PFA Youth Blog: National Zlot (2)

My first and last Zlot as a youth Member
Written by Michele Zajkowski, PFA Future Leader (Nest 36, Southwestern Conn.)

The 2014 Zlot was my first and last Zlot as a youth Member and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome, from all of the activities, to team challenges, to the card games, and to the cardboard food at the dining hall. The week I was there was so fun-filled it flew by to where I wish we had a couple more days. Saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do when leaving. That is why we say, “See you soon.” At the end of the week and on the ride home, I realized how much Falcons has impacted my life. Falcons is my escape from reality. I get to run away from all the stress at work to a week of fun. Zlot also opened my eyes that my friends at home may never be by my side throughout my life, but my Falcons will always be there. That’s why I say Falcons are family. You never lose them.

PFA Youth Blog: National Zlot (1)

My First Zlot!
Written by Dakota Williams, PFA Future Leader (Nest 36, Southwestern Conn.)

This was my first Zlot attending and I was so excited. My grandmother, Trish, took me and my younger sister, and she had already planned everything out. We showed up the day before the Zlot started and helped out as much as we could.

The next day came and everyone showed up. I saw a lot of old friends from past years at camp which was great! Later on that week, the Track and Field events started and I ran the 800 meters. Running is NOT one of my skills. We started and the other kids ran by me like it was nothing. I was behind and tired; I wanted to give up and just walk off the track and not finish the last 200 meters, but I did not let that stop me. Everyone was cheering me on, really like everyone was. I was not going to let them down, so I finished with a smile and said great job to the other kids who ran. The next day, I ran the 100 meter relay with my Nest (36). The race started and I waited as I was the third senior. My turn came and I took off like a bullet going around everyone. We won. I was so glad that I could help the team out.

The next two days were volleyball. The first day, we played for fun and practice. The next day was serious. The games started. The looks on the faces were not friendly. My team won game after game, only losing to Nest 36. Then the championship game came and we had to play them once more. we took a tough lost first game but came back to beat them by 10 points the second game, which sent it into a tie breaker. Sadly we lost, but it was fun and was worth every painful injury. The last night we had the dance. It was a sure splendid time. Everyone danced into the night until it was time to go back to the dorms.

For my first Zlot, I had a blast and I can’t wait to see everyone else again.

PFA Youth Blog: Share your experiences!

The following posts have been written by two PFA Youth Members, who are also PFA Future Leaders. The PFA Future Leaders wish to start up a conversation with all PFA Youth Members through blogging. They want Youth Members to share their stories, whether those stories are related to Falcon experiences or other exciting things that are happening in our Youth Members’ lives, it doesn’t matter.

To get started, our first posts share a couple of our Future Leaders’ experiences at two PFA Youth Volleyball Tournaments. If you were at this year’s tournament, write and tell us about your personal experience!

The PFA Future Leaders are also interested in hearing about the great things that you are accomplishing outside of the Falcons. Are you a musician? Do you compete on the soccer team? Have you won an award recently? We would love to hear about it and share it with our other Youth Members.

So, if you are 20 years old or younger, this portion of the PFA Blog is for you! Enjoy the first two posts and be sure to share your stories with us. Simply leave a comment. We would love to hear about what is happening with you!

All of the teamwork paid off!
Written by Lisa Wood, PFA Future Leader (Nest 725, Milwaukee)

The sweat dripped down my face. It was completely silent as our team waited for the serve. The other team’s server tossed the ball up and hit it. It flew over to our side, just inches above the net. One of my teammates quickly ran to bump the ball into the air and the volley began.

But hold on, let me back track to how I got here. It was our fourth game in the elimination round of the Youth Volleyball Tournament. We had lost one game and were finally getting out of the Consolation Bracket.

At the beginning of the tournament, we didn’t really play well. In fact, we lost almost every game in the Round Robin portion, but all of those games and losses brought the team closer together. We learned each other’s weaknesses and strengths and we’re now playing like a well-oiled machine. The best part was that we were always having fun, no matter how bad the game. One Member always knew what to do to lift up the team’s spirit. Another teammate came up with great cheers for us to say.

But let’s get back to the current game. Both teams were currently tied and the next point would determine the winner. The volley was long and intense. Our team kept calling out to one another as we bumped, set and spiked. I have no idea how long this volley lasted, but suddenly it was over. The ball hit the floor on the other team’s side of the net.

We won! All of the teamwork paid off and it was the most exciting game I’ve ever played!

We lost the next game though, but the team didn’t care. The tournament was still fun and the people, no, new friends I made, were even better!

For the first time, we didn’t lose!
Written by Christy Paterni, PFA Future Leader (Nest 8, Pittsburgh)

I was so excited that the volleyball tournament was finally here. I had been to some before and they were so much fun! The whole trip up I was talking to all the people that I had met at the last tournament and I was becoming even more excited.

I finally arrived and all of my friends were there to greet me. It was the typical greeting for girls, lots of screaming. Once everyone got unpacked, we talked some more.

When it was time to play, I couldn’t wait. Volleyball has always been my favorite part of the Falcons and it came at a perfect time. Every year since I started playing, my team came in last place. This year was going to be different.

Games started and we were actually winning, even though I didn’t do so great and I was getting a little mad. The day was over and we had won all of our games! When we got back to the hotel, everyone was so tired that we all just went to bed.

We woke up the next morning super early like we do at all tournaments. When we got to the gym, we quickly started pool play. As the day went on, teams kept getting knocked out of the tournament and we were still playing. The time finally came for the championship game and we were in it! We went the whole time undefeated for the first time ever.

We played our first game and got beat, so we had to play again. The entire game was so close but we actually won. For the first time, we didn’t lose!

After the game, we went back to the hotel and got ready for the evening’s dance. Though the dance wasn’t as great as the after party in the hotel lobby. Most of the kids stayed in the lobby and played card games, talked and laughed and had fun. Even people who didn’t stay in our hotel were there.

That year, 2009, I had the best time. I met new people who I became really close with. I know that I am going to be friends with them for a long time.