The history of BBG is rich in tradition. From life ceremonies to new member inductions, each tradition adds to the culture of each chapter, region, and the international order. At the end of every submitted the last thing a BBG says before their name is “my heart and forever home…”. Home chapters bring identity for members and a siblinghood they will always be connected to. To increase pride in chapters and engagement in members, chapter traditions are very meaningful and effective.
D’vash BBG #956 from Pacific Western Region has the tradition of annually going to IHOP the day after chapter convention for a get together. This provides another outlet for members to meet and create lasting bonds with their fellow BBGs. Chapter traditions don’t have to be official events. Often, the best traditions are informal ones that encourage communication. Stephen S. Wise BBG #2040 of Lonestar Region has a N’siah paddle that each new N’siah signs when elected. Signatures go back all the way to the early 2000s! This sacred tradition allows members to leave their mark on the legacy of their chapter. Lastly, my heart and home Hakotel BBG #826 has the wonderful tradition of doing the “Stomp!” It’s a chapter dance that we do at every spirit competition and is something the chapter is known for. When we start the “Stomp!” you can hear cheers throughout the room, this helps establish a sense of pride and love for Hakotel.
To start a tradition, you can either pass a motion to include it in your chapter constitution or make sure to include the tradition each year. The best traditions last decades, so it’s crucial to identify what will work best for the future of the chapter. If your chapter is looking for more spirit, try finding a saying, chant, or dance that your chapter can incorporate into spirit competitions or during events. Is connection lacking in your chapter? Then schedule a catch up and bond meet after regional events at a local restaurant (frozen yogurt, diners, coffee, etc.). Let’s say your chapter needs more engagement; work with a local chapter in your region to do an annual event each year, this will create hype for that event years to come.
Something as simple as a book to sign or going out to dinner can be responsible for many core memories that help define your time in BBYO. New members are excited to be a part of traditions that go back tens of years because it makes them a part of something bigger. It also gives older members a chance to leave their legacy on the chapter they call home. BBG is what you make of it, so make it count!
Sarah Colton is a BBG living on Long Island, New York, and the town she is from was voted "Best Tasting Water" in New York State.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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