South Jersey Region teens have wrapped up the year with the final full weekend convention of “Spring Thing” Apr. 30- May 2. This year, we were able to host our second hybrid convention of the year, with Friday night taking place virtually, and Saturday and Sunday happening in-person at the JCC Camps at Medford.
The event was coordinated by two BBGs, Paige Noble from Dafna BBG and Hallie Jayson from Chevrah BBG, and two regional board members, Gaby Matro and Isaac Leibowitz. Spring Thing was also planned by eight committee members, from different chapters in the region: Eli Barnett, Sadie Borenstein, Dara Hammel, Makayla Karsch, Jack Kramer, Alyssa London, Alex Milman, and Sander Schwartz.
Paige Noble said, “Being a coordinator for Spring Thing this year was so much fun! It was great getting to know and work with everyone on committee to plan our second in-person convention of the year. It was so exciting to show off all the hard work we put in for the past month!”
Programming at the convention was centered around the theme “Spring Thing 2021: Rewind,” so committee members wrote programs to remind SJR teens of memories they had growing up in the 2000s and 2010s. There were lots of throwback music, games, and more! All of the committee even ran a “back to the future” program where teens got to engage in activities from each year, including building sandcastles, playing schoolyard games, and guessing song trivia.
Eli Barnett said, “I love being on committee. It gives me a really good look at how everything is planned and how to run programs at conventions.”
In addition to the amazing programming enjoyed by all teens this weekend, it was the first time since November of 2019 that South Jersey Region has had a weekend convention where teens could see each other face-to-face. Many members were excited to see their friends outdoors and join programming surrounded by other smiling faces.
Another important aspect of Spring Thing is the fact that it is the seniors’ last convention in SJR. To close out their BBYO journeys, many seniors “give life,” or tell their BBYO stories to the rest of the region and give younger members their clothes that they no longer will wear. This year, the seniors gave life on Saturday, May 1, which also happened to be college decision day for the class of 2021, so SJR was able to honor the seniors and encouraged many teens in the region to rep their college apparel at the convention!
Last year’s Spring Thing was entirely virtual, so for this convention, we were able to take some of the programming tools used last year to plan impactful virtual programs, but with the advantage of being at JCC Camps at Medford, we were able to bring back some of our South Jersey Region teens’ favorite BBYO traditions, such as group havdalah, song sessions, and more.
It was so amazing to see SJR teens all together to begin the wrap-up of this unprecedented year, and see many great things come to life at the convention. SJR still has a few more events coming up this year—AZAA (AZA Athletics) Flag Football Tournament and BBGG (BBG Games) Kickball Game are on Sunday, May 16, and Tournies is on Sunday, May 23!
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