Key Club Tackles DCON
April 3, 2015
From March 21-23, Key Club traveled to the annual Capital District Convention [DCON] in Baltimore to celebrate service and their accomplishments from the past year.
The club received second place in the scrapbook contest and an honorable mention for Single Service and Project for their Toy Lift. Additionally, senior Katie Pajewski won Outstanding District Board Member, while seniors Melanie Arthur, Hannah MacKnight, and Willa Lin received Distinguished Officer Awards.
Over 1,000 Key Clubbers gather annually for DCON, including students from Va., Md., Del., and Washington, D.C.
“My favorite part of DCON is just meeting people from other schools…you get to meet a lot of people,” senior and former twelfth grade director Adam Clark said.
“We all work during the year on these common goals and then it’s nice to come together and reflect on our accomplishments, and create goals for where we want to go in the future,” senior and former community service chair Katie Young said. “They only way to really do that is to meet up and discuss.”
She explained that “there’s this hierarchy where the district governor creates a project, [for example] this year [she] wanted us to help people with disabilities, and so we all work towards this common goal. And also, we fundraise for Eliminate [a global campaign to cure maternal neonatal tetanus].”
The convention’s theme this year was “Superheroes of Service,” “so everyone was dressed up…and things like that, and all the speeches centered around superheroes, so that was really fun,” Young said.
“I think DCON incorporated the theme “Superheroes” by really emphasizing the fact that by being a Key clubber, you’re a superhero all on your own,” junior Mena Garwood said. “You don’t need the ability to fly or the power to read minds to make a difference in your community or even world. Key clubbers change lives and even save them each and every day through the Eliminate Project (Unicef), March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network, and so much more!”
The club participates in various projects at DCON each year, such as the scrapbook contest and the service fair. “I was working on our service fair poster where we talked about the elementary school fun fairs,” Young said. “And then we stood at a booth during the service fair at DCON, and talked to people who came up and wanted to learn more about what our club does.”
Garwood “got lots of new ideas from DCON that I can bring to Albemarle’s Key Club, such as new events for fundraising, how to go about planning those events, and really important and useful tips that can make all the difference!”
Young attended a workshop that provided more information about Eliminate. “They had a thing set up where they actually showed the supplies that they use [for] the shots that they give to the mothers and the containers that they use,” she said. “[They] talked about the program of how they actually get the supplies there, [and] how they educate the health professionals in the area rather than sending in Americans to give these moms shots. They educate the people who are already working with them to build trust.”
“That was something that I never knew before and we’ve been fundraising for it for four years,” Young said. “ [I] finally actually figured out how the process worked, so that was really nice.”
In addition to service workshops and dance parties, DCON hosted a talent show that featured Clark, seniors Grayson Roesch, Sahil Patel, Henry Melzer, Matt Huschke and juniors Jack Robbins and Kristian Briehl. “We found out we were going to be in the talent show [at the] tryout the day before,” Clark said. “[We] basically put together a nice clap routine because a lot of the acts are usually just singing, and we wanted to do something different…It was a lot of fun.”
According to Young, the AHS Key Club stands out at DCON for their “spirit and enthusiasm…a lot of the kids are really outgoing.”
For the club’s seniors, attending their last DCON was “very nostalgic,” according to senior Grayson Roesch, who has gone to the convention every year.
“It was pretty sad to think that it’s going to be over, [but] it was also really exciting to reflect back on what we’ve already done,” Young said. “I [also] learned a lot about the steps I can take to go on and do Circle K in college, which is like the college version of Key Club.”
As the club’s president for the next Key Club year, Garwood assumed her position at DCON. “Becoming president was extremely nerve-wracking but exciting!” she said. “I hope I can truly follow in [senior] Melanie [Arthur]’s footsteps and be a great president just like her! I’m looking forward to this coming year!”