Tuesday, May 21, 2019

You’ll want to read this!


We surveyed some of the best Youth Tour minds out there and came up with some advice for the newest crop of YTers!

Ready? Here ya go!
  1. Know the rules and stick to them!
  2. Be on time! Every time.
  3. Make sure you have the Grupio app downloaded (it has our schedule) and you are part of our Remind group!
  4. On Facebook? Join the 2019 Iowa Youth Tour group (parents welcome!)
  5. Keep hydrated in DC! We will have water available. We keep a couple coolers on the bus full of cold water and will be pushing you to drink water all day, every day.
  6. Arrive for Youth Tour well rested and be prepared to WALK! The average day goes from about 7 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m. Yes, this is a long day, and you will be on the go a lot, however, no one ever wishes they had slept more during Youth Tour.
  7. If you don’t feel well, tell a chaperone. There are two nurses on call 24-hours a day during Youth Tour.
  8. Wear comfortable shoes – we cannot say this enough!
  9. Know your number! All students will get assigned a number. All you have to do is remember your number (it is listed in our app). Each time we leave someplace we count off.  Never left anyone behind … don’t plan to this year either!
  10. Get to know everyone! There are NO cliques on Youth Tour!
  11. Talk to the chaperones. They are awesome! And, they have connection that might be very helpful when you are looking for an internship or even a job!


Shelly York
Iowa Youth Tour Director


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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

No place better to start than from the beginning


For those of us that are intimately familiar with Youth Tour, we often forget that not everyone is up to speed on the ins and outs of this incredible program. So, this little history lesson is for YOU!

Iowa Youth Tour 1958 at the White House
Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson inspired the Youth Tour when he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1957. The Senator and future president declared, “If one thing comes 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.”

US Capitol
Consequently, some Texas electric cooperatives sent groups of young people to Washington to work during the summer in Senator Johnson’s office. In 1958, Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives (YES! IOWA!) sponsored the first group of 34 young people on a week-long study tour of our nation’s capital. Later that same year, another busload came to Washington from Illinois. The idea grew and other states sent busloads of young people throughout the summer. By 1959, the “Youth Tour” had grown to 130 students.

In 1964, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 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 1,900 students and over 250 chaperones participate in the Youth Tour every year.
Youth Tour directors from each state association arrange their delegation’s visits with their congressional delegation and other educational and sightseeing activities. In addition to the planned state activities, the Youth Tour experience encompasses multi-state activities coordinated by NRECA.

Good company! Youth Tour alumni have gone on to design airplanes, to lead companies (ummm … like Tim Cook of Apple Inc.!) and to serve in the highest ranks of our government, including the U.S. Senate. Don’t be surprised if you run into a former Youth Tour participant who is a congressional aide on Capitol Hill. While several of our alumni work in Washington, you will find even more alumni in your own community.

Shelly York
Iowa Youth Tour Director


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Monday, June 11, 2018

It’s more than half way done!



The cooperative's leadership
A board meeting in action
So hard to believe that Iowa Youth Tour 2018 is on the downhill slide. We’ve had a great time seeing all the sights this city has to offer, but we’ve also learned a lot about how a cooperative is run. It all started out with a nominating committee that interviewed board candidates, the members then elected a board, the board elected officers and hired a manager. Then the manager hired the staff. The cooperative has been selling snacks to its members (the students and chaperones) at a very fair price, sending out daily health tips and advertising their products and service. On Wednesday night we will have the cooperative annual meeting and we will pay capital credits. Stay tuned! 
The cooperative sold punch
cards to make it easier for
the members

The cooperative is doing some
big business!














A sample of the cooperative's
advertising


Be sure and check out our Facebook page for photos of our adventures! https://www.facebook.com/pg/IowaYouthTour/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2172133076137267

Cooperatively,
Shelly
(snack cooperative member!)











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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Way more than a trip to DC


I absolutely love (LOVE!) this piece of Iowa Youth Tour history! Makes me so proud to be a member of the electric cooperative family! 

Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson inspired the Youth Tour when he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1957. The Senator and future president declared, “If one thing comes 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 to work during the summer in Senator Johnson’s office. In 1958, electric cooperatives in Iowa sponsored the first group of 34 young people on a week-long study tour of our nation’s capital. Later that same year, another busload came to Washington from Illinois. The idea grew and other states sent busloads of young people throughout the summer. By 1959, the “Youth Tour” had grown to 130 students. 

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 1,500 students and over 250 chaperones participate in the Youth Tour every year.

Earlier this year we reached out to a few of the original Youth Touers … well, it wasn’t called Youth Tour then, the trip was called “Our Tour of the Nation’s Capital Sponsored by Rural Electric Cooperatives” ... to see what they remembered from that bus trip to DC 60 years ago. Their responses were absolutely heartwarming. The details they recalled, and the gratitude for the cooperatives that sent was so humbling!

In the Living with Energy in Iowa magazine that hits mailboxes this week, you should check out the story about that first group of students that were sponsored by Iowa’s electric cooperatives.

It is a clear reminder to me that Youth Tour is way more than a trip to Washington, DC – it changes lives, creates advocates and instills a strong sense of community.

Stay tuned. The stories from this year’s group of 37 students is just about to unfold.

Cooperatively yours,
Shelly

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wisdom from years past!


Over the years, we have collected some sage advice for the new Youth Tour groups. Here’s some of the best Youth Tour advice on the planet! You’ll notice there are a few themes: taking pictures, getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people and shoes – good walking shoes!

So, Youth Tour Class of 2018, here ya go … take all this advice in, you won't regret it!!

  • Take time to enjoy every second of this awesome trip, it’s a trip of a lifetime! Don’t be afraid to talk to everyone on this trip I guarantee they are all cool (they are from Iowa how could they not be?), and last but not least bring a small purse/satchel because you will be taking it on and off at almost every building you go in! 
  • Although it's awkward the first day, don't be shy! Step out of your comfort zone and get to know everyone!
  • Be on time...
  • You might have the cutest new pair of shoes, but don't wear them! Wear the most comfortable shoes you have because you will be doing a lot of walking!
  • Dive in and get involved! Everyone is just as nervous as you. Also, don't shy away from further opportunities offered due to this incredible experience YOU have earned.
  • Bring a camera, and interact with people from other states! Get to know your roomie, because they're pretty awesome also. Never miss an opportunity to see something new, because when you get back you'll be kicking yourself that you didn't go.
  • When you get the schedule you will think, "I have to get up at what time?" but sacrificing a few hours of sleep is completely worth it. Besides, you can sleep when you get home!
  • Be social! The friends you make on this trip are the best! :)
  • Pictures, pictures pictures! You'll never forget the trip and memories. Socialize with everyone! Have fun!
  • Take as many pictures as possible!! Make as many friends as possible! Learn about your fellow Youth Tourers from Iowa and other states some will be your lifelong friends! And stop worrying … this will be the best trip ever!
  • Don't be stressed out that you won't know where to go or what time to be there. This is a very well-organized trip and you always have a schedule, a great group leader and chaperones, and of course your group of new friends that you can ask questions. Also, don't forget to pack the little things like sun screen, sunglasses, Chapstick, and possibly a rain poncho if it gets rainy 😊
  • Be somewhat familiar with the Smithsonians. That way you can be sure to make it to your favorite!
  • Get comfortable being uncomfortable, Ask people from other states questions, learn how to run off of adrenaline.
  • Bring good shoes; you will want them for the long days walking!! Be social and make the best of every minute! You will make friends for life :)
  • This experience is going to be one of the greatest in your life. Embrace every moment of it and take the time to get to know everyone you meet on a personal level. You'll meet some of the best friends you'll ever have in life and will see some of the coolest things.
  • You are going to love the experience. As tiring as it gets just keep up the effort and take advantage of every opportunity that you can get. If you play your cards right this event could be a strong kick start to your future career, either inside or outside of the cooperatives.
  • Don't worry about sleep and make as many friends as you can! You can sleep on your way home; you'll be having too much fun
  • Take time to talk to everyone in your group! They are all great and you will probably have something in common with each of them (beyond the sharing the same state thing).
  • Arrive well rested.
  • Make as many friends as you can and don't be nervous! Enjoy every moment of it because it goes by fast.
  • And like everyone said, be open minded, meet as many people as possible, and enjoy all the little things :)
  • Take a moment at each place and truly absorb what it represents. There is a lot to see and pictures to take but make a memory of each monument or historic place. Also write down your thoughts.
  • Enjoy every minute of it because this is one of those important once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. If you're not a social type, now is the perfect time to get out there and make some new friends. If you are a social butterfly, you should be in your element. The people you meet here are the kind of people you want to keep in touch with because they are going places
  • Take note of this rich advice: the Alaska rep never brings enough pins...so find him/her before they start doing crazy stuff like selling them or trading 3 for 1.
  • Take lots of pictures. Don't be shy to ask someone to take your picture for you. Be nice, polite, outgoing and friendly. INCLUDE EVERYONE!!!! NO CLICKS!!!! Be yourself. Have fun. Fill your head with knowledge. Remember names. Absorb everything our nation’s capital has to offer. Ask questions at Capitol Hill. DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! Spend money wisely.
  • Enjoy every experience because you never know when you will be able to go back to DC and meet so many new people. Also, the Youth Tour Staff is some really cool people!
  • Get plenty of sleep, be nice to your roommates, get to know everyone you meet, and make the most out of every amazing opportunity you get!
  • Coordinate shower schedules in your room.
  • Find a friend who looks at things in museums at the same pace you do. If you take time to look at EVERYTHING, find a friend who also takes time to look at EVERYTHING.
  • Wear a watch that doesn't beep.
  • Participate in every activity. You won't regret it.
  • Figure out what stuff you need to put in bins for metal detectors. Save yourself time, pack according to the security.
  • Don't be afraid to meet people from the other states, it is great to compare accents and find common ground. Spend your time wisely especially at the Smithsonian. Decide ahead of time which museum you are most interested in seeing. Enjoy our nation’s capital and all the wonderful treasures you'll see and take lots of pictures to share back home and to look back on in the future.
  • Don't underestimate the friendships you'll make, even if somebody lives far away. Two of my closest friends from YLC live half way across the country and we've stayed close. In fact, it's been several years since my youth tour trip and a fellow youth tour member and I are about to embark on a trip to South America together!
  • To add to the comment above, I totally agree don't underestimate the friendships you make because I met a friend of mine who lives 5 minutes from my house and I had no idea, and we became great friends on the Youth Tour, and now we are going to room together at Morningside College and be teammates. It’s just so cool how the Youth tour brings people so close together. I still keep in close contact with all my Youth Tour buds and I'd recommend making lifelong friendships on this tour.
  • Take pictures. But don’t see the whole trip through a lens. Also note that some places are too somber for a camera (i.e. Pentagon, Holocaust Museum). And it’s ok to leave your phone in your bag those places. The internet has pictures if you really need them.
  • Take pictures with you in the pictures, not just of the monuments. You can find all the pictures of the monuments online or somewhere else so take pictures with them instead. Also, once again, good walking shoes!
  • Make friends from other states! (And get their contact info to keep in touch!)
  • Don’t give an Iowa corn necklace or sticker to someone because you feel bad and you already have everything from their state. Only give a necklace or sticker to a person in exchange for a sticker or pin you don’t have!
  • Take as much in as you can. The experience is absolutely amazing. Meet others from across the country, because it is so interesting learning about different parts of the country. Lastly, take tons of pictures, because you will cherish them forever. My experience on Youth Tour and the YLC was nothing short of amazing.


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