In a forty-five minute visit from the Texas FFA State Officer Travel Team, Lanier High agriculture students received an intriguing session with Taylor Shackelford and Peyton Gilbert. To kick-off their travels, the officers made one of their first stops at Lanier in their quest to learn about traditional as well as nontraditional schools before hitting the road and visiting over 300 schools. Peyton and Taylor definitely kept Lanier students entertained and informed about the FFA and all it has to offer.
To recap on what exactly went on during the visit, Peyton and Taylor started their presentation off with the finger game. While most students were a bit confused as to why they were looking up into the air, they became unaware of the ending result as their fingers slowly started to lower and go in a different direction from when they started. Perfectly fitting into the point of this activity the officers taught students of seeing things through a different perspective. Several students were amazed and curious to know more.
During the next activity, four volunteers were called up to the front of the room and everyone was asked to perform a little verse. In doing so, Taylor got four brave volunteers to copy some of his "smooth" moves. After a moment of embarrassment, the volunteers warmed up to the idea of dancing in front of a crowd, especially after seeing Taylor "drop it like it’s hot!" After all the chuckles simmered down, another challenge was presented to everyone in the room. The officers next moved on to the "ball game" where everybody was expected to use just their chest and chins to pass a ball around the circle of people in under two minutes. While a handful of students were unsure about getting that close to another peer, thanks to the chapter and state officers, they warmed up to the idea that's it just a game. It really gave the students a chance to get to know each other and become closer than they ever expected to be with one another. This activity concluded with a short message encouraging FFA members to step outside their comfort zones even when faced with awkward situations.
For the last activity, ten more volunteers were called up to the front of the room, but thanks to the three first activities a lot more students were willing to go up, hence more participation from everyone in the room. Two teams were formed (red and blue) where they needed to see how many balloons could be popped from each team in less than two minutes. In a civil, yet fierce manner, the teams battled it out stomping out each other balloons. When everybody calmed down the officers taught us the point of the activity was to work together. To wrap up the visit, Peyton and Taylor spoke about their FFA stories. The Texas FFA State Officer Travel Team left Lanier High School students with a memorable meeting and message that set the stage for a great year.