Youth Tour is kind of a big deal…you deserve answers to your questions.
The Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) is a statewide service organization dedicated to representing the interests of our member electric cooperative utilities. We work very closely with your local electric cooperative, who selects and sponsors Youth Tour students, and our national counterpart, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), who hosts Youth Tour in Washington, D.C.
Approximately 1,800 students from over 45 states participate in the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour program each year. For more than 50 years, Youth Tour has brought high school students to Washington, D.C., to learn how about co-ops, leadership, history and the importance of civic engagement.
Youth Tour participants are sponsored by their local electric cooperative. Yes, the trip is free for the students! However, they may want to bring some spending money for souvenirs (see Planning Guide).
The safety and well-being of the students who take part in Youth Tour is our number one priority. Your son or daughter will be accounted for at all times and will be supervised by several adult chaperones in his/her group. In addition to the chaperones traveling with each state group, NRECA staff is on-site, at the hotel, for the entire week of Youth Tour. Curfew is 11 p.m. each evening and is strictly enforced. Chaperones traveling with your son/daughter’s state will ensure that all students are in their assigned rooms. Further, professional security guards are on duty, on every hotel floor from 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. to ensure maximum safety.
Yes. NRECA contracts with two full-time nurses who have more than 60 years of emergency room and trauma experience. The nurses are on-site and are available 24 hours a day throughout the week.
All Youth Tour program managers are employees of an electric cooperative, typically have some experience working with community youth programs, and are subject to an annual Michigan State Police criminal history screening prior to the event (see Meet Your Tour Managers).
Our team understands, and takes seriously, the reality of special diets and food allergies, and many places we eat are very accommodating. Please make sure your son/daughter notes any special diet needs or food allergies on their application so we can make proper arrangements.