What should I expect from ELS? Well that’s a great question to ask because you’ve come to the right place! ELS is a three day conference, which covers a bunch of material. Since it’s only three days, things are pretty packed. It starts the evening of Friday, November 3rd, and finishes up the morning of Sunday, November 5th. So let’s get into what every day looks like.
Friday- Your chapter will most likely get there sometimes in the late afternoon or evening. ELS opens with some of the best role play advice you could ask for. Everything from how to set up your scrap paper to what you should say, you’ll learn it. After that, myself and the rest of Team 60 have some special activities planned that we know you guys will love. You won’t want to miss it.
Saturday morning is when it gets real. You’ll have the opportunity to do a role play in front of a judge, and really see what you do well, and what needs work. The opportunity to do a role play in front of a real judge is invaluable, and you should definitely take advantage of it. While role plays are going on, there will be even more workshops available for you to attend and learn about a huge variety of things, all depending on what you want to hear. After this, you and your chapter can spend time a Busch Gardens which, if you haven’t been there, is incredibly fun. Once you get back, there’s three more workshops. Two you’ll definitely participate in, the third you have a choice. If you’re interested in running for Team 61, there’s a session just for you. If you aren’t, there’s a separate workshop instead.
Sunday morning, Team 60 again has some incredible workshops planned, and we know you’ll get a lot out of them. I don’t want to spoil too much, but trust me, they’re pretty great. After that, there’s closing, and then my least favorite part of ELS- going home. Just like that, three days is over, and so is ELS. It goes by quick, but it’s definitely not something you want to miss. I can’t recommend ELS to you enough, and I hope I see you there.
So recruiting new members. It’s important, but… why? Does it really matter how many members a chapter has? Basically, yes! Having a goal of gaining new members is great for so many reasons, a couple of which I’ll get into.
A note I’d like to make first though, is that growth isn’t necessarily the best for every chapter. Some chapters are perfect at the size they’re at, and growing wouldn’t help their chapter. These chapters want to sustain their membership, and keep their numbers relatively the same. If your advisor wants that for their chapter, listen to them. They have their reasons and are looking out for your best interests. For these chapters, I implore you to recruit professional and alumni members, provided your advisor approves.
Now, onto why membership is important. It may not seem like it, but it matters for all of Florida. Because of the membership we have, we are able to send 5 or 6 people to ICDC in each event, depending on what kind of event it is. If we increase our membership this year, we may be able to send 6 people in EVERY event! I think that is a great incentive. New members (professional and alumni included) help out the entire state.
On top of that, of course membership is important to your chapter at well. Some chapters take pride in their size, and use it as bragging rights. Bigger chapters (typically) have more support from their school’s administration which is definitely a plus. Larger chapters also have more potential fundraisers, event winners, or officer candidates. Just the sheer numbers provides an advantage. In addition to this, the Membership campaign challenges chapters to add 20 student members this year, so your growth may satisfy this! If you have any questions about campaigns, feel free to email me about them at email@example.com.
Hopefully these few reasons have given you an idea of why membership is important. Members make the organization and they’re the reason Florida DECA is great. Our members make Florida DECA limitless!
Summer is LIMITLESS
While summer may be tempting to just tan and relax, it’s an incredible time to get ready for next year. Don’t get me wrong, definitely enjoy your summer, but by enjoying AND utilizing it, your summer can be LIMITLESS. Here are just a few ways you can do this.
1. Plan out Next Year.
Whether it’s DECA Inc. Campaigns, the ABP, Helping Hands, or Chapter Projects, there are a few thing that you know for sure you’ll be doing. Take some time over the summer to plan out these events so you aren’t scrambling last minute. It’s always hard to go back to school, so get this work done now so you can focus on your other work later.
2. Get Ready for Competition.
Hopefully you’ll be competing next year, and using the summer is a great way to get an edge over your competition. You have two months, with very few things to do, so you can really dive deep into your event. Whether it’s starting your presentation, studying performance indicators, or planning events, doing ANYTHING is a great way to start the next year of competition.
3. Get an Internship
Reach out to local businesses and see if any of them need interns. An internship is a great way to get job experience, pad your résumé, and make the most of your summer. You never know where the connections you make can take you!
4. Membership Recruitment
You might have to wait until the end of summer for this one, but definitely recruit members for your chapter if possible (Some chapters operations don’t allow for this to be feasible; you know your chapter. If there’s any doubt, just ask your advisor.) Many schools have “back-to-school” type days just before school starts, and that is a great time to set up a booth, have an activity planned, or just do something to advertise DECA.
Whatever you choose to do, remember that summer isn’t forever. Make the most of it, and you’ll be glad you did when next year comes around. Have a great summer!