At registration we received our name tags and a ton of free stuff! T-shirts, water bottles, and goodies galore were to be put in our nice new NFHS bags. We also saw the stacked boxes that held the names of the 32 other states that are here and also saw that there are leaders here from Canada, eh! After we got our rooms, which are about as far from slumming it as you can get, we took in the view from the 12th floor and headed out to town. In Indianapolis we took in the sights and had a nice meal at Qdoba, which we all enjoyed thoroughly. Napping and Malcolm in the Middle took up the time until we headed to dinner at 6. We found out numerous times that Connecticut is R-E-D H-O-T, while we waited for our fantastic chicken sandwiches.
After dinner it was time for the opening ceremony, which was an unbelievable experience. The opening speaker set the stage after representatives from each state (and providence, eh) carried in their respective flags. We left this up to our trusty Courtney, who proudly donned the red, black, white, and yellow of the Maryland flag. The leader of the ceremony Elliot Hopkins, kicked things off with a concert-like entrance and firm lay down of the rules and expectations of all of us. Following him was where the night really took a turn for the best.
Harvey Alston, a renowned public speaker and motivational author made a presentation that blew all of us away. His steps to success for us, "the future", were some that made even the adult leaders step back and contemplate the purpose of our mission. We truly think that there is no way that we will be able to leave this conference without learning a great deal about ourselves and what we can bring back to our team and community.
Following that we broke off to our small group and were able to unite with Ohio, Kentucky, and Delaware to get a little closer with each other and break down all that Harvey said. We were able to learn names and important things about those states and about each other. Now we're off to hang out at the unbelievable T-Mobile lounge that has accessible sidekicks, 50 in. flat screens, and laptops to keep us connected. Games and popcorn don't hurt anyone either!
Busy day tomorrow, but we will try to keep in touch! Thanks again for everything and trust in us that we will come back with loads to teach the community.
Sincerely your Maryland Delegation,
Paige Puller, Courtney Jarvis, Alex Eckard,
Josh Yates, Martha Jacobs, and Lyndse Hokanson