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Youth Tour History

The Rural Electric Youth Tour, held in Washington, D.C., typically hosts more than 1,500 high school students nationwide. The students who attend the Youth Tour learn about electric cooperatives, American history and the U.S. government. Students also visit the historic sights of the nation’s capital.

Since the late 1950s, more than 40,000 students from small towns across the nation have traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Youth Tour. Past participants have gone on to design airplanes, work as congressional aides on Capitol Hill, and serve in some of the highest positions in our government such as Lieutenant Governor and in the U.S. Senate.

The Youth Tour exists to:

  • Educate youth on all aspects of rural electrification to promote a better understanding of the value of rural electric cooperatives.
  • Provide an opportunity for youth to visit monuments, government buildings and cooperative-related organizations in order to become familiar with the historical and the political environment of the nation’s capital.
  • Allow youth to meet elected officials to better understand how federal government operates. 

The Rural Electric Youth Tour is a joint effort between local electric co-ops, their statewide co-op associations, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in Arlington, VA.



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