What? Another post about the DECA State competition? I couldn’t resist. There was so much that we did while on this trip, and I wanted to recap all of the fun times that we had rather than just the stress of the roleplays and presentations! If you haven’t checked out my last post yet, you should take a look! That way, you can learn a little bit more about DECA, Colorado Springs, and why I am so passionate about this club!
We were at the state conference for a total of three days, and our first day started out with an hour and half long bus ride up to The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs! The ride was only made uncomfortable due to the fact that we had to wear our professional dress (heels, a skirt, and a blazer) on the drive up, as the rules stated that we had to be dressed professionally at all times while on The Broadmoor property, as that is where the entire competition took place. Other than that, we were lucky enough to get a charter bus for our journey, so we rode with comfortable seats, curtains to cover the rising sun, and lots of leg space. The best part about traveling on charter buses is that it feels like you’re on an airplane with the way the seats are set up, and there’s also a bathroom on board, which we had to sit right next to on the way up and the way back down.
This first day consisted of us spending time wandering around the Doubletree in an attempt to find quiet places to rehearse our presentation before our designated time to give our speech. I will admit, I was stressed out. I had never competed in a DECA category that required a presentation in front of judges before, and so I was constantly shaking and worrying that I was
going to forget my section of the presentation. Luckily, that never happened.
We didn’t have free time to relax much the first day until after we competed in our first round for our International Business Plan. After that, we waited around at the Doubletree, as we were supposed to have our rooms ready by 3 o’clock, but we sat in the lobby waiting until 4:30. Then we napped in our hotel rooms until it was time to head to dinner. We chose to eat at Outback Steakhouse, which is nothing special, but it was within walking distance of our hotel. Originally, one of the people in our group had made a reservation for eight of us, and over the phone the restaurant had said that it would only take about five minutes to get our table ready. However, two more people joined us for dinner, and when we arrived at Outback with ten of us, the hostess told us it would now take another hour for us to get a table. Just for adding two people! We were on a deadline in order to make it to a meeting for all of the Legacy DECA kids, so we allowed them to split us into two groups so that we could sit and eat our food as quickly as possible.
That was the plan anyways, but it took our server at least twenty minutes to greet our table, and once he did introduce himself, he had to run away again saying he would be with us soon. This was without waiting to hear that we all just wanted water to drink. It took another ten minutes for him to come back to our table, and at that point we were all worried about the time crunch and were ready to order. When one of the guys in the group ordered a 12 oz steak, which comes with a side salad, the server told him that he would bring out the salad, but it would be a while before he could eat it because there was no silverware rolled.
Now, I get it. Rolling silverware is difficult to do when a restaurant gets busy. I work at a breakfast restaurant, and I do my best to roll silverware whenever I have a spare moment, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. But to make us wait thirty minutes before taking our order, and then to tell us that even when we get our food, we might not be able to eat it is ridiculous! The server also left the table telling us he would be back with bread, “if they had any.” What?!
Although we eventually did get bread and waters for the table, and my friend got his side salad, it took another forty-five minutes to get our food, and at that point, we knew we were probably going to be late to the meeting. Also, once our food arrived, none of us had silverware, so we had to wait for our server to go scrounge some up from the back. Now, I know Outback is not a super fancy restaurant, but it should never take that long to serve customers, and by the time our food came out, it was freezing cold. We didn’t have any time to send it back though because we really did have to get back to the hotel.
After that stressful dinner, by the time that we were able to pay, we literally had to sprint back to the hotel in hopes of changing into our professional clothes again so that we could attend our meeting and drive back up to The Broadmoor!
Lucky for us, we made it in time to listen to the meeting, which was a simple briefing on what our instructions were for opening ceremonies, which started at 8 o’clock that first night. All of the DECA students that were staying at the Doubletree had to load onto the buses to head to the opening ceremonies, which were again hosted at The Broadmoor.
If you have never tried to squeeze some three hundred high schoolers onto a charter bus that sits less than fifty people, I would not suggest attempting it. Ever. It was a mad dash to the buses, and everyone was pressing together so tightly and fighting to get on board that at one point I actually got lifted off of my feet in the middle of the crowd. Needless to say, I wasn’t strong enough to push through the mass of kids, and I didn’t make it on a bus until the very last vehicle that came to take kids to The Broadmoor, meaning that me and a few other Legacy students were almost an hour late to opening ceremonies. It was total chaos!
Colorado State DECA opening ceremonies consist mostly of an introduction of Colorado DECA state officers and a few speeches from important people, such as the director of The Broadmoor, the director of Colorado DECA, and other notable advisors. The special guest for opening ceremonies this year was Dr. Michael Lindsey, a journalist who interviewed over 500 CEO’s and political representatives and successful people for his book called View From the Top. He discussed his experiences with some of these powerful people that he has met and all that he has learned about the combination of business and success during his career. It was pretty interesting, although I have to admit, I probably would have enjoyed the speech more if I wasn’t exhausted after the super long day!
After opening ceremonies, we had to fight the crowds once again to climb onto a bus and beat the crowds, but we were unsuccessful. The ceremony ended around 10 pm that night, and we didn’t make it back to our hotel room until close to 11:40 pm.
So many crazy and wonderful things happened to us in just three days, and I hope that you are interested in hearing everything that went down at the Colorado DECA State conference. Enjoy reading about the first day of DECA State 2017…
And Don’t Forget to Make It Meghan!