On March 15, juniors and seniors of the Cardington FFA boarded their flight with Southwest to head to Orlando, Florida. Following their arrival, they hopped on a charter bus and traveled to Cherry Lake Tree Farm. Here, they learned about the ins and outs of citrus growing. From the irrigation systems to pest removal, as well as basic harvesting. The chapter also enjoyed a picnic in the pavilion served by a local caterer. Everyone loaded back on the bus and headed to their hotel where they would be staying for the next four days. A pool visit and cards were entailed prior to lights out.
The morning of their second day, members enjoyed a breakfast provided by the hotel and left for Disney World shortly after. They arrived at Epcot, one of Disney’s three parks, and went straight to the rides. The chapter rode three rides together to then branch off with chaperones to make their own adventures. Students discovered the importance of agriculture within society, the evolution of history, and manufacturing machinery. Everyone then moved to the world of countries where members were able to see the views of how people lived in other countries from France to China. Lunch and dinner were purchased at the park, and a light show closed out the evening, displaying Disney movies’ connection to culture.
On day three, the chapter began its day with a trip to SeaWorld. They visited exhibits that were the home to stingrays, sharks, dolphins, turtles, etc. At high noon, students sat and viewed the daily orca show with flips, waves and splashes. Learning the importance of safety for animals was expressed in each of the tours and was brought back home for many members. Cardington FFA finished its SeaWorld trip with water rides and excursions prior to departure. The charter bus then dropped everyone off at Disney Springs where the day ended. Students had the opportunity to shop for souvenirs as well as enjoy food and live music.
The final full day of the trip started at Universal Studios. The chapter again rode three rides together and broke off into groups for the remaining time they had. Members got to see characters and movies they grew up on and adventure through the realms of Universal. At 5 p.m., groups were set to meet back in order to get dressed for the authentic Polynesian luau. Members walked to a nearby hotel where it was hosted and started by going through the buffet line for dinner. All original Polynesian foods that were prepared to their cultural standards were displayed. The chapter enjoyed their delicious meal and watched the luau dancing begin. Native Polynesians dressed in their culture’s attire danced and sang to the beat of their drums. Members were brought up from the crowd to learn the proper luau dance. To end the show, one of the performers did fire dancing with not one stick, but two. Cardington FFA gathered for pictures before leaving and could not be more grateful for the natives that provided such an exciting night.
On day five, students stayed at the hotel for a pool party and pizza before heading to the airport for their flight. Members came home with stronger friendships and lessons they can express to the underclassmen within the FFA.
Cardington FFA would like to give thanks to all chaperones who helped in making the trip possible, and any Floridians that went out of their way to make for a memorable event.
Alexis Peters in the Cardington FFA reporter.