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OEC sends five eighth graders to leadership camp

Five students represented OEC at this year’s Energy Camp, sponsored by Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives. LilyAnn Watters from Bridge Creek, McKenzie Lofland from Noble, Brecken Burson from Purcell, Grady Andrews from Purcell and Braidyn Tivis from Blanchard 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. “We had a blast watching kids learn about cooperatives and make awesome memories.”

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.

Students participated in the OEC Live Line high-voltage demo. Daniel Lofland, OEC’s Energy Efficiency Solutions Specialist and former lineman, was joined by linemen Derek Lumm and Salvador Flores 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 understand the dangers.”

Campers also played Co-opoly, a cooperative education board game that requires teamwork, analysis and decisionmaking.

Campers 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 2025 Energy Camp will go live in January at okcoop.org/energycamp

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