Youth Tour

The Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. is set for June of each year. This is an annual event coordinated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and The North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives. Participants are sponsored by local electric cooperatives like Pitt & Greene Electric Membership Corporation from across the nation.  Since the late 1950's, students from small towns across the nation have traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Youth Tour.

Each year some 1,500 high school students converge on Washington, D.C. for the all-expense paid, week long trip to see the historic sights they have studied about, to learn about the rural electrification program and to see their government in action.

In 1985, the idea of a “Soda-Pop Co-op” arose because of high prices for soft drinks in the D.C. area. By 1986, the co-op was a part of the tour - complete with a board of directors, a manager and at the end of the week a return of Capital credits.

Although learning is a major aspect of the trip, the fun of getting to know so many other teens from across the state and nation is also important. Many lifelong friendships have been made.

Pitt & Greene EMC representative will travel with other EMC tourist from North Carolina to Washington, D.C. via charter bus where they will visit such historical landmarks as the Smithsonian Institute, Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, the National Zoo, the FBI Building and the US Capitol Building.

The tourist will have the opportunity to meet with their Congressional Representatives. There will also be an evening at the Kennedy Center.

Students must be juniors in high school and submit a completed Youth Tour application, and short essay on, “What new or different source(s) of energy could we see in the future?” The deadline is January 2nd.  Mail to the attention of Tammy Murphy, Pitt & Greene EMC, PO Box 249, Farmville NC  27828. 

The trip allows participants to meet elected officials and better understand how the federal government operates. This gives them a better understanding of their role as a citizen. Past participants of the Youth Tour have worked as congressional aides on Capitol Hill and serve in some of the highest ranks of our government, including the U.S. Senate.

The Youth Tour aims to educate youth on all aspects of rural electrification in order to promote a better understanding of the value of rural electric cooperatives. TheYouth Tour provides an opportunity for youth to visit monuments, government buildings and cooperative-related organizations in order to become familiar with the historical and political environment of the nation’s capital.

The Rural Electric Youth Tour is a joint effort of local electric co-ops, statewide co-op associations and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Arlington, Va. For additional information on the Youth Tour, please visit:

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