At my first BBYO meeting last year, there were around 12-15 kids in attendance. Not fully understanding what BBYO is, I believed the number of people at the meeting to represent everyone who was involved. Yet, I soon realized how wrong I had been, witnessing the almost one-hundred kids at our first event. Our region, Hudson Valley Region (HVR), has grown tremendously this past year, with more and more teens beginning to show up meeting after meeting.
Our chapter, Madhim AZA, was founded by two teens during the 2016-2017 programming year. As the chapter was very new, the meetings were small at first, considering few people knew about Madhim. More people started attending meetings once the year progressed and members of the chapter started to spread the word about BBYO.
Not only did our chapter start to have more members, but so did the other chapters in our region. Along with an increase in membership, HVR’s attendance at regional and international events shot up, as the regional board became increasingly active in recruiting new members. Our attendance at International Convention 2018 was around 40-50 members; however, this year we have over 70 members registered! Our region will continue to grow because the new and incoming members will continue to recruit new people and share great experiences with one another.
One of the main reasons why many people join BBYO is because there are many leadership opportunities available for its members. Whether that leadership position involves leading a chapter meeting, running a program at a convention, or being on chapter or regional board, many teens involved in BBYO wish to have the power to be a leader. BBYO provides that opportunity to those teens by offering specific leadership positions. The teens in BBYO that strive to be as involved as possible, whether through leadership positions or as a general member, usually have the best time at meetings and conventions.
Certain activities are done in meetings to allow members to connect with others. For example, during a Good and Welfare program, I learned certain things about others that I never would have known otherwise. Conventions as a whole, too, help new members grow closer to the people they will soon begin to call their brothers and sisters.
My chapter has now increased in attendance by more than double the number of members we had last year. At some meetings, we have had over 45 members attend, and we only aspire to accomplish more goals throughout the year. We’re hoping to have the largest number of members in attendance at all of HVR’s conventions for the rest of the year, too. Our meetings generally aim to include most, if not all, of the Five Folds of Programming to ensure that all categories are covered at each of our meetings.
Madhim’s main goal this year, though, is to make sure all members and prospects feel comfortable and can speak warmly with one another. As the year progresses, we will keep recruiting members to Madhim to increase the chapter’s membership. Our meetings will continue to be sophisticated and fun, and possibly even educational at times. We can’t wait to achieve our goals by the end of the year and to watch both Madhim and Hudson Valley Region build up from a stellar year of growth and advancement!
Trey Leuchter is an Aleph from Hudson Valley Region and has been in BBYO for a year. He currently serves as the S'gan of his chapter.
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.
For I am a B’nai B’rith Girl. Strength and dignity are my clothing. Forever and always.
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