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Leadership Camp in the Rockies

JUSTIN BROWN and ROSSIEL REYES were selected to attend the 41st annual Cooperative Leadership Camp near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, from July 14-20. Joining their peers from Colorado, Oklahoma and Wyoming, approximately 100 youth learned about the cooperative principles at the week-long educational and leadership retreat.

“Wheatland Electric Cooperative is proud to be a participating sponsor of the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp and send our local youth to develop essential leadership and teamwork skills,” said General Manager Bruce Mueller. “Through this trip, we hope local students will learn how our electric cooperatives work and how co-ops and their employees support the communities they serve.”

The Kansas and Oklahoma participants met as they boarded the bus along its route to Colorado. When the bus arrived in Denver, the group was treated to a snorkeling experience at the Denver Aquarium. Campers swam face-to-face with a grouper, a school of cownose rays,
moray eels, red drums, nurse sharks and 400 other exotic underwater species.

When the group arrived at Glen Eden Resort, nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the campers immediately began daily membership meetings where a general manager, board of directors and committees were selected. The experience also gave participants an authentic camp feel with river rafting, volleyball tournament, swimming, a dance and a talent show.

Several demonstrations and presentations enhanced students’ knowledge on the cooperative model and on operations at their electric cooperative. Campers competed to build a model transmission line out of craft supplies, toured Trapper Mine, Craig Power Plant and experienced a high-voltage safety demonstration. The campers also raised $390 to donate to the NRECA International Foundation.

“On the trip, what had the most impact on me was learning about the linemen who put their lives on the line every day in order to make everyone else’s easier," said Reyes. “The safety demonstration truly opened my eyes, and I now appreciate the electricity I have even more.” 

By the camp’s end, students demonstrated the leadership skills they attained by running for an ambassador position at next year’s camp. Participants elected by their peers as ambassadors for the 2018 Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp were: Paige Claassen, Pioneer; Max Holthaus, Nemaha-Marshall and RaeLyn Scott, Flint Hills. As ambassadors, the elected students will return to camp and facilitate camp leadership activities, while serving as role models for the incoming campers. 

If you or someone you know is interested in attending the 2018 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., or the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, please contact your local high school guidance counselor. Each year, Wheatland accepts one nomination of a high school junior from each of the 13 high schools in its service territory.

Follow us on Facebook, visit our website www.weci.net and read Kansas Country Living for trip updates and information. For more information about Wheatland Electric’s youth programs, contact Youth Tour Coordinator Shawn Powelson at 800-762-0436 or spowelson@weci.net.

 
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