Youth Leadership Camp Highlight of Summer
Education and fun combined for a memorable time for two high school juniors this summer. TCEC selected two delegates to attend the 40th annual Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Alfonso Ortega of Optima and Hutton Parsons of Hooker recently returned excited by all they saw and did.
The campers participated in daily membership meetings where they established committees and elected a general manager and board of directors. Campers also had time to enjoy area activities including visits to Fish Creek Falls and Steamboat Springs, river rafting and participating in camp activities such as volleyball, swimming and a talent show.
Alfonso Ortega said, “I was most impacted by learning that your past does not have to define who you are. This trip helped me realize that if you let others define your reality, character and who you are as a person, you are never really happy. This camp lets you be who you truly are and I have loved letting myself be me.”
He also said, “My favorite memory of this trip is realizing how close we all got to be with each other in such little time.”
Hutton Parsons said, “Learning about how cooperatives work and seeing the electrical demonstration was amazing to witness and really impacted me.”
He added, “A memory I will always remember is the rafting trip and jumping to other boats and pulling people into the water. Meeting people from various states who share the same love for leadership as I do was really inspiring.”
The youth learned about the workings of electric cooperatives through a variety of activities: Yampa Valley Electric’s linemen led a high voltage safety demonstration, campers competed in building a model transmission line out of craft supplies, and they toured the Trapper Mine and Craig Power Plant.
In all, 100 high school juniors representing Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Oklahoma came together for the week-long camp that combines education about the cooperative business model with traditional camp pastimes.
Overall, the campers left with a new sense of leadership and a basic understanding of how their local electric cooperatives operate and how they contribute to the betterment of the communities they serve.
“Alfonso Ortega attained a first for TCEC camp participants when he was elected as the Camp Cooperative President by democratic process,” said Leslie Kraich, TCEC community and member relations coordinator. “The delegates TCEC selects for its youth trips are often student leaders. This camp enhances those leadership skills for future endeavors.”
Anyone interested in learning more about TCEC leadership trips can visit www.tcec.coop.
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Headquartered in Hooker, Oklahoma, Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) is a not-for-profit distribution cooperative owned and controlled by its members. TCEC is committed improving the quality of life for its members and communities by delivering safe, reliable and affordable electric service. The cooperative serves about 23,000 meters in the Oklahoma Panhandle, southwestern Kansas, the northern border of the Texas Panhandle and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. TCEC is a Touchstone Energy cooperative. For more information, visit www.tcec.coop.