The world as we know it is changing. Due to the restrictions that Covid-19 has presented us with, we have had to adapt and re-evaluate how we do everything. It is very easy to become saddened by the experiences that have been taken away from us due to the pandemic especially in regard to International Convention. Although it may take a while to see it, there are many benefits that have come with a virtual experience. As BBYO teens, we have always been able to see the light in even the darkest of situations, and this year has been no different. Leaders worldwide have worked to ensure that the same level of program excellence that we are known for could be translated to the online stage and elevated in ways no one would have thought possible. Due to these individuals, as well as the resilience of members across the globe, BBYO was able to host an incredible virtual IC experience, consisting of many things that would not have been possible at an in-person convention.
1. Special Guests
The virtual environment has enabled us to invite dozens of special guest speakers, performers, and politicians to celebrate our order with us. As a movement we are known for our impeccable IC line up, and this year we were able to bring this lineup to new heights. Now, you may be thinking how is this year any different than all of the others? And if that is the case, here is the answer. Many well-known individuals do not have the time to fly to an in-person convention, and to speak to the teens of our order. It is far easier to simply turn on your camera for a quick one-hour interview session, and then be able to proceed with your typical schedule. Thus, there is a possibility that some of the amazing people we were able to bring to this year’s IC would not have been able to attend otherwise.
2. Meeting More Teens
When we are at an in-person IC, we have the incredible opportunity to room with three other teens from around the globe; however, at this virtual IC, we have had the opportunity to “room” with nine other teens! Through this opportunity, BBGs and Alephs alike have been given the chance to compete in competitions and to build strong relationships with far more teens within their “rooms” than they typically would. Through the roommate challenges offered this year, teens have been able to bond with their roommates on a deeper level, for they have been pushed to exemplify both teamwork and cooperation skills within their “rooms.”
3. Being Well Rested
As much as we all secretly love the feeling of exhaustion that sticks with us for about two weeks after IC, this year has allowed us to truly enjoy all that IC has to offer with a well-rested mind. This year, we have been able to attend all programs with high spirits and have remained more attentive and alert. Due to this, teens have been able to exhibit strong participation skills, and have been engaged in all that IC has to offer.
4. Home-cooked Meals
Although food at an in-person IC may be delicious, there is nothing like being able to have a home-cooked meal in the midst of a chaotic weekend. Food is fuel, and it is so important that our bodies are fully charged, especially during a weekend full of programs and can’t-miss moments. Eating well and nurturing our bodies allows us to be our best selves, and to be present in the activities we are participating in. This change has enabled us to get the most out of our IC experience.
5. Writing History
Attending IC virtually is not what most of us would have wished for this year’s IC experience; however, as attendees of a virtual convention, we are making history. We will go down as the individuals who participated, led, steered, and showed up for an unheard-of IC experience. We have each revolutionized the way we participate in BBYO programming.
As you can see, there have been so many advantages to a virtual IC experience. All those in attendance would surely agree that it truly went above and beyond all of their expectations. This experience has been one that no one would have expected and will be an IC that will forever be remembered. Through this convention, BBYO has been able to do what it always does–create a space that feels like home, no matter the circumstances.
Gillian Beck is a BBG from L'chaim BBG #2444 in Lake Ontario Region Canada who loves animals.
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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