Survival of the fittest.

North-Linn FFA members in Troy Mills, Iowa, decided that since the television show “Survivor” had never been filmed in their neighborhood, they would do it themselves.

They wanted their “Survivor” series to be fun, fast-paced and educational. Since they knew participation would require several hours of educational training before venturing out into the “wilderness,” they convinced their FFA advisor, Thomas Murray, to help with training for the great outdoors.

In all, 43 FFA members engaged in the activity for an in-school participation average of 84.31 percent. The student development committee determined the rules for the series, and a list of educational standards was compiled for a presentation to the school administration.

Some of the survival activities included starting a fire, building a shelter, using a bow drill, identifying and preparing safe foods for consumption, and building a raft for travel down the river.

The two teams enriched their lives and learned valuable career skills. Both groups gained more compatibility, interaction and strength in numbers. The seniors developed relationships with the underclassmen, making the chapter a stronger unit. Everyone gained a greater appreciation and understanding of one another and were reminded why they joined FFA in the first place – because it’s awesome!

In 2010, North Linn FFA was a finalist for the National Chapter Models of Innovation award for Chapter Development.

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