As a planner (heck, I plan for a living), I always think of things in a calendar year: birthdays, holidays, board meetings, conferences, etc. So, it’s not a shock that my Alpha Phi volunteer experience also revolves around planning: recruitments, initiations, conventions, officer transitions and of course…Leadership Conferences! LC’s as they are now known, are one of my favorite Alpha Phi times of the year, and I look forward to the next one from the minute that the current one finishes.
Personally, Leadership Conference is the best time for me to connect with my sisters that I unfortunately don’t get to see often enough. Back when we were in regions, I would pile in a minivan with my Canadian contingent and drive down to Ohio (or wherever the Upper Midwest was holding conference that year) in a car caravan across the border, and the drive itself was a big part of the fun! We’d be so excited to see all of the officers and advisors from our chapters and know we were in for a Phi-nominal weekend. The drive home was equally exciting (albeit with a bit more fatigue after the weekend of fun) with new ideas that we’d hash out and formulate plans to bring everything to fruition.
Fast forward to the current structure, and I am now hopping on a plane to the Eastern Leadership Conference in New Jersey (thank goodness for my Nexus!). Now, I get to see new chapters that I work with and new friends. But, the feeling is exactly the same. I just can’t wait to see what my friends and our chapters are up to; and, getting the chance to learn, share and celebrate their achievements. The weekend always reinvigorates me, inspires me and motivates me to keep volunteering. It shows me how amazing Alpha Phi is and reminds me why I stay involved.
So, whether you are a collegian who is about to experience your first Leadership Conference or a volunteer who has been to so many that you lost count, the Alpha Phi bond ties us all strongly together during the month of February. It is so strong that when I couldn’t travel in 2014 when I was pregnant with my twins, I actually felt withdrawal the weekend the East Quadrant was meeting. And, I like to think that my sisters missed me that year too.
Or did they just miss the Canadian chocolate I usually bring down in my carry-on???
Alumnae Author: Alison Nash (Xi-Toronto)