Once In a Lifetime
A Week You Will Never Forget
In June, high school students from across the country gather in our nation’s capital to partake in a very special event. They come to see American history enshrined in Washington D.C., and bare witness to history being made. They come to learn and share with others whose geographical diversity is rivaled only by the demographic diversity. Most of all, they come to have fun. What event is the thread that brings them together? The National Rural Electric Cooperatives’ Association (NRECA) Youth Tour to Washington D.C.
In 1958, rural electric cooperatives in Iowa sponsored the first bus load of youth on a weeklong study tour of the nation’s capital, and other states started picking up on the idea. In 1964, NRECA began to coordinate the program. That year, participating groups arranged to be in the city the same week and there were about 400 young people from 12 states. In 2016, there were 1,724 students and 284 chaperones representing 42 states.
Since 2003, Vigilante Electric Cooperative has participated in this program providing an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. This past summer we were fortunate to have sent two outstanding young ladies. Their pictures and stories were featured in last month’s edition in this publication. While it’s hard to adequately describe this program and its impact, the term once in a life time gets used a lot. Here are some comments from our 2016 participants.
“I enjoyed learning about the history of our country through my high school history classes but while I could repeat the significant dates and happenings, history really came alive for me while visiting Washington D.C. this June. Visiting the various monuments and really seeing those spots from my history class gave me a new understanding of the reality of the events and people who shaped our country and ideals.”
Katelynn Sutton – Lima High School
“Washington DC was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I'm sure I'll never forget my time spent there with all the amazing students and leaders I was privileged to spend it with. Thank you Vigilante Electric for sponsoring my trip there, it was amazing.”
Mariah Mosher – Beaverhead Co High School
In 2017, the dates of the youth tour are June 9 thru 16. To qualify the student must be the dependent of a member of Vigilante Electric Cooperative and currently a sophomore and junior in high school. Selection is based on an application and a short essay. This year’s topic is, “Why I should be Vigilante Electric Cooperative’s Youth Tour delegate.” Those interested are encouraged to be creative with their ideas and limit their essays to two pages. Essays are due to Vigilante Electric no later than November 30, 2016.
If you were to talk to past participants they would tell you that no trip can compete with this one and the only effort required is that put into the application and essay. It truely is a week you will never forget, and it’s free.