Youth Trips


2017 Washington D.C. Youth Tour Colorado Group2017 Washington D.C. Youth Tour Participant

What is the Government-in-Action Youth Tour?

Every June, as many as 1,500 high school students from across the country spend a week in the nation's capital as part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour (link is external). 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.

Participating in the Youth Tour is an awesome way to learn about this great nation, develop leadership skills, gain a better understanding of electric cooperatives, and make friendships that will last beyond the week! The 2017 Youth Tour participants shared their valuable experience in this video

Youth Tour

Each year, EEA's Board of Directors offers an all-expense paid trip to educate deserving high school juniors in the area served by the cooperative. One student is selected for the Washington, D.C. Youth Tour and five applicants are eligible to win a trip to Clark, located just outside Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

The week long tour to Washington, D. C. begins in Denver, CO.  All the cooperative student representatives from Colorado meet for a tour of the State Capital, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and other activities before flying to Washington, D.C. Approximately 1,500 students from around the country gather in D.C. to tour the nation’s memorials and monuments, participate in fun activities, and meet with their state representatives for a one-on-one question and answer segment. 

Approximately 100 high school juniors from Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, and Wyoming gather at a beautiful resort on the Elk River for the cooperative’s youth leadership camp. Students participate in activities to improve personal goals and get an inside view of the state and national legislatures. Activities include a tour of a coal mine and electrical generating plant and plenty of time for swim parties, barbecues, rafting trips, dances, and banquets during the week. Many of the attendees call this camp a "life-changing experience."

2019 Youth Leadership Application Requirements

Applications for these trips are available on November 1st at EEA's main office in Cortez and downloaded here. Member services representatives visit local high schools in November to make presentations and deliver applications. 

Students selected for this program will be introduced to the electric cooperative network. Participants come away with a better understanding of the state and national governments, local electric cooperatives, the Colorado Rural Electric Association, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Inc., and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Consideration is given to a student's interest in the electric cooperative, character, personal goals, and desire to obtain leadership skills without regard to race, creed, color, sex, or religious beliefs. In order to give the committee the necessary information requested, please make sure that all items are completed on your application. The youth tour committee will not consider your application if any information is missing or incomplete.

Participation requirements:

  • Age Requirement - Student must be enrolled as a junior in high school and 16 years of age by January 1st or currently hold the status equivalent to junior in home-based schools or academies at the application deadline.
  • Proof of Membership - Applicant's parents or legal guardians must have an active residential or business account with EEA registered in one or both names. A copy of the applicant's parents' or legal guardians' EEA bill must accompany the application for verification of service.
  • Content - Applicant must submit a typed paragraph about them self and what they would like to gain by participating in this program. Entries will be judged on sincerity of content and any other optional creative medium content.
  • Selection - Judging and selection will be made by a committee composed of board members, administration, and selected staff members of EEA. If an applicant is an immediate family member of a committee member, the committee member will abstain from participating in that year's selection.

To be considered in 2019, your completed application must be returned to the Empire Electric office at 801 N. Broadway, P. O. Box K, Cortez, Colorado, 81321, no later than 11:30 a.m. on Friday, December 14, 2018. To obtain an application, please download here, pick an application up at your school's counseling office or Emire's office in Cortez.

Dates for the NRECA Youth Tour in Washington, D. C. are June 13-20, 2019.

Dates for the CEEI Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, are July 13-18, 2019.

Download Youth Leadership Trips Application here.

SCHOLARSHIPS are also available for high school grads, those continuing their college education, and adults returning to college.