Busy Summer For FFA

2014 Officer retreat
On July 15, 2014 the West Holmes FFA Officer team participated in the annual officer retreat at Smith’s Family Campgrounds. The purpose of the retreat is to plan for the year and conduct team building activities. During the retreat, officers discussed the schedule of events for the upcoming year, evaluated and ranked activities for the chapter, and answered questions about the future of the program. The team also participated in team building and get to know you exercises to develop their teamwork skills with one another. Members were also able to mix in some free time participating in swimming, whiffle ball, and volleyball.

Hannah Schlegel and Chris Sprang discussing items while at the officer retreat

Hannah Schlegel and Chris Sprang discussing items while at the officer retreat

2014 West Holmes annual Hog Roast
On Sunday July 13, 2014 the West Holmes FFA Chapter held its annual FFA/FFA Alumni Hog Roast. Over 70 members, parents, and alumni of the chapter participated in this year’s events. Prior to the meal, members and alumni introduced themselves and their guests. Vice President Morgan Hoxworth gave the invocation and a great meal consisting of a variety of side dishes prepared by the members was consumed. After dinner, softball and cornhole was available for everyone to participate in for the rest of the evening. Thanks to all who attended and to the Ben Hipp family for preparing the hog. Anyone interested in participating in the alumni can contact the West Holmes High School Ag Department for more information.

Ohio Leadership Camp

On June 20th through the 23rd, 2014 West Holmes FFA sent 11 members to camp at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum in Carroll County.


Those who attended were Shyann Kick, Morgan Hoxworth, Terry Medley, Jason Jenkins, Wyatt Mellor, Elise Neville, Hannah Schlegel, Chris Sprang, Kara Leadbetter, Racheal Yerian, and Atlee Miller.


After arriving, campers went to start the fun at camp with grassy games. Campers went with their camp chapter to learn the names of the people within their chapter as well as start playing games to teach leadership and team building in Adventure Valley. After playing grassy games campers headed to flag lowering before eating dinner, then continued to camp instruction.


Rachael Yerian, Elise Neville, and Mandy Taylor participating in camp activities

Rachael Yerian, Elise Neville, and Mandy Taylor participating in camp activities


During camp instruction, campers were taught the rules of camp activities such as how to use the canoes, kayaks, and other water activities and other important rules of camp. After camp instruction, campers had free time to participate in many different camp activities like canoeing, kayaking, swimming, motor boating, and many other activities. Then it was time for the first leadership workshop of camp called “influencers”. During this workshop campers were taught how to be a positive influence to their peers and to recognize good influence from their peers. After the workshop campers had camp chapter chats with their advisor about the next day’s agenda, and then it was time for campfire before heading to their dorms for the night.


On day two, campers attended flag raising before eating breakfast. They attended another workshop on “Relationship Building”. During this workshop campers were given the tools necessary to gain strong relationships with their peers and how to build strong relationships with new people as well. After the workshop, campers had free time to participate in the camp activities before eating lunch. During lunch, campers experienced a Hunger Banquet to allow members to identify issues with hunger in the United States, as well as worldwide. After the Hunger Banquet, campers headed back to the Conference Hall for another workshop on being “trustworthy”.


In this workshop campers were shown the characteristics of being a trustworthy person and how to become a very trustworthy person. After the workshop campers had free time to participate in camp activities before attending flag lowering, then it was time for dinner. After dinner campers participated in Political Renegades which taught campers how they have to work hard for something and that their opinion can be heard in politics if you speak up about what you want changed. After Political renegades, campers had a pizza party before having chapter chats with state officers. In chapter chats, everyone in the chapter introduced themselves and shared something about them, then played games before going to campfire to end day two.


On day three, campers headed out to flag raising and then ate breakfast before going to morning camp clean up. After camp clean up, campers attended a workshop about being “Deliberate”, in this workshop campers recognized their person of influence in their lives and picked out the qualities they want to work towards having one day. After the workshop, campers had the option to go participate in camp activities or try out for the talent show. After free time, campers headed out to the Dining Hall for lunch, then to the next workshop on “Collaborating”. In this workshop, campers were shown how to work together and communicate with one another to achieve their goal. After the workshop, campers headed to their dorms to change into clothes for the beach games.


During beach games, campers participated in the slip and slide, “sponge” dodge ball, and many other games. Then campers headed back to their dorms to get ready for the OLC banquet. Before going into the Dining Hall, flag lowering was held, and then it was time for the OLC banquet. Campers ate dinner, and then recognized all the people that make camp possible and run so smoothly. After the banquet, campers headed outside to have some free time before the talent show. After the talent show was the dance, then it was time to end day three with campfire before going back to the dorms for the night.


On day four, campers awoke and headed to flag raising before eating breakfast, then to morning camp clean up. Then attended the last workshop about being an “agent of change”, in this workshop, campers were given the tools to be the positive influence in other people’s lives, and to understand how to change their own lives positively. After the last workshop, campers had a safe journey home. The chapter would like to thank camp scholarship donors, including the Ohio Farm Bureau for sponsoring them to go to camp this year.


Costa Rica trip 2014
June 12th through the 20th, 2014 Clay Armstrong and Jaime Martin had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica, representing West Holmes FFA Chapter, through the National FFA Travel Seminar Program. Clay Armstrong won the trip as a part of the National FFA proficiency program, where he was a finalist in Forage Production last fall.


On day one, they traveled to Miami where they met with the rest of the participants from across the country. 63 FFA members and advisors were a part of the travel seminar this year.


Clay Armstrong and Jaime Martin at the Hanging Bridges in Costa Rica

Clay Armstrong and Jaime Martin at the Hanging Bridges in Costa Rica


On day two, they departed for San José, Costa Rica and met with their Costa Rican guides, Jenny and Gustavo. The first visit was nearby InBioparque, which is an ecological park that was created by Costa Rica’s Institute Of Biodiversity. They watched an introductory video about Costa Rica before going on a walk along trails that show the different types of Costa Rican forest’s, and then ended the day with a presentation about Costa Rica’s National parks and protected areas.
Day three started with a trip to La Paz Waterfall gardens, butterfly observatory, and hummingbird garden. The group was able to interact with birds and insects before hiking through six different waterfalls. After La Paz, the group departed for Dole Banana farms where they watched the basic operations of the farm including growing, harvesting, and packing bananas. The tour host also gave the group an indepth description of the history of Costa Rica, as well as how banana plants grow. The banana farm was Clay’s favorite tour on the trip.


The fourth day, the highlight of the trip for Mrs. Martin, included visiting Finca Corsicana and whitewater rafting. Finca Corsicana is the pineapple plantation owned by Collins Street Bakery of Corsicana, Texas. At the plantation, they learn about the history of the plantation and the phases of pineapple growth. They were also able to eat pineapple fresh from the field. After the pineapple plantation, they went to the Sarapiqui River to take a white water rafting trip. The 2 ½ hour trip through the rain forest included level two and three rapids.


Day five started at the Arenal Hanging Bridges. The bridges are made to blend in with the environment and allow a guided nature walk into the heart of the rainforest. The trail travels through a series of six bridges, continuing upwards in height to a maximum bridge height of nearly 200 feet. The group saw many bird species, wild hogs, and a few poisonous snakes. The tour continued to the Don Fernando beef farm. At Finca Ganadera de Carnes Don Fernando farm, the group was able to see the high quality livestock that is grown for meat production. The Don Fernando farm raised Brahman and Simbrah (Simmental Brahman cross) cattle for meat production. The cattle were raised using intensive grazing practices and fed a citrus pulp supplement. The group finished the day with several hours in the hot springs on the side of a volcano.


ay six was a beach day and catamaran cruise. The group travelled to the Pacific coast for a day in the sun. The cruise was through the Gulf of Nicoya to Isla Tortuga to enjoy lunch and relax on the beaches. Group members were also able to snorkel on the island.


Day seven was a free day to spend at the pool or go zip lining in the rain forest, which Clay chose to do.


Day eight included a tour of a coffee plantation. The group stopped at Naranjo for the Espiritu Santa Coffee tour. Here they learn about the tradition and history of coffee and how it relates to Costa Rica. They were able to taste many different coffee blends and see coffee being roasted and packed for shipping.


Day nine was a full day of travel from Costa Rica back to Miami and then home to Millersburg.


First session FFA camp
June 2nd through 6th, 2014 West Holmes FFA sent 13 members to FFA Camp Muskingum in Carroll County. This year’s theme was Indiana Jones Themed, campers got to do scavenger hunts to find as many of the items they were assigned to do to beat other camp chapters.


Members who attended camp were Jordan Jenkins, Lyndsey Davis, Lexi Kinstle, Kara Leadbetter, Victoria Eggers, Coven Mullet, Tim Cox, Patrick Schlabach, Racheal Yerian, Bryce Kelley, Dylan Harsh, Harlie Spurlock, and Mosey Schlabach.


Rachael Yerian and Harlie Spurlock participating in camp activities

Rachael Yerian and Harlie Spurlock participating in camp activities


At camp campers participated in many different team building activities, workshops, and fun activities. Some of the activities campers participated in were swimming, kayaking, canoeing, motor boating, shotgun, rifle, archery, team sports and tournaments, a water carnival, campfires, a dance, and a talent show. Campers also participated in workshops to learn about team building, leadership skills, and how to work hard towards your goals. During camp a hunger banquet was presented, to emphasize the problem with world hunger and the challenge of hunger issues in the United States.


Campers were presented with information and statistics about hunger in the US and were then asked to hold group discussions on the issue. Guest speaker Dave Cahout spoke to campers about the importance of being themselves, as well as living a drug and alcohol free lifestyle. Thank you to all of our camp scholarship donors, who generously support members attending camp each year.