Three Firsts, One Convention

February 10, 2020
Rosie Ezgur

Chicago, Illinois, United States

Class of 2021

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The Great Midwest Region (GMR) used to host a Bro/Sis Convention, and, during a transition in directorial leadership, the convention was canceled. Once a new director was hired, she called for the reimplementation of this convention. Under the new branding of Fall Convention, GMR’s Regional Morim, along with the new director, selected nine applicants to administer and coach. Among those nine, I was chosen to coach the Member In Training (MIT) track.

The layout included the Aleph In Training (AIT), leadership training initiative (LTI), and MIT tracks with one admin and two coaches for each. The convention took place at B’nai B’rith Perlman Retreat Center at Beber Camp, the same location as some sessions of Chapter Leadership Training Conference (CLTC). Almost all of the applicants selected had gone on CLTC and therefore knew the set up of camp so we could better program six sessions, each about an hour and a half, for our tracks. Leading up to the convention, we had six calls with the whole team. Here, we worked on idea collaboration, setting deadlines, and answering any questions. Our admins were responsible for scheduling any individual track calls and programming collaborations. Since this was our first-ever Fall Convention, there was no outline to follow, no basic templates to fill out; we had to make it our own. As the convention drew closer and the schedule for the weekend began to become finalized, I realized three things. Not only was this my first time coaching a convention, but this was also the first convention of the school year and the first time our region had ever done the Fall Convention. It was time for me to step outside of my comfort zone. The pressure was on.

We had to make it our own.

Calling on my experiences from CLTC, I created a BBYO hand guide for all the MITs (the front pictured above). In making this guide, I was unintentionally outlining the MIT programming sessions. Detailing the Menorah Pledge Principles and Programming Folds inspired my track to create a program around BBG education. Adding a BBG cheer sheet motivated me to add fifteen minutes of cheer memorization and practice at the end of four programs. Writing out GMR’s chapters gave me the idea to implement a strategy used during CLTC and start the sessions by creating mock chapters. I noticed the LTI(leadership training initiative) track had a cute theme for their groupings: familial relationships like marriage and breakups. I took the idea and ran with it by planning to throw the MITs a graduation party and splitting them up into different universities, which became their mock chapters. I even included certificate diplomas, which every MIT was handed in a graduation ceremony for the last program of convention. In the hand guide, I also added the meanings of different board positions, which then turned into a program comparing all the board positions to elementary games and playing them. For example, Simon Says is similar to the position of N’siah or Godol, and hot potato (played with an actual potato) is like Mazkirim. (The chapter follows an N’siah/Godol’s lead and information must be passed around to everyone by the Mazkirim). 

I took the idea and ran with it…

The time for convention came, and… It turned out to be a success! We met our attendance goal before early bird pricing ended, and the feedback was positive. Being back at Beber for BBYO was a dream come true (not to mention all my 3LTC friends were freaking out). Fall Convention was a whole lot of fun, and our sessions went well. Seeing the MITs begin to understand and find their place in BBYO was a reminder of how amazing this organization is. The lack of sleep was inevitable; the fun never stopped. That weekend, GMR lived up to its name because Fall Convention indeed was magnificent.  

Rosie Ezgur is a BBG from Great Midwest Region #61.

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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