By: Kristin Garstka
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world, indeed it’s the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Meade
Boynestock USA may not have been as large as the original Woodstock, but the almost 400 Junior Chamber International (JCI) Michigan members who joined the tri-annual leadership conference certainly made strides on changing the world. JCI Michigan President Steve (Steve-O) Fappas welcomed JCI USA National President Tricia Buehne, JCI International NVP Jay Johnson, Michigan Senator Tristan Cole, Founder of Dreamcatchers and Ten Outstanding Young American Award Winner Caitlyn Crommett, and a few hundred members from across the state of Michigan to train, strategize and motivate each other into impacting the communities around them. The mantra of “One Team, One Dream” was felt throughout the weekend; President Fappas often shouting it in a way that rallied the crowd often.
For those who were looking for comradery, fun and a small amount of ridiculousness, the Jaycee Village did not disappoint on Friday night. Chapters were encouraged to display items that represented their chapter/city/members/etc. and gave other members from across the state the opportunity to get to know them a little more. Many of the displays had pictures, fanfare, and a special treat or spirit to share with others. While Jaycee Village was up and running, District Olympics kept everyone entertained. Where else can you see a beer stein holding challenge or a potato humping competition? (Interested in what that means? Check us out! Meanwhile, on more serious note, various competitors also tested their writing, speaking and presentation abilities in the state competitions.
Trainings over the weekend were compact and diverse, engaging the members in areas such as financial literacy and understanding your credit, transformational leadership skills, advancing your career through online professional social media outlets, and developing deeper skills for the local chapter board of director members. The attendees were also privy to a special keynote training regarding recruitment of Millennial and Generation Z individuals, an area that JCI Michigan hope to continue to develop in order to grow the organization in the years to come. Short, informative JCI Talks (formatted similar to TED Talks) closed the day of training, and reiterated the One Team, One Dream mantra; inspiring members to continue to dream big and inspire others.
Suits met gorgeous dresses in the final banquet dinner on Saturday night, the final opportunity to reward chapters for their hard work over the first trimester of 2019. The familiar voice of longtime JCI Michigan friend Jim Williams could be heard as JCI Michigan’s beloved emcee for the evening, announcing winners for Single Project Entries and Competitions. Special Presidential Medallions, the highest honor a JCI Michigan President can give another member, were handed out to individuals who made the greatest impact or inspired change in the organization. The coveted Chapter of the Trimester award, recognizing a chapter for their overall accomplishments within their community, went to the newly revived Greater Muskegon chapter, who also walked away with 5 other highly sought after awards! One of the other highlights of the evening wasn’t about awards at all; it was the impromptu singalong to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody(an act that showed just how well members young and old could join forces to belt out an international hit).
Boynestock 2019, JCI Michigan’s “small” gathering of a few hundred friends and family members was truly an uplifting experience- one that JCI Michigan wants every person aged 21-40 to experience! Don’t you want to do more than just eat, drink and work? Imagine the impact you could have on the people around you and in your community if you had the strength of over 1000 members in the state behind you. Together as One Team, One Dream we can make a difference!