As of this evening it is official, before I pack my bags for my study abroad trip in Europe, I will pack my bags for a Holiday Inn in New Jersey and then for the Marriott in Downtown Philadelphia. That is because I will be staffing USY International Convention, as a staff member for NERUSY for the third year in a row, and it will be my fifth time attending total (I also attended as a member twice when I was in high school). Every year the convention consists of a four day pre-convention, with just the members from the New England Region USY (NERUSY) attending, then the “real” convention for five days. The convention is the one time a year when members from all 17 of the regions in the United States and Canada coming together to meet each other, make friends, take educational classes, help the community, and have fun. It is pretty insane since there are usually around 1350 people there, including staff. But it’s so spirited and fun. Having gone as a USY member I know that you really get to make friends from around the country and they are always in the nicest hotels.
My first IC (short for International Convention) was actually in Boston and that’s why I got to go – it was very inexpensive since it was right near my house and so there were no travel fees. After that, my senior year of high school I went to IC in Washington, DC and it was actually at the hotel where my parents had first met about 30 years before when they were at International Convention there (cute, I know). After that I had to miss a year because people in their freshman year of college are too old to go as members and are not old enough to go as staff members. Unfortunately that means I missed the amazing chance to spend nine days in Orlando, Florida, and since then it’s been in a “cold place” every year. But I have been there and have been really lucky to be a staff member (especially because I get these nine days for free and I get to spend time with the kids I love). So my first year as a staff member NERUSY enjoyed pre-convention in Montreal and then actual convention in Toronto (trust me it was pretty cold), then last year it was to Chicago for pre-convention and for IC.
So this year, I have just found out today I will again be a staff member accompanying NERUSY and I am extremely excited because, as you all know, it is “my girls’” senior year and therefore their last IC. This year NERUSY is spending pre-convention touring New York City but is actually staying at a hotel in New Jersey. Then we’ll move to downtown Philadelphia for five days of greatness and I am SUPER excited so I just had to share it with everyone!!