The 2010 National FCCLA Leadership Conference was held in Chicago, Illinois July 3-8. This was my first national conference as either a student or adviser. Lindsey Leuenberger-Klautch and I took 8 students to the conference and had a blast in the Windy City!The paperwork it takes to travel with students is mountainous and since we were taking a student from another district we had twice the amount of paperwork. I processed through the paperwork and we were set to go. At the opening and closing sessions, the national officer team built a skit around the theme “65 Years of Leadership”. The skit was cute and clever in the way it showed how FCCLA has evolved as an organization to meet the needs of the times without losing its focus on the family. The session was a little long for my liking but I enjoyed the recognition of what chapters have done and getting ideas of what I could do next year.
I attended the New Advisers Workshop series at the conference that was sponsored by the National Consultant Team. The first session focused on introducing new advisers to FCCLA and National Programs. The activities they used at the sessions were great to use on students and I can’t wait to use them. The last session focused on developing a Program of Work, which was helpful and clarified what a POW should look like and consist of. The best description is a calendar of what your chapter wants to accomplish. I was not able to attend any other professional development sessions due to being a STAR Event volunteer.
I was a room consultant for the Food Innovations event and was impressed the event and what they participants at the middle school level had accomplished with their projects. I think this event is great and took it and made it an assessment for my Introduction to Foods and Nutrition course. The students both at the conference and in my class enjoyed the opportunity to develop their own healthy recipe and designing a package to go with it. I would recommend for any adviser to volunteer for STAR Events on the national level because they give you a better understanding of what that event actually is.
My students and I really enjoyed the three special events at the conference. The 4th of July Party at the Navy Pier was a great way for all members to network, enjoy good food, and see an amazing fireworks display over the water. We also attended the White Sox game and had great time bonding as a chapter. The FCCLA Gala was a nice surprise because I had no idea what to expect. The Gala was a great way to cap of the conference and let the students have fun in a safe environment.
Overall, we had a great time at the National Leadership Conference. Please watch this video to see the amazing time we had I learned a lot about being and adviser and came home with many teaching resources. This conference is a great way to strengthen your skills as an adviser and a great way for students to develop as leaders. I hope to go again next year!