Last weekend I had a blast spending time with my State Action Team in Raleigh, NC. We got to know one another, learn about our responsibilities as a team, and were officially named the NC DECA State Action Team of 2014-2015.
Being a DECA State Officer comes with many responsibilities that only elected officials have the opportunity to carry out. North Carolina DECA has six different officers: five regional officers and a president. Each one of us have to work together to plan our year’s trips, meetings, community project, theme, and more. This past weekend was crucial for our team to learn trust and teamwork, have an overview of our year and our responsibilities, and plan for the international conference (ICDC) in Atlanta, GA this May.
I have the farthest to drive to Raleigh. Since I represent the Blue Ridge Region, I live in the western part of our state (in fact, my high school is the farthest west you will find a DECA Chapter in all of North Carolina) and that means that I have about a five to six hour drive before I arrive in Raleigh. Can we talk about tiring?
But it was worth it.
Friday afternoon started off with a bang. We all met at the hotel before driving off to a beautiful park in the city where we met Chip. Chip is this super awesome guy who knows how to capture your attention and keep things fun. For three hours, we played games that worked with our leadership, teamwork, and trust skills. We got to pretend to be dead ants, solve a national problem, and–my favorite–play with mouse traps. Through these activities, the ice in the group was broken and melted and we quickly learned all about one another.
That night came the real challenge: finding coordinating outfits that not only looked cute, but were perfect on all of us. After hours of searching and trying on dresses, we finally found the perfect three. We will wear these coordinating outfits at events to show that we’re a team and we know what we’re doing. They will make their final appearance at 2015’s state conference where we will pass our positions along to the next six officials.
Who knew etiquette was so important? We learned all about it on Saturday. From “pretty feet” to proper dinner table manners, we increased our credibility by learning simple rules to abide by while at luncheons, conferences, and dinners. We practiced our newly learned skills that night at Vinnie’s, a delicious upscale restaurant.
Did I mention that in between all of these outings were various meetings about our year? We planned our theme (“We are NC DECA…Watch the Magic Unfold”) and our project, we mapped out our calendars and looked at our upcoming trips, and we also talked about a little thing called ICDC (eep!). It would be an understatement to say that our team is super stoked to be going to Atlanta this May.
Sunday rolled around and we were ready to be inducted as the 71st North Carolina DECA State Action Team. We planned the ceremony, writing our speeches and rehearsing them a couple of times. We began to pack, keeping out our chosen outfits and blazers. And, finally, we greeted our family members before opening the ceremony, eating dinner, and receiving our official pins.
It was crazy how quickly the weekend went by.
My car ride home went by just as quickly. I spent the time zoned out, texting my team and swooning over the new DECA app. Most importantly, though, I kept replaying the weekend in my head. I remembered Chip and his warm smile, each and every member of my team and their personalities, our crazy adventures at the mall, and all of our plans for 2014-15.
Looking back on this past weekend, I’ve realized one thing: our sparks, our excitement, and our integrity seen throughout those three days are a clear reflection on our actions as a team for the rest of this year. I am so beyond honored to be a North Carolina DECA State Officer.