The youth tour competition is perhaps Pea River’s best-known and most highly anticipated youth program. Each year Pea River Electric Cooperative sponsors local high school students to the Washington, D. C. and the Alabama Youth Tour. Area high school faculties select one of their top 11th grade students to compete to receive an all-expenses paid trip to our nation's capital. Eight to ten students are selected as Alabama Youth Tour representatives and receive a three-day, all-expenses paid trip to the state capital of Montgomery, Alabama.  From this group, three students are selected as Washington Youth Tour representatives.

Students are judged on their knowledge of the history of rural electrification (study material provided by the co-op), as well as facts pertaining specifically to Pea River Electric Cooperative, electricity and current events. A panel consisting of professional staff members from other cooperatives and/or instructors from local colleges serve as judges for the competition. Criteria considered in the three youth selected includes: general appearance, extracurricular activities, general knowledge of the above-mentioned subjects, and overall demeanor.

The three students selected fly to Washington, D. C. in June of each year where they join approximately 1,200 students from cooperatives across the nation as they tour our national capital. During their week-long stay, they tour local sites of interest, participate in leadership activities, meet their legislators, and learn of the importance of the cooperative model in today's business and political arenas. They also learn about the significant role of government in the life of rural electric cooperatives.

For more information on the Youth Tour Program, contact Laura Thornton at 1-800-264-7732 or via e-mail at