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Awards for the Keystone Kids

Awards+for+the+Keystone+Kids

2020 started off right with the Pennsylvania Farm Show.  At the beginning of every year, people file into the Farm Show Complex to see all the attractions and events. Pennsylvania is proud to host the largest indoor agricultural exposition under one roof in the nation, but for certain students of the Conococheague FFA Chapter it is a great day of celebration.

 Members of the Conococheague FFA Chapter are able to get rewards to help their journeys in later agriculture paths. Two of the rewards you can get at the Farm Show are the Keystone Degrees and new members can get their FFA Jackets.

“It felt a lot like graduation,” said Faith Mitchell (12). “ We had to walk across the stage to get our awards.”

Eight members of the chapter earned awards, four receiving their Keystone Degrees and four got their jackets. The Keystone Degrees is the highest degree that can be bestowed on an FFA member at the state-level. The four recipients of the degree were Adrianna Durboraw (12), Rachel Martin (12), Faith Mitchell (12), and Colby Shingler (12). The first-year jacket recipients were Chloe Cook (9), Kristin Oberholtzer (9), Zane Ocker (10), and Connor Stine (9). 

“My initial reaction was excitement to getting my jacket,” said Zane Ocker (10).

When achieving these awards, a lot of work goes into them. The Keystone Degree recipient, must have demonstrated leadership abilities, as well as  earning or productively investing at least $1,000 or working at least 300 hours in a supervised agricultural experience program. When getting the FFA jackets, students  have to fill out an application on why they should get their jacket and how they are going to use it in their FFA journey. The significance of all of these awards are pushing students forward in your journey to success and never stop trying to get what you want. 

What does Thanksgiving Mean To Our Students?

Picture this: sitting around the table, glorious food steaming hot, smelling as delicious as can be with all your favorite people. Now, what are you thinking of? Maybe you are thinking of Thanksgiving, the meal before hunting season, or the good eating right before you wake up super early to go Black Friday shopping. 

While the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621,  Thanksgiving was not an official holiday until 1863. While the meaning of Thanksgiving has always been to celebrate blessings and nourishment, there have been some other meanings to Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving originally was celebrated when the Pilgrims first harvest in the New World had ended. To our JB students it means something different to everyone. 

To about 53 percent of our students, Thanksgiving means spending lots of time with family.  

“My family cooks all year round, I only hunt occasionally, shopping at this time of year is nuts, and family is just what thanksgiving is for,” said Faith Mitchell (12). 

Spending time with family is very important to our students at JB. 

“ I love spending time with family. It’s a great time to catch up with family you haven’t seen or talked to for a while. It is also a great time to make jokes and get good laughs in with the family,” stated Adrianna Duboraw (12).

 Thanksgiving isn’t just about being thankful for the things you have in life, it’s about the people who you are surrounded by that make life great for you. 

Like the rest of America, our students love to eat, therefore some feel that the food at Thanksgiving is most prominent.

“The amazing food (means the most) because it’s the one day of the year where you can eat and eat and not be judged,” said Alyssa Sensinger (11 ).

Part of Thanksgiving is the food and eating with people you love but being able to eat and not be self-conscious because this holiday only comes once a year. On Thanksgiving the average American consumes 4,500 calories.

While not everyone is a fan of hunting season, some of our students say Thanksgiving means the start of hunting season and all that hunting entails.

 “During hunting season, I spend a lot of time with my immediate family and enjoy being out in nature seeing God’s beautiful creation,” Madalyn Akers (11) said.

Hunting isn’t just about shooting a deer it’s about the bonds that are made between the people who hunt together. 

“I really love hunting, the time with my pap and the jokes we make are memories I’ll cherish forever, but it’s also a chance to get some deer meat,” Rachel Martin (12) said. 

Hunting, spending time with family, and eating are very popular but another favorite around Thanksgiving is shopping. In preparation for Christmas we have Black Friday that most everyone knows occurs on the day after Thanksgiving. 

To Jenna Yeager (9), shopping is most important around Thanksgiving. She said, “Being a teenager and not having a job makes it hard getting Christmas gifts for people without any deals. I love Black Friday because I can get gifts for my family without going bankrupt.” 

One thing that every meaning of Thanksgiving has in common is spending time with other people. Whether it be family or friends, no matter what you are doing you are hardly ever doing it alone. “You can’t find enjoyment in any meaning of Thanksgiving unless you are surrounded by people you love.” Benjamin Glessner (11) said. 

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Adrianna Duboraw