Monuments, museums and ‘all the bacon you can eat’: Why we Youth Tour

Katie Ryan-Anderson is the manager of member communications for Dakota Valley and Northern Plains Electric Cooperatives in North Dakota. As a chaperone for the 2016 Youth Tour, in which high school students get to tour Washington, D.C. and learn about how rural electric cooperatives fight for important issues, she is sharing the students’ experiences through social media.

Ryan-Anderson volunteered to share her stories here on Basin Electric: Live Wire.

You can also watch the group’s progress via Facebook and Twitter:
Facebook: Facebook.com/dakotavalleyelectric
Facebook: Facebook.com/northernplainselectric
Twitter: @DakValElectric
Twitter: @NplainsElectric
Watch #ytdc for posts from co-ops across the nation.

-Editor’s note

ND Youth Tour 2015

North Dakota Youth Tour participants in 2015. Photo credit: North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives

Rural electric cooperatives are sending their best and brightest young people to our nation’s capital over the next week. It’s called Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Every year, about 1,500 high school students visit Washington, D.C. as part of the Youth Tour experience. Those students visit the Veterans Memorial, Newseum, Martha’s Vineyard and other landmarks. They meet legislators and shake hands with local leaders working in Washington. They also make friends, build character and better their leadership skills. Most importantly, all meals are included. That’s why one former attendee joked that one of the best aspects of his Youth Tour was the hotel breakfast and its endless supply of processed meat.

Top 4 Reasons to Youth Tour

  1. All-expense paid travel
    Rural electric cooperatives foot the bill for all transportation, meals and lodging during the seven-day stay. You can see the country on someone else’s dime.
  2. Bask in the big city
    If your electricity comes from a rural electric cooperative, there’s a good chance you come from a three (or so)-stoplight town. Rural roots are a beautiful thing. Share that beauty with big city, and let the big city share its beauty with you.
  3. Cooperatives are cool
    No matter where you live, co-ops touch you. Surprised? If so, you’re not alone. Small groups of people built co-ops when big investors wouldn’t. Today, co-ops provide electricity, sure. They also provide financing, information, farm supplies, sporting equipment and farm-to-table foods. One day, you may work with, for, or on the board of one of the co-ops in your area. This is an opportunity to learn more about this essential business model and its effect on your community.
  4. Build relationships, and resumes
    The students on this trip are your state’s future business and civic leaders. Now is the time to get to know one another. Put your heads together and see how you can make the world better.
ND Youth Tour 2015

North Dakota Youth Tour participants visit with U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

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