It finally feels real. All of the trainings we have attended in the last three months have been referencing the point in the year when we finally get to serve the members of Oregon FFA. We had talked about how excited we were to write workshops for Leadership Camps or about how we couldn’t wait to build lasting connections with members from all over the state. At the time, those things felt so far away. As I packed my suitcase for the first District Leadership Camp of the year, I realized that the time we had all been preparing for was finally here. As I loaded my things into my truck, all I could say to myself was, “Snake River District, here we come…”

The last few weeks have been all about preparing for District Leadership Camps. Writing and editing workshops using the “magic formula” that we learned at base camp training, writing and memorizing flag-raising ceremonies, and developing an impactful camp reflection have all helped us prepare for the opportunities ahead. During the last few days in May, the team and I attended Facilitation Training in Corvallis. We learned the science behind writing impactful workshops and how to deliver those workshops effectively. 

As I spent more time laminating camp resources on a single Monday morning than I even knew was possible, I realized the importance of good preparation. Preparation is the key to success. There has never been a championship-winning sports team that didn’t practice, and it’s hard to get into a prestigious university without working hard in high school. I think Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Oregon FFA, sometimes there are things you can’t control in life, but the effort you put into preparation is not one of those things. Preparation doesn’t always guarantee success, but at least you can come out with your head held high, knowing that you did your best. After all, your best is all you can ask for.

Always at your service, 

Ryan P. Mizee

2023-2024 Oregon FFA State Secretary