—This post was written by Haley Wadley, vice president of the University of Wyoming chapter—
From March 14-16, Region 8 held their Regional Summit at 7,200 feet in Laramie, Wyoming! Members from around the region gathered together to participate in an adventurous weekend that would turn out to be filled with memories, new friends and great ideas. Over the past year members of the Golden Key chapter at the University of Wyoming prepared to make this weekend as successful as possible so that members around the region could gather together and share their love for Golden Key and all of its amazing opportunities!
Friday was just the beginning to a great weekend as attendees came into town and begin registration at the Hilton Garden Motel, where the traveling members would be staying for the weekend. At registration gift bags filled with several different items were handed out to each attending member, including Golden Key merchandise and lots of other goodies. Members were given some time to settle into their rooms before meeting up with University of Wyoming members to be caddied to the Wyoming Union building where the Summit meetings would be held. Upon arrival, members were given a Golden Key bingo question sheet where they had to meet other members in order to get spaces blacked out. Examples include: ran a 5K race, been to Disney Land, has siblings and etc. The first 3 members to meet 5 other members who met those qualifications won a prize! It was a great icebreaker.
After the students spent some time getting to know each other, a brief introduction was given by the Region 8 HQ Representative, John Dingfelder, which welcomed students to Laramie. After getting members excited about the weekend ahead of them, John handed the stage over to Sara Axelson, the Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Wyoming and a Golden Key honorary member. As a keynote speaker, Sara shared some experiences she has had in her career and the wisdom she has gained. Mrs. Axelson left the members feeling enlightened, inspired and ready to be leaders in the community. A catered dinner was then provided to students at the Wyoming Union Building, so that they could have plenty of energy for the night’s activities that lied ahead.
After dinner, students retreated to the basement of the Student Union for a night filled with exciting entertainment including: a billiards tournament, karaoke, photo booth, ping pong, Xbox 360, and Just Dance! Not to mention the snow cones, popcorn, snacks, soda and dessert tables! All members engaged in some form of activity during the night and seemed to be enjoying themselves as there was constant karaoke singers breaking out air guitars and their own dance moves. The delegate mixer proved to be a good way for students to relax and have a good time!
On Saturday morning, members woke up to breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn Restaurant and late registration began. A good morning welcome was given along with a headquarters update as Golden Key members arrived at the Wyoming Union at 9am. Students learned about the availability of scholarships and new advancements being made at the Headquarters office. Students scurried off to participate in the first of three workshop sessions being presented. All workshops focused in on the tools and resources available to Golden Key members and how to utilize these resources in order to better yourself and your chapter. Some of the workshop topics presented were: Personal and Professional Development, Service and Careers, New Member Recognition Events, Attitude for Altitude and Diversity and Inclusion, Golden Key 101 and more. After the first two workshop sessions adjourned, members met for a catered lunch and another update from Headquarters before returning to the third and final workshop session.
Following the last workshop session, members took a little time to relax before getting started on the service project. Before coming to Laramie, chapters were asked to collect small toiletry items (shampoo, soap, toothbrush, mouthwash, & etc.) to be donated to the new Family Crisis Center located in Rawlins, WY. The crisis center is new and truly appreciated the donations. Then, members started making Brazilian jewelry. Yes, Brazilian jewelry with a Brazilian native. Members got a brief informative talk from a Brazilian native who discussed the nature of the beads. The money collected from the jewelry sales is given back to a small community in Brazil so that a traveling mammogram machine can be purchased to help with breast cancer diagnosis. Members enjoyed learning different styles of making jewelry and picking out their own colors, styles and then making their own bracelets and necklaces. Some members even purchased some of the jewelry made!
A break was given before the closing banquet for some free time to relax and freshen up. The closing banquet started around 6 pm with a delicious dinner at the Wyoming Union where students gathered to reminisce about the day and the memories made. Jason Thompson, a renowned speaker, gave an astounding keynote address, and left us with the message that, “success is when you have fallen down and STILL get back up to keep pursuing your goals and dreams.” This message left members in awe as they moved to the University of Wyoming Planetarium to watch the newly released film Frozen.
As suspected, the fun would not stop after Saturday night. Sunday morning members woke up to another breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn restaurant. Chapter meetings filled up most of the morning, with each chapter discussing their successes, what needs work, and what new goals to be made. Members, tired yet motivated, checked out and departed Laramie around 12 pm to return to their homelands and put to work their knowledge from their 2014 Regional Summit.
On behalf of the University of Wyoming Golden Key chapter and Regional Summit Committee we would like to thank the Summit attendees, volunteers, Caterings of Laramie, Hilton Garden Inn Motel/Restaurant, Golden Key Headquarters staff, workshops presenters and keynote speakers. This meeting would not have been a success without you and we appreciate all that you do.
Until next time, remember to Just Breathe and we will see you at Regional Summit 2015!
Don’t miss the Golden Key 2014 International Summit from 31 July – 3 August in Boston. For more information and to register, visit www.is.gd/summit14.