Annual Holiday Getaway 2011
As FEBA prepares to close the books on what has undoubtedly been its most successful and productive year, we look back on the year’s crowning achievement, the 2011 Annual Holiday Getaway, held over December 24th and 25th at The Inn at Pocono Manor, in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania.
Over 240 guests made their way to the rustic and festively-decorated hotel for the second annual year-end gathering, conceived as equal parts educational conference and recreational winter excursion.
After on-site registration and guest room assignment was complete, the attendees were treated to lunch and an introductory presentation on FEBA’s various departments and programs. Specific attention was paid to FEBA’s newly-developed “Be a Coach” program, as well as the perennial-favorite Teach & Travel and internship programs. A number of former coaches and internship participants presented speeches on their personal experiences with the programs, replete with photos taken at camp or during excursions throughout Turkey.
This year marked the first time that high school-aged students were invited to participate in the Holiday Getaway, with over 100 teenagers answering the call and attending the event. A separate program was prepared for these future leaders, including sessions on various offerings from FEBA, including SAT classes and camps, as well as opportunities to volunteer and/or work in various capacities for future coach camps and cultural/educational events held throughout the year.
Following the presentations, attendees had a “free time” session during which to enjoy any of the numerous activities offered at The Inn at Pocono Manor. Some chose to go for a dip in the hotel’s indoor swimming pool, while others took the opportunity to play video games in the hotel’s own arcade. Still others took advantage of the downtime by sneaking back to their guestrooms for a quick nap for a recharge, in order to properly prepare themselves for the evening activities.
After a communal dinner, a Highlights 2011 presentation was offered, which spotlighted the many successes which FEBA saw in 2011, including an International Leadership Camp, a popular internship program in Istanbul, and an incredibly successful Teach & Travel program which sent native English speakers of Balkan descent to elementary schools throughout Turkey so that they may teach English to young students. Following the Highlights presentation, a dance party was held in the main ballroom, with music provided by DJ Anis, featuring a mix of Balkan sounds which set the attendees dancing for hours into the night. In addition, a Balkan Quiz was held, with prizes reserved for those who could correctly answer Balkan-related trivia.
The following morning, after a lengthy and much-needed breakfast refueling, the Holiday Getaway participants attended the iContribute session, which sought to present the numerous opportunities FEBA provides young leaders to make meaningful contributions to their home communities. Attendees could choose to attend any one of four sessions held concurrently: Coordinators, Education, Culture & Sport; Business; Outreach; or High School. Each session focused on unique programs offered by FEBA for young leaders interested in making a difference in their neighborhood.
After the “farewell” lunch session, a “Food for Thought” session was prepared for the attendees, which further reinforced the importance of one’s obligations to one’s home community, and the potential to affect change through the various programs and opportunities afforded through FEBA.
A group photo was organized for all attendees, and a certificate awarding ceremony was held wherein all participants received certificates recognizing their participation in and completion of FEBA’s 2011 Holiday Getaway educational and recreational program.