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A Chaperone’s Guide to the FRS Youth Tour

The following post was written by Shannon Erb, Director of Marketing for GRM Networks. Shannon chaperoned two high school students to Washington, D.C. as part of the 2016 FRS Youth Tour.

As a fairly new employee at GRM Networks, I was very happy when I was selected to attend this year’s Youth Tour as a chaperone for two students sponsored by the company. I have never been to Washington, D.C., but have always had the desire to learn more about the historical landmarks in the District, and to visit the place from where our country is governed.

Thankfully, the travel to Washington, D.C. was uneventful! The flights were smooth, and everything was on time. After arriving in D.C. on the first day, we had a little time to relax and get settled in to the hotel before I attended a Chaperone orientation meeting. At this meeting, I learned of all the requirements that were going to be asked of me over the next few days, and met the other Chaperone with whom I would be leading a group of 8 students.

In a nutshell, my responsibilities were to look after the students in my group, and to make sure they made the most of their time while in Washington, D.C. This included providing advice on what to visit, and answering questions about the historical sites in D.C. This required a lot of research on my part ahead of time!

During the trip, many activities kept students and chaperones busy. We visited the U.S. Capitol building for a presentation about Foundation for Rural Service and NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, and learned some inside information from hill staffers. Many of us also got a tour of the capitol from staffers. The biggest takeaway from this session was the presentation we saw about making our “pond” bigger. In rural communities, sometimes our young folks (fish in the pond) are encouraged to “get out of this place,” or “get out there and explore the world.” Well, that doesn’t have to be the case for all of our students and children. There are plenty of opportunities to travel and learn, then to bring knowledge back to our rural communities (ponds) to help them thrive.


We also learned a lot during our visit to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). During our time at the FCC, we learned a lot about what they oversee, how their complaint system works, and even found out that almost every electronic device you own has a stamp from the FCC on it somewhere! Seriously, if you have an iPhone… flip to the back of your phone and I bet you’ll see it!


In addition to these scheduled events, we were all given time to explore the Washington Mall, including the Smithsonian museums; visit multiple war memorials; see the Lincoln memorial and Washington Monument; explore the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials; see the Jefferson Memorial; and walk through the Newseum.

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The Youth Tour was an experience I’ll never forget, and I look forward to the next time I get to go! To learn more about the Youth Tour process, keep an eye on our blog for the next two weeks for two more posts, and visit