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Electric Cooperative Youth Tour



Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Origin

Next Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. will be June 13-20, 2019

2015 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour PhotoSen. Lyndon Johnson inspired the Youth Tour when he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1957. He declared, “If one thing goes out of this meeting, it will be sending youngsters to the national capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”

Consequently, some Texas electric cooperatives sent groups of young people to Washington, D.C., to work during the summer in Sen. Johnson’s office. In 1958, an electric cooperative in Iowa sponsored the first group of 34 young people on a week-long study tour of the nation’s capital. Later that same year, another bus load came from Illinois. The idea grew and other states sent bus loads of young people throughout the summer. By 1959, the “Youth Tour” had grown to 130 delegates.

In 1964, NRECA began to coordinate joint activities among the state delegations and suggested that co-op representatives from each state arrange to be in Washington, D.C., during Youth Tour week. The first year of the coordinated tour included approximately 400 young people from 12 states. Word of the program has continued to spread and today, more than 1,800 young people and their chaperones from 45 states participate in the Youth Tour every year.

For more information, contact Shana Read


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