Last month, members of the Wilson Beta Club joined 20,000 other students at the National Beta Convention in Savannah, Ga.
The National Beta Club is the largest, independent, nonprofit youth educational organization in the country. The club’s goals are best summed up by its mission statement: “To promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, service and leadership among elementary and secondary school students.”
“For me, it’s all about those kids having a platform to learn and grow,” said Beta Club sponsor John Richardson. “They learn all about the different kinds of leadership styles. They learn about their own leadership style and they learn to work with other people who have different leadership styles than their own.”
The convention itself was split into two sections. The Junior Convention for grades 4 through 8 took place June 15 through 18, and the Senior Convention for grades 9 to 12 ran June 19 through 22. While there, the students entered various competitions in photography, agriculture, banners, scrapbooking, math, and Spanish. They also attended a speech from motivational speaker Ted Wiese.
In addition to all of the events taking place, three students in particular remained especially busy. All three currently hold offices on the state level and they chose to run for national office. As part of their campaign, each student created a slogan, gave a speech to the entire assembly of students and answered a random question.
Delaney Richardson who will be beginning fifth grade in the fall, ran for the position of national reporter. She spoke about maintaining a positive attitude in all that you do and used the slogan “I might be a rookie, but I’m one smart cookie.”
Delaney’s brother, Landon Richardson, will be starting the seventh grade, and he ran for the position of national vice president. His speech stressed the importance of investing your time in one of your passions. His slogan was “Keep calm and find your thunder.”
Junior Logan Schaaf ran for the office of national vice president at the Senior Convention. He spoke about believing in yourself in all that you do. His slogan was “Take your vitamins, say your prayers, believe in yourself and vote Logan.”
In addition to all of the events taking place during the convention, the students also found time to see the sights of Savannah. Highlights included seeing the city’s haunted sites while riding in a hearse, eating at Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons, and taking two trips to the beach.
Now that they are home, the Wilson Beta Club is especially excited about next year’s convention. Next June, the national convention will be taking place in Oklahoma City for the first time ever. Richardson said the conventions typically take place along the East Coast, so all the students are thrilled to get to show off their home state.