Winter and spring are filled with preparation and gearing up for the upcoming season. All over the Gem State crops thrive throughout the summer months- optimal weather with great soil and moisture creates an environment for extraordinary growth. Just like many of the great crops in Idaho, Idaho FFA Members are spending their summer growing and developing. Idaho FFA Members focused on the components of personal development, network building, and leadership growth at Summer Outdoor Leadership Retreat (SOLR) and District Officer Training (DOT). SOLR/DOT took place at the Cascade Lake 4-H Camp in Donnelly, Idaho.

This weeklong retreat is filled with activities and lessons to enhance the qualities that FFA Members strive to possess. Members walk away feeling a new sense of belonging, connection, pride, and purpose. “The workshop that taught me a lot about myself was the confidence workshop. It really taught me about myself and how confidence applies to me as a leader. I have never given credit to myself for what I do, but this workshop taught me to embrace myself and believe in what I can do. Everything that I was taught through the week, I am able to bring back and implement into my chapter and my district,” said Alexia Medel, American Falls FFA Co-Vice President and East Magic Valley District Reporter.

“It is not surprising to see the vibrant energy and motivation of FFA members on full display during the Summer Outdoor Leadership Retreat! The rustic camp environment removes the world’s distractions while the action-packed, creative curriculum enhances members’ opportunities to experience the purest form of two of the main tenets of FFA’s mission- leadership and personal development,” said Clara-Leigh Evans, Idaho FFA Association Executive Director. “Year three brought more members and indicates the continued growth of this exciting program!”

Jesse Alspaugh, from the Emmett Chapter, shared how impactful his experience was at SOLR. He didn’t know anyone outside of his district, the Western Idaho District, when he first got to the retreat; as time went on throughout the week he developed meaningful friendships with other members from across the state. Jesse said, “As time went on I began to come out of my shell, talking to so many others and making connections- my networking skills improved over the week. Overall it was an amazing experience!”

Carson Suchan, a Minico FFA Member from the Eastern Magic Valley District highlighted a workshop that impacted his growth, “The most memorable workshop for me was the diversity workshop. This workshop allowed for all of us campers to see different values. We were asked questions about values we were and weren’t comfortable with, and were trying to get a better understanding of others’ values. This workshop stood out to me because it helped me realize something important about life. I realized that no matter what values other people have when you get to know them as an individual you more than likely have a lot in common. Without this workshop, it would’ve taken me a lot longer to realize that.” This leadership retreat affords members to participate in workshops that will equip them with skills they will use daily in their future careers, relationships, and life endeavors.


Idaho FFA Members building life-long friendships at SOLR/DOT