BBYO | AZA & BBG | International Convention | Summer

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How Lake Ontario Region Embraced Mindfulness At Spring Convention 2019

November 8, 2019

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

When you think of a BBYO convention, something that comes to mind is the organized chaos of getting off the bus at the convention’s location, reuniting with your friends s, and going through with the day by day programming and services the steering committee worked diligently to elevate. For seniors, this convention concludes their BBYO journey, creating moments for them to reflect on their time as an Aleph or BBG, and how they will use the lessons and experiences they had in BBYO moving toward their future. 

This was the first time I had ever steered a BBYO convention and I was selected for a programming captain position. Knowing that I was going to be overseeing other steerers, all of which have been in BBYO longer than me, was something that excited me and stressed me out at the same time. When the day of the first steering meeting finally came, one of the first things that the coordinators told us is that the theme of Hineni: Here I Am, does not only apply to the theme of the convention as a whole, it also applies to the steerers who are running around and working hard making sure everything during the convention is going smoothly.  

At its core, Hineni: Here I Am represents living in the moment;  not worrying about things you have done in the past or what you will do when the future comes. At Spring Convention especially, it's an amazing feeling, no matter how big of a job or responsibility towards the convention you have, to take in the present moment and everything it has to offer.

Located at the beautiful campsite of Camp George, every program and service was dedicated to this principle. Programs ranged from more active activities such as a nature scavenger hunt and a self-defense/karate workshop to more laidback and chill programs, like an extra song session, and my personal favorite: bob ross painting. The Shabbat services were unique to the convention vision as well; the one I attended related prayers to 2000s pop, AKA, songs from our childhood! It was a very cool thing to reflect on how the music of our past connected to where we were in that exact moment. 

With the rest of the convention itinerary; Maccabiah, Havdalah, BBG, and AZA separates, and of course, Senior Life Speeches, it was evident that the theme was truly a reflection of how a Spring Convention should be; people coming together to celebrate the beautiful place they are in, the amazing people they are with, and the experiences that change their perspectives forever. This is the true definition of Hineni.

Sierra Finkelshtain is a BBG from Lake Ontario Region who loves ice cream and going to concerts.

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