NSR Winter Convention: The Power of Being In-Person

February 4, 2022
Alex Damast

Jericho, New York, USA

Class of 2024

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After experiencing my first 3 BBYO conventions—Winter Convention 2020, International Convention 2021, and Spring Convention 2021—from behind a screen, to say I was excited to finally be able to experience the life-changing weekend that I had heard all of the older members in my region constantly obsess over since I first joined BBYO, would be an understatement.

My first in-person convention was truly magical, and I will remember it as one of the highlights of my time in BBYO. I went into the weekend with strangers and came out of it with life-long friends. The flame inside of me burns bright as I think back on all of the laughs, smiles, and tears I shared with 300 members of my region.

I have previously experienced BBYO traditions such as Separates, Shabbat services, and Spirit virtually, but in person, these traditions were able to come alive. Seeing people face-to-face made each experience so much more enriching.

Our Separates prompt was to share the best piece of advice we have ever received. First, the regional board shared their advice that stuck with them, and then the floor was open to all BBGs to share their life-changing advice. New members and old members opened up and spoke in front of the whole region and it was such a special moment. There is something so surreal about a room full of BBGS sitting in the dark and listening to what one another has to say.

Global Shabbat and Havdalah services transported BBGs and AZAs to different place and time and gave us such a strong spiritual connection. Being in one room joined by a common belief made my flame burn bright, and it was unforgettable. Eric Hunker, our song leader, did an amazing job, as always, and the song sessions were so much fun.

BBG Spirit was definitely a highlight of the weekend. Every chapter got dressed up and you could see the amount of time and effort that everyone put into their songs and dances.

This weekend has defined my BBYO experience and I cannot wait to experience more in-person conventions in the future. If you are thinking about attending your region’s convention, you should go for it.

Alex Damast is a BBG from Nassau Suffolk Region and she is Summit BBG's Mazkirah.

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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