“I touch the future. I teach.” is a quote attributed to Christa McAuliffe, the star-crossed classroom teacher who was to be the first teacher in space aboard the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger.
In their own ways, Indiana’s electric cooperatives have been touching the future, too, … for decades. Fulfilling the cooperative commitment to community and education, they have taught our younger consumers — who will someday be our members, our directors and our civic leaders — about our country and the role of co-ops and electricity.
In June, two of our most vital youth programs took place — involving 243 students. Here’s a look back … at the faces of our future.
Putting the ‘Amp’ into Camp
For 15 years, Indiana’s Touchstone Energy Camp has mixed typical summer camp fare with little electrical twists: wall climbing and utility pole climbing; ziplines and zapping power lines.
This year’s camp, held June 7-10 at YMCA Camp Tecumseh in Brookston, had a record number of participants — 136. Students entering seventh grade this fall were eligible to attend and were selected by their local cooperative to participate.
The students’ agenda combined traditional outdoor camp activities with environmental education, electrical safety practices and cooperative business education.
Finding the Cost of Freedom
A record number of incoming high school seniors, 107 to be exact, participated in this year’s Indiana Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., June 8-15.
The tour provides young Hoosiers the opportunity to visit the nation’s capital, learn about government, experience American history and gain a better understanding about their electric cooperative.
The group represented 36 Indiana electric co-ops. More than 1,800 students from 46 states traveled to Washington for the week-long experience.
Hoosiers visited the Flight 93 memorial, the Gettysburg Battlefield, Arlington National Cemetery and the museums, monuments and memorials in and around D.C. The group also spent a day on Capitol Hill, where they met with members of Indiana’s congressional delegation.
Shooting for Higher Goals
Electric Cooperatives to partner
with Indianapolis Children’s Museum
The Youth Power and Hope Awards — our annual recognition of community service-minded middle school students — has been expanded this year.
Students no longer have to reside on electric cooperative lines to participate in the program. However, they must live in Indiana.
This year, we are teaming up with the world-renowned Indianapolis Children’s Museum and its Power of Children awards program to offer an exclusive opportunity for this year’s award winners. YPH winners will be attending the Power of Children Symposium at the Children’s Museum during which they will learn how to continue to impact the world through their community service projects. Tamika Catchings, former Indiana Fever/WNBA standout and Olympic gold medalist, will be the keynote speaker during the symposium, to be held Nov. 11 at the museum.
YPH winners will be formally recognized at the Indiana Electric Cooperatives annual meeting, Dec. 5, in downtown Indianapolis. They will also be featured in Electric Consumer.
Applications will be available soon.
Other Notable Youth Programs
CALENDAR ART CONTEST
Each year since 1999, Electric Consumer, supported by participating electric cooperatives around the state, has published a calendar illustrated with student art. The art is selected the previous spring from a contest open to all Indiana students, grades K-12. The calendar for 2018 is in production and will be available later this year.
On July 27, the 13 first place and nine honorable mention-winning artists for the 2018 calendar will be honored at a reception at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis, in conjunction with the opening of the Hoosier Salon exhibition. Their works will be exhibited at the museum for a week.
High school students, affiliated with an Indiana electric cooperative, can apply to spend a day as a page at the Indiana State Legislature. In 2017, Indiana Electric Cooperatives’ Page Day included opportunities with both the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana Senate. Each experience gave students a chance to see the Indiana State Legislature in action while taking a tour of the governor’s office and the Statehouse.