During March 17th to the 19th, one of the largest annual New Jersey Circle K events: DCON, took place. DCON, which stands for district convention, is an event that is more focused on the Circle K tenant of leadership rather than service and fellowship.
Hello, New Jersey! Spring is on its way, which means there are many more service projects and socials to take part in! Don’t forget that with service projects come service hours; so be sure to report all your service hours to your club Secretary! This way, you can obtain all of your volunteer hours whenever you need them!
Last year, I went to INSIGHT as a general member not knowing what to expect at all, and I ended up having an amazing experience. This year, as the Conventions and Conferences Chair, I knew exactly what to expect, or so I thought. Having planned the event, I thought there would be no major surprises for me, but I was wrong. You can plan out each and every minute of an event. You can plan out what member goes in which team, what time we’ll be eating a certain meal, and even the best method that a person can use to scare someone during a haunted walk. However, I forgot you can’t plan out the way you’ll feel when you see your old friends, make new ones, and form connections with the most unexpected of people. It was these “unplanned” experiences that made INSIGHT so fun and meaningful for me this year, and as always, it did not fail to be an incredible experience. Of course, none of it would have been made possible without the help of the rest of the New Jersey District Board, Rutgers Circle K (our host club), and the countless others who helped make this event possible, and I am thankful to all those who helped make it such a great event this year.
Conventions and Conferences District Chair
One of the advantages Circle K offers over other student-led community service organizations is a network of K-Family organizations that encompasses people of all ages. While Circle K is comprised mainly of college students, it’s important to remember that there are other branches of the K-Family. Elementary schools have K-Kids, middle schools have Build- ers Club, high schools have Key Club. Then there is Circle K, and either Aktion Club or Kiwanis follows that.
Getting involved with the other branches of the K-Family is an excellent way to get engaged with groups of new people. Here are a few tips and ideas to help boost your K-Family relations.
If you’re having a fundraiser, reaching out to a local Kiwanis Club could mean getting more people involved. This, in turn, could help you raise more money. Kiwanis is filled with wise adults who can help guide your fundraiser forward to increase the odd of it being a success.
Each summer, the NJ District of Circle K holds a K-Family event called the K-Family Picnic. This event involves engaging in community service, food, and fun and games out on the beach with members from all of the K-Family organizations. This is a great way to meet people from all over Kiwanis and from all over the NJ District. In fact, you might even meet a few people from other districts as we’ve had a number of guests come from other districts in the past!
Key Club is huge in size and has tons of members who are looking to get more involved. If your Circle K club is planning a large event, definitely contact your local Key Clubs. You might be surprised by the number of members who are interest- ing in checking out your event! Circle K and Key Clubs have teamed up for very successful service projects in the past.
Don’t hesitate to contact local K-Kids or Builders Clubs either! Some- times our younger members become isolated due to school policy and their lack of transportation. However, it is possible to engage in ser- vice with them! Your club can try to arrange a joint-project with them, whether that means re-painting a playground at their school or teaming up to run a lemonade stand over the summer. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it.
Utilizing the K-Family’s vast network of members is a fantastic way to hold more successful events while making new friends along the way. All K-Family branches have something to offer so establishing those connections is well-worth it. Never be afraid to establish these types of connections. They’re essential to fostering the bond that keeps the Kiwanis-family together.
By Rocky Trifari, K-Family Relations Chair
I cannot believe that it has almost been a full year since we began our journey together in Circle K. The accomplishments that our dis- trict’s members have been a part of is simply incredible. Raising money to eliminate tetanus from the world, serving at our three Ronald McDonald Houses, and serving our campuses and communities in so many ways – we have really done it all! The actions of all of our NJCKI members makes me so proud to have been able to serve as your District Governor.
I truly believe that these acts of kindness and selflessness that you have all participated in were not one-time things. I know that the hearts of all our members are full to the brim with a passion for helping others in any way possible. I urge you to use this passion to positively influence other people in your lives. Whether you do that by giving someone a jacket when it’s cold, or giving them a warm smile as you pass them by, the impact of your thoughtfulness can really change the future. Please, never forget the ways you can change lives through your daily actions and choices.
With about a month left of our terms, let’s go out with a bang, and makes these final days memorable. And then, once we reach our DCON weekend, we can begin to prepare ourselves for the new ser- vice year ahead! I look forward to seeing you all there to celebrate the old, and welcome the new!
Stay classy, NJ District! 🙂
In my 3 years as a CKI member, I attended 3 DCONs. When I first started attending Stockton Circle K meetings, I just wanted to do some community service. I did not expect to be going to conventions and getting so involved. Then, fortunately for me, Melinda Graff (who is currently working her butt off to plan this years DCON) convinced me to come with her to our first DCON. Let me tell you, I did not expect to have as much fun as I did. First of all, it was Disney themed, so how great is that!? Not only was I able to meet Circle Kers from schools around the state, but I also grew closer to the amazing group of Stockton Circle Kers who attended. I created lasting friendships while learning about how the organization is run at a higher level. I admired the members who ran for district board positions and could never imagine myself speaking in front of such a large group. I went to workshops where I learned how to juggle and about our service initiatives. I made some of my favorite memories at the dance and the diner afterword. I saw my second and third DCONs in different perspectives. Stockton was the host club for DCON 2013 so I had my first experiences helping to plan our superhero themed convention. I had so much fun there that I decided to join the district board the subsequent year. DCON 2014, the 50th ever and my last DCON, was completely different from my first. I conquered one of my greatest fears and spoke in front of a large crowd of friends, fellow CKI members, Kiwanians, and alumni. It was all very exciting but sad at the same time because I knew I would no longer be able to attend DCON as a member of CKI. To any members on the fence about attending this year, if you take anything away from this, please please please attend DCON. You will not regret it!
September 13th was a normal day for everyone else in New Jersey, but not for the officers and members of New Jersey Circle K.! We had our Club Officer Training at Brookdale Community College. It was a privilege to see officers from around the state gather in one room, and watch them collaborate to become better leaders.
It all began with a welcome and gathering in our main lecture hall. This is where everyone could reconnect with old friends from other schools or begin to make new connections with the newly elected/
appointed boards. Things really kicked off after the district board introduced ourselves and we began a fun yet risky ice breaker!
Once the laughter was over, it was time to start training. We split up into designated groups. Each room had a different set of board members who began explaining how to strengthen the other officers’ skill sets, and how they could succeed in their positions. The leaders did an amazing job explaining officer responsibilities, and I could tell that the audience was captivated. I had the honor of walking through the hallways and ringing the bell to let them know when their session was coming to a close.
Following the first session, we all proceeded back to the lecture hall for our very own Parth Patel’s Eliminate Project presentation, where everyone was educated on maternal and neonatal tetanus.. He did a killer job making sure everyone knew what Eliminate was all about, and how they could help bring an end to MNT. The presentation was both entertaining and informative.
For the second session, we were able to break into smaller groups where presentations were given on various charities that Circle K International is involved with. Club officers were able to learn more about organizations that they had not known of before, and everyone seemed so excited to get involved in any way they could by the end of the presentations!
Following our lunch break, Vidish Pandya and Christian Blanco gave a short presentation on Leadership Academy. Their enthusiasm about their trip to Indiana gained the attention of the audience and demonstrated all that Leadership Academy has to offer. After hearing about how they were able to become better leaders and how they were inspired to continue their personal growth, a few audience members showed interest in becoming the next Leadership Academy attendees!
The third session took a more playful tone. It consisted of a motivational youtube clip session, stress relief ,and discovering leadership types. This was where training came to a conclusion, and where everyone was able to enjoy a fun, laid-back workshop.
COTC concluded with a final presentation of the history of K-family. It was both informative and motivational to see our history and what we had planned for the future. Circle K International has big things to look forward to, and our future looks extremely bright!
At the end of the day, we all went our separate ways full of excitement, hope and determination to ensure that we continue to do great things and know that the sky is the limit for the achievements to come.
On the week of June 17th, 2014, members of the New Jersey District had the opportunity to travel to Nashville, TN, where we celebrated this year’s 50th annual Circle K International convention and large scale service project!
Rebranded under the name “CKIx,” this year’s convention truly took our expectations for the organization to the next level- providing informative workshops, spirited sessions, and amazing service projects for our members to enjoy. The first two days of CKIx kicked off with our organization’s annual Large Scale Service Project, where members of our district split up in to teams comprised of different students across the globe. From there, teams had the opportunity to tackle unique service projects with an assigned team leader- one of whom happened to be our district’s very own governor, Dawn Kreder!
After two fun-filled days of fellowship and service, the event quickly jumped into the business items of the convention- in which former Subregion-A trustee Kathy Le had been elected our International President for the 2014-2015 service year! In addition, former New York Circle K Governor and friend to the New Jersey District Kelly Chan had also been elected in to the office of our Subregion-F trustee, and will be serving with us this year along with the districts of New York, Capital, New England & Bermuda, and Eastern Canada! Last but not least, your’s truly was elected to serve in the office of Subregion-E trustee for the upcoming year as well, providing council to our neighboring districts of Pennsylvania, Kentucky-Tennessee, Ohio, and West Virginia!
Toward the latter days of convention, members were treated with very special presentations on empowerment from Phired Up, as well as food etiquette with Momma Nonnie. In addition, the organization also held a nighttime awards ceremony, in which the New Jersey District did fantastic work in sweeping up the convention! The Circle K club of Rutgers University won first place for both Single Service and the Eliminate Project. The New Jersey District as a whole won two honors for having fundraised the second highest district total, and the highest per member total for the Eliminate Project respectively. In addition, our 2013-2014 district board went home with a record breaking total of 7 trophies, with Eliminate Chair Stephanie winning Distinguished District Chair, Lieutenant Governors Brooke, Annabelle, and Victoria all winning Distinguished LTG, Secretary Dawn in winning Distinguished Secretary, and myself in winning both Distinguished Governor, and District for the state of New Jersey as a whole.
As the convention concluded on Saturday night, we had the opportunity to reflect on our fantastic 6 day experience in Nashville by dancing the night away with members from across the nation. CKIx this past week was truly a celebration to remember, and we hope you’ll join us next year for our organizations 60th anniversary, in Indianapolis, Indiana!
What better way to wrap up the Circle K year than to celebrate it with friends and colleagues at the 50th Annual New Jersey Circle K District Convention! This event featured the distribution of awards to club officers and members as well as the caucusing and election of those running for District Positions. I must admit what a surreal experience it was caucusing via Google Hangout. I spent my afternoons in the rainy city of Seattle, Washington preparing for the elections process and my evenings gracing the “big screen” with the guidance and tremendous patience of former Garden LTG, Annabelle Fallarme. On behalf of the New Jersey Circle K District Board, I would like to thank the Circle K Clubs who joined us in this Golden Celebration and brought in the 2013-2014 Circle K year in a truly celebratory fashion!
DCON, also known as District Convention, is a weekend long event in which the New Jersey District of Circle K International assembles. Here, immediate past officers address their district, and the future New Jersey District Board is voted upon by members such as yourself! These candidates participate in several rounds of caucusing before the New Jersey District comes to a vote. While it is certainly a very exciting aspect of DCON, District Board elections are not the only facet of our convention! DCON is also a time in which awards are presented to outstanding officers, clubs, and general members, and attendees can attend several leadership building workshops. It is the event in which recipients of various scholarships are announced, and a place where members can dress to impress at the annual dance. Most importantly, it is a time for New Jersey Circle K members to network with one another and grow as leaders and individuals!