Fuel Up To Play 60!

Greg More, Fuel Up To Play 60 Student Ambassador and FUTP60 Program Advisor, Cassie Brooks, both from Brownsburg West Middle School

By Cassie Brooks, FUTP60 Program Advisor at Brownsburg West Middle School

On July 14, Greg More and I traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Leadership Training Summit.  We were both filled with excitement about growing our knowledge and skills for the program, and also to meet people from across the nation who share the same passion.

As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by adult and student leaders from diverse backgrounds.  We made immediate connections, sharing excitedly about our experiences with Fuel Up to Play 60 in our schools as we went on a night walking tour of the White House, Washington Monument, and a few other local sights.

Our second day at the summit was packed with fun team challenges, delicious healthy food, and some hard work at the Newseum.  The primary focus of the day was media training.  With constant presence of still and video cameras, we learned how to direct our interactions with the media in order to put out the specific, positive messages we want about our goals and achievements in Fuel Up to Play 60.  We also received pointers about how to represent the program well.  We were given frequent opportunities to practice our new interview skills on tape and developed much greater comfort expressing our ideas in front of the camera.  I was proud of Greg, who was often the first to volunteer!

Greg and I also participated in leadership training, which included an inventory of our personal leadership style while working with groups.  In addition, we were involved in a number of team-building challenges.  A few of them seemed rather silly, but they provided a fun way to understand our collaboration styles and gave us a variety of activities we can use at school as we build teamwork among our local student leadership in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

Sam Bradford, quarterback for the St. Louis Rams addresses attendees at the Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit in Washington, DC

One of the rewards for our hard work was the opportunity to meet Sam Bradford, quarterback for the St. Louis Rams.  He spoke with us about how fueling up with healthy foods and staying active helped him achieve his goals and continue to benefit him in his career as a professional athlete.  He commended the student representatives for being leaders of positive change among their peers.  Sam stuck around for pictures, signed FUTP 60 souvenirs, and even threw a few passes to the kids.

We capped off the second day with a bus tour of our nation’s capital.  The weather could not have been better, and the tour was an enjoyable time for more interaction with our new Fuel Up to Play 60 buddies.

On the final day of the summit, we highlighted some of our successful initiatives and brainstormed solutions to some of the challenges we face while implementing Fuel Up to Play 60.  We were also treated to a demonstration by celebrity chef Carla Hall.  She entertained us with her fun personality as she taught us how to make our own granola.  We all dug into the samples, served atop low fat yogurt.  Ms. Hall also imparted her wisdom about using fresh ingredients, making our own foods, and cooking with all our senses to help us truly enjoy food.

The last day of the summit also included a lot of reflection and focus on the future.  Throughout the summit, we were encouraged to respond to prompts in our journals.  Before we left, we spent time outlining our goals for when we get back to school.  For Greg and me, this includes starting a walking recess and daily one-minute activity breaks, as well as growing our “Taste the Rainbow” initiative to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption.  We are very excited to get rolling for this school year and received such a boost through our attendance at the summit.  We became informed, encouraged, and energized to continue effectively in our work to get kids to fuel up and play 60.  Greg and I are so grateful for the opportunity we had to attend the summit and build our knowledge and skills.  We are putting them to good use already, and making plans for even greater things to come!

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