviewee’s permission, you may record the interview. Turn in the interview by mailing or emailing a written summary to your teacher. You may also share a link to your video chat with your teacher.

So What: Looking for a volunteer opportunity or to gain experience with a skilled nursing facility? Check out Rocky Knoll Healthcare Center! For other volunteer opportunities, you can call the main number and ask about volunteering. Volunteer information can be found on the website myrockyknoll.com.

Lesson #5: We’ve Gotta Get There: Transportation Department

Get Started: Communities depend on transportation. It directly affects their quality of life by connecting people to jobs, getting people to and from their activities, bringing tourists to the area, and shipping products.

The primary responsibilities of the Sheboygan County Highway Department are the maintenance, design, and construction of the 450.89-mile system of County Trunk Highways. In addition, the Department functions as the maintenance agency for 170 miles of State Trunk and Interstate Highways within the County, along with 465 miles of local township roads. This equates to 2171.78 lane-miles of maintenance responsibility. Additional major operations include gravel crushing, blacktop production, grading and construction, bridge maintenance and inspection, and roadway marking and signing.

Dig Deeper: Sheboygan County Transportation Director, Greg Schnell, shares a wealth of information and local tips in this Video: Sheboygan County Transportation. Start by downloading and/or printing the guiding questions and complete this as you follow along!

Check Your Learning: Download this pdf and complete the questions listed as you follow along with the video above. Questions include:

  1. How many miles of roadway are in Sheboygan County?
  2. What is the budget for Transportation in Sheboygan County?
  3. How many employees does the Sheboygan County transportation Department employ?
  4. How many roadsigns does the department maintain on county roads?
  5. How are snow plows used in the summer?
  6. There are 45 _____ used to clear snow off roads.
  7. What are the typical duties of the county transportation department during road constructions?
  8. What is needed to be employed as a General Laborer for the Transportation Department?
  9. How will a new customs department benefit Sheboygan County?
  10. What positions and responsibilities within the Transportation Department require a college degree?

So What: Roundabouts are a source of celebration for some and a headache for others. Do you know what you’re doing when you approach and drive through a roundabout? What about your parents or grandparents? Learn everything you need to know about this safety strategy by reviewing and completing the activity book  “Just Another Safe Intersection.” 

Lesson #6: For What It’s Worth: Treasurer’s Department

Dig Deeper:  Here, Sheboygan County Treasurer and Real Property Lister, Laura Henning-Lorenz and her staff take you on a Monopoly journey through Sheboygan County Property and the responsibilities of the Treasurer’s Office. Play along by viewing the following series of videos and noting the many responsibilities and interactions that take place with this important county service. Let’s play Sheboygan County Monopoly . . .

Check Your Learning: You just walked through the Treasurer and Real Property Lister office by playing a round of Sheboygan County Monopoly! Now create your own playing cards with information that you learned about the responsibilities of this county department. Review the examples and use this Community Chest Card Template to create at least 4 of your own Community Chest Cards.

So What: By now you may understand the role of the Treasurer in a county, but what is that other title . . . a Real Property Lister? Check out the professional Wisconsin Real Property Lister Association to find out more. When would you rely on the Real Property Lister?

Lesson #7: To Serve and Protect: Sheriff’s Department

Get Started: A sheriff is typically the top law enforcement officer of a county and an elected county official. They have a law enforcement role and have the power to make arrests within their own jurisdiction. They may also perform other functions, such as the maintenance and transportation of prisoners, traffic control and enforcement, and accident investigations. Larger sheriff’s departments may carry out criminal investigations or engage in other specialized law enforcement activities. Although this Video: What does a Sherrif’s Department do? was developed in Utah, it clearly explains some of the roles of a Sheriff’s Department and is applicable to this unit across the United States.

Dig Deeper: The Sheboygan County Elected Sheriff is Cory Roessler. He and his deputies are the top law enforcement agency in Sheboygan County. You can check out their roles and responsibilities as well as services provided by the Sheriff’s Department on their website.

Check Your Learning: After exploring this department and its responsibilities through the above video and website. Check out these Sheriff’s Department Review Questions. Check in with your teacher about what you learned and complete this worksheet to share your learning.

So What: All county departments submit an annual report including their accomplishments and achievements from the past year. You might wonder what kinds of numbers each department reaches and how much money is going through each department. You can learn more about the reach of the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department by reviewing their Annual Report. 

Lesson #8: Our Human Assets: Department of Health and Human Services

Get Started: The Sheboygan County Health and Human Services Department is the County’s comprehensive health and human services planning and delivery agency organized under Chapter 46 of the Wisconsin Statutes. It provides information and assistance to persons facing economic crisis, health risks, challenges to child, family, and community wellness, life changes associated with aging, and other needs. In collaboration with its contracted partners and under the guidance of the County’s Health and Human Services Committee, the Department serves a diverse consumer base through its Economic and Child Support, Public Health, Child and Family Services, Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), Elder Services, and Behavioral Health programs

Check Your Learning: The Sheboygan County Department of Health and Human Services is HUMONGOUS! Check your understanding of where you might go for various services by answering the following questions:

  1. If I need information about long-term care for my 92-year-old aunt, which unit would be best to contact?  
  2. If I want to find out about vaccines, which unit should I contact?
  3. If a friend is having trouble affording groceries for her young children, which unit can I help her to contact? 
  4. Which unit can I contact for help if I am struggling with my mental health? 
  5. Who could I contact if I would like to become a certified child care provider? 

Check your accuracy with this answer key!

So What: Most recently, the Sheboygan County Health and Human Services Department, Public Health Unit has been methodically and strategically engaged in supporting Sheboygan County residents in combatting the pandemic around Coronavirus (COVID-19). One of the ways that they have been able to share important messaging is with the help of key decision-makers throughout Sheboygan County. Check out this Public Service Announcement regarding COVID-19. 

Additional Fun: Support your own mental health and check-in with your energy by starting or continuing with your day with this Rainbow Breathing Exercise!