This November, Northern Region East was brought back together for its annual Regional Convention. As a coordinator, what I sought most in the convention was for all attendees to feel the overwhelming, collective feeling of love for BBYO that is so unique to conventions. Here are some of the best moments from RC, which united over 450 teens from Baltimore, DC, and Northern Virginia:
This year, the convention switched to a new hotel. The hotel was wonderful, and its layout created more opportunities for plenary moments. It served as the foundation for an amazing convention!
NRE welcomed three different speakers for the weekend, each of which engaged attendees and taught them about a variety of topics, from comedy to entrepreneurship to mental health. Having the chance to host speakers in person was incredibly special and brought back the feeling of a pre-COVID convention.
There are no words to express the feeling of a Shabbat service when everyone there has their arms around one another, joined together in prayer. As I attended and oversaw Shabbat services, I had never felt more proud to be Jewish and a member of BBYO.
Every chapter performed an act on the opening night of the convention, which increased both chapter spirit and hype for the rest of the weekend. While I was, unfortunately, victim to a pie to the face during the Talent Show, watching every chapter showcase what they prepared together was extraordinarily entertaining.
This year, NRE had its first BBYO Separates as well as AZA and BBG Separates. These programs generated irresistible brotherhood, sisterhood, and siblinghood bonds, especially within the high-energy spirit circles that truly captured the magic of an in-person convention.
While Havdalah and the following Shira started with chapters in separate circles, everyone quickly formed mixed and ever-changing circles of BBYO love and friendship. This heightened moment was what I missed most throughout virtual conventions, and the chance to lead and experience it once again was extremely memorable.
While all 450+ teens in attendance had to squish to fit into the same space, the spirit and energy created by the big moments such as Closing Ceremonies, Havdalah, and the dance contributed to making it an unforgettable 3 days.
Throughout the weekend, chapters competed for one of the four spirit gavels with costumes, in chapter competitions, and demonstrated their Talent Show acts. By the time chapters donned their jerseys for the dance on Saturday night, they were radiating chapter spirit and pride. Additionally, the NRE passion made the weekend all the more special.
Not only did this year’s Regional Convention enable attendees to reunite with old friends and form new friendships throughout the weekend, but it also allowed friends who met at virtual conventions to finally see each other in person. By the time the weekend came to a close, every attendee was sad to say goodbye to old and new friends alike.
Above all else, NRE Regional Convention continued to unite the region and truly showcased the power we have when we work together. I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to coordinate a once-in-a-lifetime convention, and I know I will carry memories of the weekend forever.
Naomi Kales is a BBG from Northern Region East: DC and loves to read.
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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