Energy Camp Back in Action

Youth programs sponsored by Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives are making their way back in 2022. An exciting and successful Energy Camp was held from May 31-June 3. Fifty-five of Oklahoma’s exceptional rising 8th graders were selected by their sponsoring cooperatives to attend camp, which took place at Canyon Camp in Hinton, Oklahoma. 

“This year’s camp was one of the best ever,” said Stacy Howeth, OAEC Director of Member Services and Energy Camp director. “I think we were all so excited to be back together that we saw the experience through a renewed vision. This year’s campers were fun, smart, creative, and respectful! It truly was a great group.” 

Through various activities at Energy Camp, campers gained a wealth of information about the cooperative business model, power source generation, transmission and distribution power lines, electric safety, and the history of Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives. 

Chris Chandler from Aline-Cleo was surprised by the camp. “I had lots of fun at camp. It was so much better than I thought it would be. I met new people and made so many new friends.” 

The campers experienced the cooperative business model firsthand by electing a board of directors who then interviewed and hired a camp manager. The elected directors and camp manager maintained leadership roles during camp operations. The camp board of directors selected AEC’s Katelee Martin from Alva to be the Energy Camp General Manager. “I had an incredible time at camp. I made a bunch of new friends that I hope to keep for years. I wish I could come back next year, too!” 

Additional camp activities included hands-on electric safety demonstrations and pole climbing. Burlington alumni Brandon Gosselin was one of two renowned motivational speakers. Campers engaged in an Energy Battle Tournament (a quiz bowl style competition about electric cooperative trivia). 

Burlington’s Tyler Hill found the camp beneficial. “I learned to be a better leader.” Camp speakers and counselors emphasized leadership skills throughout the week. 

Campers also had a crash course on professional life skills such as budgeting, career options, working with people of different personality types, and learning to write and mail thank-you notes. Students also learned some interview tips and tricks. 

“I learned what a true leader is,” said Hope Olson from Burlington. “I will try to be a better leader in my school and community.” 

The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) coordinates Energy Camp. Campers are selected and sponsored by Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives.