Big Bend Electric Cooperative (BBEC) follows the seven guiding principles of the cooperative form of business. BBEC administers a Youth Tour Program to support the cooperative principle of Education, Training, and Information. The Youth Tour Program educates youth about (1) cooperative principles, (2) the American democratic system, and (3) rural electrification and electric cooperatives.
Each year, Youth Tour Program applicants compete to participate in this educational program. From those that apply, BBEC selects two Youth Tour Program winners who will travel to Washington DC in June to attend the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Tour. The winners will also compete in Washington DC against the Youth Tour participants of other electric cooperatives in the State of Washington to be Washington’s representative at the next NRECA annual meeting.
Youth Tour Program candidates must either be members of BBEC at the time of application and selection, or must have parent(s) or legal guardian(s) that are members of BBEC at the time of application and selection. At the time of application, the candidate must also be a high school junior.
The application period is open annually from December 1 through about the first week of January. During this time, application packets are available at BBEC’s Ritzville office. (View most recent application packet)
Completed applications must be received in BBEC’s Ritzville office no later than the date specified on the application. Judging is based upon (1) A written essay on a topic selected by BBEC — 30% weight; (2) Scholastic record — 20% weight; (3) School, community, and leadership activities — 25% weight; and (4) A personal interview with the judges — 25% weight.
Judging is conducted by a 3-person committee of BBEC representatives. Youth Tour Program winners will be introduced at the BBEC annual meeting of members, which is held each year in either February or March.
For more information about the program, contact BBEC.