By Jenna Paul
Mrs. Robertus and Jenna Paul began their trek to Anaheim, CA for this year’s National FCCLA Conference on June 29. After the drive to Billings, they hopped on their first plane and headed to Salt Lake City where they flew to John Wayne Airport in sunny Anaheim. After a long day of travel, they headed to the Garden Walk where they ate dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and returned to the hotel for a night of rest.
The next day kicked off with Jenna Paul attending State Officer Networking with her fellow State Officers. She mingled with other officers from Idaho, Virginia, Nebraska and Washington along with working on new ways to promote FCCLA within their state. Following her networking, her State Executive Council went to prepare for the Opening General Session for the National Conference. The opening session included a Disney skit, national programs awards, and the Keynote Speaker Kyle Scheele. Kyle Scheele inspired the attendees to keep in mind all their mistakes, since they would not be here without them. When this session concluded, Jenna and Mrs. Robertus headed to the first Montana State Meeting where Jenna and her fellow officers welcomed everyone to the Conference.
On July 1, Jenna awoke early to attend a special Disney: Youth Education Series (Y.E.S) that focused on Leadership. This workshop was held inside of Disney California Adventure Park. She made friends with a group from South Dakota and spent the rest of the workshop with them. This Disney Y.E.S workshop focused on the 4 C’s of Leadership: Courage, Confidence, Curiosity, and Constance. Next on the agenda for Jenna was Leadership Academy. She attended workshops on Synergize and Sharpen the Saw, while also enhancing her Leadership Academy Skills. Then, they went with the Forsyth FCCLA to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. To end the day, they ventured through the Garden Walk as they browsed through several stores and bought several souvenirs.
The next morning, Mrs. Robertus attended a workshop for Advisers while Jenna traveled with the Forsyth FCCLA to the Orange County Outlets. Following some serious shopping, Jenna and Mrs. Robertus headed to the National Officer Candidate Speeches. After listening to the speeches, Jenna and her State Executive Council composed their ideal slate for the next National Executive Council. Next on the itinerary was the second State Meeting where Montana members were invited to share some of their opinions on who should be part of the National Executive Council. After the state meeting, Jenna and Mrs. Robertus suited up for the FCCLA 5k Glow Walk/Run around the Angels Stadium. While running the 5k, Jenna met a Florida FCCLA member and became quick friends.
The third of July came and brought more State Officer Training for Jenna. However, this time she was split into a “Membership Network.” Within this network, she was grouped with other officers from across the nation that held the same state office. Since the Membership Network was so vast, they subdivided to be more time-manageable. Inside of the subdivision, officers passed out business cards and introduced themselves along with an area of membership that they struggle with in their state. Then they made a group chat in which they can inform each other of ideas that they have within their chapter, district, and state for their fellow officers to use. They decided that they were going to reconnect every two weeks to elaborate on previous ideas or introduce new ones. Mrs. Robertus and Jenna then traveled to Downtown Disney where they ate dinner and headed to Disney’s California Adventure. Within the park, they traveled to Cars Land, Hollywood Buena Vista, Pixar Pier, and Under the Sea, all while enjoying some of the rides located in the park. To finish the fabulous night, they watched a World of Color, where famous Disney movie scenes and colors were displayed on spraying water.
On the Fourth of July, Mrs. Robertus and Jenna once again traveled with the Forsyth FCCLA to Huntington Beach. While lying on the beach soaking up some sun, the group experienced the 6.4 earthquake that hit around Anaheim and Los Angeles. Nevertheless, that did not hinder their beach experience. They ate a quick lunch at a surf shop and headed back to the hotel to prepare for the rest of the day. The Montana State STAR Event Recognition Session recognized members from across the state that competed and were given their awards. Next on the agenda was the Closing General Session, but first they had to stop by the famous Joe’s Italian Ice store a few blocks from the hotel. The Closing General Session consisted of National Officer elections and scholarships for STAR Event Champions. After the business ended, students gathered for the first ever FCCLA Fourth of July Dance Party. This special event was held in the Disneyland Resort hotel, dinner was served, and dancing was welcomed. About halfway through the dance, the party moved outside to watch the Disney Firework Display.
Mrs. Robertus and Jenna left early on the morning of the fifth to travel home with some great ideas on leadership for their local FCCLA program.