All-expense-paid experience provides ‘leadership edge’ to high school juniors


By Indiana Reed

Special to The SUN

La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) invites high school juniors to participate in the Colorado Electric Education Institute Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp — an all-expense-paid educational/leadership camp set for July 14-19 at Glen Eden Resort outside of Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Deadline for application is Monday, Jan. 14.

“It’s not just another camp,” said Jeannie Bennett, LPEA public relations coordinator handling the local application process. “This is an experience that will help students build for their future, and help them gain valuable leadership and interpersonal relationship skills that will benefit them in an increasingly competitive world. Plus it looks great on a resume.”

Bennett notes that “fun” is also part of the experience, and scheduled activities include a river trip and dance, a visit to Steamboat Springs and Fish Creek Falls, plus free time at the swimming pool.

For more than 30 years, the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp has brought together some 100 high school students selected by electric cooperatives in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming to help build the leadership skills that will assist them in meeting the challenges of the future, plus learn about the organization and operation of a cooperative.

“In an increasingly challenging world, LPEA and our trade association, the Colorado Rural Electric Association, hope to help young people from those areas served by rural electric cooperatives gain a competitive edge,” said Greg Munro, LPEA CEO. “The camp is a hands-on, learn by doing effort. Experiences like this truly help those participants who apply themselves achieve greater confidence and leadership abilities that will benefit them in the future.”

LPEA will sponsor up to four high school juniors, one from each school district within its service territory (Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio, Pagosa Springs). All area high school juniors who receive their electric power from LPEA are eligible to participate in the 2013 camp, including home-schooled students.

To be considered, students are asked to complete the Leadership Camp application and submit it to LPEA, along with a 500-word essay reflecting the student’s personal perspective on leadership. Applicants should have a strong academic record, be interested in enhancing their leadership potential and have an interest in meeting new people. Participants will be selected based on their essays, to be reviewed by an independent committee.

Applications are available for download at, from high school counselors, or at the LPEA’s Pagosa Spring office.

For further camp information or questions, contact Jeannie Bennett, or 382-3505.