2019 Youth Tour: Day 2
Good morning, Denver! We got to sleep in this morning, so everyone was ready to go. First stop, breakfast at the Village Inn. Lonnie continued our cooperative education as we enjoyed our pancakes. Did I say pancakes? Pancakes and waffles smothered with strawberries, blueberries and syrup, bacon, bacon, and more bacon, eggs and muffins with milk and orange juice to drink. Lonnie said Tropicana is a cooperative and member-owned by a group of Florida growers. We did not know that, but now we do and hopefully you do as well. Cool!
10:00 a.m. Back to the hotel to find students everywhere. Lonnie escorted us inside and introduced us to Liz Fiddes, who works for the Colorado Rural Electric Association in Denver and is the Colorado Youth Tour Coordinator. She is awesome! Liz was super busy trying to meet everyone and hand out their Youth Tour information packets… Lonnie also introduced us to our Youth Tour chaperones: Robin Feezer, Wyoming Rural Electric Association; David Reher, Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange, Alicen and Clint Rapier, Empire Electric Association; Missy Biegler, Powder River Energy Cooperative; and Sarah Schaefer from Mountainview Electric Association.
We will be traveling with 53 Youth Tour delegates from Colorado and Wyoming and seven chaperones. Cooperation among cooperatives on a national level. Go Colorado and Wyoming!
11:00 a.m. First stop on our Youth Tour adventure in Denver, the Colorado State Capitol. We were running a little behind schedule, so we went right to the top. The top of the Gold Dome! We climbed like a million stairs and ended up in the attic. Mr. Brown’s Attic! The view from outside the dome was incredible, and you could walk all the way around the top of the dome for a magnificent view of Colorado. They even had markers pointing to specific mountain peaks and other famous Colorado landmarks in and around Denver.
We got to visit both the Senate and House Chambers. Blake, our tour guide, explained the process of a typical Colorado Senate and House of Representatives meeting, and the traditions and rules that apply during these meetings. Liz also explained the differences between the House and the Senate. Did you know that the House is made up of 65 Representatives while there are 35 Senators? Most of us did not know that. Now we both do!
After the tour we met Senator Kerry Donovan, Democrat-District 5, and she talked to our group for about thirty minutes explaining her position and duties as a Colorado Senator. She talked about the bills that she was a part of and how they become law.
1:00 p.m. Next stop, Tri-State Generation and Transmission in Westminster. Wow! This place is super cool. Lonnie talked about the relationship between Tri-State Generation and Transmission and Colorado’s electric cooperatives. Like La Plata Electric Association, Tri-State is member-owned by 43-member cooperatives and is managed by a board of directors comprised of representatives from each cooperative they serve. Lonnie stated Kirsten Skeehan, from Pagosa Springs, is our LPEA representative on the Tri-State Board of Directors.
Michelle Pastor of Tri-State Generation and Transmission put on a great presentation titled the Story Behind the Switch. She did a great job explaining exactly how energy is produced using each for of generation. Very fascinating and educational. Michelle had lots of hands on displays and used volunteers through her demonstrations. Have you ever made a human circuit? It was awesome! Everyone had a great time and learned a lot about generating electricity. Thanks, Michelle!
3:00 p.m. Tri-State provided us with a tour of their Operations Center. Top secret stuff in here! Not really, but you need to have an escort to enter the highly secured Operations Center. The center is where Tri-State manages its transmission infrastructure to deliver power to more than 1.3 million members in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.
7:00 p.m. Dinner at C.B. Potts. It was awesome! Colorado Senator Faith Winter from District 24 and Adams County joined us and talked about her role in politics. Faith is the Chair of the Senate Transportation & Energy Committee and considers matters concerning energy development and regulation. We then met 2018 Colorado Youth Tour delegate and Youth Leadership Council representative Andrew Littlefield. Andy talked about his experiences during the 2018 Youth Tour and how he was elected by his fellow delegates to represent Colorado in Washington, D.C. last summer. He told us what to expect on the Youth Tour and even a great story about Lonnie!
Stay tuned for more highlights and pictures from our day…
Emma, Heleny, Larissa, Diego and Irie