Is the Sabbath observed?
Yes! Programs may not be scheduled on the Sabbath or on Jewish Holidays. Some do happen because they are Judaism-centered programs, community service, or services. 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, but since BBYO is non-denominational, no promises can be made.
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-meat meal. There is a strict kosher option for kids at conventions, but the Office must be warned in advance.
Are there vegetarian/vegan meals available at conventions?
Yes. Similar to the strict kosher option, the vegetarian or vegan meals are availible if the Office is warned in advance. There is a box to mark while signing up for conventions where kids may list their dietary needs or allergies.
How much of a time commitment is BBYO?
Although we would love your child to come to everything because BBYO is just so amazing, we realize that is highly unlikely. The beauty of BBYO is that programs happen every week but on different days and for various amounts of time, so your child can come to the programs that fit his/her schedule best. So, BBYO can become a decent time commitment if your child 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 every once and a while.
How much of a time commitment is 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 kids should know that it is a commitment if he/she is elected. In addition, your little board member 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 if your child actually does the work. We encourage that parents talk with their child to make sure both the parent and child understand the time commitment before deciding to run for board.
Do I have to drive my kid to EVERY program, meeting, and convention?
No. We encourage older members to give rides to younger members or for families to carpool to programs and meetings. Go green! However, we encourage parents to make sure the older members are legal to drive non-family members and to make sure kids are home by curfew. It is up to the parents to find out if the kids are safe drivers. Parents are expected to drop off kids at conventions that are close, i.e. a Denver family is expected to drop off the kid at a hotel in the DTC. For conventions outside of the area, busses are availible at designated pick-up spots. For example, the Denver locations for bus pick-up for out-of-town conventions are usually the JCC and Cherry Creek High School. Busses are free.
How much does BBYO cost?
Can my child switch chapters?
Yes. Contact Emily Frank or Rachel Heilbronner at the Office and they will inform the presidents and switch the lists easily!
When are the boys and girls together and how are they supervised?
Boys and girls will see each other before meetings and during conventions. Boys' and girls' chapters may plan programs together. In all three situations, advisors are present and will not allow boys and girls leave programs, etc. At conventions, boys and girls sleep either in different buildings or on different floors. Boys are not allowed in girls' rooms and vice versa at any time during conventions.
How can I get involved?
You are already so generous to lend us your child! But if you insist, the best thing we appreciate is when you open your house for programs or donate food or supplies to our program. Advisors also like if you are at least in the house if anything were to go wrong. It is also helpful if you carpool several kids to a program. Monetary donations are also easy and can be made online at b-linked.org.
How are sleepovers supervised?
11 PM is the magic number. If it is a program with a chapter of the other sex, they must leave by 11 PM. Non-members must leave by 11 PM. Advisors usually leave by 11 PM latest. We expect a parent to be in the house when the advisor leaves so that there is always some adult nearby. Parents do not need to be with the kids, but it is important that they are somewhere in the house if anything were to go wrong.
What happens if an advisor cannot be present at a program?
Board members try to plan programs when at least one advisor can come and advisors are very good about shifting their schedules to be at events. However, if an advisor cannot come last-minute, the board is in charge of either finding an advisor from another chapter to come or a parent to supervise.