Saturday, October 13, 2012

Congress!! (Part One)

It was that time of year again! Time for NC 4-H Congress. Congress is a favorite each and every year. It's held on campus of NC State and an experience like no other. Many firsts, moments that made you just smile, cry, bust out laughing and sometimes want to hide behind someone bigger. (Not hard to do when you're only 5'2"!) All in all it was a special week only made possible through 4-H, and that includes everyone in the simplest yet most meaningful way.
First things first... HUGS!! Monday is the wonderfully anticipated day that we get there and the real first thing on the list is AIRE. Application, Interview, Resume and Essay. We worked alongside Mrs. Arbie for this and she was such a good coach. I couldn't believe the results...Get to that in a minute. The deal with AIRE is that you do a ton of work that gets you ready for things ahead in your future and then as a result you have the opportunity to win a national trip through 4-H. Anna and I applied for the same trip, National Conference. You get to go to Washington D.C. and learn more about how the political process works on a much larger scale. You also get to interact with youth from all over the U.S.A. and tell them about NC and what our teens are facing. I went in, tried my best, and apparently I did a good job! I scored a 98 out of a possible 100. Anna did a great job as well but she didn't place in national conference. Instead she placed in national congress, a trip more intended for the fun of it. It is gonna be in Atlanta Georgia in November. Monday we also got to connect with everyone, Ah! So exciting. I just love seeing everyone and looking at what we're all doing. Monday night was time to see our new Honor Club members. Brooke got in!! Joseph got in!! Cody got in!! Maggie got in!! 
Tuesday was presentation day. Much awaited lemmie tell ya. 5 of our 7 kids competed on a state level this year. That's some Venturini power right there! Anna and I were competing -in different categories!- for a trip to the National Poultry Expo in Kentucky. We were so excited! Anna's presentation was on egg cookery and she made french toast. Like a natural she paced 1st and won the trip to KY. Mine was outdoor cookery and I was grilling a turkey tenderloin. I placed 3rd in the state, it was tough competition. Moving down the line, Alyse's presentation was on wet lands and although she did not place we know there's more from her to come next year. Malachi's was on deer jerkey and he placed 3rd. Lucca had a good presentation on a hearing study he had done for school and he placed 3rd as well. We did awesome if ya ask me! 
Tuesday Night 
Tuesday night something BIG happened. Instead of running for a district office at Teen Retreat we had to run at congress. Whew! Talk about nervous. Moving to a new district is hard enough but getting up there and wanting people ya don't really know to vote for you is nerve racking. So that night we set up our booths, me and Anna were both running as well as a great number of our friends. It was a tough year. I can say - with great excitement- that Anna is our new VP for the North Central District and a good friend Jacob is Reporter! It's gonna be a great year. Some people did a fantastic job and should run again next year, this includes: Wyatt, and Sophie.  As for me, I have plans to run again...Khalil and I are gonna take em by storm! There was also a dance this night. It was a blast! An awesome way to calm down and unwind after a stressful day with people who mean something to you. haha I also found out that I would be bringing home a fury friend... :) Unfortunately the dance was called off because some delightful teen decided to call the university police...Twice! Gotta love it. 
Wednesday was a day of service and being recognized. I went to the service project with most of my county to package food for needy families while Anna went to a special donor's luncheon where she was awarded for placing 1st with a cumulative record. A cumulative record is a project record book that is 3 years worth put together.  Then it was time to vote on State Officers. So many ran this year! Dallas, Hannah, Nathan and Luke will be serving as our Officers this year, and they are an amazing team, I think they will meet up to this past year's officers. To Guy, Laura, and Spencer: Yall know that your awesome people who will change the world! I would love to see yall try again next year, love you all. After that we had some free time and went to the mall. Yup, that's my time to go, about once a year haha. It was a blast, we hung out with Brooke, sadly it's her last year! Ahh! Couldn't stand that. 
Wednesday Night 
Always something so special and just something to look forward to is the formal dance on Wednesday night. This year Anna and I wore actual "formal" dresses! Eeep. This was exciting seeing as we don't have a prom or anything. Everyone looked so beautiful- and handsome - dressed up for the occasion. Most were praying that the "police caller" wouldn't be present, they were not. :) I always love this part of congress because it's the time when all those feelings you have had all week are tossed to the side. There are whoops and hollars, shouts of pure shock, and a lifetime of laughing. Sometimes there will be random tears or bursts of laughter but that's because of all of us being together and knowing that we've helped each other through the week. It's just a moment in time to forget everything and just dance. Ya Dance because your happy, because your making memories, and dance because someone else needs a dance partner. Jacob asked me to dance for his officer dance, and that was special, loved it. Then Nathanael and I had a good a weird song, but good all the same. Anna got out there in the very beginning, dress held up, shoes kicked off, and was tearin up the floor for Cotton Eyed Joe!! It was amazing. After the dance was the clover ceremony. When we all get a candle and make a huge clover around our incoming district and state officers as they promise to lead us to the best of their ability. I loved being beside Alyse and Ruth watching as they lit Anna's candle. Special moments that mean the world. 
Well that brings us to the end of congress. We had workshops to go to Thursday morning as well as AIRE applicants to be called up. I've kinda spoiled that in the beginning but here are some people going with me to D.C. Joseph, Cody, Nathan, Rosa, and Margo. And then here are some going with Anna: Sophie, and Anna Marie. At the lunch Thursday was the time to say the good-byes, get the last photos, hugs, and asking how we can keep up with each other. It was a week that I wouldn't miss for anything. I absolutely love it and can't wait for next year...some pretty big plans are in the making for 2013 for myself and friends. 

Call me maybe...Wyatt and Allyson's SONG! Love the face :P

Bad photos, I know, but Jacob and Anna giving their speeches for district office campaigns. 

Brooke awaiting to find out if she has made the Honor Club...
No sweat, she did :)

Joseph also made us proud by receiving the Honor Club member ribbon! Laura and Spencer giving their speeches for State Officer Campaigns.
This was me and anna's table for our campaigns. It was good meeting new people from the North Central District while telling them about ourselves. Thank Yous belong to Brooke, Ethan, Khalil, Nathanael and Madalyn!!

Brooke wore a shirt I had made for my campaign. Beautiful as always. Khalil wore one for Anna that she had made.
Guy putting up posters for his State Officer Campaign with
Cody and Ethan.
Brooke and Victor ! Precious. 
Oh the things you can get into at the Mall! Small town girls having a blast,
Anna and Brooke showing style. Below is Brooke playing dead while anna

Oh Wow, look at these! How cool! Should have wore these
to the dance that night. 

There was just so much coolness around us 4.... Can you tell ?

Guy's campaign booth, It was all honey bees!! Love it and then
Brooke and anna are with him. Anna was in his skit so she's
dressed like a honey bee.  :) 
:)  NC State WOLFPACK  (:
Anna looking beautiful for her donor luncheon.
Okay so a favorite thing at congress? Football! Even some Agents get in on this.
Example: Mason!!! Love how he's also in the boots, needless to say, he made the touchdown.
Khalil! He was beastin it, just look at how high he got.

Maggie's hair Parlor was open! haha She did do our hair for
the formal dance and it was amazingly done. Love her!!

Election time! Cody and Brooke were helping out so was Anna- Marie and Allie below. 

Brooke and me both before the dance :) Can't believe how wonderful we all looked and how great the night turned out! Brooke wasn't leaving without her comfortable toms to dance in and I took my boots.
Lincoln County in all their formal clean up. Wyatt, Guy, Cody, Joseph, Emma, April and Ruth. 
Anna at her reserved seat for being a district officer!! That was so special. 
Anna down there about to light up her candle saying that she will serve North Central District 4-H to the best of her ability. This was one of the beautiful moments of Congress. Follow the Gleam!!
Maggie in the silver dress, she looked so nice and Margo beside her in the white dress. 
Wilkes and Lincoln county are never far apart. Alyse and Ruth waiting on the candles. 
Cody as part of the Honor club stem...with green pants. 
Nathanael, Guy and Wyatt....and some random guy who was
 not getting left out of this photo haha.
Hard to capture this moment, but it really is special and amazing and depending on who
you're standing with it's also one of those moments that ya tear up.
Brooke!! We are going to miss you so much, Wilkes 4-H won't be the same without you and you know it. Years with you were unforgettable and we look forward to hearing how you conquer the rest of your life like you did 4-H. Can't wait to be with you again next year, and the times you come back!! :) 

Jacob, me, Anna, and Danial aka Springsteen. 
Great peoples! Maggie, Anna, Shunkie, me, and Cody. 

Workshops on Thursday were so much fun...Natasha on the left and Nathanael on up top.
Part of Guy's skit for State Officer.
On the left is North Carolina's 4-H State Officers: Nathan, Hannah, Dallas, and Luke.
On the right is North Carolina's 4-H State Officers who did a fantastic job and set the stage: Bryan, Allyson, Talor and Justin.