Before this semester I had never heard of NACA. To be honest, I didn’t even know what it stood for until halfway through the conference (National Association for Campus Activities, BTW). When I first heard about the opportunity I thought, “I guess I might as well go.” Once I’d heard we would have to apply to go I thought, “Forget that! There’s no way I’ll get picked as a first year member.” Fortunately, the next day my outlook had changed and I decided I would never know if I didn’t at least try; boy am I glad I did!
Even after being chosen to attend and working out transportation and such, I was still unclear as to what NACA really was. I knew that we would find acts to bring to Southeast, but I was just expecting kind of a Welcome Back Picnic experience where you walk around aimlessly for a little while. The start of the conference on Thursday was a bit confusing, but by the end of the night I finally understood what NACA was: Pure Awesomeness.
In my three days of NACA, I got to see numerous performers including musicians, comedians, hypnotists, magicians, and poets. I got to meet tons of cool people and interact one-on-one with the performers and which allowed me to know them beyond the stage. Not only were we provided with a venue for discovering acts, but we were provided educational opportunities to better our organization. I attended sessions that taught how to vamp up attendance or market our events. Oh, and lets not forget all the free stuff!
Of all the ed sessions I attended, my favorite was the Energize! Session I went to with Jenna. We shared ideas on how to bump up spirits within your organization, but most of these ideas can be implemented in other ways. Many of the people in the room liked our use of SAC Socials and were going to begin using them in their own organization. From the other groups we learned new and inventive ice breakers as well as reward systems to help increase participation.
After seeing so many performers, it is hard to pick out a favorite. Everyone had something different to offer. My favorite of all the Lectures was the Live Group Sex Therapy Show. He got the whole crowd involved and having fun, but still left us with a good message. I also have to give a shout-out to the boys of the FreeStyle Funny Comedy Show because they brought me up on stage. They were a lot of fun to interact with (and I won their game). I must admit that Gene caught me crying during Seabird’s “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful?” I was also blown away by the angelic voices of Emily Hearn and Nick Howard. Of all the special acts, I would have to say that the hypnotists were my favorite and I most enjoyed Chris Jones during the Special Event Showcase.
I really enjoyed watching all the performances and am making great use of all the free items I collected, but my favorite thing of all was the people. It was good that we could see a sample of the performers’ shows during the showcases, but getting to talk to them and find out who they really are was an amazing opportunity. Not only did we meet the performers, but we got to meet people from other schools and share the aspects of our organizations. Spending four days with my fellow SAC delegates was a blast! We all became much better friends and made a lot of great memories together.
I am so glad that I was given the chance to go to NACA. I hope to be able to attend again next year, possibly as a volunteer. To anyone who is considering going to NACA, or any other conference for that matter, I urge you to go. Getting away from the school for a few days and discovering what is beyond the hills of campus can only better you. Take advantage of any opportunity you can.
Author: Laura Kaimann (email@example.com)