Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Falling for Conference Season

Fall is finally here! My favorite time of the year. Not only does fall mean cooler weather, turning leaves, and bonfires; it also means the Indiana FFA Leadership Center is full of mini buses, members, and gaga ball. Gaga ball is the best open recreation activity ever invented. My favorite memories come from the short time that we get to spend at the recreation activities. Some of those favorite memories include watching members make new friends, being competitive, and having fun! During our SOAR conferences I let my competitive side show by becoming the reigning champion in gaga ball, but one interaction stuck out to me. After playing gaga ball, I had a member walk up to me and tell me how good I was at gaga ball (keep in mind I hadn’t played much before). This was the first time he had attended a camp and was having so much fun, but he was very nervous the night before as he didn't know many people there. These were the same feelings I had attending my first ever conference. We talked for a good while and discovered that we had many things in common: we both were swimmers, both shared the same love for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and most importantly had a strong passion for FFA. As open recreation activities ended, I encouraged him to enjoy the weekend and make many new friends as these are the people we will remember the most! 

After sitting out a game of gaga ball I realized how important it is to cheer on members. While it would have been easy for me to focus solely on defending my champion title, the connection I made with that particular member far surpassed any victory in gaga ball. Embrace the one not the many.

Tanner Weakley, State Sentinel

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