WOW! That’s all I can say about these past few weeks of summer. Going to camp for the last time was an unforgettable experience. I made new friends, reconnected with old ones, and strengthened the bond with my own council. Each day brought new challenges and adventures for all campers to face, and I loved every single second of it. Whether it was doing chants with my council, swallowing (accident) the mystery drink, rehearsing for the talent show, designing a council badge, pulling an all-nighter on the last night (Thanks Mr. Sneed and Mr. Barbee!!), or experiencing my last candlelight and council star session, every moment has a place in my heart. When I looked around at the other campers during the candlelight ceremony, I had a bittersweet feeling. I knew that it was my last few hours of being a camper, but I saw so much potential in the campers around me. At that moment, I knew that TASC had a bright future, and I hope to stay a part of it for as long as everyone will have me!
After 0 hours of sleep, 3:30 AM Thursday night of camp came quickly. On the drive to the airport, I couldn’t help but miss my TASC family. Arriving at the National Association of Student Councils (NASC) conference at Rio Rancho High School in New Mexico was a major shock. I knew absolutely no other students. Not a soul. It also didn’t help that I had lost my voice from camp. After awkwardly eating lunch with Illinois, I made it my goal to meet the other state presidents. I saw Georgia (who I roomed with as well), so I went and talked to them, and soon enough, they became my family. After this, other states (South Carolina, Virginia, and Oregon) took me in as one of their own as well, with some even standing for me during the presentation of state flags. Even though I was all alone, I learned that student council family extends far beyond the borders of Tennessee.
NASC was packed full of great speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities. I learned so much, and it has made me so excited for our workshops and convention. I also encourage all TASC schools to attend SASC this October in Louisiana to represent Tennessee! I believe SASC is just as amazing as NASC was, and it is the best opportunity for us to come together as a state to show everyone else how great TASC really is! Next year, NASC will be held in Portland, Oregon. I know the future president will go (Tip: Get TASC T-Shirts made for you to trade), but I also encourage anyone else that wants to experience it to go for it because I know the Oregon Association of Student Councils will do a spectacular job.
On the last night of NASC, they also had a candlelight ceremony. During it, I stopped thinking about what the speaker was saying, but rather my own journey in student council instead. I remember walking into Ravenwood in 2013 barely knowing what TASC stood for. The journey TASC and Student Council have taken me on is incredible. No other group or organization has blessed me with as many friends, memories, and once in a lifetime experiences as Student Council has. It still amazes me that the one little awkward freshman from a school that no one had ever heard of could go so far with this organization. This organization truly changes lives. My time with TASC is coming to a close, but I will do everything I can to build it up before the coming workshops and convention. Until then, I’ll be counting down the days until I see my TASC family once again!
Unicoi County High School
TASC President 2015-2016