CLOPTON – This year’s Youth Tour delegates — including one student from Clopton High School — returned home from Washington, D.C., with enough stories and memories to last a lifetime.
The only problem they ran into: running out of storage space on their cellphones.
“I took so many pictures,” Clopton High School’s Olivia Brune quipped. “It was a lot of fun.”
All six delegates sponsored by Cuivre River Electric Cooperative agreed the trip to D.C. exceeded their expectations.
They were part of a contingent consisting of 108 students who participated in the 56th annual Missouri Electric Youth Tour to Washington June 14-20.
Local delegates sponsored by CREC were Brune; Tian Heine, Megan Kruse and Rebecca Falgout, all from Liberty High School; and Karli Heimburger and Tatum Green, both from Holt High School.
The seven-day tour provides an action-filled week for high school students, offering them opportunities to learn firsthand what it is like to be involved in politics, leadership positions, community service and today’s pressing issues.
“The Youth Tour is the highlight of the summer for many students and we’re proud to send our best and brightest to Washington, D.C. this year to participate,” said Chris Massman, vice president of Member Services for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives in Jefferson City.
Highlights included the delegates visiting with representatives from their congressional districts and touring famous monuments, the Smithsonian Institution’s museums and Arlington National Cemetery. After a 30-year hiatus, the group also went on a tour of the White House. The youth group also took a sightseeing and dance cruise on the Potomac River one evening with delegates from other states.
Other events of the week included participation in the Electric Youth Day, during which a special program coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association brought together nearly 2,000 Youth Tour delegates from across the United States. The delegates enjoyed featured speeches by government leaders and motivational speakers, such as Mike Schlappi, an inspiring four-time Paralympic medalist and two-time world wheelchair basketball champion.
“You learn how important our nation’s capitol is,” Brune said.
Since 1964, CREC has sponsored over 200 Youth Tour delegates for visits to Washington. The annual contest is open to high school juniors who live and attend school in CREC’s general service area, or who have CREC service in their homes.
Cuivre River Electric Cooperative is the largest member-owned electric distribution cooperative in Missouri. It provides service to more than 65,000 residential, business, commercial, industrial and agricultural members in Pike as well as Lincoln,, St. Charles and Warren counties.