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Tournies brings out the spirit for over 330 local teens

View this story in the Jewish Community Voice

By Anna Fleisher and Lauren Atkin
Ohev BBG

Over a recent weekend at the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club, South Jersey Region BBYO competed in Tournies, a 12-hour spirit competition to win the Tower of Spam and Spirit Stick, signifying the most spirited chapters in the region. This year’s Tournies reached an all-time record with over 330 teens in attendance.

Starting at 7 p.m., each chapter prepared for the night ahead. Parents were also welcomed for an adult cocktail hour, after which they stayed to watch the Tournies Opening Ceremonies.

The night commenced with a scavenger hunt filled with challenges and activities that then led them to their final destination (the basketball court) to begin opening ceremonies. Each chapter presented their banners and song, kicking the night off with exorbitant amounts of chapter spirit. The songs were parodies of popular songs with lyrics that conveyed their own chapter and spirit. At this time, all of SJR was hyped and ready to start the competition they have been waiting for all year.

The region then split off into AZA and BBG Games, which consisted of various sports and activities.

“I liked how there was always something to do, which made the long night so much fun,” said Sari Cohen, a member of Chevrah BBG. The BBGs competed at many stations, including an obstacle course and Frisbee bowling. During this time, all of AZA was competing in other stations such as handball, gladiator challenges and volleyball. Co-ed games followed directly after this, including competitive Minute- To-Win-It, Walking Dead Tag, Kahoot quizzes and an Impossible Test puzzle. These programs allowed everyone to be active, have fun and show great chapter pride and spirit.

After the AZA and BBG dodgeball competitions, everybody watched videos from each chapter and went into free time. At this time, final results of the night were being calculated while everyone had the chance to relax after cheering and participating in games all night. “Tournies allowed me to represent my chapter and hang out with people I haven’t seen in a while,” said Justin Tobolsky from Woodcrest AZA.

Months of work were put into the planning and programming for Tournies from the committee and coordinators. Andrew Quigley of Chapel AZA and teen coordinator stated, “It was an amazing experience seeing a few short ideas turn into a full-scale convention.” At 6:30 a.m., every chapter once again congregated at the basketball court to hear the announcement of who won Most Spirited, Sports MVP, Best Apparel, Best Chapter Song, and the biggest wins of all: The AZA Tower of Spam and BBG Spirit Stick. Everyone sat ready to hear the winners with much anticipation after competing all night to prove their chapter was the best. The night ended at closing ceremonies with victories for Woodcrest AZA taking the Tournies 2016 Tower of Spam and Ohev BBG winning the Tournies 2016 Spirit Stick.

“It was incredibly amazing and rewarding being able to watch over 300 members participate and celebrate their chapter pride,” said teen coordinator Marlena Penn of Tovah BBG. At 7 a.m., all members went home with immense love for their chapters and all ready to catch up on sleep, each AZA and BBG already plotting how to win next year. .

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