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A Student’s Review of the FRS Youth Tour: A Once in a Lifetime Experience

The following post was written by Dale Bagley of Princeton, MO. Dale attended Washington, D.C. as part of the 2016 FRS Youth Tour, and was sponsored by GRM Networks.

One hundred and ten. That’s how many young men and women embarked on the FRS Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. this year. These bright young individuals came from a vast array of backgrounds, climates, and cultures, but despite all of these differences, two factors remained the same: roots in a rural environment, and the yearning to improve the livelihood of the communities they call home.

Over the course of the intense 5-day tour, this select group of future leaders discovered not only how the FRS and rural cooperatives make a difference, but also how they themselves can impact their communities in a positive way. This in-depth tour combined a healthy dose of monuments, memorials, and museums with educational conferences and meetings to provide a blend of recreation and business for the students chosen to participate.

How do I know such extensive information about this tour? I was one of those fortunate one hundred and ten students who were given the chance to both explore our nation’s capitol and learn how to better our communities at the same time. The experience in Washington, D.C. proved to be phenomenal. All aspects of the trip, from the flight plans to dinner schedules, were mapped out in clear and precise detail. The adults supervising the tour were incredibly helpful and welcoming, and the sights we toured were phenomenal.

During the course of the tour, we visited Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian museums, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the Lincoln Memorial, and many other powerful and moving places of interest. During the final days of the tour, representatives of FRS spoke with us about the importance of our involvement in providing small towns with the resources they need to thrive. These sessions proved to be enlightening and encouraging, stressing the impact that students such as us, armed with the knowledge given to us during this tour, can have on their very own areas.

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A view of the Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

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The Lincoln Memorial.

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Marine Corps War Memorial.

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Arlington National Cemetery.

Perhaps the singular feature more overwhelming than the breathtaking sights of D.C. were the diverse personalities of my fellow FRS students. The FRS Youth Tour provided me with an array of newfound friends from across the country, and introduced me to unique and talented young adults which I may never have had the privilege of knowing otherwise. While 5 days passes by in an instant, the lifelong friendships I formed during the FRS Youth Tour continue to benefit me long after the conclusion of the tour.

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The five days I spent in D.C. have endowed me with a deeper appreciation for the men and women who founded and fought for this nation, and the trip has provided me with renewed motivation to improve the livelihood of the community around me. It is my sincere hope that future generations of young adults will have the same life-changing experience that has absolutely changed my life for the better.

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