Moapa Valley Progress
FFA members from Moapa and Virgin Valleys recently traveled to Lake Tahoe to attend the FFA Nevada Summer Leadership Camp (SLC). The camp is held annually at the beautiful Nevada 4-H Camp in Tahoe. FFA chapters from all over the state attended this year’s camp. The iconic blue FFA jackets were everywhere.
This year due to lower attendance numbers, Moapa and Virgin Valley students travelled together. The lone attendee from Moapa Valley was Ryan McMurray. He was joined by Rachel Cook, Jamie Bundy, Gian Buccicardi, and Jackie Gomez-Vega from Mesquite along with Jeri Lynn Benell, the Virgin Valley FFA advisor.
Students travelled by school van to the camp, where they spent several days meeting other FFA members from around the state, receiving instruction from state officers, interviewing for zone positions, doing team-building activities, and just having fun.
The week was jam-packed with learning opportunities. Students attended training on their specific officer roles, workshops on general leadership, as well as workshops on teamwork, eliminating distractions, embracing differences in others, taking risks, backwards planning. Classes were taught by current and past state officers.
The camp was not all learning and study, however. There were also fun activities planned. Chapters participated in a lip-sync contest (Moapa Valley joined Pahranagat Valley in an epic version of “Stayin’ Alive”), an ice cream sundae-making contest, volleyball and basketball competitions, and plenty of beach time. There were also daily swing dancing lessons that almost all attendees took part in, making for a fun dance at the end of the camp.
One of the major highlights of the camp was Tahoe Extreme: a competition between groups to see who could triumph in a series of water games, relays, and a tug-of-war. Teams passed a rubber band from straw to straw, passed a dripping sponge over their heads, extracted marbles from a bin with their toes, and filled buckets with grain using only a spoon held between their teeth, among other activities all combined with a great deal of laughter.
Another major camp event was the banquet at the end of the week. Chapter members dressed in full FFA uniform and were treated to a roast beef dinner. Awards were presented and new zone officer winners were announced.
Virgin Valley’s Rachel Cook was chosen as the new Southern Zone President for the upcoming year, with Gian Buccicardi as Vice-President.
The event was considered a success by those attending. This year’s Nevada State FFA President, Laetitia Ray from Pahranagat Valley, who ran the conference said, “Summer Leadership camp was a blast. Getting to know members at camp is an experience I will never forget.”
“Nevada FFA students definitely know how to be crazy, have fun, and work hard,” Ray added. “Throughout the week, I saw FFA members being bold; whether that was making new friendships or stepping up to help a stranger, these individuals have BIG hearts.”
Newly chosen Southern Zone President Rachel Cook from Virgin Valley said, “It was a great experience and was a great opportunity to learn leadership skills that I will be using as president of my chapter and of the southern zone. I’m looking forward to activities we have planned and hope to be able to have the Moapa Valley chapter and the Virgin Valley chapter participate together.”
Moapa Valley delegate Ryan McMurray said, “It was a great experience. I learned a lot about leadership and working with others while having fun and getting to know the people that I am usually competing against in a more fun and relaxed atmosphere.”
Denise O’Toole, Moapa Valley FFA Advisor said, “Summer Leadership Camp teaches these kids premier leadership skills and gives students an opportunity to work with state officers to learn their duties as a chapter officer.”