Insight into a Magical World of Service

Greeted by headmasters/mistresses upon arrival, newly enrolled students of the New Jersey District of Circle K International were divided into their Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry houses through the one-of-a-kind sorting hat.

After a round of introductions, house bonding was well under way on the first night of Insight Weekend 2010 when a house anthem competition ensued. Many wizards and witches showed off their singing, dancing, and team spirit talents among many other things.

The night wrapped up with group break-out discussions regarding how magic can be made in the community through the service of leaders and working together despite our differing leadership approaches is necessary to obtain teamwork not only at Hogwarts, but at our separate colleges and universities.

Saturday morning started off bright and early after our first nights on the toasty, heated cabins.

With our assigned houses, we then took our shot as separate groups at different team-building courses in the woodsy hills of Camp Mason. Whether we were collectively trying to keep a single wooden platform balanced without touching the ground, or tip-toe through a spider web of twists and turns, these activities only boosted our house connection and ability to work with leaders not like ourselves.

Later on in the afternoon, an Amazing Race themed challenge was thrown upon each other of the houses to be completed in a two-hour time limit, in which every house vied to tackle the most tasks with the greatest display teamwork in the allotted time. Following this intense extravaganza of unique wizardry through working together, each Hogwarts student was afforded the opportunity to choose which community service activity they wished to partake in before a bounty feast for dinner.

A choice ranging from raking leaves to installing drapery in the cabins, the New Jersey District of Circle K International was more than willing to brighten up the looks of Camp Mason through the magic in-stilled in their giving nature.

Wrapping up quite a busy day of team building and volunteering, all of the houses regrouped to attend the Host Club’s, Brookdale Community College, sponsored event. Full of eliminating rounds ending in the free-for-all soda can balance test. Brookdale’s Club Co-President Danielle Sammut ended up showing up all of us aspiring wizards and witches with her skills.

Followed up by the Great Hall Speak-Out and Candle Light Reflection, it was quite apparent that less than 24 hours had brought each one of these houses and Hogwarts students closer through fellowship and made all the difference in defining what was taken away from this insightful experience.

Ending the night with the Yule Ball, the New Jersey District of Circle K International was able to celebrate the lessons that had been learned that weekend and take part in further establishing the new friendships that had sparked.

Sunday came too quick for all us, dspite Daylight Savings Time. While there was a hurry to eat breakfast, finish up Owl Post, and discuss bids for the Pie-the-Board Auction, the frenzy in the air was magical to say the least.

After an intense auction to support district fundraising efforts, District Editor Jennifer Hsieh shared a video of photos to reflect the weekend, and then the pie-ing was well under way.

Saying goodbye was probably the hardest part of the whole weekend, as each Hogwarts wizard and witch knew they would have to return to their original collegiate dwellings to attend academic classesthe next day. But they would never forget the Magical World of Service they immersed themselves into at Insight 2010.

We hope that you will join us das Insight 2011 to shape an experience similar to this based off of your unique leadership characteristics!

Training NJ Circle K’s Finest

Annie, Cait, and I made the trip to Brookdale Community College of September 12th to attend the District officer Training. Monmouth University was one of many Circle Ks from the New Jersey District there. All three divisions were represented: metro, Seabreeze and Garden.

After a pizza lunch, District President Rob Acerra and Lt. Governors Roseanne and Teddy gave the opening speeches. The speeches were followed by some icebreakers and then group meetings for various officers. Each of us got a chance to share tips and gain advice about being better at our respective positions.

We also attended different workshops on topics ranging from recruiting members to service project ideas. One of our members, Caroline lay, gave a presentation on the upcoming District events including INSIGHT and Fall Rally.

Overall, the day was a chance for us to get to know our fellow District members and gain a better sense of our roles as club leaders.

New Jersey K-Family Heats Up the Grill at Annual Picnic

On Saturday July 24, 2010, the Circle K hosted its annual Kiwanis Family Picnic. The picnic attendees included the members from New Jersey District Key Clubs, Circle K clubs, and Kiwanis clubs. One of the purposes of the Picnic is to build a stronger bond with each level of the Kiwanis Family. It allows the New Jersey District to make connections with another and get to know one another in a casual environment. We were also able to raise money for our yearly budget!

Those in attendance got to see friends that they don’t normally get to see on a daily basis and they participated in competitive team bonding games like volleyball, three-legged races, and a water balloon toss. Along with the fun and games, the New Jersey K-Family enjoyed a picnic meal made for a king consisting of hamburgers, hot dogs, various salads, and desserts.

With good planning and hard work from everybody involved, the picnic had over fifty attendees and was a huge success. A special thank you to Stockton College Circle K for being the host club (and providing games and prizes) and another thank you to Sonya and Caroline for the behind-the-scenes work on the Special Events committee! Look out next summer for the next annual K-Family Picnic!

Seabreeze Officers Get Twisted Up in Training

A recent club event that I specifically wanted to write about was the informal Seabreeze officer held at our campus led by our wonderful Lieutenant Governor, Teddy John Wohlbold!

I really enjoyed that fact that it was informal because sometimes people are afraid to ask questions in formal settings.

Dressed comfortably and in a relaxed setting, the Seabreeze officers were able to learn information about the officer positions and membership recruiting/retention, while learning various ways to improve our clubs. We even had some fun while playing Twister as an icebreaker (for those of you who attended; you know have liked to see more people from our division come out, it was a success. Hopefully next year we will have a greater turnout where we would be able to have more people to ask more questions and share ideas. Personally, Brookdale took many notes and will make improvements for the upcoming year. We want to thank Teddy for taking his time out and doing this for us! Also, a special thanks to Anna Friars who gave us a great insight on the many duties of a secretary.

Out with the Old, In with the New

The newly elected District Governor, Rob Acerra picked up Gina Durham’s gavel and rung the NJ Circle K bell, officially adjourning the 46th annual District Convention on Sunday, March 28. As one service year ends, another begins, and what better way to wrap up the year than to celebrate the old and welcome in the new? Following the wise words of Dr. Seuss, this year’s District Convention revolved around the theme ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Host club Stockton College turned the Somerset Crowne Plaza into a Seussical world with pinwheel centerpieces and a banner based off the original cover illustration.

Throughout the weekend, members from different clubs intermingled with one another; some reuniting with familiar faces while others crossed paths for the first time. The atmosphere was full of excitement and the talk of the weekend revolved around the candidates for District positions: Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor, and LTGs. The candidates had to endure countless questions during caucusing as well as initial fishbowl questions, testing their knowledge of Circle K and the positions they were running for. Most of the candidates were running unopposed with the exception of Governor, Editor, and Seabreeze LTG.

During the House of Delegates, the tension was high in the room as delegates made their decisions and casted their votes. In between voting sessions, delegates had to sit through the review of the Resolutions which caused a few delegates to take impromptu naps.

Despite the length of the session, the overall process was swift compared to previous years. In no time, members were off to the Saturday night Governor’s Ball where guys loosened their ties and girls kicked off their shoes, ready for a night of fun. Board members were raffled off for dances to fund raise for the District (the entirety of Rowan won a dance with district secretary, Jaime Picchi).

The next morning, members from all levels of the K-family gathered for the farewell brunch to remember the past service year, commemorate Karen Ann Conway’s last moments as governor, and welcome in the new members of the 2010-’11 District Board. Until next year New Jersey!