Western Cooperative Electric Students attend Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp
Kaydence Grebowiec, Plainville High School, and Marissa Reever, Otis-Bison High School, attended the 46th annual Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp (CYLC) from July 14-20, 2023. The leadership camp was held near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and hosted 43 student leaders from Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Wyoming, sponsored by 25 participating cooperatives.
Western selected Grebowiec and Reever through their annual youth contest, where high school juniors must write an essay, take an exam, and be interviewed by a panel of judges. The highest-scoring contestants receive scholarships and are the first selection to attend Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp or the Washington D.C. Youth Tour.
During the camp, Grebowiec and Reever learned how an electric cooperative is organized and operated by developing a model-cooperative with their fellow students, empowering the campers to elect a board of directors, appoint a general manager, establish committees, and attend daily membership meetings. Camp participants also attended educational seminars on leadership, online reputation management, conflict management, and co-op careers, in addition to presentations on high voltage electricity, raptors, and avian protection with HawkQuest, and a tour of the Craig Power Station and the Yampa Valley Electric community solar array.
Along with its professional development programs, CYLC included a visit to Mount Werner and downtown Steamboat Springs, white-water rafting on the Colorado River, and other fun activities such as a volleyball tournament, swimming, a talent show, and a dance.
At the conclusion of the leadership camp, Grebowiec reflected on her time in Colorado, “Being out of my comfort zone this week has been the most valuable experience to me. I talked to so many new people, and it was a lot of fun to put myself out there and make new friends.”
Likewise, Reever was amazed by her experience at camp, “I had no idea how many people I would meet and become friends with. I also thought touring the power plant was very impactful. It really puts into perspective how co-ops work and the environment they work in.”
“Western Cooperative Electric is proud to continue our sponsorship of our co-op’s student leaders at the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp,” said Nolan Numrich, Western’s Assistant General Manager. “It is an honor to help provide students opportunities to grow in their leadership potential and develop the knowledge to further engage in our cooperative community.”
Western Cooperative sponsors trips for four students each year. For more information on how to attend/send students to camp, contact Nolan Numrich at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Western’s Facebook page.