LBJ knew exactly what he was doing. And generations of young people are the better for it.
Lyndon Baines Johnson was a U.S. senator in 1957 when he addressed the annual meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and told co-ops they should send youngsters to Washington, D.C., “where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”
The Electric Cooperative Youth Tour was born. Some Texas co-ops sent teenagers to work in Johnson’s office, while an electric co-op in Iowa sponsored the first large group of 34 youths to travel to the nation’s capital a week of immersion in government.
Today, the tradition continues. We invite co-op youths across Virginia, Maryland and Delaware to be a part of a trip that’s changed the lives of nearly 50,000 young people — the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.
Some 1,600 youths and their chaperones gather each June for Youth Tour. They have the opportunity to see government in action, visiti with their senators and congressmen, and tourimemorials and museums in and around Washington such as Arlington National Cemetery and the Kennedy Center. Participants attend several educational seminars during the tour and establish lasting relationships with youths from other states that participate in the Youth Tour program.
Through the tour, young people learn about government, and about their local electric cooperatives and the role they play in their communities.
NRECA and local electric cooperatives sponsor the tour, while the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives coordinates it from the three-state region. Each participating electric cooperative selects the youths each year using varying criteria. All expenses are paid by the sponsoring electric cooperative.
Youth Tour Video Gallery
Youth Tour Photo Gallery
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