Monday, May 4, 2009

Relive the Memories

This just in! You can now check out the slide show played at the end of the Awards Luncheon last week, after Wisconsin took the 2009 LifeSmarts National Championship title.

You can also download a PDF version here. Or, download a PDF of our complete state champion team lineup!

If you have any great photos from LifeSmarts nationals to share with us, please send them to the National Consumers League at!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wisconsin Takes Title!

The kids from Oconto High School in Wisconsin have beaten Washington State's Kittias High School.

Introducing the 2009 National LifeSmarts Championship team:

Coach Tammie McCarthy
Co-coach Kay Johnson
Captain David Sohrweide
Taylor Thomson
Rylee Ahnen
Koty Slough

Congratulations, guys!

Final Match in Progress!

The Final Match is underway! Watch Washington and Wisconsin square off for the 2009 National Championship title live at!

Live Now: New Hampshire vs. Wisconsin in Semi-Final #1

The semi-finals are a little more than an hour away, and NextGenWeb will be capturing the action for our friends and fans back home. Watch how this morning's competitions unfold at Who will take home the 2009 National LifeSmarts Champion title?

LifeSmarts Coverage at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Check out Mathew Hathaway's latest Savvy Consumer column, where he challenges readers: Are you smarter than a teenage super consumer?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Grid

Semi-Finalists Have Been Determined!

It'll be New Hampshire vs. Wisconsin and Washington vs. Oklahoma facing off tomorrow morning in the semi-final matches. Don't forget that our friends at NextGenWeb will be streaming the morning's competitions live for us on their site.

Tshirt Contest Entries

Two shirts will win this year - one chosen by official LifeSmarts judges, and another People's Choice winner. Remember to cast your ballot for your favorite today! Winners will be announced Tuesday.

Monday: Intense Competition and Birthday Wishes

A hearty St. Louis Happy Birthday to Renee LeSaux (left), who's celebrating her sweet 16 at LifeSmarts today! Here's a shot of her and her New Jersey teammates facing off against the guys from Illinois. Renee and her teammates defeated Illinois, knocking them out of the running for a shot at the national title.

Other teams have been eliminated this morning as well, and competition is getting fierce! These teams have been knocked out in the most recent round:

Rhode Island

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This Just In: Teams Advancing Through Winners Bracket

Here's how the grid is taking shape!

Team Photos Live!

Check out our handsome state champion teams over here in a Flickr slideshow.

These guys
<--------- over here
are from Washington.

Update: New York Made It!

The train got them here minutes before their match against Missouri, which is currently underway. Phew, that was close!

2009 State Champion Captains and Coaches

New York, Where Are You?

The suspense is killing us: will the team from Saranac Lake High School representing the Empire State LifeSmarts program arrive in time for their first match?

The poor guys got stuck in Chicago last night en route to St. Louis, and we're all crossing our fingers they'll get here in time to face off against the Missouri state champs. Missing the mixer was bad enough! Hurry, you guys!!!

First Day Jitters

It's starting! Teams have been spotted in every corner of the hotel doing some last-minute cramming on LifeSmarts topic areas, reviewing competition format and rules, and getting out some early competition jitters.

In just a little over an hour, the first round of competition will begin. Today's matches are all in the Winners Bracket, where teams will face off in matches of two or three. LifeSmarts is a modified double elimination competition, where teams have two chances to win before they are eliminated. Today is a big day! Matches begin at 11:15 am Central time.

Here's the lineup:

OH vs. NH vs. ND
PA vs. MD vs. CT
RI vs. DE vs. IN
FL vs. NJ vs. NE

VA vs. IL vs. AL
WA vs. WI vs. SC
AZ vs. TN
MN vs. OK

MA vs. CA
MO vs. NY
KY vs. HI
KS vs. TX

Good luck, everybody!

Good Morning from St. Louis

We were too busy getting our grooves on at the kick-off mixer last night (we'll post photos ASAP, promise! We got some great ones!) to post about our Saturday night welcome event. At the Saturday night orientation session, teams gathered for the first time to meet and greet, review some important LifeSmarts ground rules, and show some spirit.

Tom Quinn from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education delivered a great welcome to the teams, recounting the story of the origin of Missouri's "Show Me" nickname. An educator and administrator for some 30 years, Quinn welcomed the state champs and encouraged them to acknowledge that, while LifeSmarts has given them the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed, they still need to work daily on their behavior and attitude, which will ultimately determine their success.

Quinn recalled famous Missourians from Harry S. Truman ("the buck stops here") to Samuel Clemens ("reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated") and related their life stories to LifeSmarts lessons and honored the teens for their hard work on the road to LifeSmarts nationals: "You've shown people! And I congratulate you!"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Scavenger Hunt Freebie

In yesterday's blog, we promised a clue to the scavenger hunt teams will participate in when they arrive at the Millennium Hotel. Here it is.

Extra! Extra! Read all about us!

As reported in today's paper by Matt Hathaway of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

When high school students gather tonight for a mixer in a downtown hotel, much of the chitchat undoubtedly will revolve around the timeless staples of teenager conversation — pretty girls, cute boys, music and the like. It might even include some less obvious icebreakers: the efficiency of modern home appliances; ways to improve credit scores; and, if the night runs late, maybe even the intricacies of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

About 140 teens are coming to St. Louis for LifeSmarts, a youth tournament organized by the National Consumers League, the nation's oldest watchdog group...

Read the full article to get a sneak peak at what prizes will be taken home by the 2009 National Champion Team.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Final Countdown

As many of you state champions are doing some last-minute packing (bring shorts and sunscreen, especially if you're going to baseball games or Segway tours), a few of them are en route, and one team has already arrived!

The guys from Maysville High School, representing Missouri from the other side of the state, were generous enough to help NCL staff stuff goodie bags and clear up which state college is nicknamed Mizzou (it's the University of Missouri). A couple of them were interviewed by a local St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter (we'll have to keep an eye out for a column this weekend), and one was quoted as being as ready as they'll ever be for the competition. So bring it on!

Yay! It's really happening! Safe travels, state champs! We'll see you tomorrow! And check out the blog tomorrow for a clue to the Scavenger Hunt you'll participate in when you arrive at the hotel.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Scoping Things Out in 'The Lou'

Early indications are that St. Louis is going to be a great host city for this year's National LifeSmarts Championship. The view from the hotel lobby alone is postcard-worthy, and beautiful Busch Stadium is visible as well. Anybody planning to take in a Cards game while they're here?

The weather is lovely, this year's goodie bags and prizes are looking pretty awesome, and the Millennium hotel staff is friendly.

So, what are you packing for your trip to the Show Me State?

Fun facts about St. Louis:

State animal: Mule
Other nicknames: Gateway to the West and Home of the Blues
State bird: Bluebird
State bug: Honey Bee
Both iced tea and waffle cones were invented at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thanks, Experian!

Just days away from the 2009 National LifeSmarts Championship event kick-off in St. Louis, today the National Consumers League has announced it's received a $146,000 grant from Experian®, the global information services company. The grant will help underwrite LifeSmarts, NCL’s 15-year-old program, and it will allow NCL to forge a new partnership with Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) to bring LifeSmarts to its 220,000 student members nationwide.

Also, and this is big news for you state champion teams traveling to St. Louis to compete: for the first time this year, NCL will award each of the five students from the 2009 National LifeSmarts champion team a $1,000 academic scholarship, thanks to the grant from Experian.

Thanks, Experian! State champs can thank representatives from Experian in person in just a few days!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy 15th Birthday, LifeSmarts!

The 15th season of LifeSmarts is well underway! In fact, state competitions are taking place across the country, and the teams that will represent their states at the 2009 National LifeSmarts Championship in St. Louis in April are being determined!

To help celebrate the national championship and get competitors in the mood for this year's event, the National Consumers League has produced this video, thanks to support from American Express. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Destination: St. Louis!

The countdown to the 2009 National LifeSmarts Championship has begun! Stay tuned for information about the event, hosted by the National Consumers League, which will determine the 2009 national LifeSmarts champion! In the meantime, learn more about our program here.