Nearly 100 students from Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming attended an all-expenses paid educational retreat at the annual Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp, which is hosted at the Glen Eden Resort, located just north of Steamboat Spring, Colorado. The Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp builds leadership skills, facilitates community and meaningful connections, teaches students about cooperative principles, and creates memories to last a lifetime.
Tori Poe, Senior at Norwich High School, and Fabel Yanez, Senior at Greeley County High School, were selected to attend the 43rd annual Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp from July 12-18, 2019 representing Wheatland Electric. “Wheatland Electric is proud to be a participating sponsor of the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp and send our local youth to develop essential leadership and teamwork skills,” said General Manager Bruce Mueller. “Through this trip, we hope our students take time to learn how electric cooperatives work and how co-ops and their employees support the communities they serve.”
The Kansas and Oklahoma participants met as they boarded the bus along its route to Colorado. When the bus arrived in Denver, the group was treated to an indoor skydiving experience and STEM educational lab at iFLY. When the group arrived at Glen Eden Resort, nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the campers immediately organized into their own cooperatives, starting daily membership meetings where a general manager, board of directors and committees were selected. The weeklong experience also gave participants an authentic camp feel with a hike to Fish Creek Falls, river rafting, a volleyball tournament, swimming, a dance and a talent show.
Several demonstrations and presentations enhanced students’ knowledge on the cooperative business model and on operations at their electric cooperative. Campers competed to build a model transmission line out of craft supplies, toured Trapper Mine, Craig Power Plant and watched a high-voltage safety demonstration. The campers also raised $293.13 to donate to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) International Foundation. The money will be used to purchase backpacks and school supplies for students who attend school in Sillab, Guatemala.
When asked, what memory will you always have with you from this trip? Poe said, “The amazing energy and attitude of those around me at camp. The atmosphere allows everyone to feel comfortable and I want to recreate that in my community.” Overall, the campers said they left CYLC with a new sense of leadership and an understanding of how their local electric cooperative operates and how they contribute to improving the communities they serve. Yanez said, “I have never been great at socializing, but I was kind of forced to at camp. This allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people who have turned into friends.”
Poe and Yanez were selected to participate in this trip after each wrote an essay about their favorite cooperative principle, took a test, and interviewed with a 3-judge panel from Wheatland Electric’s Board of Directors. To learn more about how a Wheatland Electric member can apply for the Youth Tour program, please visit https://www.weci.net/youth-tour-program or contact Alli Conine, Manager of Member Services & Corporate Communications at 620-874-4563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.