When I first was elected as Council S’gan, I had no idea that I was going to be coordinating a convention. At first glance, it didn’t look like that much work. I expected to have a couple calls on Zoom with my regional advisor, maybe write a few programs. But as soon as the school year kicked in, I was on at least three or four hour long zoom calls a week, I was constantly in communication with my steering team, and I was texting my regional advisor so much it seemed like we were best friends. When you are on a chapter or council board, you have to learn how to delegate work. In these situations you work with a group you are comfortable and familiar with. But as a coordinator, you have to learn to work with many people who may not know you or your working style very well and vice versa. The last couple of weeks were even more intensive, every day filled with calls, but when the coordinators arrived at the hotel, everything started to pay off.
The night before the convention started, we got out all 200 of our delegates’ name tags and wrote numbers on the back to put them into groups. We were nervous. But when all the teens arrived, city by city, seeing everyone smile as they dropped their bags to go hug their friends was moving. The butterflies in my stomach went away and I was eager to get this weekend going. After the opening program, everything fell into place. As I checked in with all the different programs, I got to see all the younger steerers leading events that they had worked so hard on. I also saw how engaged the participants were whether it was a serious program discussing stereotypes, or a light hearted program about cake. Now that the convention is over, I have a lot more time on my hands. But in a weird, nostalgic way, I miss all the calls to plan and everything else that came with the weekend. The people you meet, the experiences you have, and the skills you learn are something that you don’t want to miss out on.
Michael Stein is an Aleph from Eastern Region: Virginia Council who is currently serving as his Council S'gan and loves goldfish.
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.
While it’s easy to maintain a strong connection with Judaism in the comfort of your own community, it’s scary to think about what that relationship might be like once you go off on your own.
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