That’s how much sleep I got from Thursday morning until Tuesday evening. I was that tired on Tuesday, at one point I thought I was hallucinating. You’re probably thinking that getting such little sleep was self-inflicted, as with most JCI International events, well you’d be wrong. OK, there was a bit in Thursday evening and I suppose the pool party on Monday until 3.30am wasn’t a compulsory session, but the vast majority was inflicted on me and my fellow European Academy delegates by the organising committee as we had loads of work to get through to make sure we graduated.
For those of you that aren’t aware, JCI’s European Academy is a training weekend that is run in Gothenburg, Sweden each year. It’s run for the incoming presidents of local chambers, and this year I was lucky enough to be invited to attend as JCI Barnsley’s Deputy President. The whole purpose of the weekend is to get the participants ready to undertake the daunting task of being the head of a local chamber and making a success of their year. This is achieved by making you work in teams and then forcing those teams into situations that are designed to push you to your limits and try to make the cracks show. It sounds harsh, but it’s surprisingly fun and enjoyable.
You get to learn some really good techniques about building a team, how to get the team to work effectively and other management tools that will make sure you’re as ready as possible to be a local president. All this is great, but for me, the most beneficial reason for attending is meeting the fantastic range of people from across Europe. I have now met incoming local presidents from Germany, Turkey, Norway, Ireland, France, Belgium, Latvia, Iceland, Lithuania, Scotland and lots of others as well. I’ve also got to know my fellow UK deputies better which has brought us closer together. This melting pot of ideas and people from all over the continent, who are all pulling in the same direction, mean that some of the projects that came out of the weekend were both mad and brilliant in equal measure.
Just from a JCI Barnsley perspective, this means our travels next year will probably include at least two trips to our twins in Aberdeen and then us hosting them twice, a social trip to JCI Krakow and a business orientated trip to JCI Istanbul. These are in addition to the European Conference that will be held in Malta and the World Congress that will be in Germany next year.
The weekend has really helped galvanise my vision for JCI Barnsley in 2014. I’m currently working hard on my plan and it will soon be ready to be revealed. This plan is purely a framework and I want to work with the council team, senators and most importantly the members, to make sure it helps us all work towards a goal of continually improving JCI Barnsley, ourselves, and our local community whilst having fun at the same time.
Whilst I’m really excited to be looking forward to 2014, let’s not forget that there are still four months of 2013 still to come. We all need to keep our eyes on the prize to make sure that every possible opportunity to make a difference is taken.
In the words of our World and our Local Presidents, Dare to act, and let’s make a Memory.
JCI Barnsley’s Deputy President and his outdoor team mates
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Tracy Grange