You probably remember when I was in high school I would always talk about my latest sewing project for FCCLA. I participated in the Illinois regional and state competitions and looked forward to each with great anticipation. FCCLA was a way that I could identify myself as a teenager, and ultimately became my inspiration in deciding to become a family and consumer sciences (the old home economics) teacher. ✂️
Wait, hold on… what is FCCLA?
“Family, Career and Community Leaders of America is a national Career and Technical Student Organization that provides personal growth, leadership development, and career preparation opportunities for students in Family and Consumer Sciences education.” (http://www.fcclainc.org/)
In my personal preparation to become a family and consumer sciences teacher, I took a practicum teaching class winter semester. This class prepared me to be a teacher, and gave me the chance to teach in a real High School! As part of the class we were highly encouraged to also participate in the state FCCLA competition/conference. There are many types of events that students participate in there, some are specifically culinary skills, some are about service in the community, others are about creating innovative solutions, or designing new products, etc. Because we are in the collegiate level we could only participate in the Star events, so most of us chose to do the “teach and train” competition. 👩🏼🏫
In the Teach and Train event we each created a portfolio from the the lesson plans that we used when teaching in Central High School. The directions were pretty specific which I was thankful for, so that I knew how to lay it out. I also created a display that I would use as I did the oral presentation to the Judges.
Lucky for us the whole trip was paid for by the school because it was not written in the course description before the semester started. So when I say everything was paid for, I literally didn’t spend a dime. Hotel, food, FCCLA competition fees, travel. Everything. So there was no stress involved on how we would pay for it or fund raisers or anything. Shout out to the Home and Family department at BYU-Idaho! 🙌🏼
The Trip- Boise or Bust!
Here’s the crazy thing. This field trip was in the middle of finals week, which made things difficult I had to get all my other tests and projects done BEFORE the trip. So that was a little nuts, I’m still shaking my head that I was able to complete everything. Seriously not sure how. 🙏🏼 Anyways we (about 12 of us) left early Wednesday morning and headed to Boise, Idaho in two minivans. (Every time someone says “Boise” all I can think of is this scene from the Singles Ward.) Boise is a long drive from Rexburg; I think it took us about 5 hours to get there. Thankfully our sweet teacher, Sister Chavez, and her husband were the marathon drivers for us. On the way we hit up Wendy’s for some lunch. We made it there in time for our meetings and a little down time before we could check in to our rooms. Where we all took naps, later we went to the mall for some Panda Express diner before our evening meetings. It was cute we all went around the table and read our fortunes. Mine said; “The world is ready to receive your talents- don’t hold back”. 😇
That night was the opening ceremony where we were able to hear about the need for FCS jobs, meet the state officers, be inspired by the words of some military veterans, and start the excitement for the week! That evening we participated in a service project with all of the other schools involved to make care packages for the soldiers and write them letters. 🇺🇸 It is always nice to do something to help others, especially the troops! We were all exhausted because of all that was going on, but we ended the evening with a group meeting that helped us to get to know each other better.
Thursday morning we woke up to a nice simple breakfast that our teacher had prepared for us. This is the day we all had to compete in our specific events. In the mean time there were different workshops and activities provided that we were able to attend. I went to one with some friends about food sensory testing done by University of Idaho. There was one I wish I could have gone to called “Dress for Success” by Men’s Warehouse all about looking nice for interviews. There was a rock wall from the National Guard some of our class did too. Lots of cool stuff going on all day.
As for competing, thankfully my time wasn’t until afternoon. I had plenty of time to practice my oral presentation and tweak some things on my portfolio before it was my turn. 👩🏼💻 You could tell that we all did our best and everyone seriously put their heart into this as a final project for the semester. We were all a little nervous to go in, but very supportive to one another. The judges were nice but you could tell they were getting tired from listening to so many presentations. They asked good questions, and gave nice feedback too.
My presentation was on the lesson I taught about grains. 🥐🍞🥜🥖🥞🍿 They really liked the “water bottle flip” game I did as a review activity with the students. I think my presentation went well, but I didn’t like how focused they were on the fact that my lesson was so many pages of the textbook. (Because that was what I was assigned, whatever though, it’s good.)🤦🏼♀️
Thursday afternoon once everyone had finished with the judges we took a spontaneous trip to the Boise Zoo! Sister Chavez was so sweet to pay our admission too. It was a little rainy out so the zoo was empty of people but the animals were active. 🌧☔️ We all ran around enjoying every minute because at this point our finals were done, and we didn’t have anything else to stress about. We all enjoyed taking a bunch of silly pictures. It was seriously so fun!🐅🐆🐘🐊🐢🦍
And if the evening couldn’t get any better, we ended up eating at Olive Garden for a nice sit down dinner with the whole group. I got the lasagna and it was delicious, no shame either for eating the whole thing! Haha. It was great to just talk with everyone and wind down a little.
The next day, Friday, was supposed to have a 5k race in the morning. 🏃🏼♀️ But sadly it was cancelled because of the flooding along the route. I still showed up and got the participation ribbon. All my classmates and I got to be judges for the Idaho state events. Not to brag, but I got to judge the best event of all… Cupcake decorating! 🍰 It was also the longest to judge because they made the cupcakes right there in front of us. But yes, I got to sample them all. 👩🏼🍳 The fun thing about that is my sister, Rebecca, was also participating in the FCCLA cake decorating the same day- but in Illinois. So we were both FCCLA cake girls on the same day, except many miles apart! (Here is a picture of her cake- she won Gold and best in show! so proud!)
After judging we took a much needed lunch break at McDonalds before checking out of the hotel. Then all we had left to do was go to the awards ceremony so we could know how we did with the judges. It was a long wait because the system wasn’t all that organized, and the anticipation was killing us a little. But we all did really well! 5 of our girls are even going to nationals! Most of us (including me) got ranked silver, so I’m really proud os us! 🥈
After some awards photos we began the journey back to Rexburg, but the cool thing is that I was able to see 2 new temples on this trip! (Boise and Twin Falls) On the way back we ate at this sandwich place in Twin called McCallister’s it was seriously delicious, and exactly what I needed in my belly. 😋 We got back to Rexburg maybe 10:15ish. It was such a fun trip and flew by so quickly. It really helps to see both the participant side and the judging side of FCCLA for when I become an FCS teacher. 👩🏼🏫 When I become a teacher I will encourage my students to participate in FCCLA. What a great organization to help students build confidence, and develop leadership and technical skills!
Thanks to everyone that made this trip possible. Seriously. Sister Chavez did so much behind the scenes so that we could have this experience, I cannot begin to count all the things that she has done! ⭐️ Department of Home and Family at BYUI paid for the whole trip, Central High School let us teach in their classroom. All of my classmates for sharing their photos and being so FUN! A million thank yous to all involved! 💥