International Convention is the defining event of BBYO every year. It’s when AZAs and BBGs from all over the world can unite and show the world what the power of BBYO is and how Now Is Our Time. You hear nothing but good things from older members, sprinkled in with one-off funny stories. But, one thing you don’t hear talked about as often is how to prepare. Your first IC can be extremely overwhelming, and getting ready for it is often the worst part. So, here’s what you can do to prepare in the upcoming days for IC 2023!!!
With the sheer amount of stuff and outfit changes you have at IC, you have to bring a lot of stuff... You know you and how much stuff you’ll need. (Just assume the risks that with checking, you might lose your bag, and carrying on, you might not be able to bring all of the stuff you want.) If you’re not sure what to pack, look in the FAQs page on the IC website, under “Packing and Dress Code” (https://azabbg.bbyo.org/ic/about/faq). But generally, between checking or carrying on, it’ll be an even 50/50 split for the most part.
Most likely, you know who at least ONE of your roommates is. So, if you have any concerns, from medication to alarms to lights out, communicate with your roommate. As long as your requests are reasonable, any good friend won’t mind accommodating or helping out.
Your region's delegation head will be your go-to with any questions before or during. They are the ones in charge of your region at convention, and you’ll see them multiple times a day during delegation meetings. If you’re nervous, have concerns before IC, or just like to be prepared, communicate with your regional director and find out who your delegation head is.
Well, this might be your first International Convention, but it is almost guaranteed that someone else from your region/council/chapter has gone before. So, if you have any delegate-specific questions, or just want to know what color tutu you should bring, reach out to older members (generally upperclassmen). They’ve been in your shoes before and are always willing to help out to make sure you have the best time possible.
The IC general schedule has officially been released! You can find it here: https://azabbg.bbyo.org/ic/explore/schedule. Apart from your Saturday Limmud, you know your LEADS Day and Sightseeing activities (And if you don’t, figure that out ASAP), along with general delegation events. You’ll get a printout on the back of your name tag, but it’s a good idea to have a general knowledge of what happens every day. Plus, if you are doing sports on LEADS or the waterpark on Sunday, or any other activity that requires specific things, it’s a REALLY good idea to be prepared.
As your region competes for the Spirit Cup/Gavel, you don’t want to be the only one not dressed to the theme. Part of what makes IC so much fun is getting into the themes each and every day. Most of the themes are quite easy to execute, and every time you put on your BBYO letters shirt or your cowboy hat, you're helping your region out. You can find the spirit guide for IC 2023 here at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uPJ_l41ft7J6fkO0Nmviuqbl7s4wVHbk/view.
This is more on an individual basis, but just make sure you have what you need. Whether that's lots of snacks because you’re a picky eater, melatonin because you have trouble falling asleep, or our specific medication. YOU, YOURSELF, and ONLY YOU are reasonable for this stuff, unless in very specific cases, which does not apply to the general delegation. So, if you know, you’ll need something, bring it, or else you won’t have it.
The LAST thing you want is to be racing through the airport the morning before IC and wasting all your energy before you even get there. Most likely, your flight to Dallas is in the early morning, and you will be tired and want to get that extra 15 minutes of sleep. But don’t do it! You’ll be able to sleep on the plane, and it’ll make the whole experience a lot less stressful if you’re at the airport on time. Depending on where you live, try to be at the airport for about 2 hours until your flight.
This might seem obvious, but the first day of IC is so hectic you really won’t have a moment to yourself from the time you get off the plane until you go to bed. So, be sure to bring lots of snacks and to eat on the plane, as well as go to bed early the night before. Also, the night before, make sure you have everything in order, so you can be ready for a fun weekend ahead!
Everyone who’s worked hard to prepare for IC, from steering to I-Board and NTO’s board to IC Press Corps (hi!) BBYO's staff wants you to have the best weekend ever. And the first time, it CAN be overwhelming, and that’s perfectly normal. But making sure you're prepared and have everything in place can help guarantee an awesome weekend. So, pack up and put your cowboy boots on as we get ready to celebrate BBYO’s 99th anniversary in Dallas for IC 2023 :).
Harper Cohen is a BBG from B'yachad BBG #252, living in Denver, Colorado and she is a twin.
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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