Young Women Explore Energy Careers at Co-op Girl Power Camp in Virginia

Warren County High School senior Dehlilaray Roop climbs a utility pole at the third annual Girl Power Camp at the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives’ Training Center in Palmyra, Virginia. Roop plans to pursue a career in linework, just like her father.  (Photo By: Jim Robertson/VMDAEC)

Girl power is catching on in a big way at the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives’ Training Center.

Last week, the Palmyra, Virginia, linework training center was the site of the third annual Girl Power Camp sponsored by the statewide association and several member co-ops. More than 80 high school girls from across Virginia attended the one-day interactive experience to learn about a variety of career paths in the energy industry.

In eight half-hour sessions led by industry professionals, girls climbed poles, operated a bucket truck, piloted drones, used a hotline stick and tied wire while wearing rubber gloves. They also learned about fiber splicing, interviewing and looking for a job, and managing personal finances.

Participation in the camp has grown dramatically since it launched two years ago. A dozen girls attended in 2021, and that number doubled in 2022. More industry sponsors and associate members have also begun supporting the camp, and electrical distributor Altec began offering scholarships.

“More than 30 people from 10 co-ops teamed up to make this event happen,” said Jim Robertson, VMDAEC member services manager, noting that organizers might expand the event to two days and include a program in Salisbury, Maryland, to include co-ops near that area.

Take a look at how this year’s Girl Power Camp unfolded in the photo gallery below.

Victoria A. Rocha is a staff writer for NRECA.