–This post was written by Nikki Vega, VP of Member Communication at California State University, San Bernardino.–
The Region 9 Summit was held at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, Arizona March 1-3, 2013. Flagstaff is 7,000 feet above sea level! Talk about the cold, thin air and snow still on the ground! Delegates from Region 9 chapters stayed at Hampton Inn & Suites in a beautiful part of Flagstaff. It was just a few miles from beautiful Historic downtown Flagstaff and even walking distance from NAU. The Summit attendees came from over 20 different colleges and universities!
Day 1: Upon arrival, delegates registered and enjoyed a welcome event that included showing school spirit with what you wore and some shouting that even included some animal noises of school mascots. There were ice breakers that included topics such as favorite Disney movies and rides, majors and a huge circle full of people carrying the world, walking a dog, karate, ganganm dancing, and even some hula hooping. Sounds crazy right?! It was and if you didn’t attend, you missed out! After icebreakers and some closing statements, Advisors had a meeting and students had free time to do as they choose. Many of us went to historic downtown to the art walk to sightsee and eat some amazing food! Others went to see Wreck It Ralph and probably the smartest ones of the group sat in the lobby and did their homework.
Day 2: Rise and shine! The breakfast area of the Hampton Inn & Suites was swarmed with Golden Key members dressed in business attire fueling up for a long day ahead. After breakfast was a HQ update by Melissa Decell, our region’s Associate Director. Following updates, we were graced with the presence of our keynote speaker, Gretchen Wesbrock, who spoke about elevating your leadership skills. She wowed us with her dancing skills of the decades, and many in the audience participated in as well, and amazing rendition of Beauty and a Beat – Golden Key style – by Justin Bieber. You can see this amazing performance here: http://tinyurl.com/cayph6x. I’m thinking that a record company should hurry up and sign her to a contract; she’s got talent!
Following such a great speaker and message, the workshops began. There were three workshop sessions on a variety of topics that we could choose from. The first one that I attend was the “Use What You Got” which focused on finding our personal talents and using them to be the best leader that we can be. Dr. Gretchen McAllister led the workshop and she was great! We even got to doodle an abstract picture of how our strengths will help us being a leader!
In the second session, workshop topics included a president’s roundtable, resumes, meetings, and adopt-a-classroom, something for everyone. After workshops were over, we were welcomed to a wonderful build your own sandwich bar – better than any sub chain I might add as well. We were broken into groups based on the sticker color we had on our name badge and we were able to mingle and meet people from other schools. There were questions on the table for some mini icebreakers and some dinosaur stickers that were the color of our table. If anyone has seen The Land Before Time – and if you haven’t, you are way behind, I found stickers that were the shapes of Petrie, Sarah, Spike and Littlefoot! The only one I couldn’t find was Ducky…”Yup, yup, yup!” They are now stuck in my planner for reminders of not only one of my favorite movies, but summit too!
During the third workshop session, I presented the Better World Books workshop, which had kept me nervous for the week prior to Summit and very much so the morning of. I get really nervous when I have to speak in front of people, I begin to talk fast and rush, but I’d like to think that I did well. I had some jokes – which make it seem less nervous knowing I’ve engaged the audience and that makes it less intimidating. Overall, it went well! Everyone got amazing ideas regarding book drives and how to make them better.
Then it was service time! We collected socks and made blankets for those in need, which is especially important in such a cold climate.
Then it was time to get dressed up and head back to Du Bois Center for our closing dinner which included some amazing Mexican food, an acapella group that blew everyone’s mind and a Harlem Shake video seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp6YZ-5vgew. There was also salsa dancing and then some general dancing that included line dancing tutorials and free styles that often ended up in a circle with a couple people in the middle. After everyone finally made a fool of themselves enough, everyone headed back to the hotel to relax, hang out or go out.
Day 3: Good morning and rise and shine, and time for breakfast and one-on-one meetings! Headquarters representatives Melissa Decell and John Dingfelder graciously sat with each school and went over plans, questions and information pertaining to chapter standards. I’m proud of our chapter as we are on our way to receiving Gold Standing, as I’m sure that every other chapter is as well! I know that our chapter had a wonderful time at Summit, and I’d like to think that everyone else did as well! We all learned a lot that we can take back to our chapters.
I graduate in June, but am thankful for all the opportunities that Golden Key has had to offer me. International Summit was an amazing experience as well as Regional. I look forward to all that life has to offer me after I graduate and I can’t wait to save money to attend International Summit in 2014!