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General BBYO FAQs

How can I join BBYO?

To join, visit www.b-linked.org, create a user account and then pay your membership dues!

Interested in learning more about BBYO and/or finding the right chapter for you? Contact Samantha Walsh and we will help to find you your perfect home!

How much are membership dues?

Membership Fees: Yearly: $75 Four Years: $149 Beyond the membership fee, price varies based upon your teens level of involvement. Some chapter/regional programs will charge a fee for supplies, etc. Conventions and other events, like summer programs, have additional costs as well.

How do I re-register for membership?

To re-register for membership, log into your www.b-linked.org account and there will be an option to renew membership.

Is Sabbath observed?

Yes! All programs must be approved by advisors and the Office, who may deem the program inappropriate for the holy day. Services are held when necessary at all conventions and programs. Saturday night programs include Havdallah and Conventions include Shabbat services. A Friday night dinner and service, though, is not guaranteed to be Shomer Shabbos. Some people may drive to the program or turn on lights. It depends on the hosting house.

Is the food Kosher?

All food at conventions are kosher-style, meaning dairy and meat are not served together. It is unlikely that the hotels have kosher kitchens though. The same goes for programs. Many members' houses do not have kosher kitchens, but at potlucks or programs with food, kids try to stick to an all-dairy or all-Kosher meat meal. There is a strict kosher option for kids at conventions, but the Office must be given advance notice.

How much is the time commitment for BBYO?

Depending on the chapter, BBYO events/programs/meetings can take place every week, every other week, or monthly. The beauty of BBYO is that your teen can decide what they want to come to as it fits their schedule best. So, BBYO can become a decent time commitment if your teen comes to a lot of programs (we recommend this option!) or it can be a fun thing on the side if he/she comes to a sleepover or a program every once and a while.

How much of a time commitment is it to be a chapter board member?

Being on chapter board is a bigger time commitment. Most presidents request that their board members attend all programs, meetings, and board meetings. Of course, exceptions can be made, but teens should know that it is a commitment if he/she is elected. In addition, board members must spend enough time outside of BBYO to complete the job description which may include planning programs, writing newspapers, or responding to board emails. Chapter board members must keep in contact with their advisors, their president, and their regional board counterpart.
Chapter board is a very fun and rewarding job (and awesome on resumes!), but it is also a crucial part to the survival of a chapter and therefore is a substantial time commitment each week. We encourage that parents talk with their teen to make sure both the parent and child understand the time commitment before deciding to run for board.

Do I have to drive my teen to EVERY program, meeting, event, or convention?

No. We encourage older members to give rides to younger members or for families to carpool to programs and meetings. It is up to the parents to find out if the kids are safe drivers. Parents are expected to drop off their kids at the convention bus stop location.

Can my teen switch chapters?

Yes, we want your teen to have the best experience. Most areas around Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island either have one BBG and one AZA chapter or a BBYO chapter. If distance doesn’t bother you, the option to switch into a chapter is available for your teen. Please contact Samantha Walsh for more information.

How can parents get involved?

There are many opportunities for parents to get involved! Attend an event like a chapter parent/teen Shabbat or parent brunch, host an event in your home, or become a chapter advisor!

What happens if an advisor can't be present at a chapter function?

Members try to plan programs when at least one advisor can come. However, a parent must ALWAYS be present at the house where the event is being held this way there will always be supervision.

Is there a difference between an authorized BBYO event and an unofficial BBYO event?

An Authorized BBYO event is any event that has been posted and approved on the Dashboard. There are no “unofficial BBYO events”. All BBYO programming must have proper advisor/parent/staff professional in attendance. If a gathering takes place that is not on Dashboard, it is not a BBYO event.

Convention FAQs

Who can attend Regional Conventions?

Any teen who is registered for BBYO Membership can attend convention.  Teens in 9th – 12th grade can attend conventions all year.  Teens who are in 8th grade can attend conventions beginning in January of their 8th grade year.

How is convention staffed?

Hotel:  Our policy is one staff member for every 15 teens. BBYO Program Director and volunteer adult chapter advisors will be staffing. Before bed staff and volunteers do room checks and report to professional staff if there are any problems. Boys are on one floor and girls on another. Staff rooms are located on each floor. During programming, a staff member will be assigned to monitor and assist with a specific program.

Camp:  Our policy is one staff member for every 15 teens. BBYO Program Director and volunteer adult chapter advisors will be staffing. One to two staff members are assigned to one dorm or cabin. During programming times a staff member will be assigned to monitor and assist with a specific program. Roll call is taken in each dorm or cabin by the staff member and they report to the professional staff if there are any problems.

Are there any rules governing conventions?

Yes, conventions have similar rules to chapter programs.  Including, but not limited to the following:

  • You must be a registered member of BBYO to attend conventions.
  • All convention participants must attend every scheduled event on time.
  • No participant may leave the activities at any time without permission from the staff (volunteer or professional). 
  • There will be a curfew after all scheduled events.  Everyone must be in his or her respective rooms or dorms by curfew.
  • There will be no use, possession, or distribution of alcohol or illegal substances at any time during the convention; this includes drug paraphernalia and incense.
  • NO ONE is allowed to leave convention without the pre-approval of the BBYO Director after he/she has talked to the parent.
  • NO ONE is allowed to have visitors without the pre-approval of the BBYO Director.
  • No visitors are allowed to join the convention at anytime during the convention without the pre-approval of the BBYO Director.
  • No teen is permitted to drive to any regional event.
  • NO boys in girls’ rooms, NO girls in boys’ rooms.  If the convention is at a hotel, teens must remain on BBYO assigned floors.
  • Destruction of property, theft, or vandalism will result in suspension from BBYO.  Full payment of property damage will be charged to the individuals found to be responsible.
  • Conventions are often at different venues, so staff will walk the venue and determine where teens can go and which areas are off-limits.
  • Teens are asked to respect staff and each other.

If my teen breaks a rule at a convention, what is the punishment?

Any infraction of the rules may result in immediate dismissal from the weekend at the expense of the member and his/her parents. There will be no refund if a participant is sent home. Parents will be notified.  Additionally, other punishments may result depending on the infraction and will be determined by the BBYO Regional Director and BBYO Area Director following the convention using the BBYO Behavior Matrix. 

How are groups and rooms formed at conventions?

We feel that it is important for New England teens to mix and mingle at conventions, so we do not take group or rooming requests. At a camp, we place chapters together or rooming is done randomly to allow teens to meet new friends. In hotel rooms, we pair teens with other chapter members. They will be with at least one other person from each teen’s chapter in a hotel room. Girls and boys will be housed on separate floors of the hotel.

How does my teen get to Conventions if they are out-of-town?

Members traveling to out-of-city events, as well as conventions, will travel by bus. We typically have a few meeting places, throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. There must be at least six teens from each area attending for us to provide transportation to a specific area. If there are not six teens, we will ask parents to drive to the nearest area.  For each convention, we will send you transportation information.  No teen is permitted to drive to any regional events.

Where do conventions take place if they are out-of-town?

Conventions will often take place at a hotel; however, at times will take place at a winterized camp.  The region will attempt to keep conventions geographically central for the entire region for Fall and Spring Convention.  Regional Leadership Training Institute (RLTI) and Winter Convention will be held in Connecticut with other regions.

How do we obtain a convention packing list?

The Monday prior to each convention, the local office will send an email with information about the convention, policies, transportation, and packing list.  Typically, we ask participants to pack:
• Shabbat attire for Friday night

  • Boys: collared shirts with pants
  • Girls: casual dress or skirt

• Casual clothing for Saturday and Sunday during the day (t-shirt, sweatshirts, jeans, and shorts are appropriate).  Some chapters will wear spirit gear for all or part of the convention, chapters will communicate with members about spirit gear.
• Saturday night: there will be a dance and the teens often like to dress up but it is not required
• Toiletries
• If we are at a camp, appropriate shoes and rain gear is suggested.
• Bedding and pillows are required for all camp conventions.

How do I get packing and travel information?

On the Sunday or Monday prior to each convention, the local office will send an email with information about the convention, policies, transportation, and packing list.  We want to give everyone enough notice regarding pick up/drop off times; however, with last minute registrations, it’s often hard to know how many teens will need transportation.  For this reason, all transportation information will be sent one week prior to the program.

When should I register for a convention?

Registering as soon as possible is made easy with a $50 deposit, which is refundable up until one week prior to the event.  We encourage anyone who thinks about attending to register immediately to help plan for the weekend.

What is the refund policy?

Cancellation Policy: The deadline to cancel with a full program refund is the final registration deadline for this program. Until that date, full refunds will be granted for cancellations in writing (e-mail is acceptable), for any reason. After the registration deadline, partial refunds may be available based on convention expenses already paid (hotel, transportation, etc..). Within ten days of convention we’ve already confirmed final counts with our vendors, and no refunds will be given. “No shows” will not receive a refund.

Do we need to sign any permission forms prior to a convention?

Yes, there will be a participation release form to sign once a year.  The regional office must receive a NEW medical form each programming year from each participant in order to attend convention.

Where do I get the permission forms?

The regional office will send out medical forms at the beginning of the programming year by email.  Medical forms can also be downloaded from the convention or event registration page on b-linked.org.  The participation release can be found on b-linked.org.

What do I do if my teen wants to go to a convention and BBYO summer programs, but we just can’t afford it?

We want all teens to be able to attend our events. BBYO’s scholarship request form is used to evaluate the scholarship being requested. Before a convention or summer program, the BBYO Director will review the documents and decide on the scholarship award based on a number of different criteria. We will make every effort to provide scholarships for those who need them. Please call (401.490.1030) or email (swalsh@bbyo.org) the BBYO Director for more information on how to apply.

Event FAQs

Who can attend regional Kickoff, Dances, J-serve and other day or evening events?

Any teen, member or non-member, in grades 9-12th grade can attend regional day or evening programs. Teens who are in 8th grade can attend regional day or evening programs beginning in January of their 8th grade year.

Is there transportation?

For most day or evening programs BBYO provides transportation to teens in certain areas. If the event is within 15 miles of a location, parents of those teens will be asked to drive their teen to the event. No teen should drive themselves to a regional event.

How are events staffed?

Our policy is one staff member for every 15 teens. BBYO Program Director and volunteer adult chapter advisors will be staffing. Each bus transporting teens will have a chaperone. Additionally, BBYO or the facility rental provides a security guard or on duty police officer to provide additional security.

How do we get information about policies and transportation?

On the Sunday or Monday prior to each event, the local office will send an email with information about the event, policies, and transportation. We want to give everyone enough notice regarding pick up/drop off times; however, with last minute registrations, it’s often hard to know how many teens will need transportation. For this reason, all transportation information will be sent one week prior to the program.

Are there any rules governing events?

Yes, events have similar rules to chapter programs. Including, but not limited to the following:

• You must register for the event, there are no walk ins for events.
• No participant may leave the activities at any time without permission from the staff (volunteer or professional).
• There will be no use, possession, or distribution of alcohol or illegal substances at any time during the convention; this includes drug paraphernalia and incense.
• NO ONE is allowed to leave the event without the pre-approval of the BBYO Director after he/she has talked to the parent. • NO ONE is allowed to have visitors without the pre-approval of the BBYO Director.
• No visitors are allowed to join the event at anytime during the convention without the pre-approval of the BBYO Director.
• No teen is permitted to drive to any regional event.
• Destruction of property, theft, or vandalism will result in suspension from BBYO. Full payment of property damage will be charged to the individuals found to be responsible.
• Events are often at different venues, so staff will walk the venue and determine where teens can go and which areas are off-limits.
• Teens are asked to respect staff and each other.

What is the refund policy?

Cancellation Policy: The deadline to cancel with a full program refund is the final registration deadline for this program. Until that date, full refunds will be granted for cancellations in writing (e-mail is acceptable), for any reason. After the registration deadline, partial refunds may be available based on convention expenses already paid (hotel, transportation, etc). Within ten days of convention we’ve already confirmed final counts with our vendors, and no refunds will be given. “No shows” will not receive a refund.

BBYO International Office
800 Eighth Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
P: 202.857.6633 / F: 202.857.6568

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