This year’s IC was much different from others, as we all know. With it being virtual, and for the first time ever, every single chapter in BBYO got a chance to host a local experience that included those who were going to IC, as well as those who weren't signed up. These programs were inclusive because they allowed members who didn’t feel comfortable in a huge setting on Zoom to connect with a smaller group of people. My chapter and the two other chapters who had an experience together are average sizes, so our event wasn’t too big or too small. Our region, Big Apple, is fully virtual at the moment so we had to work hard to create an experience that all members would be hyped about and engaged in.
Teens from the three different chapters hopped in the experience (get it, hopin!) to meet teens from the other chapters, paint, and listen to some groovy 70s tunes. We had a small group of us at the program, which was really nice and comforting, as well as my chapter advisor and our associate regional director. After everybody got settled into the Zoom, we all went around and introduced ourselves. Before we started painting, we took a look at classic 70s art, which were very abstract, colorful, and eye-catching pieces, which served as an inspiration for what we were all about to paint. Personally, I’m a huge lover of all things 70s, from music to fashion to pop culture, and more! Getting to know more about the art of this wonderful decade interested me even more than I thought. From there, it was time to paint and jam; the two main goals of the program.
A couple of days before our program that Thursday, everybody was delivered their own personal painting kits. These kits came with a classic painter’s palette, paintbrushes, paints, and a canvas! Once we were ready, everybody got their paints and began. Thanks to the ‘All Out 70s’ playlist on Spotify, we had some pretty timeless and catchy tunes to play. As we painted, we also got to chat and understand each other’s music/tv show/movie taste. A lot of us are huge Gilmore Girls and Mamma Mia fans, getting us to have a more in depth and engaging conversation. In addition, we had to play ABBA, because what would a 70s program be without classics such as “Mamma Mia” or “Dancing Queen”?
As we were reaching the end of the program, we all showcased our paintings. Some painted rainbows while others painted flowers. We even had one person paint a Woodstock inspired party bus and another painted a vibrant rainbow adorned with flowers. I attempted to paint a sunset going down over a lake, and while it didn’t come out the way I thought it would, it was still a cute painting. We took a Zoom photo of all of us with our paintings and continued to hang out. We put on some more 70s jams and sang our heart outs to Elton John, Joni Mitchell, and Stevie Wonder. We had so much fun bonding over both our common interests and personalities. This program helped members in other chapters branch out and get to meet new people, and I would totally do this program again one day. Hopefully, in person!
IC this year was definitely one to remember and my chapter’s local experience program was definitely a highlight of it. All members of the three chapters were so happy to be together and agreed to do more programs together because of how successful this program was. My chapter, being fairly new (and a chapter that just elected their first ever board), our newest members jumped at the chance of meeting other people outside of our chapter. After the program ended, it was safe to say that the program was super enjoyable and engaging. We can’t wait for future programs!
Rachel Wolk is a BBG from Forest Hills/Rego Park BBYO in Big Apple Region who loves music, dogs, and binge watching tv shows.
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