Youth Tour

Win a Trip to Washington, D.C.

Each year Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (YVEC) sponsors a high school student on the “Youth to Washington” tour in June. The winner of an essay contest joins over 20 other Montana students on a week-long tour of our nation’s capital where they have the opportunity to visit the monuments and museums, as well as tour the Capitol and meet with the Montana Congressional Delegates.

Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Website

Sons and daughters of electric cooperative employees or board members are ineligible to participate in the contest. They may go on the tour as a “Willie Wirehand” student and pay their own expenses.

Dates: June 20-26, 2021 with a mandatory orientation meeting in Great Falls on June 19, 2021

Deadline: Application and essay due by November 27, 2020.

Youth Tour Resources

Contest Rules


  1. The student must be a junior or a senior in high school in the fall of 2021. (Currently a sophomore or junior.)
  2. The student cannot be a prior winner of the Youth Tour.
  3. The student and/or parent or guardian must be served by a rural electric cooperative that is a member of the Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association.
  4. The student must write an essay on the following topic (for those cooperatives using the essay to select their representative):
    • “How has reliable electricity benefited you and your community through the COVID-19 pandemic?”
  5. Essays must include a cover page with the student’s name, address, telephone number, and the name of their rural electric cooperative.
Student Expectations for COVID-19 Restrictions

There is no guarantee from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to hold the Youth Tour in 2021. Please be aware that regardless of the actions by your co-op, the trip may still be canceled.

Your co-op, Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA), and NRECA cannot guarantee you will not contract COVID-19 during the trip, regardless of our commitment to adhere to guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and suggestions from NRECA.

Youth Tour is completely voluntary – please keep the following list in mind before applying:

  • You will be required to wear a mask during times we are in public or common areas and traveling. Your mask needs to remain on your face until you get approval to remove it from a Youth Tour chaperone. If you cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, you will be asked to provide a note and bring it with you. If you don’t want to wear a mask for personal reasons, please do not apply. If you cannot wear a mask for a nonmedical reason that you believe would make you exempt from a mask mandate in Washington, D.C., please contact your cooperative prior to applying.
  • You will be required to sanitize common areas in the hotel rooms (including bathrooms and counters), sanitize your phone, room key, and other belongings DAILY. The hotel will not clean the hotel rooms after we check in. Sanitizing supplies will be provided.
  • You will be required to use hand-sanitizing stations while in D.C., and wash your hands immediately upon returning to your hotel room.
  • You will be required to report any symptoms of COVID-19 to a chaperone immediately.
  • You will be required to have a daily health screening (complete with temperature check) with a chaperone before starting our activities each day.
  • You may be asked to provide a doctor’s note proving you have tested negative for COVID-19 before leaving for the trip.
  • During the trip, you will have contact with students from other states. There will be open communication between the states’ Youth Tour Directors, and if a positive case is identified in another state we had contact with, you will need to be tested for COVID-19 and may be asked to quarantine in D.C. or upon returning home.
  • We encourage parents to have their student tested after returning from the trip and to quarantine for 14 days if they test positive.

Youth Tour Application

Step 1 of 2

  • Please complete this form and return with your essay to YVEC no later than Friday, November 27, 2020.
  • Applicant Contact Information