Wisconsin’s Winter Convention Top Tens

February 1, 2024
Rachael Meldman

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Class of 2025

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On the second weekend of December, over 100 teens gathered for Wisconsin Region’s annual Spirit Convention. And what a weekend it was. Members spent 2 days engaging in Olympic-themed competitions, Chanukkah activities, and programming related to the crisis in Israel. I asked people throughout the weekend what their favorite parts were, and in classic BBYO fashion, here’s a top ten list.

  1. Sitting beach volleyball: This consisted of teams of 4 sitting in chairs on opposite sides of another row of chairs with a beach ball as the volleyball. A few people decided to smack the beach ball as hard as possible, which caused some great competition.
  2. The food: We’re so lucky that a teen in our region’s mom runs a catering business, so all of our food was catered by them. We got to have latkes, some really good pasta, fruit, etc. It was a 10/10 and much better than normal convention food.
  3. Opening Ceremonies: This is one of the best parts of convention because each chapter gets to showcase their spiritwear and flag, perform their song, and share their video. It’s really fun to see what everyone comes up with. Based on the videos and songs, I’d argue that Wisconsin is the funniest region in the order.
  4. The Riff-off: We did a spontaneous riff-off where 2 members of each chapter went up and each pair was given a song category (a song about a place, two-word title, song in another language, etc) and they had to come up with a song in a few seconds. My friend and I were our chapter reps and we got 2nd (or maybe rightfully should’ve won, who knows). It was really fun.
  5. Hypnotist: For our “mystery program” on Saturday evening, the coordinators brought in a hypnotist. It was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. We watched our friends pretend they were on American Idol, forget their names, and do other weird things.
  6. Havdalah: Havdalah was arguably the most meaningful part of the weekend. We said prayers for Israel, celebrated the week, and ended it by singing “One Day” by Matisyahu. It was so special to be united with everyone in those moments.
  7. Friendly competition: Who doesn’t love a good competition? Most of them were pretty friendly, except we tend to blame people for cheating a lot, and it’s often true.
  8. Hanging with friends: It’s great to get a break from what’s going on in the world and have a chance to escape for a weekend. Especially with everything happening in the world, it was meaningful to get to spend time with other Jewish teens.
  9. Chanukkah: WRC weekend was both Chanukkah and Global Shabbat, but Chanukkah was part of the whole weekend. We lit the candles both nights and played some Chanukkah games on Saturday. Jewish holidays at conventions are so fun because you get to celebrate with your friends.
  10.  Winning: For the first time in many years, my chapter, Ahavah BBG, walked away with the first-place trophy. This was certainly the highlight of all of our weekends because none of us expected to win. We weren’t the powerhouse in numbers, but we crushed the competition and sportsmanship. I don’t remember the last time I screamed like that.

And a bonus, just for the fun of it.

  1.  “Walking around with my new friend Max during Havdalah” -Shayna, Regional Gizborit

Rachael, a BBG from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, loves participating in competitive swimming and the performing arts.

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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