The SkillsUSA organization, for those who are top of the class in their chosen fields, had its national competition this last week. This has been the largest competition in the organizations history and the number of competitions running totaled at 96. The number of registrations was in excess of 6,500 and made for quite the event.
Monday June 20th:
The state orientations took place in the evening and was immediately followed by the PDP test. We got all of our stuff that came with the registrations in these funky little bags and baseball caps to boot! This orientation covered basic expectations and the dress code and such.
Tuesday June 21st:
The national orientation was held in the morning and explained in detail what we needed to do before the competition. We weren’t told what the actual event would entail until the competition itself on Thursday. We were also able to walk around the TECHSPO and look at all the booths. There were a lot of interesting ones and lots of them offered free stuff or challenges. The one that made the biggest impression on me was the Otis Funklemeyer stand which was offering free cookies! They’re awesome! The people were also very nice even after the third time I changed my clothes and pretended I was someone else. 😛
Wednesday June 22nd:
Wednesday morning we did the written knowledge test for Advertising Design and then had to wait all day until the presentations in the evening which were conducted by a couple of designers from Hallmark. They were interesting and informative and I enjoyed it very much. During the time we were waiting we did the ‘Amazing Race’ which involved running from one side of the Bartle Hall to the complete opposite side and then back again several times. You had to take the ‘Passport’ registrants received in their packets and get them stamped by all the vendors who’s challenges were completed. The opening ceremonies were also held late this day and were actually kind of fun, if long.
Thursday June 23rd:
The actual competition. Dum Da Dum Duuum. This included a Creative and a Mechanical. The creative involved solving the challenge that was laid out and the Mechanical tested your ability to follow exact specifications and use the programs effectively. The Creative lasted 4.5 hours and the Mechanical was approximately 2.5 hours. Ughh! It was fun and challenging but LONG! We were served a box lunch between the challenges and afterward were able to meet the judges from Hallmark. Great people! Mr. Lee Troxell lead the contest. I thought it was great to get his perspective on things and I think he’s extremely amusing so that was cool.
Friday June 24th:
The awards ceremony began at 6:00 pm and was over three hours long. They kept it surprisingly well organized and quickly moved it along in spite of having to wait for the winners to make their way to the stage.
And thus ended a very exciting and fun week. If there’s anyone considering taking part in any SkillsUSA events I would highly recommend it.