Additional Iowa Youth Tour Policies
Student with Special Needs
Iowa Youth Tour welcomes students with special needs. We do need to prepare for their attendance ahead of time and have the following requirements:
- A student with special needs is defined to be a student who is permanently or currently disabled, not an individual who is recovering from a recent accident or surgery causing them to need temporary assistance as they recuperate.
- Iowa Youth Tour needs to know of any special needs requirements in the initial information to make any additional arrangements for lodging or transportation, if necessary.
- Any costs for the caregiver to attend – including but not limited to lodging, transportation, meals and entry fees – will be an additional fee that must be covered by the sponsoring co-op or student’s family.
- The caregiver must pass Iowa Youth Tour’s background check just as any adult on the trip is required to do and must obey all the rules required of students and chaperones.
While Youth Tour is fun and educational, it is NOT a vacation, and at times can be physically demanding. Both students and chaperones should be:
- Able to endure long days (often 12 to 16 hours per day)
- Able to walk long distances
- Able to function with less sleep than they are used to at home
- Able to tolerate being outside in the summer heat and humidity (and sometimes rain)
- Able to tolerate large crowds
Iowa Youth Tour welcomes all students chosen for the trip by their local electric cooperative and understands that there may be some situations where lodging accommodations may need to be made. If this is the case, arrangements will be done in consultation with the student, parents and the Iowa Youth Tour Director. The student’s privacy will be maintained. If a private room is deemed appropriate, the cost for that will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Students and chaperones will be provided a Youth Tour shirt to wear each day while we are in DC. Wear with nice and appropriate jeans, nice shorts (with at least a 5” inseam), capris or skirts. On travel days, bare midriffs, low-cut tops, very low-rise skirts/dresses, short shorts, frayed/torn cut-offs, skimpy tank tops, tube tops, muscle shirts, droopy drawers, clothing with political (Iowa Youth Tour is a nonpolitical event) or suggestive and/or inappropriate printing (including alcohol or cigarette branding) are not allowed. For evening events, bring a jacket or sweater in the event it gets cool. Good, comfortable walking shoes are very important. Flip flops are allowed, however not always sturdy enough for a walking day on Youth Tour. If there is any confusion as to if something is appropriate or not, the Youth Tour Director has the final say.
Iowa Youth Tour recognizes the importance of social media, and it is committed to supporting a positive online dialogue. With that in mind, we ask students to NOT tag or reference Iowa Youth Tour on any social media platforms in any negative, false or unflattering ways. Any slurs, insults or obscene conduct is not acceptable, nor will it be tolerated, by Iowa Youth Tour and those associated with it. Iowa Youth Tour is a nonpolitical event. We do not take stances on political issues. If there is any confusion as to if something is appropriate or not, the Youth Tour Director has the final say.
Each chaperone, student and their parents/guardians will be required to sign a Social Media Contract prior to going on Iowa Youth Tour.
If a security event happens on Youth Tour, students should follow the chaperone/police/authority’s directions and if possible return to the planned pickup location as soon as possible. If they are not able to get there, then they should return to the hotel by whatever means possible. Notify chaperones as to your whereabouts immediately. Iowa Youth Tour will use the group text messaging system to communicate out, and students have all the chaperone’s phone numbers. Once we determine the threat status, if none of our group was affected or the attack was a single-action event and contained, we will adjust the schedule and stay in D.C. Remember to be aware of your surroundings. Student should have a general idea of how to get back to the bus. We ask the students that if their “spidey sense” goes off, pay attention to it. If they see something that looks not right, say something.
Students Backing Out/No Shows
If a student backs out at the last-minute, Iowa Youth Tour will do whatever is feasibly possible to work with the cooperative to send an alternate. If a student is a no-show to the orientation, the Iowa Youth Tour Director will contact the cooperative immediately, so the sponsoring cooperative is aware of the issue and can contact the student/family to assess the situation.
Protesters ... What Iowa Youth Tour will do:
First and foremost, Iowa Youth Tour NEVER wants to be in the news affiliated with any type of negative situation.
In the event we are touring in small groups with a meeting place indicated, a chaperone will be at the meeting place well in advance to scope out the area. If we have to change the meeting place, we can do that on the fly due to our digital communications process.
Monitor any protests or gatherings in DC that might impact our group.
If something was to happen, we will capture video footage for context, and contact the IAEC Communications Department immediately.
Always put space between our students and any groups causing issues.
Not allow political attire (including hats).
Address how to handle these situations at YT orientation:
- Do NOT engage. Absolutely NO chanting/cheering/yelling.
- Chaperones are responsible to put space between students and any protesters/demonstrations and de-escalate the situation.
- The consequences are real: When your face is plastered all over the news/internet, people only remember the negative aspects, they don’t remember the corrections made later in your defense. Sadly, some people/groups want exposure to push their agendas forward at someone else’s expense.