Written by: Jadyn Right, 9th Grade, Dor Chadash BBG #2404.

Going into a virtual convention, or any virtual program for that matter, most of us can agree that it’s hard to imagine replicating the energy and atmosphere of an in-person event. We imagine what it would be like normally, we think about what would be the most interesting parts if we were together in person, and we wonder what will keep us engaged online.

On January 29th 2021, we kicked off our Frat/Sis Convention weekend and all hesitation vanished. Not wanting to be disappointed, I logged onto the convention’s Zoom link with low expectations, although the package sent to my house had given me a bit more hope. However, Frat/Sis Convention turned out to be absolutely incredible!

The packages were so well done, and when they arrived at our doorsteps, we were all amazed. Every participant received a box that included supplies for each day of our convention, as well as some items for the entirety of the weekend; such as whiteboards and the infamous toques, which were really comfortable and fun! The packages were made in hopes of engaging members, and I think that they successfully served their purpose.

Friday included an array of incredible programming; Opening Ceremonies, icebreakers, candle lighting and Kabbalat Shabbat, as well as several Oneg Shabbat options to end off the night. These programs were an incredible way to kick off this unique convention!

On Saturday, we had a Shacharit service, Limmud programming, Havdalah, Beauheart Ball, AZA & BBG Separates, and a spirited friendship circle led by our amazing song leading team. One of the amazing surprises was a cameo from Tik Tok star @WillyWonkaTikTok, even if he did say, butcher the pronunciation of Beauheart as “Be-you-heart Ball”! This was an incredible wow factor, and it was so creative for the steering committee to get a cameo from this Tok Tok star, especially because the Ball’s theme was Chocolate Factory! Saturday’s programs made me feel the most connected and brought back so many memories from last year, despite participating on Zoom.

On Sunday, we began with a Shacharit service, followed by AZA & BBG business meetings, AZAA/BBGG, and finally, closing ceremonies. That day, my favourite memory was AZAA/BBGG because my heart and home, Chapter Dor Chadash, won the AZAA/BBGG competition!

Of course, I cannot forget the entertaining Chofesh Hallway that was open throughout the weekend. I met so many more amazing people in our Region, as we bonded through Jackbox and Skribbl.io. Additionally, I made some amazing memories and inside jokes that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my time in BBYO.

From a member’s perspective, I did not expect this convention to be so outstanding. It was eye-opening for me, and it completely changed my perspective about virtual conventions. From opening ceremonies, to ‘be you heart ball,’ to friendship circle, to closing ceremonies, every part was so well planned! The weekend was absolutely amazing, and it went by too quickly. I can’t believe it has already been a month since it ended. I think that we all learned so many new things; whether about each other, or even about BBYO and how it works. For some of us, this was our first virtual convention. I can truly say that it was one of the best conventions that Lake Ontario Region has EVER seen, and it will be hard to top. I’d like to give a huge shout out to the 41st Regional Board and the entire steering committee for planning such an incredible Frat/Sis Convention! See you at Spring Convention!

Pictured: Sarah Glogauer (left), Jadyn Right (right), and Taylor Levy (bottom) at Frat/Sis Convention 2021.