This morning we attended the Rural Electric Youth Rally Day. There were over 1500 teenagers from all over the United States. There was plenty excitement in the air when we first arrived each state was yelling their cheers, we traded stickers, pins and beads for our name badges. Once the program began, Carlin sat on stage and introduced our state. He did a great job!
The keynote speaker Mike Schlappi had an inspiring message for every American, young or old: "Just because you can't stand up, doesn't mean you can't stand out. At the age of 14, Schlappi was student body president and an Eagle Scout, and was dreaming of a career as a top American athlete when he was involved in a tragic shooting accident. Doctors told him he would never walk again, but after months of rigorous therapy, he began playing basketball from his wheelchair and went on to become an athletic standout. Schlappi is a four-time Paralympics Medalist and two-time World Champion in Wheelchair Basketball. The only wheelchair basketball player in the United States to be on four consecutive summer Paralympics teams, Schlappi was honored by the state of Utah in 2000 as one of its Top 50 athletes of the past century.
After Youth Rally we spent the day touring the Smithsonian’s. Many of us visited the Air and Space, Natural History, American History and American Indian museums as well as many different art museums and the sculpture garden.
We ended our day with a river boat cruise down the Potomac River on a luxury yacht. There was a DJ on all 3 levels of the boat for us to party and the top level was an observation deck. We cruised past the Reagan International Airport and we saw the DC and Arlington sky lines while watching the sun set. We also had fun making friends with the other states...until we found out that LSU had won. Then we just became typical LSU fans chanting at all the other states. Geaux Tigers! It was a great first day in our nation’s capital.
Here’s what today’s bloggers have to say:
Lauren is Claiborne’s delegate:
Her favorite part of the day was the boat cruise, dance and our inspirational speaker this morning.
Her least favorite part of the day was waking up at 5:30 a.m.
This morning Mike Schlappi talked to all of the youth tour delegates about the hardships he faced in his life. It was extremely inspiring because he never gave up no matter what came his way. Lauren hopes she can become that way as well.
Lauren would like to say to her loved ones back home we are having the time of our lives! It is so much fun. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to meet these new lifelong friends. Be home soon! Love ya!
Justin is NRG’s delegate:
His favorite part of the day was dancing on the boat cruise.
His least favorite part of the day was walking all day.
Today’s activities taught Justin the importance of history, and how we can all learn from it.
Justin would like to say to his loved ones back home the trip is fun and he miss yall.
Jodi is WST’s delegate:
Her favorite part of the day was riding the elevator up and down with Ryan, Hunter, Erin, Dylan and Jacob at the Smithsonian.
Her least favorite part of the day was a lot of walking.
Today’s activities taught Jodi she’s not really sure right now.
Jodi would like to say to her loved ones back home she misses you, but is having fun.
Just another footnote about PARTY!!!—Louisiana has been successful in getting all the other states to yell PARTY!!!
To view our pictures from today go to the link below. We have 2 photo galleries one is from our Leadership Conference in March and the other is this week’s Youth Tour. New photos will be posted each night.
Photo Gallery: http://photos.youthtour.org/2009%20Youth%20Tour