Top 10 Takeaways from #DECAELS 2017

DECA’s Emerging Leaders Summit is always one of my favorite DECA conferences (well, actually, every conference is one of my favorites…) but #DECAELS is an especially special trip.

It’s the beginning of the year, when most officer teams have just begun to work together, and there’s so much learning and meeting new people and adventuring around exciting cities.

While it’d be easy to make a list of 100 takeaways from this year’s #DECAELS experience, here are my top 10:

1. Bus rides have never been more fun.

Whether it was a group sing along to “Party in the USA” or using the bus microphone to blast music, these weren’t your average DC Night tours.

2. This year really is #Limitless.

With the announcement of your executive officer team’s program of leadership, there are some incredible plans in store for this year, designed with your suggestions in mind.

3. DECA people are the best people! (Part 1)

Regional Conferences are in a few short months, and ELS was the best time to get to know your region. Hopefully, by the time Power Trip, CRLC, or WRLC rolls around, you’ll be counting down the days until reuniting with some of your best friends. I am!

4. DECA people are the best people! (Part 2)

You’ll get to see the members within your region again at your own regional leadership conferences, but ELS is unique in that officers from across the country have the opportunity to connect. Make sure you’re ready for those FaceTime conversations until 2am!

5. @Rhett_Laubach doesn’t just teach!

He can bring out a little bit of country in everyone… including a whole room of officers, members, and advisors. Thanks to Rhetro and his guitar Sprinkles, this post-DECA after Dark concert wasn’t one to miss!

6. Learning can be fun!

EMPOWER and ELEVATE included dancing, shouting, group storytimes, just to name a few highlights. Whether you’re a Driver, a Caretaker, or an Energizer, the workshops really included something for everybody.

7. DECA runs on Starbucks.

Breaking news! If there’s a line at a conference, it’s probably for caffeine (or blazers). Three long days means recharging is a must, and the line out the door of the lobby Starbucks didn’t suggest any different.

8. All regions are equal.

As your Western Region Vice President, I obviously have no bias as to which region truly excels. But! There was some pretttyyyy loud cheering coming from the six associations of my home region whenever someone said Western. Just a thought.

9. Teamwork makes the dream work.

I just spent the last 10 days learning from my own new team, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have such incredible people to learn from. Whether you’re part of an association or chapter team, ELS always brings new ways to get to know the people who help you get the job done. Tell your team you love them today!

10. When I say ONE, You Say DECA!

There were lots of region chants, sure, but this ELS also brought the most membership we’ve ever seen, which meant louder chanting, more energy, and an even more extraordinary time. Let’s break the record next year!

Now it’s your turn! Tweet me @decavphayley with your own favorite parts of ELS for a chance to be featured on DECA’s social media.

Follow Hayley on Twitter @decavphayley.

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