Scholarship and Youth Tour Info

West River Cooperative Telephone Company $500 Scholarship

(co-sponsored by Grand Electric)

Attention: High School Seniors from Bison, Buffalo, Lemmon and Newell School Districts – Here is your chance to win a $500 Scholarship from WRCTC! One senior from each school district and/or combined school districts will be awarded a scholarship for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year.

For an application, please click on the appropriate school district:





Deadline is March 16, 2018.

Please mail the completed application and extra documents to:

Scholarship Program
PO Box 39
Bison, SD 57620

If you have questions regarding this scholarship, please contact us at 605-244-5213 or 777.

FRS $2,500 Scholarship

Click here for an application.

To be eligible for this scholarship, each applicant must:

• Be a graduating high school senior.

• Be a United States citizen.

• Be sponsored by a current NTCA member such as WRCTC

• Be accepted by an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school.

• Have at least a C grade point average (GPA).

• Express an interest to return to a rural community following graduation.

The application must be postmarked by March 1, 2018 AND it requires the signature of the manager, board president or designated employee. To obtain a signature, please send your scholarship application to WRCTC at PO Box 39, Bison, SD 57620 PRIOR to the March 1st deadline. Or, you can stop by our office in Bison.

If you have any questions regarding this scholarship, please contact us at 605-244-5213 or 777.


Join students from across the U.S. for the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) Tour to WASHINGTON, D.C. on June 3–7, 2017!

To apply for this trip, please submit a typed 500-word essay with a cover sheet on the following topic:

Why I want to participate in the Washington, D.C. Youth Tour.

All essays must be accompanied by a second page which includes the following information: name, date of birth, school, grade in 2016-2017, recent picture, parent or guardian’s name, address, phone number and your e-mail address.

Essays must be postmarked by March 29, 2017.

Please submit essays to: Attn: Rachel Eggebo WRCTC • PO Box 39 • Bison, SD 57620 OR email to

Questions? Call 777 or 605-244-5213

Students must be 16 or 17 years of age at the time of the tour and a dependent of a WRCTC member to be eligible.

Listen to what the two young ladies had to say about their experience on the tour in 2016

Colville and Drayton return home from Washington, D.C. Here are their stories:
By Jessica Colville, Lemmon: I would like to heartily and greatly thank the West River Cooperative Telephone Company for sending me, Jessica Colville, to the capital of our fair nation, Washington, D.C. It was an amazing trip and I feel so honored that I was chosen to experience this incredible adventure. TO show how much I appreciated this opportunity, I will share my view of all the awesome things I saw and people I met.

The first awesome thing I saw on my trip was probably the view from the plane as we took off from the Bismarck Airport. I hadn’t taken a plane ride in 11 years, so I had no idea what to expect. The thunderous yells of the engines, the restricting g-forces and the vibrations of the cabin all came together to make me feel like I was Vesuvius about to erupt. It felt like I remained this way for years, I was so terrified. Finally, as we leveled out, I could stand to look out the window. It was one of the most astounding views I’ve ever seen. The world spread out like a million mile long collage of every kind of yard and farm imaginable and then we ascended even higher until we were in the middle of the clouds. They were everywhere, insubstantial mountains like something out of a fairy tale. These feelings continued throughout every flight I took during my trip. It still amazes me that some people see these things every day – that they think of this grand view of the world as ordinary. Although, this wasn’t even the grandest experience I had on my trip.

The view from the plane was great but there was a chance I wouldn’t have been able to see it at all because our plane was delayed a whole day, thus I had to switch airlines. This lead to me not reaching Washington, D.C. until around midnight. This meant that I had missed the chaperone orientation, but the activities that I got to participate in the next day, more than made up for this.

The first place we went on my second day in Washington, D.C. was Arlington National Cemetery. I had found graveyards unnerving but Arlington was different. It was incredibly peaceful and quite. It was also very beautiful because there were huge trees everywhere and something interesting I learned was that no matter how you looked at the tombstones they always formed a straight line like crops in a field. I also got a chance to see the changing of the guard in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The calm and peace of Arlington was the exact opposite of the next place we visited.

Our next stop was the Smithsonian Museums. There were so many wonderful things to see! I saw a full scale replica of a blue whale suspended from the ceiling in the Natural History Museum and a real Egyptian mummy with their sarcophagus! I also saw around twenty old military planes and a lunar module that was a replica in the Air and Space Museum. On a heavier note, I was also able to visit the Holocaust Museum, which gave me a new view on the atrocities of that event and why it’s so important we never repeat them. This all required a lot of walking so I was very happy when we got to Union Station to eat dinner. It was an amazing place and it reminded me a lot of an airport. After dinner, we took a night tour of Washington, D.C. My favorite parts of this tour were seeing the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. The White House was one of my favorites because it was so graceful and beautiful and it astounded me that I was standing in front of the home of most of America’s presidents. The Lincoln Memorial was also one of my favorites because of its size. Pictures just can’t capture how huge it is! This was a very exciting day and I was happy when I learned that the next day we would be attending a lecture.

The lecture was all about Capitol Hill and what goes on there. The coolest part of this to me was that one of the speakers was from Sioux Falls and he had heard of Lemmon! After the lecture we had lunch and a small group of us took a tour of the Capitol building from some of the Senators’ aides. They knew a lot about the Capitol, like the spot in the dome where you can hear all the way on the other side. We visited a lot of important buildings that day such as the Jefferson, Martin Luther King, FDR and Iwo Jima Memorials. At this time, everybody was tired but not too tired to go to the FRS Pool Party and BBQ! I was too tired to go swimming but I got to meet a lot of cool people. One person I met was Rachel Moore who was from Georgia. She was very fascinated with my stories about all the snow we get. When we got back to the hotel after the pool party, we held a summit on rural America. We divided into groups based on what we thought the biggest problem facing our community was and my group chose agricultural issues. During this session, I learned a lot about how people farm in different areas. An example of this is Ashlyn Henrickson from Goodridge, MN who lived on a completely organic farm. I learned a lot during this day and I was very excited to learn even more during the next day’s lecture.

The following day, we visited the Federal Communications Commission. During this session, we learned about what they do, such as regulate what can be on the television, radio and in movies. Plus, they gave us Slinkys! The next thing we did was visit the Newseum. The Newseum was this amazing museum about the news. There was a section on the FBI and a section where you could make a video of yourself and they would send it to your email! There was also a 4-D movie where the movie was in 3-D but your seat moved and wind blew on your face. It was great! After this, we went to Mt. Vernon. I spent most of my time here touring the estate with four other girls. My favorite part of this tour was when we meet a man hand planting vegetables just like how it was done during George Washington’s time. The cool part was that the man’s college roommate was from the same town as two of the girls I was hanging out with. When we got back to our hotel, we had a farewell dinner and dance. It was a lot of fun even though I was sad I would have to say goodbye the next day. The flight home was about the same as the flight to D.C. except it seemed to go by a lot faster. In conclusion, I would like to thank West River Telephone for sending me on this trip, and I hope this shows how truly appreciative I am!

By Taylor Drayton, Lemmon: I would like to say thank you for an awesome trip! Getting to see all the main attractions was absolutely amazing! It was definitely an experience that I will never forget. I’d have to say that my favorite part of the trip was getting to meet many new friends that I will always keep in touch with. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life! Thank you so much for everything!

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