Supporting our youth

Posted on Jul 22 2016 in Kankakee Valley REMC

Many people recognize Kankakee Valley REMC as an electric power supplier for our rural communities. Our business is to keep the lights on to over 18,000 members. Equally important, though, is the impact we have on our youth and our commitment to the communities we serve.

Each year, Kankakee Valley REMC provides two fun, educational opportunities for area youth — Touchstone Energy Camp and the Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.

Touchstone Energy Camp

KVREMC's group at Touchstone Energy Camp

KVREMC sponsored five campers at this year’s Touchstone Energy Camp. KVREMC Energy Advisor Darrell Marks, center, served as a chaperone.

A group of incoming seventh-graders attended Touchstone Energy Camp at Camp Tecumseh near Lafayette in early June. Students took part in activities teaching safe use of electricity, the importance of taking leadership roles and fun camp activities leaving lasting memories and new friendships. Students representing KVREMC on this trip were Rylie Koepke, South Central Elementary School; Vanessa Horne, South Central Elementary School; Clayton Keehn, South Central Elementary School; Sara Shei, South Central Elementary School; and Emma Johnson, Knox Middle School.

“For some, this was the first time they had been away from home alone. To see them meet new people and grow intellectually makes the year of planning for Touchstone Energy Camp completely worth it,” stated Darrell Marks, energy advisor for the cooperative and Touchstone Energy Camp counselor.

Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.

KVREMC's group on the 2016 Indiana Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.

KVREMC also sent three incoming seniors for a week-long adventure in Washington, D.C.

Since the 1960s, Indiana’s electric cooperatives have sponsored students to attend the Indiana Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. Since then, electric cooperatives have been recognized for the impact this trip offers.

This year, KVREMC sponsored three students to attend — Ryan Sears, Washington Township High School; Hannah Swanson, South Central High School; and Sydney Evans, Washington Township High School. The delegates spent seven days learning about American history, government and their electric cooperative. The trip itinerary included visits to Gettysburg Battlefield, Flight 93 National Memorial and National Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Mall memorials and much more. Additionally, meetings were held with Indiana’s congressional delegation and students enjoyed a cruise on the Potomac River. Delegates were able to get up close to what they had only read about in history class or saw pictures of in books. Swanson reflected back on seeing the Iwo Jima Memorial, “I read a book about the battle and it was very meaningful to be able to see this national monument in person.”

Aside from the fun and adventures both trips offered, was the lesson of leadership and the cooperative difference. The experience Sears and the other students had in Washington, D.C., demonstrates one way KVREMC stays true to its founding philosophy of serving those who would otherwise not be served as they build opportunities for generations to come.

Sears stated, “I am proud to be involved with my cooperative because without them, I would have not had the opportunity to go on this trip.”

Congratulations to these young people for getting to take part in these experiences.