6:30 a.m. Good morning from Washington, D.C! This is your wake up call. Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m. and checkout is at 9:00 a.m. Be ready! 6:30 A.M.? Wow! We got to sleep in this morning. The Youth Tour chaperones on our trip have been great. Ryan and Adi Cornelius from Crawford… Scratch that! Make that Co-Mo Electric Cooperative in Tipton. They made the trip a lot of fun. Thanks Ryan and Adi! Not to mention Mike Marsch. Thanks Superman!
I (Sarah) can’t believe it’s over! Although I’m exhausted, our time in Washington DC really flew by. We’ve created so many memories, and I know I’ll cherish them forever.
We had our last Youth Tour breakfast this morning with delegates from Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Tried to jam everything into my baggage but can’t explain how I now need another piece of luggage? How many “I Love DC” t-shirts did I (Hannah) buy? Ha Just kidding!
8:30 a.m. We loaded our baggage onto the buses and said goodbye to the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City. What an incredible hotel and home for five nights! We got on the odd bus, which rules by the way, at 9:30 am and counted off to make sure everyone was on board Mr. D’s bus.
After setting another Youth Tour count-off record we took off to headed down the road and passed the Pentagon. You can see a difference in the color of the repaired Pentagon walls where the American Airlines Flight 77 hit on September 11, 2001. Everyone knows where they were when this event happened.
Finally, we arrived at the Ronald Reagan National Airport at 9:30 a.m. After going through security about a dozen times and getting patted down by the TSA they finally let us go through.
Mike gave us some more money to purchase lunch in the food court. Looks like a lot of the delegates chose the pizza or sub shop.
12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. “Uh… This is your Captain. We will be experiencing a slight delay in our departure from our gate.” The President of the United States just flew over in Marine One, which is the official call sign of the United States Marine Corps helicopter carrying the president. Pop quiz! What is the call sign for a United States Marine Corps helicopter carrying the Vice President? Marine Two. Ah! I (Hannah) didn’t know that one either. Ha!
We had to wait about 30 minutes. Then the Southwest crew told us Air Force One was taking off from Joint Base Andrews, which is right across the Potomac River in Maryland, and President Obama was on his way to Los Angeles, California.
Everyone wanted to stay in Washington, D.C. anyway! Sorry Mom. Count off 1, 2, 3…97! All Missouri Youth Tour delegates and ten chaperones accounted for. Southwest Airlines Flight # 1778 now cleared for takeoff on runway bravo niner. 12:45 p.m. we thundered down the Ronald Reagan National Airport runway and started our flight back to St. Louis. Here we come Missouri!
I (Alexandra) must say the flight from Washington to St. Louis was an experience. Let’s just say it was a little bumpier... If you can call it that. Jessica just said it was turbulence. Whatever, it was not what I expected and not like our first flight. However, the view was spectacular! This made up for the rough sections. Yes, this is only my second flight!
Everyone was having a fun time and the Southwest Airline Flight Attendants were a blast. We were taking pictures and moving around when the seatbelt sign was off. We were now free to move about the cabin... Sounds like a commercial. Ha Ha! Enjoyed a Coke with a smile at 36,000 feet. Shared my peanuts with my new friends. Even traded a few for some of their cookies.
An hour and 40 minutes later, we touched down in St. Louis. Lonnie Tucker and Mary Jane Clark were there to meet us! They are awesome! Thanks Lonnie and Mary Jane! I hugged many of my friends and said goodbye... Several times!
I (Sarah) really can’t believe how close this group has grown in such a short time! We saw so many unbelievable sights together, experienced new things and laughed through most of it.
I (Hannah) plan to keep in touch with many of them, especially the “Cuivre Six”, and I hope we have a reunion one day soon.
I (Jessica) thought this was definitely the trip of a lifetime! I still can’t believe I had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. for a week and see and experience so many wonderful things for writing an essay about cooperative principles. Thank you Cuivre River Electric!
Here is a picture of our Cuivre River Electric Cooperative Youth Tour delegates at the St. Louis baggage claim. Our trip is now officially over.
We really appreciate all of the work Mike, Chris and Nikki at the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives put into making the Missouri Youth Tour the best trip ever! Thanks to Kim Thomas for putting the sunscreen on Chris Massman’s bald head. Ha!
Hey Missouri! Hey Mike! 1, 2, 3, 4... We loaded up the Yukon and hit the road. We talked about everything we saw while in Washington, D.C. WOW! I still can't believe we spent a week in our nation’s capital!
Time for one more picture with our new friends. Ok maybe a few more. Maybe a few more with this person. Now I need a picture with that one and this one... Just one more picture Lonnie!
Okay. Maybe one more picture of our 2015 Missouri Youth Tour name badges. They have been with us every step of the way for the last seven days and six nights. From Jefferson City to St. Louis to Washington, D.C. Every monument and museum. The White House and U.S. Capitol. Not to mention, just about every sidewalk in the D.C. area and stairs, stairs, stairs and more stairs. Did I mention stairs!
Our name badges are covered with Youth Tour state pins that we traded with the other delegates during the Youth Tour Conference. Let’s see if you can find the California pin? Only a few people found this one!
I’ll (Alexandra) forever be grateful to my electric cooperative, Cuivre River Electric, for giving me this opportunity. Thank you to the Cuivre River Electric Board of Directors, General Manager and CEO Dan L. Brown, Mary Jane Clark, Lonnie Tucker and the 61,500 Cuivre River member/owners.
I (Alexa) now know and truly understand what a cooperative is all about. I hope to one day become a cooperative member/owner and share in this amazing principle. A special “Thank You” goes out to Lonnie Tucker for making our summer one of the best summers ever! Thanks to Mike Marsch and everyone at the Association of Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives for making this trip to Washington, D.C. possible. It was truly the trip of a lifetime! Thank you!
Your 2015 Youth Tour Delegates.
Alexa, Alexandra, Hannah, Jessica, Madison and Sarah.
The Cuivre Six!