The day had finally come. On October 12th, the park gates opened and we all checked in. There was a crowd of 400 BBGs, Alephs, and new faces all eager for a spectacular night to commence. Connecticut Valley Region went above and beyond for kickoff our this year. While last year we celebrated at an indoor arcade, this year, our region decided to level up and rent out the Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Connecticut, for one night only.
As the park was not open to the public, the lines were short and full of eager Jewish teens. All the rides were fully operational, so there was something for everyone. From rollercoasters to bumper cars and beyond. At one point in the night, the carousel swarmed with teenagers, quite a sight for the ride attendant, since young children typically enjoy the ride.
As the event further progressed, friends across different chapters reunited. Highlighting their favorite moments from last summer, successful programs they had run, and so much more. Food trucks located throughout the park complemented the growing appetite for exchanging ideas and running around the park. From french fries with dozens of dipping sauces to grilled cheese sandwiches and baked potatoes, our stomachs were undoubtedly filled.
Teens even brought toiletries to donate to a local women’s shelter to incorporate BBYO’s Stand UP initiative. Sadly, as the night came to a close, we left knowing that we had fun and made an impact. We are ready to continue to give back to our local community. All of us left kickoff feeling enthusiastic and prepared to take on the new year.
Andrew Goldberg is an Aleph from Connecticut Valley Region who is also a StandWithUs High School Intern that loves advocating for and learning about Israel.
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