Youth Tour

What is the Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour?

"Where they can actually see what the flag stands for."  The idea for the Washington Youth Tour came about after those words were spoken by Senator Lyndon Johnson in 1957.  His suggestion was that electric cooperatives send their community's youth to the nation's capital to experience first-hand the historical and political environment of our nation's capital.

The Washington Youth Tour is sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC), and 26 of Oklahoma's electric distribution cooperatives.  We educate students about the role of electric co-ops in the national economy; foster students' appreciation for the democratic form of government; expose students to the sights and sounds of our nation's heritage and build students' leadership skills so that they may make a difference in their communities.

Each year, Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CHEC) sends four high school juniors on an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. and they each receive a $1000 cash scholarship.  The Rural Electric Youth Tour is an annual week-long event in June during which almost 1,600 high school juniors from across the United States convene in Washington D.C. 

CHEC is again giving the opportunity to area high school juniors to participate.  The students are asked to write a 750-1000 word essay on the topic of rural electricity.  Each of the 14 schools in our service territory will present two finalists.  The essays are then judged by persons that are not employed by CHEC.  The final four finalists will attend Youth Tour Week in Washington D.C., June 8 –14, 2018.

To be eligible to compete, students need only to be a junior student attending one of the schools in Cookson Hills Electric's service territory.  The student's parents do not need to be members of the cooperative.

For more information, see the adjacent web site pages.  Also, you may contact Donna Rhodes, Youth Tour Coordinator, 800-328-2368 or 918-775-2211 or