Youth Tour – Washington, DC, 2013
- To educate youth on all aspects of rural electrification in order to promote a better understanding of the value of rural electric cooperatives.
- To provide an opportunity for youth to visit monuments, government buildings and cooperative-related organizations in order to become familiar with the historical and political environment of the nation’s capital.
History of the Rural Electric Youth Tour
Youth Tour was born from impromptu comments made by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson as he addressed the 1957 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago. Beginning that year, TX electric co-ops sent groups of young people to Washington, DC to work during summers in Senator Johnson’s office. In 1958, rural electric people in Iowa sponsored the first bus load of youth on a week-long study tour of the Nation’s Capital, and other states started picking up the idea. 1959 saw 130 youth on this tour.
In 1964, NRECA began to coordinate the program so groups arranged to be in the city the same week, with about 400 young people from 12 states that year. Youth Tour has continued to grow and almost 1,000 young people and chaperones participated in the tour each year. On the 25th anniversary of the Tour, participants exceeded 1,200.