Monday, November 4, 2013

            Over the course of the last few months, life for my teammates and me has been bustling.  From early morning chapter visits to late nights working on LDW and Soar curriculum, we haven’t had a second to sit down and take a deep breath.

            Just a little over a week after the Farm Progress Show, it was that time. Leadership Development Workshop #1! We all had a blast being superheros and empowering teams to take what they learned at camp home.  We focused on learning about service and getting involved in our communities. Whether I was presenting or eating lunch with members, I had an awesome time talking and laughing with members.

            The weekend after LDW it was camp time again, and we were at Premier Leadership Training with all of the district officers, section directors, and band and chorus officers.  Jacob Mattox, Indiana’s National Officer candidate, was our facilitator for this conference. He did a great job teaching us about our leadership positions and giving us the opportunity to grow as a team.  I quickly realized how blessed we are to have such great leadership in this organization.

            The very next day after PLT, it was time for our next mission. We started chapter visits and district kickoffs in District XII and moved on up the east side of the state for the first week.  I spent my time with Ethan that first week, and I experienced Southern Indiana for the first time.  I guess I neglected to understand the concept of a hill until Ethan was driving like a racecar driver over them.  You see, where I’m from hills don’t exist so this was quite the experience for me. We traveled through the beautiful downtown Madison, and we saw the tree in the gutter of the Greensburg courthouse.  For week two, I was with Kayla and the week went very similar to the first. We started in the south central District XI and finished in the north central District II.  We saw sights like Lake Monroe and ate at cute little hometown places like Netter’s Restaurant in Bremen. Then finally we started week three in District X. Sarah, Cameron and I took the final leg together.  We began the week down by the river and finished up in the good ole wind turbine country of District IV and District I.

 Not only did we see the most beautiful Indiana sights, but we also met some of the most amazing people.  We watched chapter members grow closer through chapter visits and saw them come out of their shells in awkward situations at district kickoffs. We were very grateful for the families that welcomed us into their homes over those three weeks.

One short week after chapter visits, it was time for SOAR. We were all so excited to become astronauts, scientist, interns, air traffic controllers, and even an alien as we SOARed Out of this World! The 354 campers and counselors were pushed out of their comfort zones to make new friends and become awesome leaders. We all participated in activities like the low ropes course and creating a skit to put on for the whole conference.  I think it's safe to say that every member at the conference took something home with them, whether it was a new friendship or an impactive story. 

Then it was time to hit the road again and head south. We were Louisville, Kentucky bound! National Convention started on Monday, October 28th for the eight Indiana FFA delegates. The delegates included the seven state officers and Dakota Westphal, the District I President. On Monday we worked alongside other delegates for the Delegate Day of Service. We spent our time building boxes, sorting clothes, and setting up tables. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent building committee reports to help The National FFA Organization continue to excel. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were spent in session after session. Every second of convention was hectic and amazing. Whether we were at the Dierks Bentley concert or watching retiring addresses, you could always find the state officers smiling. 
From getting up early to go to delegate sessions to falling down curbs heading in to a school for a chapter visit, every second of the last few months has been a blessing.  Thank you for being involved in all of those little seconds and smiling and laughing and making my days a little brighter.

With Love,

Shelby Sigman
Indiana FFA State Reporter

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