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Couch FFA members spread "Viral Leadership" at Camp Rising Sun

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Nine members of the Couch FFA Chapter recently attended the Missouri State FFA Leadership Camp at Camp Rising Sun on Lake of the Ozarks. Pictured left to right: William Hannah, Preston Morgan, Shawn Murdock, Jacob Hannah, Shon Sorrell, Weston Czerwonka, Jami Halley, Jasmine De Los Reyes, and Keenan Rader. [Order this photo]
Each summer, over 1200 Missouri FFA members from across the state gather at Camp Rising Sun, located on the banks of Lake of the Ozarks, to work on their leadership skills, meet new people, and have some fun in the sun. The Missouri State FFA Camp is sponsored by the Missouri FFA Association and is hosted and run by current and former Missouri State FFA Officers. The camp, in Lake of the Ozarks State Park, takes place over a six week period, with participating chapters attending for one of those six weeks. Not all chapters are eligible to attend State FFA Camp each year, and all chapters wanting to attend must go through a careful selection process in order to be able to attend. There are over 24,000 Missouri FFA members, so being one of the few individuals selected to represent your local FFA Chapter at Camp Rising Sun is a great honor.

This summer, nine members of the Couch FFA Chapter were selected to attend State FFA Camp -- Shawn Murdock, Jasmine De Los Reyes, William Hannah, Jacob Hannah, Preston Morgan, Weston Czerwonka, Keenan Rader, Shon Sorrel, and Jami Halley. Also attending FFA Camp was Couch FFA Advisor Jerrod Lawrence. Although the weather was extremely hot throughout the entire week, everyone had a blast during their stay at Camp Rising Sun.

The theme for this summer's FFA Camp was "Viral Leadership" and, while there, students worked to develop their leadership and communication skills. They also received training in teamwork, time management, and other personal skills. All leadership activities at the camp are designed to help students grow as individuals and to help them become better leaders in their local FFA chapters, schools, and communities.

While leadership training and personal development are primary focuses of the State FFA Camp, students are also given ample time to kick back and enjoy themselves. Recreational activities that students could participate in included: swimming, archery, water skiing, fishing, boating, softball, basketball, volleyball, trapshooting, a dance, and numerous competitions between other FFA Chapters and cabins. Also, the last night of camp, students got the opportunity to attend the Main Street Opry in downtown Lake of the Ozarks. At the opry, students got to watch talented performers sing classic rock songs from the fifties through the nineties. Students stayed busy throughout their entire stay at FFA Camp, and were worn out by the end of the week.

On the last day of the week-long camp an awards assembly was held to recognize individual students for their hard work and success at Camp Rising Son. One of the awards was the All Around Camper Award, given to one student from each FFA Chapter to recognize their hard work, good sportsmanship, positive attitude, and for setting a good example for other students to follow. This year's Couch FFA All Around Camper was Shawn Murdock. Overall, the 2012 Missouri State FFA Camp was a great experience for FFA members. Students learned many new skills they can take back and implement in the Couch FFA Chapter. They got to meet new people, make new friends, and become better leaders. To top it all off, they had a lot of fun throughout the entire week, and are already looking forward to next year's Missouri State FFA Camp.

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