Every June, over 1,800 high school Juniors and Seniors from across the country spend a week in the nation's capital as part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. The students are sponsored by electric cooperatives – cooperatives that are committed to educating America's rural youth about America and the role electric cooperatives play in developing strong rural communities.
During the week, youth will get the opportunity to tour the Lincoln Memorial, National Cathedral, The White House, Air and Space Museum, Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol, Ford’s Theatre, The Kennedy Center, the Metro, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, The Smithsonian, Iwo Jima Statue, National Archives, U.S Supreme Court, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Students will also get the opportunity to participate in a breakfast briefing with the South Dakota Congressional Delegation.
Who is eligible and what does it cost?
Any high school junior or senior whose parents are members of West River Electric are eligible to apply for the youth tour. Your local cooperative funds the weeklong event. The funding for the tour provides for each participant’s transportation, room and board, entertainment, and sightseeing events. Students are required to provide their spending money (snacks and souvenirs).
When is it held and how do I apply?
The weeklong trip will be held on June 15-21, 2024. Participants will meet for an orientation meeting on Saturday, June 15 in Sioux Falls. Then, the group will fly to D.C. on Sunday, June 16, and return to South Dakota on Friday, June 21. A commercial bus will be used for transportation while in D.C.
Each applicant must write a 250 word or more essay on, "What does the Electric Cooperative mean to me?"