Monday, February 27, 2017

Step Into My Week: BBYO IC

Note: For all my readers not familiar with BBYO, BBYO is a pluralistic Jewish teen youth organization. BBYO's mission is more Jewish teens, more meaningful Jewish experiences. BBYO is made up of AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph), the boys, and BBG (B'nai Brith Girls), the girls, who all come together once a year for BBYO IC. You can learn all about BBYO here.

Sorry for no blog posts last week. I'm still recovering from IC. Yeah, that's right, I went to BBYO's International Convention. It was amazing. The IC sickness is real. Everyone at my school was sick and coming back from IC, I had no energy. Whenever I wasn't catching up on school work, I was sleeping.

I got to IC on Wednesday. My flight was full of people from Atlanta. I ended up sitting with a girl from Atlanta. We talked for the majority of the ride. The airport was total madness. They had to get a special bus to transfer all of us to the right terminal. While waiting for the bus, I went to the bathroom. Luckily, my friend, Mia, got to the bus while I went to the bathroom. I ran up to her and gave her the biggest bear hug. I was so excited to see her.

Mia and I got to room together with 2 other people we didn't know. Checking into our room was total madness. Mia had to go to band practice so I had to get all of our stuff to our room. Luckily,  another girl, Isabelle, offered to help. The elevator line was so long. I just wanted to get back to the convention. My room key wouldn't work, so I dropped our stuff off in Isabelle's room before heading down to dinner.

Dinner was so awkward sitting all alone. It was just me, Mia, and Isabelle. I felt like a tiny fish in the sea the first day. We had our delegation meeting next. Basically, we got hype for whatever we we're doing next and talked about what was going on the next day.
Southern Region Spirit
The opening ceremonies were amazing. I walked into a room with everyone screaming their region. The energy was unbelievable. All of the region spirt and pride got me so excited for the rest of the weekend. The region and council presidents got to go on stage to show off spirit. I loved seeing what everyone did. To end the night, Seeb DJed. (Side note: Not sure if DJed is a verb, but I just made it a verb.) No one had heard of him, so no one was all that excited. I ended up staying for a few songs before beating the rush to the elevators.

We had to wake up at 6:30 on Thursday in order to make it to breakfast on time. It was rough getting up early. Thursday was focused on being a game changer. The convention's theme was Changing the Game. I loved seeing all the creativity that went into the theme.

To start off the morning, we had a plenary. Game changers talked all about how they were sparking change in their communities. A little girl gave the cutest speech. Everyone was obsessed with it. At the end, we got into our groups for the day. I kept on thinking my group had already left. Luckily, I found my group.

I was in Teen Philanthropy. Going into the leads day activity as they called it, I didn't know what to expect from it. I ended up meeting a ton of new people, so that was nice. For the actual session, we learned all about how we can philanthropists. At the end, each table presented an idea on how our chapters can fundraise. It was hilarious to watch one guy put on a show and rap to present his idea. Hopefully, I see him on some comedy show in 10 years.

Shabbat was so fun. My friends and I ended up going to a service about who we are in Judaism. It was interesting to hear everyones perspectives. We had a blast the whole time.

To make the night even more eventful, we had separates. To keep the gamechanger theme going, the seperates was all about what cause inspires you to be a gamechanger. Everyone got into groups based on what cause they're most passionate about. We came up with ways we can help the causes we're most passionate about and goofed off. The people in charge of my room were I-Board, so that was cool.

To end the night, Mia and I went to Doughneg. We made challah and covered it with brown sugar and chocolate chips. Neither of us knew anyone at our table, so we met more people. All of us talked for a while before going back to our rooms to get some much needed sleep.

For Saturday, we didn't have to be at breakfast until 9. That was nice. I wish school days could be like that. Sometime in between the night and breakfast, Isabelle added Mia and I to a group chat. Everyone in the group chat got breakfast together. It felt good to meet even more people. These people became our squad for the rest of IC. Isabelle, Mia, and I had become really close friends throughout IC. Elena, someone we met in the groupchat, became really good friends with us. We ended up becoming a little squad inside a squad.

Our entire squad went to the song Shabbat service. I don't listen to popular music, so I was clueless to what any of the songs were. I loved getting to know the "new" people more.

Before lunch, we had Limmud. We could go to all these panels and hear speakers talk. I ended up going to one where campaign advisors for politicians spoke. It wasn't what I was expecting, but I still enjoyed it.

Mia and I had heard all about a sound hpnosis activity from the night before, so we we're determined to do it. We got in line for it super early. Everyone was pushing and shoving in an attempt to get in. They ended up shutting down the activity. I guess that means, I have to come back next year to do the activity. Did you read that, mom?

We ended up going to a women in technology Limmud. The lady in charge of it talked all about technology I hadn't heard of before. It was way more interesting than I was expecting. Although I have no interest in a STEM career, it was enertaining to learn all about.

Later that night, was the state of the order. I-Board talked all about what they had been doing. It was plenty cool to hear them talk. In addition to them, a bunch of other speakers spoke. They had an Olympic athlete and someone from Hamilton speak. It was unreal to see the pride in all the speakers' face. (That sounds way creepier than I meant it to.)

For Sunday, everyone could go sight seeing, participate in Color War, or go to AZA BBG elections. I ended up going to elections. Everyone was crazy excited about the new board with the excitement being palpable. (My English teacher would be proud of that word. Thanks, Membeam.) The elections were 10 hours long with a 30 minute break for lunch. Although it was long, I loved getting to see all of it. To make it even better, I got to vote. I went in not expecting to vote, so I loved getting the chance to vote.

I raced back to my room after elections were over in order to make it downstairs in time for the concert. After getting changed, I met up with Tia, someone I met from the group chat, for the concert. I hadn't listened to any of Fifth Harmony, Nelly, or Audien's music, so it felt nice to have someone guide me through the rope of the concert. (Why does that sound so awkward?)

After the concert was over, I dashed right up to my Shuk in order to get a few t-shirts to take home with me. A lot of what I wanted was sold out. :( I ended up getting all t-shirts from North Texas Oklahoma region. I guess they make the best t-shirts.

Sunday night, Mia and I had a jam session with our roommates, Ofree and Jennie. I hate that we we're just getting to know our roommates when the convention was over. We all had a blast hanging out with us pulling a failed all nighter of watching tv and talking.

Monday morning was full of goodbyes. I was so sad to leave all my friends. (IC 2018, right Mom?) It was so sad to see everyone crying with their goodbyes.

IC was an absolute blast. I loved every minute of it especially seeing Mia and meeting new friends. I'm still resting my body from all the craziness a week later. Hopefully by next week, I'll be fully recovered.

To end this, I feel it's very important that I let you know I wrote over 1500 words.

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