The Patrick County Senior Beta Club took 55 high school students to the Virginia Beta Club Convention in Hampton, Virginia on February 9. The Beta Club is an organization of high school students throughout the country with academic drive and leadership who spend time volunteering in their communities. Each year, the Beta Club hosts conventions, one at the state level and another at the national level, for its members to participate in various competitions, meet members from other schools, and exhibit their abilities.
For the first in-person convention since the pandemic, the Patrick County Senior Beta Club left on a Thursday morning and arrived in Hampton later that night. The next morning, they traveled to the convention site where students, depending on their competition, either began their in-person contest or waited for the results of their virtual contest. Many students also participated in a scavenger hunt the convention hosted. There were 100 tasks to be completed before the end of the day. One team from Patrick County completed 73 tasks and finished in fourth place.
There were a wide variety of competitions at the convention. 10 students competed in Visual Arts. Patrick County entered teams or individuals for contests in Engineering, Talent, Speech, Apparel Design, Scrapbook, 3-D Design, 2-D Design, Musicology, Spelling Bee, and Marketing. Most academic competitions were completed virtually before the trip, a change enacted following the pandemic. Students completed tests virtually for competitions such as Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics, Biomedical, and Science.
The Patrick County Senior Beta Club was successful in many of the competitions they entered. Most participants were divided according to their grade levels. Ninth and tenth graders competed in Division 1. Daryl Lynn Combs, competing in Division 1, won first place in Fiber Arts and Speech. Callie Wood won first place in Poetry Division 1 and second place in Creative Writing Division 1. Callie Montgomery won second place in Black and White Photography Division 1. Rylee Soliday won third place in Sculpture Division 1. Academic competitions were divided by individual grade levels. Maria Turner won second place in Language Arts for eleventh grade. Bryan Clark won first place in Language Arts for tenth grade. Xavier Torres won third place in Spanish for tenth grade. Other competitions had no grade level division. Quentyn Penn won third place in Spelling Bee. Willow Kelley and Braedon Augustine won third place with a Performing Arts Duo.
The first in-person Beta Convention since the pandemic was successful for the Patrick County Senior Beta Club. Every student who placed in a competition is eligible to compete at the national convention and bring their club with them. Both members and sponsors of the Patrick County Senior Beta Club are eagerly planning a trip to Louisville, Kentucky for the National Beta Convention in June.