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By Mathew Gunn, student at Gray Academy

About 85 teens were at the BBYO’s AIT/ MIT convention last March, including Dan Saidman, the regional head of BBYO, which took place at Camp Cedarwood, which is located in Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba. Anoother BBYO convention will take place in th eupcoming months.

AIT/MIT is the 1st of the two main conventions in BBYO. The main focus of it is to introduce the new BBYO members to BBYO and to get to see what it’s like. AIT’s are the 1st year boys and MIT’s are the 1st year girls.

 At the convention, You will learn the history of BBYO and you are introduced to their programs. The older students, who have positions on the BBYO board, plan the programs for the convention. This year the main organizers were Shira Tennenhouse, Josh Donen, and Zev Ripstein.
One of the most exciting and probably most memorable program from AIT/MIT is mini-Winter convention, when each individual group from BBYO forms their own team and competes in a variety of competitions. For mini-Winter Convention (which is a pre-run of the next BBYO convention), the categories were song, skit, and poster.
There are 3 boys’ chapters-Eskimoes, Chadda, and Alophim- and three girls’ chapters-Chaverim, Bat Sheva, and Gabriels. Each chapter competed against the other, but only in terms of gender (boys vs. boys, girls vs. girls). Two hours were given to each team to prepare all of the challenges. In the end, Eskimoes won for the boys and Gabriels won for the girls. It was a close call on both sides with the scores differing by just decimal points. The judges were Shira Tennenhouse, Josh Donen, and Zev Ripstein.
Overall, it was a great bonding experience for everyone. People became friends with other people who they didn’t know before the convention. Another bonus about the bonding experience is it brings the grades closer together. There were people there ranging from grades 9-12, and now seeing someone from BBYO out of school, no matter what the age difference is, you can go up to them and have a conversation because BBYO does such a great job of bringing our Jewish community together. My advice to anyone with the chance to join BBYO is to join it. It will be the highlight of your high school years.
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