For nearly three decades the electric cooperatives of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming have conducted an outstanding educational seminar known as the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp. Every July, nearly 100 high school students travel to Clark, Colorado (north of Steamboat Springs) after being selected by their local cooperatives as participants.
The primary objective of the camp is to provide an educational experience for young people on the organization and operation of a cooperative. The seminar strives to help develop leadership skills that will assist students with the challenges they will face in the future.
The best way to learn about cooperatives is to form one, and that is what the participants do. When students arrive the first day, they form a cooperative and elect a board of directors. Each member of the cooperative is expected to take part in the workings of the co-op by seeking election to the board or by serving on one of the camp activity committees.
A number of special presentations are highlighted at the camp including electricity safety, leadership skills, avian protection, and a simulation to help students understanding the legislative process. The group will visit the Craig Station Power Plant and the Trapper Coal Mine.
Of course, there is plenty of time for recreation. Glen Eden Resort has a volleyball court, swimming pool, hot tubs, and tennis courts. There will be a dance, pizza parties, banquet, a trip to the top of Mt. Warner, time to explore Steamboat Springs, and a raft trip on the Colorado River.
Each local cooperative has its own qualifications for participation in the Leadership Camp. Most students are entering their senior year in the fall. If you are interested in attending the camp, see your high school counselor or give your local electric cooperative a call.