Cooperative youth camp offers fun, leadership and co-op education

Nicholas Meyer from Kansas, explains the parts of his group’s electric grid project at the Youth Leadership Camp held last week.

Nicholas Meyer from Kansas, explains the parts of his group’s electric grid project at the Youth Leadership Camp held last week.

Nearly 100 high school-aged teens from Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma were lucky enough to enjoy most of last week away from the sweltering summer heat, among the whispering pines at Glen Eden Resort where they attended the 2013 Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp located north of Steamboat Springs, Colo.

The teenagers’ five-day enrollment and expenses at the camp are covered, thanks to the sponsorship and support of their local electric co-ops (including many Tri-State members), the Colorado Rural Electric Association and the Colorado Electric Educational Institute.

The annual co-ed camp event mixes the typical summertime fun and recreation, such as a swimming, hiking and whitewater rafting, with leadership, learning and team building activities.

Barry Barnes at Craig Station, explains how the boiler works to Marshal Hill from Carbon Power & Light.

Barry Barnes at Craig Station, explains how the boiler works to Marshal Hill from Carbon Power & Light.

The campers learned to establish and operate their own camp cooperative and construct a model of an electric system. They also attended a power line safety demonstration, as well as learned about the Touchstone Energy program and career opportunities in the electric co-op industry.

“I thought this year’s camp was a great success,” said Jonathan Thornton, Tri-State’s strategic communications specialist and operations manager for this year’s event. “Not only did our campers have a lot of fun and make some new friends along the way, but many of them gained a better understanding of the functions of their local co-ops and hopefully learned a few leadership skills that will benefit them in the future,” he added.

One particular highlight during the camp’s busy agenda was a tour of Craig Station and the adjacent Trapper Mine, which provided the campers with a first-hand look at one of the region’s largest baseload generating resource facilities.

The Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp has been held annually for more than 30 years.

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