So by now you’ll have read a few blogs about the European Conference and probably heard more than a few stories. You may be wondering how we managed to fit it all in so here’s my diary…
Wednesday 13 June
3.45am Ouch. This is not a time I like to get out of bed but by 4am fuelled only by adrenalin we were en route to Manchester airport where we would meet up with some more Jaycees.
1pm- Arrived at Hannover Airport where JCI Germany has taken over the first class lounge. Free drinks and biscuits whilst checking in and waiting for the shuttle to Braunschweig.
4.30pm First timers briefing. Due to timings Niki and I attended in our sparkly union jack dresses – which caused something of a stir with the German schoolchildren at our bus stop!
6pm – Opening ceremony. UK delegation “jacked up” and out in force. This was my first real understanding of the sheer scale of JCI. Followed by the first German standard party – not just an impressive array of free food and drink, but a cow milking competition, lots of dancing (some of it on stage) and chance to start meeting the other delegates.
2am – bed at last!
Thursday 14 June
7.45am – a very unwelcome alarm call, breakfast and back on the free bus to the conference centre in time for my first training: JCI Impact. A new course focussed on identifying needs in the community and the ways in which JCI can make a real difference.
2pm – JCI Achieve. Amazing training! This was my “lightbulb” moment. Everything JCI does – from training to socials – is to empower young people (that’s us) to make positive changes. Bring it on!
6.30pm – UK delegate dinner. A chance to get to know the rest of the delegation and to fuel up for the night ahead. The shuttle bus then took us to the Alps Party – hosted at a tram station and incorporating a tram ride around the city. I guarantee every country in Europe had a union jack photo after this event!
2am – time to sleep. Well, until 4.30am when James and birthday girl Vicky made it back from the after party.
Friday 15 June
9am – missed bootcamp (sorry Sandra, sorry Kate) for a little lie in as training started at the more respectable 10.30am. Motivation into action was run by the only man who can pull off a very bright yellow cardigan, and got me starting to focus on my passions, my drivers and my opportunities to make a difference.
1pm – JCI Sheffield officially twinned with JCI Mayo. Whoop!
2pm – Painting pictures with words with Patrick Knight -one of the most inspiring trainers I have met.
7pm – dinner at the hotel followed by Nothing But Nets party at the cinema. Great use of the venue – England match on one of the screens, dancefloor in the foyer, cocktail bar outside. The highlight though was at 11pm when, having lost a bet with JCI Denmark national president, our International Director Tim Metcalfe appeared before the waiting crowds dressed only in a mankini, union jack hat and crazy moustache. Donations paid for 180 bed nets. Not a bad night’s work!
3am – bed
Saturday 16 June
8.45am – back up and starting to feel the lack of sleep and beginnings of a cold. Just about powered through the Business Success Factors training. It wasn’t the best training of the week, but still useful to chat through business ideas with other delegates.
12.30pm – quick jaunt round the trade show – discovered a bit late that this is where the free coffee is! Great stalls from German businesses and other JCI chambers.
2.30pm – dropped out of tree planting for an afternoon nap. But so fired up I spent it reading and plotting my new social enterprise.
5pm – pre gala drinks and informal awards. All the photo crashing with the union jack paid off – known as “internal PR” apparently! From here to the official awards ceremony and gala dinner. So proud to see JCI Sheffield shortlisted an amazing four times, including best chamber and best member (our awesome Deputy President Dan). JCI UK took home one award, for best new member. Congrats Soyara!
4am – time for bed
Sunday 17 June
9am – up and packing then off to the farewell brunch.
8.30pm – back in Sunny Sheff and ready to catch up on some sleep!
Categorised in: Events
This post was written by makedo