Over President's Day weekend, first-year at UDA UoG, Roi Gil attended the BBYO International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.
The BBYO International Convention is an annual event where more than 5,000 young-adult leaders of the Jewish faith come together to attend one of the largest gatherings of teens in the world.
During the convention, delegates have the opportunity to attend speaker sessions, learn leadership skills, and experience the energy filled weekend among new and old friends.
The convention is also an opportunity for participants to garner leadership skills within the Jewish community while having access to music performances and global friendship throughout the weekend.
Throughout the weekend, Gil held a few roles. The first was to speak about his experiences being a Jewish athlete in a university setting. During the convention, Gil got to be a part of two panels where he detailed his experiences in the UDA Academy at UoG to interested teens considering furthering their athletic careers.
Gil's second role was to be an advocate for Lost Tribe's community. Lost Tribe Esports is one way that teens and young-adults come together to share and learn more about the Jewish faith. Gil became a Minecraft Counselor at Lost Tribe Esports, where their mission is to strengthen Jewish identity among teens, particularly through online gaming. Through his position, Gil became a lead counselor where he taught children about Judaism through the popular video game, Mindcraft.
From this position, Gil discovered that Lost Tribe had an athletics branch, Lost Tribe Athletics, that he quickly joined. Lost Tribe Athletics can now sponsor Jewish collegiate athletes, which allows Gil to meet monthly with a community to discuss upcoming opportunities for events and projects while advertising the organization's mission.
At the convention, Gil used his knowledge of Lost Tribe to share his experience with how the organization uses social media and video games to build a community for Jewish teens and young adults to connect. Gil notes he had the opportunity to meet four other sponsored athletes and staff members from Lost Tribe, "It was great to see them in person and not behind a screen. I'm looking forward to seeing them at the next event," he added.
Reflecting on his biggest take-aways from the convention, Gil noted, "hearing how others have dealt with being Jewish athletes in areas with a small Jewish population has helped me learn ways of improving my understanding on how to make the most of my university experience." He continued, "I also believe that this convention combined with being in the Lost Tribe community ensures that even in an area with not a huge Jewish community, I am part of a Jewish community. Attending this convention helped me realize that."
Although this is Gil's first year attending BBYO IC, he can't wait for conventions to come.
If you are interested in learning more you can view BBYO IC's mission and future events here. If you'd like to help further the Jewish faith among teens and young-adults, consider becoming part of Lost Tribe Esports or Lost Tribe Athletics.