What is Youth Tour?

Youth Tour is a trip that many previous students consider to be an opportunity of a lifetime!

The Youth Tour is a National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) sponsored program that was initiated to help educate America's youth about our nation's capital, Washington, D.C., and about the Rural Electric Cooperative system. Each year in June, approximately 100 high school juniors from Missouri join with nearly 1,800 other students from various cooperatives around the United States for a six-day tour through Washington D.C. For over 60 years, Missouri Electric Cooperatives have been sending students to Washington, D.C. to attend the NRECA Youth Tour. Missouri's Youth Tour is coordinated by the Association of Missouri's Electric Cooperatives (AMEC) Vice President of Member Services, Chris Massman from Jefferson City, MO.  

The six-day tour provides an action-filled week for high school students, offering them opportunities to learn first-hand what it is like to be involved in politics, community service and pressing issues in our society. Highlights include a special session on Capitol Hill with U.S. Congressional figures to discuss the process of government, issues of the day and increase their knowledge of cooperative electric utilities and American history.

Students also tour famous monuments like Mt. Vernon, the Smithsonian Institution and museums and Arlington National Cemetery and most all of the Memorials. The group also takes time to attend either a Washington Nationals baseball game or a play and they have time built into their schedule to enjoy a sightseeing and dance cruise on the Potomac River with delegates from other states.

Other events of the week include participation in the Electric Youth Day, during which a special program coordinated by the NRECA brings together over 2,000 Youth Tour delegates from across the United States. The delegates enjoy featured speeches by government leaders and motivational speakers, such as Mike Schlappi, an inspiring four-time Paralympic medalist and two-time world wheelchair basketball champion.

Who is eligible for the Youth Tour experience?

The Youth Tour Contest is open to all high school juniors living in or attending school in Consolidated Electric Cooperative's service area. Students attending high school or being home-schooled in the Centralia, Community R-6, Madison, Mexico, Middlegrove, Montgomery County, North Callaway, Paris, Wellsville-Middletown or Van-Far school districts are eligibile to participate. Entrants are not required to be a Cooperative member. The immediate family members of employees or directors of Consolidated Electric Cooperative are not eligible to participate.

When is the next Youth Tour?

June 2025 - dates are not yet published

Before entering the essay contest, please check your calendar to verify you will be available to participate if your essay is graded as one of the top four.

How do I enter the contest?

Any high school junior, living in the CEC service territory, is eligible to compete in the contest. The challenge for each student lies in developing a creative approach, that will gain the judges attention, while writing a 500-word essay on a topic that has been chosen for the current contest. Get started by downloading an application that has this year's essay topic. Be sure to include a copy of this application along with your essay before the March 1, 2025 deadline.

How are delegates selected?

The essays will be graded anonymously by judges from outside of Consolidated Electric. The students of essays receiving the two highest scores will be notified and offered the opportunity to be a Youth Tour delegate.

Additionally, the students of essays receiving the third and fourth highest scores will be notified and given the opportunity to attend C.Y.C.L.E. They are also considered to be alternate delegates for the Youth Tour. Should either or both of the first two students be unable to attend the Youth Tour, they would be extended the opportunity.

I would like more information.

Learn more and see pictures of past Youth Tour trips at www.youthtour.org or www.amec.org/youth.html. If you have questions or would like to talk to someone about these amazing leadership opportunities, call our office at (573) 581-3630.