Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cluster Meeting in Review

By Michael L. Benjamin, National Executive Director

On behalf of the FCCLA staff, I appreciate and thank you for your support as we celebrate the beauty of this season and transition from the National Cluster Meetings (NCM) to preparation for our 2013 National Leadership Conference in Nashville. Speaking of the Cluster Meetings, here’s a brief update and I thank all four thousand nine hundred total students who participated at the 2012 National Cluster Meetings: 357 in Reno, 1,895 in Indianapolis and 2,648 in Oklahoma City.

With respect to the Skill Demonstration Events held during the Clusters, students from Colorado, Nevada, Indiana and Oklahoma placed first in Culinary Chicken Fabrication; Nevada, Wisconsin, Ohio and Missouri placed first in Culinary Food Art; Nevada, Ohio and Oklahoma placed first in Culinary Knife Skills; New Jersey, Ohio and Kansas placed first in FCCLA Creed Speaking & Interpretation; Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, placed first in Impromptu Speaking; Washington, Nevada, Ohio, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas placed first in Toys that Teach. Congratulations to all who competed and for a complete list of competitors, go the FCCLA Website.

Regarding the Family and Consumer Sciences Knowledge Bowl, fifteen chapters representing 11 states made it to the National Leadership Conference (Level 3) qualifiers: Idaho, Indiana (2), Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio (2), Oklahoma (3), Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.  Congratulations to these teams and we look forward to the competition in July.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Making Your Mark at the National Cluster Leadership Meetin

This last weekend wrapped up the National Cluster Meetings held in Reno, Indianapolis, and Oklahoma City.  Hopefully your chapter was able to attend one of these fantastic meetings.  So now that you have attended, what do you do with the information?  You can kick off a membership drive using those ideas from the Membership Recruitment workshop.  How about those leadership games to revitalize your students for mid-semester blues or to develop some great communication skills?  Of course, STAR Event competitions are just around the corner and you can incorporate some of those projects in your classroom activities.  But, advisers were not the only ones who made their mark.  The Skill Demonstrations competitors showcased their expertise in Culinary Arts, Impromptu Speaking and the new event, Toys that Teach.  Members learned how to develop a sense of humor and appreciate themselves and others and decrease bullying in their communities.  In addition, students and advisers experienced many networking opportunities, made connections with others and gained more new ideas.  So, take those notes, start thinking outside the box, and integrate those ideas in your daily practices.  Have a great holiday and don’t forget to be thankful!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

10 Tips for National Cluster Meetings

Are you attending a National Cluster Meeting in Indianapolis or Oklahoma City this weekend? Make sure to check out the last minute updates and tips before you make the journey with your FCCLA members!

  1. Download the FCCLA App.  Don't miss out on the schedules, updates, and other great features to make you and your students’ lives easier.
  2. Check out the dress code for all conference sessions.  Make sure students, chaperones, and advisers have packed the necessary clothing and will be dressed appropriately.
  3. Bring all receipts and confirmations for hotels and conference registrations.  It is always best to be prepared.
  4. Do not lose your name tag or FCCLA program while at the National Cluster Meeting.  There is a fee to replace both.
  5. Get some sleep.  The weekend will be full of activities and your students will be excited to be there.  Get some sleep now!
  6. Share your experience.  Encourage your students to share their National Cluster Meeting fun on Twitter and Facebook.  You can share too if you are social media savvy!
  7. Visit the exhibits at your National Cluster Meeting site.  Don’t miss out on the FCCLA Store and other great exhibitors.
  8. Keep a positive FCCLA image.  Remember that you and your students are representing the organization everywhere you go, so be on your best behavior.
  9. Make new friends and connections by checking out the Adviser Networking and Youth Networking sessions.
  10. Make Your Mark by attending as many workshops and sessions as you can.  This is a unique opportunity to learn and grow as an adviser and many of your students will never be a part of something like this again.  Take advantage of the experience!

Enjoy the National Cluster Meetings whether you are in Indianapolis or Oklahoma City.  Travel safely, enjoy your students, and Make Your Mark!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

On the Road with FCCLA

Traveling with students can be a great opportunity to get to know students on a new level. With Cluster meetings right around the corner, many students and advisers are getting ready for their first overnight trip together. For some students this may be their first trip without mom and dad. Traveling with a group is very different than traveling with a family. The rules and expectations are different, it is important to have activities planned ahead, share the schedule with everyone and discuss school policies before leaving on the trip.

For advisers, taking students on overnight trips is an enormous responsibility. The behavior of students reflects on the organization, state association, school and community. Meeting with students and their parents prior to leaving for an overnight trip is an important first step for preparing students for the opportunity and to insure that everyone has the same expectations.

Many states require a code of conduct be signed by members; schools require paperwork as well.. Other forms may include medical releases, school contracts and contact information.  Make copies of these items and carry them with you. Discussing what the code of conduct means and school policies with students and their parents will also ensure that students understand what each item means. Making sure students know the consequences of poor behavior prior to the trip may help discourage poor behavior.

An established schedule is also an important component of preparing everyone for the experience. A schedule of conference events, dress code and activities will help everyone enjoy their trip more. It is also discouraging to wait for people who can’t remember what time the bus is leaving, what they are supposed to wear, where they are going or what they will be doing once they get there.

Having extra adults help chaperone can be a blessing or a nightmare.  A chaperone should be someone who knows and has worked with the students prior to leaving on the trip. Teens love to be active and experience everything on their trip; chaperones need to be able to keep up with the young people and not complain or hold them back.

Having traveled with students to several conferences, the best advice is be proactive, get organized, get their digits and learn to text, learn to like their music, help them plan activities to keep them busy and take a nap before you leave. And if you are traveling by bus, don’t always ride in the front of the bus, move around, visit with student and provide them a treat bag!

What are some tips you have discovered when traveling with students?