Cooperative Thrills and Electric Skills: Inside Oklahoma's Energy Camp 2023
Three students represented OEC at this year’s Energy Camp, sponsored by Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives. Elycia Bass of Southridge Junior High in Moore, Tobias Montanez of Washington Middle School in Goldsby and Emma Siegfried of Highland East Junior High in Moore joined 75 of Oklahoma’s exceptional rising high schoolers who were selected by their sponsoring cooperatives to attend camp this year, which took place at Canyon Camp near Hinton, Oklahoma.
“This year’s camp was one of the best ever,” said Stacy Howeth, OAEC Director of Member Services and Energy Camp director. “I might say that every year, but I mean it! We came back in 2022 with a renewed vision. We’ve upped the game and these campers rise to the challenge.”
Through various activities at Energy Camp, campers gained a wealth of information about the cooperative business model, power source generation, electric safety, the history of Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives and new leadership and communications skills.
The campers experienced the cooperative business model firsthand by electing a board of directors who then interviewed and hired a camp manager. The elected directors and camp manager maintained leadership roles during camp operations.
The OEC Live Line Trailer made its Energy Camp debut. Daniel Lofland, OEC’s Energy Efficiency Solutions Specialist and former lineman, was joined by linemen Derek Lumm and Tony Ramirez to give up-close instructions on how the power line system works.
“Thank you for showing us electric line safety,” said a camper. “This helped me visualize the situation to better understand the dangers.”
OEC’s Education and Outreach Programs Director Tory Tedder-Loffland led campers through Co-opoly, a cooperative education board game that requires teamwork, analysis and decision-making.
Campers also had a crash course on life skills such as budgeting, career options, working with people of different personality types, how to write and mail thank you notes and interview tips and tricks.
Additional camp activities included pole climbing, tabletop demonstrations, two renowned motivational speakers and an Energy Battle Tournament, a quiz bowl style trivia about electric cooperatives.
Energy Camp is coordinated by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives. Campers are selected and sponsored by Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives. Applications for the 2024 Energy Camp will go live in January at okcoop.org/energycamp
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