Cory Swartz of Afton, Okla., has recently returned home from an eventful, fun-filled week in Washington, D.C.

Swartz, son of John & Carmel Swartz, won the 2008 Rural Electric Cooperative "Youth Tour" contest, sponsored by Northeast Electric Cooperative in Vinita, Okla.

The 44th Annual Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour began June 13, 2008, with a "Get Acquainted Banquet" in Oklahoma City. The 69 young winners, representing 25 of the state's rural electric systems, departed for the nation's capital the next morning.

 “In my opinion, the most exciting part of the trip was knowing that we were walking in the footsteps of some of our nations most influential people, past and present,” Swartz said.

Other highlights of the trip were the sights and memorials we got to see. We saw Arlington Cemetery, the Iwo Jima, Vietnam, WWII, and Korean War Memorials. Also, the presidential memorials and my favorite sight of all, The Pentagon,” said Swartz.

In addition to seeing all the historical monuments and taking photos of the White House, the young Oklahoma winners toured the Library of Congress, The U.S. Capital, The U.S. Holocaust Museum, The Pentagon, Mount Vernon and enjoyed a riverboat cruise on the Potomac River. The group also hosted a Congressional Summit for the Oklahoma Delegation, aides and guests, assisted by Congressman Lucas and his staff. While traveling through Baltimore, the group spent time at Inner Harbor and toured Camden Yard, home of the Baltimore Orioles. On June 18th, the young Oklahomans met with more than 1,500 other Youth Tour winners from across the nation at a dinner-dance hosted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The tour is coordinated each year by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives.