Youth Tour

Interested in an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.?

Have you always wondered what you would say to your Senator or member of congress if you had the opportunity? How about watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier? Or sailing down the Potomac River? That’s what we do! We also tour some of the most famous museums and monuments in the world. This is not your ordinary sight-seeing tour.

For more than 50 years, electric cooperatives have sponsored the annual Rural Electric Youth Tour by selecting high school students (ages 16-18) for a trip to Washington, D.C. to experience, first hand, the essence that is our republic. We combine leadership with just plain fun and history with the opportunity to speak with those in office who are making the laws that affect us right now. We spend a day on Capitol Hill visiting with our Senators and Representatives. You will witness the profound grandeur of monuments to our greatest leaders; reflect on the true cost of freedom by eyeing row upon row of white crosses at Arlington Cemetery; experience what life was like on George Washington’s beloved Mount Vernon plantation, and unlock your individual spirit.

See photos from this year’s youth tour:

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Your local electric cooperative pays all expenses for your trip and the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) coordinates the events. Participants will join nearly 1,900 students from 44 states for an unforgettable week in our nation’s capitol.

How do I apply?

To be selected for the Washington D.C. Youth Tour, you must apply through the electric cooperative that serves your area of the state. 33 of Minnesota’s electric cooperatives participate in the Washington Youth Tour. Each co-op will have their own application process and criteria to select the student or students to be sponsored as delegates. If you are a high school student age 16-18, please contact your local electric cooperative for eligibility requirements. For additional information, you may also contact MREA or visit the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Tour website.

Governor Tim Walz: “The Rural Electric Youth Tour is a great avenue for youth to get involved both in the energy production and consumption of their community and in energy policy at a national level. It was a pleasure to meet with the students from southern Minnesota and to hear their thoughts on the renewable energy sources that will come to fruition during their lifetimes. I’m inspired by this future generation of leaders and I hope to see more students in Washington as part of future Rural Electric Youth Tours.”


Congratulations to William Dunn, a sponsored youth tour delegate from People’s Energy Cooperative located in Oronoco, Minn.  William was selected for the National Youth Leadership Council (YLC) while attending youth tour in June of 2018.  Each year representatives of the cooperatives communities’ brightest youth gather in Washington, D.C. for the annual YLC. While attending the NRECA youth tour in Washington, D.C., each youth is chosen by his or her state delegation. The purpose of the YLC conference is to build leadership skills and public speaking skills and to enhance the delegates’ knowledge of the energy industry and cooperative form of business. The YLC selects a national spokesperson to address the NRECA annual meeting membership and the Youth Tour delegates at Youth Day the following year.

  • How do I apply?

    The 2019 Washington, D.C. Youth Tour date are June 15-20.

    Contact your local electric cooperative for an application and Youth Tour details.