By Tom and Carol Januski, F266041
Chairmen, Youth Activities Committee
FMCA’s 76th International Convention, held August 14 through 18 in Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina, was attended by 81 youth who participated in activities at the FMCA Youth Center, on the grounds of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, our convention site. The age breakdown of the youngsters was as follows: five TOTS (ages 3 to 5), 18 TWEENS (ages 6 to 9), 24 PRE-TEENS (ages 10 to 12), and 34 TATS (ages 13 to 18).
Youth events started off on Monday, August 14, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a get-acquainted pizza party. Additional youth activities included trips to interesting attractions off-site. One was the NASCAR SpeedPark, a race-themed amusement park that features racetracks, an interactive arcade, miniature golf, and more. The kids also had the chance to spend a day at Paramount’s Carowinds amusement park, with rides galore and Hollywood-themed attractions such as the Nickelodeon Central kids area. They visited Discovery Place, one of the United States’ top hands-on science museums. In addition, FMCA youth also went “on safari” at Lazy 5 Ranch, an exotic animal drive-through park that is home to more than 750 animals from six continents, and visited its petting zoo. The kids also explored Reed Gold Mine, known as the oldest gold mine in the United States. While there they toured the mines and processing areas, and panned for gold.
In addition to these off-site excursions, the kids had plenty of other activities to keep them busy. From 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, they amused themselves with crafts, board games, video games, and movies at the FMCA Youth Center. They also were treated to several delightful visits from Flakey the Magic Clown (also known as Henry Gartner, F197563), who amused everyone with his magic tricks. He appeared courtesy of Blue Ox, C2903, an FMCA Three Star sponsor.
As at past conventions, ice cream was provided on Wednesday afternoon by Aon Recreation Insurance, C95, an FMCA Super Star sponsor, and enjoyed by all.
An election of TATS officers was held during the convention. The newly elected officers are Philip Marlowe, F267754, president; Luke Adair, F237571, first vice president; and Tommy Martin, F368975, second vice president. These officers were in attendance at the FMCA annual membership meeting on Thursday morning, where Philip Marlowe gave a report on the youth’s activities during the “Fast Track To Fun” convention. The TATS officers who served for the past year also were recognized during the annual meeting: Melissa Carlson, F301017, president; Cassie Harbek, F200762, first vice president; David Hartley, F31950, second vice president; and Philip Marlowe, third vice president.
Next year, the fun continues for youth who attend FMCA’s 77th International Convention in Perry, Georgia, March 19, 20, 21, and 22, 2007.