The Future is Bright

Area students selected by Clearwater Power attend ICUA Youth Rally

ICUA Youth Rally participants representing Clearwater Power jump in to participate in introductions and ice-breaker activities. From left are Jacob Emerson, Taylor Boyer, Morgan Silflow, Malia Jensen, Jade Duman, Isabella Dougan and Zane Uptmor.

Each year, the Idaho Consumer-Owned Utilities Association hosts Youth Rally, a leadership conference for teens. The 2023 Youth Rally took place July 10 through 15 at The College of Idaho campus in Caldwell.

Teens were selected to attend and sponsored by electric cooperatives serving rural communities in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada and Utah.

80 teenagers earned spots to attend, including seven hosted by Clearwater Power Company. Returning from 2022 as a youth director for Clearwater Power was Zane Uptmor, from Prairie High School. 6 new delegates were selected to represent Clearwater Power through a process of application, essay and interview.

Jacob earned an additional scholarship from ICUA.

This year’s delegates were Taylor Boyer and Morgan Silflow, from Kendrick High School; Isabella Dougan and Jade Duman, from Asotin-Anatone High School; Jacob Emerson, from Potlatch High School; and Malia Jensen, from Genesee High School.

All delegates have parents or guardians who are members of the cooperative.

From the welcome sessions to the cleanup and goodbyes, the week was full of learning, developing leadership skills, addressing tough topics facing teens today, inspiring stories and fun activities. With early rise times and late evenings, the students and chaperones made the most of each day together.

Students attending the camp learned about the basics of electricity, how cooperatives work and the utility industry. They toured the Idaho State Capitol, had open and candid conversations with Republican and Democrat representatives, and learned about Idaho and United States government. They heard motivational and thought-provoking presentations, such as:

Returning Youth Director Zane, front right, recaps the day with delegates from Clearwater Power.

Motivational speaker Lance Brown, who spoke about influence and leadership.

The Sauer family’s personal and interactive presentation highlighting the dangers of texting and driving.

The Jae Foundation’s reminder to regularly and intentionally check in with friends and the importance of having real conversations about mental health.

A Life Online presentation cautioning the dangers of sharing information online.

Stories from teens incarcerated at the Idaho Juvenile Detention Center and efforts to turn their lives around.

Taylor, right, enjoys a meal with Morgan between presentations.

The heavy topics and conversations were balanced with games, activities and plenty of time for cornhole tournaments, obstacle courses, dances, a talent show, pizza parties, ice cream social, and a trip to Roaring Springs Water Park and Wahooz Fun Zone.

Throughout the week, students participated in panel interviews and were commended for their participation in activities, interaction with speakers and presenters, communication with each other, building confidence, overcoming obstacles and kindness.

“Learning about co-ops was something new to me, and I’m appreciative of the service and support communities receive from cooperatives and other organizations. This week was amazing, and I loved all the games that brought everyone in the camp together like a big family.”
—Morgan Silflow

Izzy was voted as returning youth director for Clearwater Power at next year’s Youth Rally.

Students were selected and recognized each day by their peers for making camp a positive experience for others. Recognition from chaperones at the end of camp— based on interview and observation scores—earned students additional scholarships from ICUA.

3 students — 2 from Idaho and one from Nevada—won trips to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., next spring.

This year’s Youth Rally theme, “Find Your Spark,” presented students with opportunities to find their unique leadership qualities and allow them to shine bright.

“My favorite memory was teaching all my new friends line dances! I really recommend everyone who is eligible to apply to go on this incredible trip.”
—Isabella “Izzy” Dougan