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Youth Tour celebrates
50th anniversary

N.D. Youth Tour students visit with Sen. John Hoeven, in the Senate office buidling, during their visits on Capitol Hill.

Roger Beaver had a wish for the 2014 North Dakota Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., delegation. Beaver, from Devils Lake, wished a photo of this group, with the U.S. Capitol as background, could appear on the cover of North Dakota Living.

Fifty years ago, a picture of the 1964 N.D. Electric Cooperative Youth Tour delegation, including Beaver, at the U.S. Capitol, made the cover of North Dakota Rural Electric Magazine (predecessor of North Dakota Living). That was the first year the nation’s electric cooperatives sent students to Washington, D.C., for the Youth Tour. Beaver, sponsored by North Central Electric Cooperative, joined 24 other students representing North Dakota cooperatives, on that inaugural event.

This year, on the 50th anniversary of the event, the N.D. Electric Cooperative Youth Tour delegation posed for a photo at the U.S. Capitol during their recent trip. With the display of the photo on the cover of this issue of North Dakota Living, Roger Beaver’s wish comes true.

Beaver shares memories
Fifteen students, sponsored by 14 local electric cooperatives in North Dakota, participated in the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour June 14-20, in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the tour is to provide high school students with a close-up appreciation of the impressive displays of American history and government by touring sites in the nation’s capital. Each student was selected on the basis of a winning essay submitted to the student’s local electric cooperative.

Over the course of five days, North Dakota students visited the Smithsonian Museums; Lincoln and Washington monuments; Arlington National Cemetery; World War II, Korean and Vietnam war memorials; and George Washington’s Mount Vernon home. The students met with each member of the N.D. Congressional delegation, including Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer. In addition, North Dakota students joined the 1,600 other Electric Cooperative Youth Tour students from across the country for a huge youth celebration day of fellowship and education about cooperatives.

During their days in Washington, D.C., the North Dakota students tour with Electric Cooperative Youth Tour students from Montana and Idaho. Beckie Frediani, events specialist with the Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association, Great Falls, Mont., acts as leader for the Youth Tour group. This year, Rhonda and Tim Dockter, Linton, were part of the group’s chaperone team; Tim is a journeyman lineworker for KEM Electric Cooperative, Linton.

North Dakota Electric Cooperative Youth Tour students began their trip to Washington, D.C., with an orientation session at the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, in Mandan. Roger Beaver addressed the students at this session, sharing his memories of his 1964 Youth Tour trip. At that time, Beaver was growing up on his family’s farm near Rolette, attending Rolette High School. He said he recalls that time as a period of great civil rights and race relations struggles in the country, and a period of grieving over the recent tragic death of President John Kennedy.

Beaver, who had a career as a high school teacher, encouraged the 2014 Youth Tour students to make this experience a lasting one.

 (Story materials from NDAREC/North Dakota Living staff reports; except where otherwise noted, photos available through the efforts of Tim Dockter)
 


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