By MACKENZIE KEPHART
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley FFA chapter traveled to Lake Tahoe in northern Nevada to attend the Nevada Summer Leadership Camp held June 19-22. Eleven local students attended the camp to work on leadership skills to be better chapter officers.
Traditions new and old ensued at the conference. An honored FFA tradition of rising and lowering the flag was conducted by the Nevada FFA state officers, zone officers, and various members and supporters of Nevada FFA. The newly elected southern zone officers lowered the flag for the final time at the camp and spoke about what made them proud to be Americans.
“I am proud to be an American because of our ability to help those with less freedoms than us,” said Southern Zone treasurer Ryan McMurray in his address.
Students participated in workshops focused on getting newly elected chapter officers acquainted with their roles.
Rotational workshops were run by the state officers and taught students about various things imperative to being a better leader. These workshops taught students about how to better communicate when working with others.
Students attending the summer camp were assigned to one color group to compete in the annual competition: Tahoe Extreme. Students participated in a day of water activities that had them working as a team.
One event had students finding a way to fill a large PVC pipe with water. The catch was that the pipe had a lot holes with a lot of different sizes. Other events included spitting a Jolly Rancher candy as far as possible, and picking up marbles with their feet in a kiddie pool full of freezing cold Lake Tahoe water.
At the event of the day was the infamous Tug-of-War. Members from different teams faced off with all of their might to win the war. No team went down easy.
The winners of the day’s activity were able to sign the prestigious FFA toilet seat where previous Tahoe extreme winners also had signed. This was the last year for the seat to be signed.
On Wednesday, a mock FFA awards banquet was held. Melissa Jones, a past Nevada State officer, spoke about opportunity and being willing to get out there and do things in the world.
It was also announced that Melissa Jones will be the Nevada state candidate for the National FFA officer election. This announcement elicited cheers from the Nevada FFA members.
Zone officers were placed into their positions and sworn into their offices. Three of the six officers nominated were from Moapa Valley. These included Shyanne Matheson as reporter; Makae Pulsipher, Secretary; and Ryan McMurray as Treasurer.
When students had breaktime, many chose to spend time down at the Lake Tahoe beach. Even in the 56 degree water, students made the best of their time playing water volleyball and kayaking in the lake.
The camp also hosted a volleyball competition night. Chapters from around the state could form teams and participate in the competition against other chapters. Nine teams were formed for the bracket, (including the past state officers!) and each team had to compete against another one to continue in the bracket.
A dance night was held after the mock banquet ended. The dance had everyone’s blood pumping as they swing-danced the night away. A slide show was also played, and pictures from all of the future chapter historians were placed on that slideshow.
The ice cream sundae competition was also a popular event. Chapters had to sign up teams and create an ice cream sundae that represented the four elements: Fire, water, earth, and air.
Summer Leadership camp is a fun time for new chapter officers to get comfortable in their positions and learn how to be better leaders.
“My favorite part about SLC is getting to know FFA members from all across Nevada,” said Moapa Valley FFA President Shyanne Matheson. “I had the opportunity to to learn about leadership as an FFA president with other chapter presidents. We were given the ability to help one another and give advice. I am super excited to put these new ideas into action for the chapter this coming year!”