“We can’t wait to see you in Philly for IC 2021!” If you’re in BBYO, I am sure around the end of IC 2020 you started seeing this message EVERYWHERE. Little did we know, the Coronavirus pandemic was on its way and took the in-person opportunity away. But, we’re BBYO; there is no way we will go a year without IC, and recently, it was announced that IC 2021 would be virtual. I know I know, you might be thinking “that’s going to be SO boring.” Well, I don’t think so, and here are some reasons why!
Something that was incredible about IC 2020 was not only meeting friends before IC from group chats but also making new friends at IC. I loved being thrown into a room with other people with similar interests and that were incredibly easy to connect with. This year we won’t be able to be in physical rooms together, but maybe someone on your program will have the same interests as you. I can personally say that I have made some amazing friends through virtual programming.
This year, the leadership structure will look slightly different, but nonetheless, it will be there. Even if you don’t steer IC, it will open your eyes to the other incredible leadership opportunities within BBYO, like a Summer Experience or the International Leadership Network. These are two things that I did not know about until IC, but they now play a HUGE role in my life.
The problem with having 5000 teens in one place is that you meet so many people, sometimes, you forget who you talked to. If your experience was anything like mine, you probably met a ton of people, but don’t quite remember their names. This year, I am hoping to reconnect with them and hopefully, you’ll reconnect with some of your friends too!
Regional events are cool, but International events are something extraordinary. At opening ceremonies, over 50 countries are represented in one place. At the State of the Order, thousands of teens gather to celebrate all of the achievements within the International Order that year. Where else can you get an experience like that?
Every year, there are senior experiences. So what if we’re online? Whether this is your first or your last IC, there are going to be meaningful moments for your whole grade to come together and reflect as seniors. It will give you the chance to think about the amazing times you have had since you joined as an MIT/AIT and where life might take you from there.
I get it, you’re tired of virtual programs. Why? Is it not wanting to log on? You’re bored of the programs? IC is THE place to find the latest and greatest of virtual programs. You WILL see that online programming can be just as fun as in-person - and sometimes, it’s even better!
Two major detours I have heard many times when it comes to deciding factors of attending IC are the cost and being too far. With it being at home it will be the cheapest it has ever been and I don’t think it has ever been closer to home than now.
I don’t know about y’all, but attending IC was always a DREAM of mine, never did I ever think I would get to go. Going to IC 2020 put an exhilarating feeling through my body for a few reasons. One of them was that now I could finally say “I went to IC”. Along with saying you got to go, you also get to tell the crazy IC stories. I know you’re thinking “nothing exciting is going to happen”, but just wait, you’ll see.
Every year, there is exclusive IC swag, usually consisting of a shirt for LEADS Day, a water bottle, and a bag. With this, there is also a Shuk, consisting of sweaters, sweatpants, hats, flags and so much more. The swag that is sold there comes from every region, near and far. And did I mention, it's IC exclusive? If you don’t get it there, you won’t be able to get it anywhere else.
Finally, you all know the classic line “we worked really hard on this program, please pay attention”. Well, nonetheless, it truly has never applied more. This year, Abbie and Jared, the entire International Board, and the steering committee are going to be working tirelessly to come up with fresh ideas and new initiatives to make this one of the best International Conventions to date!
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your laptop and register for IC 2021 on December 17th!
Marnie Bloom is a BBG from Red River Region and enjoys cheerleading, music and volunteering.
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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