For the first time in 50 years, the National FFA Organization’s Washington Leadership Conference (WLC) won’t occur this summer.
The organization made the decision this week due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have an obligation to protect the safety and health of our FFA members at our events,” said Christine White, National FFA chief program officer. “In addition to the health and safety of our members, there were other logistical issues as well — such as extended stay-at-home orders, large group restrictions and venue closures in the Washington, D.C., area that led to this decision.”
All who registered for WLC will receive full refunds — including deposits. Those participants who canceled earlier, due to concerns of COVID-19, will also receive a refund on their deposits.
The curriculum of WLC is based on four tenets: Me, We, Do and Serve. Building upon each of these four tenets leads the students to the overall objective of the conference, which is becoming an engaged citizen who can make a measurable positive difference in their community.
“Washington, D.C., was utilized as a living classroom for this conference where museums and important sites were embedded in the curriculum. While we can’t replicate the WLC experience virtually, we are developing other ways to engage students virtually during the summer months,” White said. “We know our members are tomorrow’s future leaders and want to provide them with resources to help them through this uncertain time.”
The organization plans for WLC to return in the summer of 2021.