This morning we attended the Rural Electric Youth Rally Day. There were about 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, Victoria sat on stage and introduced our state. She did a great job.
The program also featured David Landis. He provided a vibrant historical character portrayal of United States Senator George W. Norris. Sen. Norris saw the need for and shepherded the enactment of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). These two historic pieces of legislation gave rise to rural electric cooperatives and public power. Landis will explain why some elements of the politics surrounding these important issues in the 1930's are still very much alive today.
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 2 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. It was a great first day in our nation’s capital.
Here’s what today’s bloggers had to say:
Kaity is DEMCO’s delegate:
Her favorite part of the day was the Smithsonian. It was amazing. Seeing the first American flag was my most heartwarming experience. It was truly inspirational.
Her least favorite part of the day was walking. We walked many many miles and I feel as if my feet were going to fall off.
Today’s activities taught Kaity to be more positive. I need to realize every day is a gift and be thankful for it. Thanks to Mr. Mike Schlappi for that message.
Kaity would like to say to her loved ones back home that I miss my country home and cannot wait to see them. Next time, I’m bginging my family with me so they can experience this, too!
Even though this is my 2nd time to be on this trip, I still find Washington, DC very breathtaking and amazing.
Daniel is SLECA’s delegate:
His favorite part of the day was seeing the classic World War II fighter planes.
His least favorite part of the day was walking across the Washington Mall to get to the museums.
Today’s activities taught Daniel that a lot of ingenuity goes into the technology of aircraft.
Daniel would like to say to his loved ones back home…Mom, I hope that you’re still not worrying. Matt and I are fine and we’re having a blast.
It is quite possible to fall asleep on a boat with loud music.
Ailah is WST’s delegate:
Her favorite part of the day was riverboat ride down the Potomac because I got to dance and meet new people.
Her least favorite part of the day was it was a little hot, but I really liked doing everything.
Today’s activities really widened my horizons and helped me to actually visualize everything that collectively shaped this great nation.
Ailah would like to say to her loved ones back home that I’m having the time of my life and I love you guys.
Phillip is PCEMC’s delegate:
His favorite part of the day was the flight simulator in the Air and Space Museum.
His least favorite part of the day was the walking.
Today’s activities taught Phillip Dinosours were huge, and the Hope Diamond looks amaing.
Phillip would like to say to his loved ones back home Miss Ya!
To view our pictures from today go to the link below. New photos will be posted each night. Photo Gallery: http://youthtour.smugmug.com/2010-Youth-Tour