On April 5th, Sarah and I tagged along with Rachel to the Crothersville Banquet. When we walked in to the cafeteria, we were greeted with tables that were extravagantly arranged with placemats, programs, and freebies for guests to take home. Their camouflage theme was incorporated all over the room.
The banquet first started off with a delicious meal followed by the start of the awards banquet. It was exciting. As the president tapped the gavel to start opening ceremonies, the butterflies fluttered in my stomach. Even after 6 years, I still get butterflies whenever I hear opening ceremonies. As the gavel tapped three times, all of the FFA members in the room stood up and recited in unison "To practice brotherhood...." I looked around the room as we were standing and saw familiar faces. I saw the face of the girl who was at the first FFA conference I went to; I saw the face of a member who I had talked to when we went to the Crothersville Food-Drive 4 months earlier; I saw the face of one of my best friends; and I saw the face of the boy I had just met earlier that evening. If there's one moment in FFA where I feel most connected to members, it's during this moment in opening ceremonies. Everybody in the room has a different background, different reasons for being there that night, and different futures; but during that one moment, we are all connected with the same thing on our minds - making sure we don't mess up the one line of opening ceremonies that almost all FFA members know. :)
As the banquet continued, door prizes were handed out, Rachel gave a wonderful speech about serving others, and awards were given to the Crothersville FFA members. It was neat to see FFA members awarded for their work and passion. I will never forget when they announced the person who won the Most Improved Middle School Member award. Based on his reaction, one could tell that he deserved every bit of it. It was also obvious that this award had inspired him to put in even more effort into making his FFA career the best it can be. It's amazing how recognizing an individual can be so motivating for them.
It's moments like these, when we're all standing during Opening Ceremonies and watching others being recognized for their accomplishments, that make me reflect on the crazy FFA journey that has taken place in my life for the past 6 years. Whenever I glance at the countdown clock, I know it's coming to an end, but I also know that there are still many memories to be made.