The entire Order, together, for one weekend. For as long as everyone eagerly anticipated the culmination of over a year’s worth of waiting, it was seemingly over. There was no greater feeling than being in one place with so many Jewish siblings, united under one organization: BBYO. For everyone who attended the convention in Baltimore, as well as countless participants attending via BBYO On Demand, the weekend was a truly special one and full of memories that will last a lifetime.
At no one time during the weekend was there a dull moment. Teens from across the planet gathered together to create the greatest atmosphere. Jewish teens were able to regather after years without IC. The energy was immaculate and indescribable. This feeling of pure energy was so tangible from the second anyone stepped into the Baltimore Convention Center.
All of the wait, however, was lived up to at the highest degree. From the official start of IC, at Opening Ceremonies, to the ending of the convention at Closing Ceremonies and the concert, teens were able to remain connected to the organization that they love so dearly. There is something to be said for the S’ganim and their fabulous team of steerers and programmers. After every program, attendees were left with a feeling of awe and inspiration. Teens from across the Movement were able to have the power of BBYO put on full display for days on end. The true uniqueness that might have gone unnoticed is something that should not be overlooked.
While the teens and programmers did a great job all weekend, there is also additional appreciation that needs to be doled out. All of the staff and volunteers who showed up and made the weekend run as smoothly as possible deserve all the recognition in the world. They dedicated boatloads of time into making this past weekend the best one possible and an unforgettable experience. They were able to facilitate programs and provide teens with incredible support throughout the convention.
In addition to the BBYO staff and volunteers, all of the workers at the BCC, Hilton, and Marriott were the most overlooked pieces of the weekend. They did far more than simply cleaning up every night. They were responsible for setting up, taking down and facilitating everything over the course of the weekend. So much of the weekend was due to the assistance that was given by anyone helping BBYO put on this amazing convention. The security guards, too, gave everyone a sense of security and peace of mind, something that allowed everyone to enjoy the weekend without the threat of something terrible happening.
There are so many “thank yous” that need to be given out, some that might not even be realized for quite some time. That being said, the biggest token of appreciation must go to each and every teen who attended IC. Baltimore was honestly the place to be last weekend. The unbelievable environment and atmosphere was worth the wait. Until next year, the memories will have to suffice when everyone will regather in Dallas for yet another unforgettable weekend.
Marc Goldstein is an Aleph from NRE: Northern Virginia Council, and he is a triplet with two sisters who are also involved in BBYO.
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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