One of the most exciting trips I have ever had was the 2009 Florida HOSA State Leadership Conference. I did not exactly travel a long distance but I traveled three hours to Orlando Florida. HOSA (Health Occupations Students of Students of America) is a club that I am a member of in my school. The state leadership conference is a time when HOSA members all around Florida gather, converse, meet and greet, meet the state officers, and engage in the competitions.
The competition I was competing in was Creative Problem Solving. This was basically a competition where you use prior knowledge, creativity, and information proviided for you in order to solve and present a problem. I was completely focused on the competition, although I did not think my team members were as focused as I was. This was my first competition and I took it completely seriously. I was focused, studying, researching, reading, and making sure that i knew everything about the problem solving process.
Whenever I was not studying I was having the time of my life in Orlando. Fortunately, we stayed in the Doubletree Hotel and every place that we would have wanted to go was in walking distance. We went to Walgreens as soon as we got settled just to walk around and take pictures. We were so excited to be in Orlando and at our first state conference that we had the Walgreens’ employees taking pictures of us in the middle of the store. Everyone was laughing and having a good time.
Unfortunately, we had a midnight curfew and our meeting did not end until around 11:30. We had not eaten dinner before that event and decided earlier that day to order pizza and split the price. This was probably the biggest mistake our school made in the entire trip. Certain people took more than they bought and not everybody received the amount of food they bought. The seniors decided to go get food somewhere else ten minutes before curfew. They were late for their curfew and it was almost the end of their trip. Thankfully, only our teachers caught them and they only got lectured.
I felt weird on this trip because none of my close friends were around and I did not have any previous history with majority of the other members. I quickly got over that and made a number of new friends. When we all got together in our free time we either blasted the music and had a dance party in our hotel rooms, watched a movie and screamed our heads off in pure, pitch black darkness, or prank called random rooms in the hotel and laughed until our ribs hurt. Either way, it was never a boring time. As a matter of fact, when we were coming back from one of the meetings another school decided to have a toga party and told everyone that they went to our school. Naturally, they got caught and were sent home.
All in all, this was a really restless trip that had a lot of excitement and education. Unfortunately, I did not win my competition, but I had a great time and learned how to beat the competition for our next conference. This trip was three sleepless nights and I enjoyed every moment of it. Whether it was meeting new friends, engaging for competition, taking pictures, going to Island of Adventures, prank calling people, or dancing the time away I enjoyed myself and can not wait until the next Florida HOSA State Leadership Conference.
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