The 2013 Youth Tour provided opportunities for sight-seeing, making new friends, and education.
Each year, ECI REC pays the way for two high school juniors to attend the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour of Washington, D.C. The agenda and opportunities impressed both 2013 winners, especially Ben Hyland of Vinton.
“The Youth Tour blew away my expectations,” said Ben, who had traveled to Washington, D.C., twice previously. “I thought that I knew every fact there was to know about the place. Yes, we saw all of the typical touristy sights, but also so much more. At Mount Vernon, we toured secret tunnels throughout George Washington’s property, just like in the movieNational Treasure—all thanks to our Cooperative!”
The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour has been offering students from across America an inside experience in Washington, D.C., for over 50 years. On this Youth Tour, approximately 1,500 youth participants visit historical sites, explore the Smithsonian Museum, meet congressional leaders, spend a day on Capitol Hill, cruise down the Potomac River, and learn about American history and government.
Perhaps more important than the sightseeing activities are the leadership opportunities the Youth Tour provides. ECI REC youth have a history of taking advantage of these opportunities. In 2011, Belle Plaine student Connor Roth, a 2010 Youth Tour alum, was chosen to represent Iowa on the Youth Leadership Council. Conner worked at the NRECA Congressional Action Center during the group’s annual meeting, encouraging cooperative members to contact their senators and representatives on key co-op issues.
In 2013, Youth Tour alum Dalton Schmit had the opportunity to attend the Iowa Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner. Later Dalton was chosen to participate in the Iowa Legislature Page Program when the 2013 session began. He has also been chosen to help plan and follow-up on activities for the 2014 Youth Tour trip.
This year’s event takes place June 13-19. To be eligible for the Youth Tour, students must have parents or legal guardians who are members of ECI REC. Applications can be found here and are due March 3. If you have further questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us toll free at 877-850-4343.