Planning Guide

Everything you need to know for an awesome Youth Tour experience.


Youth Tour draws more than 1,800 students from across the country. If selected, you’ll be among approximately 20 students representing Michigan that will travel together and experience Youth Tour as a group. You are selected and sponsored by your local electric cooperative; the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) coordinates the event for all of the Michigan co-ops; and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) hosts the event in Washington, D.C. While on Youth Tour, all transportation, meals, admissions to events, and lodging will be arranged for you.


You’ll need clothing for five to six days. Plan for warm weather (Washington, D.C. is typically 80-90 degrees and humid during the day) but remember that we have a dress code.


T-shirts are provided for casual days and should be paired with nice shorts or jeans and comfortable shoes.

Polo shirts are provided for business casual days and should be paired with dressy shorts or skirts and comfortable shoes.

NOTE: Bare midriffs, low-cut tops, very low-rise skirts/dresses, very short shorts, frayed/torn cut-offs, skimpy tank tops, clothing with suggestive and/or inappropriate printing (including alcohol or cigarette branding) ARE NOT ALLOWED to be worn while on Youth Tour.


PACK COMFORTABLE WALKING SHOES! We do a tremendous amount of walking every day on Youth Tour. To avoid blisters, don’t wear a new pair of shoes or sandals for the first time on this trip! Flip-flops are not acceptable to wear while touring (only during leisure time at the hotel).


  • A small backpack or drawstring bag that you can use to carry some daily essentials while touring the sites
  • Jacket or sweatshirt (days are typically hot and humid, but evenings can be cool)
  • Toiletries (travel sizes save space!)
  • Pajamas, underwear and extra socks
  • Snacks and/or gum
  • Small, folding umbrella or packable rain jacket
  • Phone charger
  • Consider labeling valuable items (phone, mobile devices, camera, chargers, etc.) as your room mates are likely to have similar items!
  • Hair dryers are furnished in each hotel room


You are allowed one suitcase/duffel and one small carry-on (such as a backpack), in addition to a personal item:

  • SUITCASE cannot weigh more than 50 lbs. and must not be greater than 62 linear inches (length + width + height). Be sure to leave room/weight for any items you may purchase while on Youth Tour!
  • CARRY-ON BAG(S) must be able to fit in an overhead compartment or under a seat.

Airport security strictly enforces carry-on regulations (learn more at Anything that isn’t allowed in your carry-on will be taken by airport security and not returned. For simplicity, we recommend absolutely no liquids in your carry-on bags (pack them in your suitcase).


  • We’ll travel by airline and private motor coach. Minors traveling on our group airline ticket are NOT required to present personal identification, however, if you are 16 years old and have a drivers license, please plan to bring it with you.
  • You’re responsible for your own transportation arrangements to and from the airport. Students are not allowed to drive themselves to/from Youth Tour for insurance and liability reasons. You may wish to arrange carpooling with other Youth Tour participants, or contact your co-op representative for assistance.
  • You will receive more detailed travel information by email.


The weather in Washington, D.C. is typically 80-90 degrees and humid during Youth Tour. It’s important to dress for the weather and drink plenty of water, which will be available on the tour bus.


Nurses are on duty at the hotel, and a doctor is on-call. If you become ill or injured, alert a chaperone immediately so you can get proper medical attention.


Youth Tour expenses (including travel, lodging and meals) are paid for by your co-op. However, if you plan to buy snacks, drinks or souvenirs, you’ll need to bring some spending money. Keep in mind that Washington, D.C. can be expensive.


While on Youth Tour, a phone/mobile device that allows you to receive and send text messages is needed. Don’t have one? No problem! Contact Katie and we’ll figure it out! You may be asked to limit phone usage if it is inhibiting participation in activities.


BE ON TIME. We have a very busy schedule and cannot hold buses or delay starting events. If you’re late, the whole group may miss out on something!

BE RESPECTFUL. We don’t always get a lot of personal space on Youth Tour. Some of the places we visit will be crowded, we travel by bus and public transportation. Please respect the rights of others and be tolerant of any differences.

LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER. You can avoid potentially dangerous situations by being aware of your surroundings and following the buddy system. You’ll have freedom to explore some places in small groups, but never alone. If you see someone in our group is alone, invite them to join you. We’ll have a designated meeting spot after each stop – if you get separated from the group, meet at the designated spot at the designated time. We’ll do a quick headcount each time we meet back on the tour bus before leaving.

RESPECT THE CURFEW. An 11:00 p.m. in-room curfew is strictly enforced. Chaperones will check that everyone is in their room each night and security guards are on each floor of the hotel. You are not allowed to visit other rooms or have visitors in your room after curfew. Please remain reasonably quiet after curfew so others may rest up for the next day.

STAY WITH THE GROUP. For safety, scheduling and liability reasons, students are not allowed to separate from the tour to visit relatives or friends, or to leave the hotel after the day’s activities.

ZERO TOLERANCE. Drugs, alcohol, tobacco products and weapons (including laser pointers, or any other item that could be perceived as a weapon) are not permitted at any time.