Two of my kids and I just wrapped up the first day at SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Louisville, and we are exhausted. I’m not sure how we are going to rally for SkillsUSA Night at the Louisville Bats game tonight.
Here’s our day by the numbers:
16,000 people from across the country, competing in everything from robotics to manicures
25 souvenir pins traded with conference attendees from Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, New York and more
0 pins spotted from Hawaii and Navajo Nation, the most sought-after pins
0 personal encounters with Mike Rowe, who made a brief cameo at the opening ceremonies but managed to escape before Buttercup could embarrass herself by shrieking and hurling herself at him hysterically as if he were a Beatle
20 seconds to drill five screws with a 20-volt impact driver at the DeWalt exhibition booth
3 virtual reality exhibits discovered so far, including a Coast Guard helicopter rescue, a Volvo excavator simulator, and a welding exercise. We’ll look for more tomorrow.
1 park bench built with Lowes, to donate to a Louisville nonprofit
2 stationary Harley Davidsons that we were too young to test drive
1 egg that we successfully wrapped in bubble wrap and dropped from a 9-foot tower without shattering, at the General Electric Maker Space
13 free Tshirts collected (so far) from SkillsUSA, NCCER, Liquid Nails, and CareerSafe, in addition to countless trinkets, backpacks, cell phone accessories, sunglasses, baseball hats, tool belts, carpenter’s pencils and other sweet SWAG
1 SawStop demo that we are looking forward to seeing tomorrow. I will not believe this hot-dog-in-the-blade sensation until I see it with my own eyes.
$500 tool package from Irwin, plus $500 from Carhartt & a yellow trove of DeWalt tools for the winner of tomorrow’s cabinetmaking competition, in which we are rooting for TCAT Nashville student Maher Farag
3 more baseball hats. (We made it to the Louisville Bats game after all.)
2 adorable Nebraska high schoolers competing in CPR and graphic design, sitting behind us at the Bats game. Good luck tomorrow, y’all!
3 exhausted Foxes, having a ball in Louisville
1.2 million square feet of Kentucky Expo Center to visit again tomorrow