There are a few (thousand) things about BBYO that continue to fuel the bright BBG light inside of me all these years. The first are the friends that I have made around the world that have become my second family and home. The second are the memories I have made that I am positive I will never forget. The third is that it’s one of the only places where I feel safe and proud to be Jewish. The fourth is learning that while all regions have events and traditions, each one has something that makes them unique.
Here in Lake Ontario Region, Canada, we have Fall Fest, Fall Kickoff, RUSH, etc, but we also have Lock-In. As Regional Mazkirim, my co and I coordinate the event and as we were gearing up to start the planning process, we recognized that no one else from other regions knew what we were talking about because we are the only region that does it.
The simple way to describe it is that it’s an all-night party. You're already into it, right? Held at Area 51 Lasertag and Playground from 11:45 PM - 7AM, 120-170 Alephs, BBGs, and prospects (or soon to be Alephs and BBGs) come together for a night of fun and bonding. For this year, we had tons of “wow” factors that people loved, like an ice cream truck, a donut wall, and a magician. Although, the best part were the teen hosts.The programs were led by emerging regional leaders! It was an awesome opportunity for people to take their first or next step in being a leader in BBYO.
The theme for the night was BBYO Around The World, a theme chosen to help people recognize the universal impact of BBYO and encourage them to make personal connections. Each hour was themed around a different country, showcasing different traditions, cultural aspects and food. For example, at 2:00 AM, we celebrated Argentina with our Regional Godol and a another BBG teaching a Spanish song and making maracas! At 3am, it was the UK, complete with karaoke, a scavenger hunt and an English tea-making session. At 4:00 AM, people took their shot at hitting the piñata in Mexico, and at 5am it was Israel with the Shinshinim leading an Israeli trivia Kahoot.
Not only did everyone have a fun night playing laser-tag and bonding with new people, but they also learned a bit more about different traditions around the world and the one incredible similarity we share with all of them—BBYO.
There are specific things that make each of our regions unique - Lock In is one of ours! Through learning each other's events and traditions, we can make our regions better and even more impactful. What's something awesome your region loves that makes you special? Let me know @LORMazkirim!
Hannah Alper is a BBG from Lake Ontario Region and has been an activist and author since the age of nine.
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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