Youth Tour Contest Begins February 1st

Published: January 30, 2017


Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CREC) invites high school juniors of Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles and Warren counties to participate in the Youth Tour essay contest. "My Favorite Cooperative Principle" is the essay topic chosen for students who enter the competition which begins February 1.


This is Cuivre River's 49th annual contest to select high school juniors to serve as delegates to the National Youth Tour in Washington, D. C. June 9-15, 2017. "Youth Tour is our opportunity to share co-op values with a new generation," Communications Specialist Lonnie Tucker says of the national program, which will celebrate its 52nd birthday this year.


Cuivre River has sent 210 students to the nation’s capital since the program began. "Students' ideas about co-op principles keep our program fresh, while we plant the seeds of civic leadership that is so critical to our communities," he adds.


The first step for local students is an application and a 500-1,000 word composition on the topic above. Students may enter independently or through their schools. Contest entries are due Friday, March 10 and can be delivered or mailed to Cuivre River offices in Troy or Lake Saint Louis. 2017 Youth Tour Application (PDF File) and contest rules are available on the Cuivre River Electric Youth Tour Home Page.


"We're very grateful for the support of teachers who offer their students this leadership opportunity and invite us to speak in their classrooms," says Tucker. Cuivre River Electric Cooperative fully funds the participation of its delegates. There is no cost to students or families. Teachers who support this program and submit at least 10 student entries receive a $50 classroom grant from CREC.


Students who submit the 12 top-scoring compositions become finalists. Their Wednesday, April 5 final competition challenge includes taking a cooperative knowledge quiz and presenting their compositions orally before judges, families and peers at Cuivre River's Youth Tour Final Competition and Awards Banquet. Six students will be chosen as Youth Tour delegates to Washington, D.C.; six will receive $500 scholarships to colleges of their choice.


Entries remain anonymous during preliminary judging by Cuivre River staff. Final judging of oral presentations is conducted by local community leaders and professionals from other cooperatives.


The contest is open to students who live and attend school in Cuivre River's general service area, or who have Cuivre River electric service in their homes. Immediate family members of Cuivre River employees and directors are not eligible.


Since 1964 Cuivre River Electric has sponsored 210 students to the nation’s capital to visit their U.S. congressional delegations on Capitol Hill, take part in energy and grassroots government education and leadership sessions, see national historic memorials, landmarks and museums. More than 50,000 high school students sponsored by electric cooperatives have participated in the Youth Tour since the leadership program began.


Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, Inc., founded in 1941, provides electricity to more than 63,500 homes and businesses in Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles and Warren counties. For more information on the Youth Tour, or to schedule a classroom program, contact Lonnie Tucker at (636) 695-4837.



Contest Scoring


Cuivre River Electric Cooperative has two stages for scoring the Youth Tour compositions submitted by the high school students. Total scores are cumulative. The Preliminary Stage and Final Stage scores are combined to determine contest winners.


Youth Tour compositions are mixed prior to registration to provide an adequate random sample, and then each composition is assigned a special numerical code. Judges view and grade each composition without knowledge of the authors’ name, high school or county. Preliminary Stage judges are employees of Cuivre River Electric Cooperative.


Each Youth Tour composition receives a score of up to 100 points from each of three Preliminary State judges. The lowest of these three scores will be dropped, with the two highest scores added together for a possible 200 point Preliminary Stage score.


Based on Preliminary Stage scores, a maximum of 12 students advance to the Final Stage. Finalists, their parents and their teachers are invited to the Final Competition and Awards Banquet held at the Cuivre River Electric Cooperative Branch Office in Lake Saint Louis.


Preliminary Stage 200 points possible: 100 points x 2 judges

Final Stage 200 points possible: 50 points possible for quiz + 150 points possible for oral presentation (3 judges x 50 points each)

Possible Total = 400 points


Finalists with the highest combined preliminary and final scores will become the six Cuivre River Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Delegates and travel to Washington, D.C.


The six runners-up will receive a $500.00 scholarship to the college or university of their choice.



Youth Tour Resources


Resources for high school juniors writing compositions on this year's topic, "My Favorite Cooperative Principle," are readily available online. Books listed below have also been provided to several local libraries.


2017 Youth Tour Application (PDF File) which includes contest rules are available at Cuivre River offices, at many local high schools, and at For more information on the Youth Tour, or to schedule a classroom program, contact Lonnie Tucker at (636) 695-4837.



Book Titles


The Next Greatest Thing

Richard A. Pence, editor


The Power of People

Dorris Keeven


The Day the Lights Came On

Jim McCarty, editor


Web Sites Touchstone Energy Cooperative National Rural Electric Cooperative Assoc. International Cooperative Alliance National Cooperative Grocers Assoc. Associated Electric Cooperative USDA Rural Development National Cooperative Month Rural Missouri Magazine Assoc. of Mo. Electric Cooperatives


Cuivre River Electric Youth Tour Home Page.