The State Conference – the Agony & the Ecstasy with apologies to Michelangelo and Charlton Heston.
I kept thinking “It’s finally over!” as I drove home last Thursday (May 19). The next day I did absolutely nothing. Our Collin County Master Gardener Association (CCMGA) had just hosted the 2016 Texas State Master Gardener Conference in a barn at Myers Park and Event Center and I was exhausted.
Looking back over the past couple of years I realize I’ve been working with some really talented, hard working, and results driven Master Gardeners. They planned the conference down to the most minute detail and executed it perfectly. And of course things changed every day; this group proved to be exceptionally agile. in summary, I was continually amazed at capabilities of these people and their willingness to jump into the abyss where needed.
We started planning over 2 years ago, maybe 3 – time flies when you are having fun. We secured the location, booked speakers (Amy Stewart & Dr. David Zlesak among others), advertised for attendees, booked sponsors, secured meal caterers, — the list goes on and on and on. We held the State Conference in a barn and therefore had to bring in everything we needed from from chairs & tables, to A/V equipment, to restrooms.
Also, a group of us spend countless hours tending the research and demonstration gardens at Myers Park.
Then came State Conference Week. On Monday we all pitched in and prepared the barns for the Conference (some worked Sunday also). On Tuesday 520 attendees descended on Myers Park and the Conference commenced. On Wednesday the conference continued and reached a crescendo that night I suppose – the Banquet in the barn. They all say the food was outstanding and the program was long. I was so tired I just enjoyed sitting! Thursday was Tour day. Rain had threatened the Conference all week but so far just flirted with us. Our luck ran out on Thursday. I coordinated the Chambersville Tree Farm and Rose Garden Tour. In our case the rain stopped during the tour and started again after the tour was over. So, I guess God was on our side.
The State Conference week was exhausting. However, everything came together as if by magic and the team executed the Conference flawlessly.
In the end the satisfaction of a job well done was worth the effort!