Annually, the Delaware County Electric Cooperative (DCEC), along with the other three New York Cooperatives, sponsors selected youth-delegates the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to meet with our nation's political leaders in April/May and learn about our Nation’s legislative process. The delegates from each New York Cooperative will further compete to represent our cooperative and the New York cooperatives in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, held each year in June.

In addition to the possible trips, delegates have scholarship opportunities.

Today, sixty-five years after it started, more than 1,900 students from all across America are anticipated to take part in the Youth Tour experience. This unique trip gives young people the opportunity to watch history come alive, explore museums, memorials, and monuments, make friendships that will last a lifetime, and be part of a group that has more than 50,000 alumni in every walk of life, including U.S. Senators and CEOs. The Youth Tour program continues to foster the grassroots spirit of the rural electric cooperatives by demonstrating to high school juniors how our government works with the electric cooperative business model.




· Be a son/daughter of a member of DCEC.

· Be in their junior (11th grade) year.

· Participate in extra-curricular activities and community service.

· Be available to participate in the DCEC's Annual Meeting on Friday, September 15, 2023 @ 4:30pm at Delaware Academy in Delhi, NY.


· Complete and submit the application. CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION.

· Submit a one-page student essay describing yourself.

· Submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher or administrator.

· Submit a copy of your family’s DCEC electric bill.

· Once applications are submitted, a remote or in-person interview will be scheduled for March 21, 2023 between 5:00 - 6:00pm.


Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson inspired the Youth Tour when he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1957. The Senator and future president declared, “If one thing comes out of this meeting, it will be sending youngsters to the national capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”

Consequently, some Texas electric cooperatives sent groups of young people to Washington to work during the summer in Senator Johnson’s office. In 1958, a rural electric cooperative in Iowa sponsored the first group of 34 young people on a week-long study tour of our nation’s capital. Later that same year, another busload came from Illinois.

The idea grew and other states sent busloads of young people throughout the summer. By 1959, the “Youth Tour” had grown to 130 students. In 1964, NRECA began to coordinate joint activities among the state delegations and suggested that co-op representatives from each state arrange to be in Washington, D.C., during Youth Tour week.

The first year of the coordinated Tour included approximately 400 young people from 12 states. Word of the program has continued to spread and today, more than 1,800 students and over 250 chaperones participate in the Youth Tour every year. Youth Tour directors from each state association arrange their delegation’s visits to their U.S. representatives and senators’ offices, federal agencies, and other educational and sightseeing activities. In addition to the planned statewide activities, the Youth Tour experience encompasses multi-state activities coordinated by NRECA.