Manager's Report - August 2015
Caring About Youth is the Cooperative Way
In June, Butler REC sent a student to Washington, D.C., for the 55th Annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Young people who experience Youth Tour have the opportunity to explore our nation’s capital, make lasting friendships, learn a bit about how our government operates and observe the impact electric cooperatives have on the legislative process.
Youth Tour is one of the programs for which electric cooperatives across the country are best known. You may have participated when you were a kid, or perhaps your child applied to be a part of the program. But electric cooperatives go far beyond Youth Tour
when it comes to making a difference in our young members’ lives.
At Butler REC, we are invested in youth education and engagement programs throughout our local community. Along with sending youth to Washington, D.C., we also participate in the Youth Leadership Camp in Steamboat Springs, CO, along with our Electrical Safety Demonstration which we present at several schools.
And we’re not the only ones getting involved. We are happy to be a part of the broader co-op community, which strives to provide young Americans with safety and educational programs during the summer and throughout the year. Here’s how some of them get young people involved.
Electric co-ops in several states, including Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming run summer camps that teach kids about the cooperative business model. In fact, the kids create and operate a co-op for the summer! They pay their dues (50 cents) to become a part of the co-op and proceed to handle coop business, from voting on board members and choosing a general manager, to setting prices and determining inventory for their chosen business.
Some co-ops take students to their state capitals to watch government at work. These programs allow students to establish a mock state Senate, where they can write and pass laws. The students leave the program having learned more than just how a bill becomes a law; they gain practical experience, leadership skills and a desire to work hard for their future.
Other programs off er youth a real taste of what it is like to be a co-op employee. In Virginia, an electric co-op hosts “A Day in the Life of a Lineman,” which educates kids on the technical skills needed for this complex profession and teaches them proper safety
There are many great co-op programs out there that focus on youth education and engagement. But what all of these programs have in common, no matter how big or small, is the fact that electric cooperatives come together for a common cause to not only teach our youth about the cooperative difference, but to give them the opportunity to realize and reach their potential.
At Butler REC we want to make sure that we are working for our members. Do you have youth programs that you would like to see the co-op get involved in? Let us know by calling at 316-321-9600.