Clubs attend conferences

Meredith Comas, Opinions Editor

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While the summer for most students means a break from school, for Manhattan High students on the Debate, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, and FFA teams, summer means just as much hard work as in the school year to prepare and compete in summer conferences.

Over summer break, students involved in these clubs traveled to Birmingham, AL; Nashville TN; and even just down the road to Kansas State University.

The debate team, consisting of sophomores Trinity Brockman and Caden Hickle, as well as senior Martina Hernandez, travelled to Birmingham and Nashville to compete in something fairly new to the Manhattan High debate students, who at the time were new to debate itself.  

“We competed in multiples debate which is most definitely a different style of debate than what we’re used to,” Hernandez said.

Though the team did not do as well as hoped, coming out of competition only winning one out of six tournaments, it was clear a sense of pride was still prominent within the budding team. According to the team, they simply used it as a learning experience, and to bring them closer together as friends as well as a team.

“We really bonded on the trip,” Hernandez said.  

Debate wasn’t the only MHS club to go to “Music City.” FCCLA also traveled to Nashville to volunteer with Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) Events and attend leadership training. Students judged competitions, attended seminars that talked about specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound, or SMART, goals and efficiency, as well as connecting with FCCLA chapters from all over the country.

“Nationals was a blast and I’ll never forget the energy of everyone when I walked into the conference room,” Hailey Eilert, sophomore, said. “It was such an eye opening experience.”

While Debate and FCCLA were traveling far and wide, MHS’ FFA club stayed a little closer to home, only traveling to the K-State campus for the 89th annual FFA State Convention. This year’s convention allowed for members to get more in depth with their Supervised Agricultural Experience, students’ own agricultural experiences, also known as SAEs, as well as bond as a group. The annual ceremony included a music and light show as well as an ice cream and lemonade social for attendees to meet with other FFA officers from different Kansas chapters and discuss the upcoming year. The team as a whole came out of competition as tenth place in Vet Science.  

State FFA convention is such a big event and I think this year it was nice to see Manhattan FFA make more of an appearance there,” FFA Vice President Kelsey Neufeld, senior, said.

Though the teams worked hard for success, they made sure to enjoy themselves and simply have fun being teenagers during summer break. The many MHS clubs used spare time to laugh with friends and bond over games such as the floor is lava, movie nights, attending radio shows, and more.

“The trip was amazing, our chapter really bonded,” Eilert said.  

Overall, the MHS clubs came home with new knowledge, stronger, closer groups and a whole lot of lasting memories from summer 2017.

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Clubs attend conferences