Philip hosts State FCCLA Leadership Training

FCCLA State Officers ... Back row, from left: State Advisor Julie Bell (Brookings), Megan Krogman (Elkton), Kelley VanWyk (Alcester-Hudson), Abbi Sudtelge (Elkton), Christopher Brockhoft (Winner) and Leadership Trainer Shannon Schweitzer (Pierre). Middle row: Terese Skinner (Mitchell), Tiffany Newman (Faulkton) and Amanda Fischer (Wall). Front row: Katelyn Breen (Baltic) and Frankie Lux (Eureka).

by Del Bartels

"The best thing about the State FCCLA meeting is what happens here," said Julie Bell, this year's state FCCLA advisor. "We develop student leadership skills and how to work as a team."

The 2008 Leadership Training for the Family Career Community Leaders of America was held at the Brucklacher compound near Philip on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 24 and 25. For the past six or seven years, the session has been held on the campus of South Dakota State University. Before that, it had outgrown Black Hills host sites.

"The students and adults wanted to do something different, and to be outside," said Shannon Schweitzer, incoming state FCCLA advisor for next year and current Summer Leadership Trainer. "And, it is a different environment for training."

The 45 students and 22 adults came from all parts of South Dakota. Included were the nine current student state officers elected last spring. Four Wall members attended: Advisor Connie Wolf, State Officer Amanda Fischer, Peer Educator Shayla Johnson and Kelli Wilson. Kim Berry of Belle Fourche, daughter of Robert and Betty Berry of Philip, is the FCCLA Peer Education Coordinator. Brigitte Brucklacher of Philip is this year's host. Becky (Finn) Nelson, originally from Midland but now from Pierre, is the current FACS State Education Representative.

Bell said that members come from different parts of the state and don't know each other. But, they form a team and do so in a relaxed setting. Plus, she said, having the meeting hosted by Philip is good for the Philip economy.

The overall goals of the meeting is for the students to be trained in leadership skills, to plan future FCCLA programs and to determine the main program for the year which will be promoted throughout the next year.

This year's community service project is Feed the Children. If $7,200 is raised, then the Feed the Children organization will send representatives to South Dakota. It does this for only 15 states per year. The supplies provided by Feed the Children will then be further distributed to FCCLA chapters for further distribution to the needy within the state.

South Dakota has nine FCCLA districts, 77 chapters and around 2,100 student members. Philip is in District IX.