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!

Not According to Plan

On 17 September, a group of Rutgers Circle K’ers stood outside a dark warehouse, worn out from tugging at a deadbolted door. Three more students arrived late to the scene, only to be informed that there was, in fact, no way into the building. The crew stood around hopelessly trying to contact President Teddy John Wohlbold. Finally he was reached. As it turned out, an email sent late in the day revealed that all volunteer sessions were cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. While disappointing, several lessons were learned from the event: map out your route before driving, be on time, have everyone’s phone number, check your email constantly! And most of all, laugh at failure. Life is full of it.

Jersey’s Finest Train at BCC

Up at the crack of dawn, the 2009-10 New Jersey District Board of Circle K International set out, fueled by coffee and CKI passion to Brookdale Community College for the year’s first Club Officer Training Conference (COT). Up all of the previous night learning about their own roles at District Club Officer Training Conference (DOTC) at the Somerset Crowne Plaza, the Board was ready for another intensive day of CKI activity. Luckily, the Parkway is empty at 7am. After a brief board meeting, the Kiwanis committee, club representatives, and executive board set up for the District’s newly elected board officers.

Past Circle K’ers shared their experiences with the new NJCK generation and offered tips on how to be effective leaders and team players, how to keep old members, and attract new ones, how to dress for success, and how to fulfill specific officer duties. And of course, there was plenty of pizza and candy to keep everyone motivated. Said Rutgers Vice President Rachel Moseson, “COT prepared each of us for our various roles within Circle K, but also helped us see the big picture by looking beyond our positions and encouraging us to expand our clubs together.” Don’t fret if you missed this great experience; there’s another one coming up in the fall! Keep an eye out for news about COT II.