Why Every Florida DECA Should Attend #FLDECAELS

What has your chapter done so far during #DECAMonth? Florida DECA chapters celebrated the first weekend of the month in St. Pete Beach for the Emerging Leaders Summit!

Team 60 went above and beyond, exceeding expectations yet again, during ELS. New and returning members were able to get to know the association officer team during Camp DECA and learn from the experienced state officers, members and judges during training sessions. Members also got to experience a role-play scenario without the pressures of a true, competitive environment. Attendees were able to bond with their own chapters, as well as members from other schools through teamwork activities.

Memories were made while staying at the luxurious Tradewinds Island Grand Resort and racing around Busch Gardens in order to ride all the best rides. The list of all the memorable moments is extensive, but in case your chapter did not get to attend here is a quick recap and the best parts according to East Ridge DECA members:


Florida DECA does a great job of getting members involved in activities with people from other schools. It was very beneficial to work with other DECA members to learn who you may be competing with and to recognize that they are just like you. On the first night, we had to connect with someone from a different school born in the same month as ourselves, and it turns out the girl I found was also competing in my event! It was funny to me meeting my future “competition,” but also reassuring because I always seem to forget that the other people in my event are high-schoolers most likely working towards similar goals as me.

Florida DECA officers also divided us into small groups on the first night and that group was who we worked with at Camp DECA and during smaller activities. Working with familiar faces throughout the entire weekend made it easier to accomplish tasks by the end. Each of us who attended ELS will now have more familiar faces that we could potentially reconnect with at the Florida DECA association competition and have a lasting friendship with!

Competition Preparation

One of the most beneficial activities members took part in was a role-play scenario on Saturday morning. Members followed the same procedures as if they were at their district or state competition, and this was a perfect way for new members to get comfortable presenting their role-plays in front of a judge before their results become a real factor of their success.

Busch Gardens

Most of the ELS attendees, including those at East Ridge, can probably agree that Busch Gardens was one of the best parts. The theme park experience is a chance for chapter to bond and get to know their members outside of their traditional DECA meetings. You learn who the scaredy-cats and dare-devils of your chapters are, and just how exciting it is to be a part of such an amazing organization.

Entrepreneurship Workshops

The members of East Ridge High School said another one of their favorite parts of ELS was the Entrepreneurship Workshop, where they learned insightful tips on success in business. Hearing the stories of young entrepreneurs proved that members’ dreams are possible to reach.

We are all so happy to have the opportunity to attend such a well-organized and helpful conference. If any chapter did not attend this year, you are highly encouraged to go next year. We know for sure Florida DECA will continue to surpass our expectations and ensure we have a #LIMITLESS time.

This article was written by East Ridge DECA Vice President of Creative Marketing, Chloe Dougherty. You can follow Chloe on Twitter @dougherty_chloe.

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