By Carrie Knight
Two years of preparation and planning has finally come to fulfillment for the members of student council. November 2, 3, and 4 Red Lion hosted 1,000 students statewide.
“I have never seen a group of leaders so dedicated and passionate about working for two years straight on a conference that was going to directly benefit 1,000 students from across the state.” said Jacob Franciscus, the current president of student council, and state co-chair. “The council has become family within the past two years...I am so proud of every single one of them.”
Students from schools all over the state entered the commons to greetings from the Red Lion cheerleaders while they registered the first evening. Guests had the opportunity to play games including life sized battle ship, compete on the six inflatables in the old gym, explore colleges from around the state and check out clubs, including a demonstration from the robotics club.
Steve Spangler, STEM expert and keynote speaker, entertained a jam-packed Fitzkee Center at a general session. Spangler has been featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show, performing science experiments that show the fun of science.
PASC President, Red Lion sophomore Gianna Dovell, spoke at Thursday’s general session as she encouraged students “to pull themselves out of the weeds.”
The message was created around the theme for the day, “Becoming Greater than our Fears.” The Red Lion Marching Band also performed during this time.
That evening, attendees were provided dinner by a variety of food trucks from local restaurants including Roburritos. Shortly following, the students were bused to Maize Quest in Southern York County to spend the evening lost in the corn field.
Workshops had conference’s theme “Every Problem has a Solution” and helping schools to build stronger leaders and a stronger council. Topics included events a council holds, and personal ones like becoming a better team player.
During lunch shifts, students cycled through a STEM Summit. Students and teachers volunteered their time to help the Stem Cycle run smoothly by assisting with science experiments. Attendees conducted experiments from making slime to dissecting cow eyes.
The Red Lion Cheerleaders kicked off the second general session with a performance featuring cheers and a dance. T
Friday’s motivational speaker, Kevin Wanzer, a comedian who encouraged kids to “Find the Funny,” spoke about experiences in his life that could have been upsetting, however he choose to look at the bright side.
Emilee Cutler, one of the two co-chairs for the conference gave a speech during Friday’s general session focused on the day’s concept, “Turn the Negatives into Positives.”
Members from the Red Lion council, as well as the council’s from around the state, attended a banquet and dance Friday evening at The York Expo Center’s Memorial Hall. Saturday, was the last day of the three-day conference. Students attended the last general session and then departed for home.
The Red Lion Madrigal performed during the third general session. Harriet Turk, a former probation and self-declared teen expert, spoke about believing in oneself. Jacob Franciscus spoke about “Being Inspired,” and how he grew as a person from the beginning of high school to now, and how his two best friends are the reason he is the person he is today.
“States was the most amazing experience and I loved getting to see all of the council's hard work pay off,” said Emilee Cutler. “We had so many good reviews of the conference and it was without a doubt the most educational weekend of my life.”
After the last session, members of the council were washed over by mixed emotions, proud of their peers, relieved they had made it so far, but also sad to see the excitement has come to an end.