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Awesome!” The one word I found myself repeatedly using on the Indiana Youth Tour Trip to Washington D.C. was an understatement of the experience I had along with 72 other juniors – soon to be seniors — from all over Indiana.
When I received the wonderful news that I had been one of two students, including Joanna Nguyen from Fort Wayne, selected for the trip of a lifetime, I had no idea just how amazing an experience this trip would be and how much I would learn.
We started the trip in Indianapolis June 10 touring the State House, Indiana State Museum, the Canal Walk, and taking the chance to get to know one another as the trip got rolling.
Friday we officially started the trip, hitting the road headed for the famous battlegrounds of Gettysburg, Pa.
Saturday we explored all of Gettysburg and made a short stop at Baltimore Harbor, which was one of my favorite stops on the trip. We finally reached our destination in Arlington, Va. that night, where we would stay in a Hyatt for the remainder of the trip and we did a night tour that night.
Sunday we toured the Einstein Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery (including Changing of the Guard ceremony), the Union Station, the White House and finished off our night with a cruise on the Potomac River (dance on board).
Monday we started out the day cheering loudly as Indiana was announced in the Youth Tour Rally of 2010 (48 states total).
Following the rally, we met with Lee Hamilton at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and toured the Ronald Reagan Building, National Mall of Museums, the Washington National Cathedral and finished out the evening at Georgetown Mall.
Tuesday marked tours of the Korean, WWII, WWI, Vietnam and Lincoln memorials. Following those morning tours was the Capitol tour and also meetings with Congressmen Mike Pence and a few other staff members.
To finish off the day we got to enjoy the Iwo Jima Memorial as we watched the USMC Parade.
Wednesday we explored the Newseum, toured C-Span, and attended the All-States dinner and dance before departing late in the evening for the journey back to Indianapolis. We arrived in Indianapolis at approximately 10 a.m. June 17.
This trip not only allowed me to see and tour our nation’s capitol, but also educated me in the area of our nation’s energy system and the many issues that we as energy consumers face at present.
Thank you so much to the Northeastern REMC, our local electric cooperative, for making this trip and opportunity possible, without it I would still not understand how important energy issues truly are and how they will affect me now and in the future.