Well-known speaker, creative activities among TASC highlights

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Katelyn Kleinhans

Bearden's SGA hosted TASC for the second time in the past five years.

After months of preparation, SGA hosted the 2014 Tennessee Association of Student Councils (TASC) convention during the last weekend of March.

“Now that it is over, I don’t know what to do with my life anymore,” TASC Committee Chair Cara Wolfe said.

TASC is a weekend-long, statewide convention for SGA members from middle and high schools to come together and learn how to improve their leadership skills and strengthen their student governments.

With 610 attendees, the TASC attendance numbers were much higher than last year’s.

“Overall, I feel TASC was a great opportunity for kids to get energized about leadership and build leadership qualities,” Mr. Cody Martin said. “It was also a great experience for Bearden to show off what we can do when we put our mind to it.”

The convention started off on Friday with a speech from Jon Gordon, a nationally known motivational speaker. The attendees were also divided into groups.

Differing from past conventions, the events consisted of fewer workshops and more interactive, leadership-building activities.  Separated into small, multi-school groups called “counties,” attendees participated in activities such as constructing foam roller coasters and making leadership-themed workout videos.

“We tried something new with the format of the meetings this year and overall, the new experiment went really well, and will hopefully be incorporated into future conventions,” TASC co-secretary Elizabeth Gore said.

Going with the theme of “Tennessee Traditions,” on Saturday, the group went on a five-hour outing to Dollywood.

“Dollywood was my favorite part, but I wish it did not rain,” TASC logistics chair Laura Harris said. “We were expecting it to be super warm and sunny, but it was wet and damp and instead of something comforting like hot chocolate we had ice cream and everyone was cold and complaining.”

On Sunday, TASC ended with a final general session while the official “TASC flame” was passed from the current executive board onto the new executive board, signifying their initiation.

Encompassing the theme, the school was bedecked in Tennessee trademarks with the West Mall decorated like the Smoky Mountains, the cafeteria like the Grand Ole Opry, and the pit like Beale Street with blue cellophane over the lights to set the mood.

“The decorations really made this convention stand out from others, because I think people weren’t expecting them, and so they were like ‘oh my gosh, this is so cool,’” Harris said.

One of the highlights for Gore was when she was asked to Prom during the convention.

“My friend and I had already decided to go, so he completely surprised me by asking me over the microphone in front of all 600 people,” Gore said. “It was so much fun and everyone clapped and came up to us afterwards and told us how cute it was and we’ll definitely remember that forever.”

Overall, the consensus is that the convention “went off impeccably,” Wolfe said

“Everyone said they had a great time, so I definitely feel all the hard work paid off,” she said.