.As part of the conference, the teens participated in a number of leadership skill building activities. In one activity, "If I Were President," students role-played the president, members of the cabinet and representatives from Capitol Hill who must respond to an international crisis involving Russia. Putzke said he served as the Secretary of Commerce.
In a Supreme Court role-playing session, Mike was Justice Stevens and they heard a case of a girl wanting to enter a military college. "The state had a military college for girls but it wasn't up to the same standards as the male counter-part," Putzke said. "We settled in favor of the girl wanting to enter the all-male school."
Culminating the conference is the model Congress, in which scholars assume the roles of United States representatives by debating, amending and voting on proposed legislation on welfare and presidential war powers. Putzke was a member of a caucus working to redo the presidential war powers act. "We got our bill to Congress but it was shot down," he added.
While in Washington, Putzke visited with Senators Rod Grams and Paul Wellstone. "I really enjoyed meeting the congressmen," he said. "At first I thought they were doing this because they had to, but Wellstone called me back as the group was leaving and started talking about Paynesville being a wrestling school and how his son wrestled. We talked about Minnesota and were able to relate on several topics," Putzke added.
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