For those brave souls who are chaperoning DECON, this document is meant to provide a general idea of what’s happening.
Welcome to Springfield, MA. This weekend has been called "the largest collection of energy you've ever seen," and that is true! DECON is exciting, motivating, and inspiring for both students and advisors.
Safety: Key Club members should stay close to hotels and NOT venture too far from this immediate neighborhood. Please help remind your students that teenagers do not normally gather around these hotels during the day or evening. THEREFORE, PLEASE USE CAUTION! Do not assume that every teenager or adult is with this conference.
Crossing the street: Getting across the street from one hotel to the other can be very tricky as cars are traveling at a fast rate of speed from one traffic light to another. Please ask students to use the “air walk” connecting the two hotels as a safer way to travel to and from each hotel. The walkway is located on Parking Level C.
Name badges: Key Clubbers and advisors must wear their conference name badges at all times in the hotel. However, when students and adults are outside of the hotels and/or in the adjacent mall, name badges should be removed. Admission to all conference events (including the dances and Ned’s Den is contingent on wearing a name badge.
Agenda: Please check your program for locations of all events listed below. Please double check times listed here against times in the program as well. (Times in the program are what to follow.) Also, please follow guidelines for dress to general sessions, forums, caucuses, dances, and House of Delegates.
Code of Conduct: Please check your program. All students and adults registered for DECON are required to follow the Code of Conduct at all times.
Pool: There is a pool on Floor 6 of the Tower Square (Marriott) Hotel. Towels are available at the pool area; leave bathroom towels in guest rooms.
Registration: Registration begins at 3:00 P.M. on Floor 6 at the Marriott (M) and on Floor 2 at the Sheraton (S), not at either hotel’s front desk. Please report to the hotel designated on the registration sheets that were returned to you as confirmation of your registration. We have no control over the hotels and how existing guests check out of their rooms. Hotel representatives give us keys as rooms become available. Reporting to the hotel earlier than 3:00 or exactly at 3:00 does not guarantee that you will receive your room keys at that time. Please do not plan to arrive before 3:00. Your pre-assigned room keys will not be given away to someone else who arrives earlier. Hopefully, everyone will have a room key prior to General Session. Please remind students that they will sleep two to a bed. Some students may feel more comfortable packing a sleeping bag to sleep in thus sleeping on top of a bed. You may want to share that idea with your students. Thank you in advance for your flexibility and patience throughout the room registration process.
Check-in and conference materials: During check-in at the conference registration desk, advisors will receive room keys and an envelope containing name badges and room checklists. Each student needs to fill out a room checklist form and return it (signed by an advisor) to the assigned area near the registration area on Floor 6 (M)/ Floor2 (S) to receive his/her packet containing the program and other conference materials. During check-in, remind students to save their lunch tickets for Saturday’s Lunch and Sunday’s Farewell Luncheon Session. They will need these tickets to eat.
Dinner: The food court in the adjacent mall is open until 5:00 P.M.; some vendors may be open later. Champions Sports Bar in the Tower Square (Marriott ) is open later. Champions does have take-out. There are many pizza/Chinese vendors in the area that will deliver, but deliveries should not be made to Key Clubbers’ rooms after the curfew hour of 12 midnight. Please be sure that your students build in time to eat before the General Sessions.
Annual Achievement Reports: Reports which have not been mailed ahead of time need to be given to Mr. Carter in the conference office NO LATER THAN 10:00 P.M. on FRIDAY. The conference office (Hampshire Room) is located on Floor 6 of the Tower Square (Marriott) Hotel.
Delegates: Each Key Club is allowed two (2) voting delegates for the House of Delegates. Students serving as delegates must register at the Credentials area during check-in. Delegates will receive tickets for entry into the House of Delegates. Students must have these tickets in order to enter the House and vote.
Contests: On Friday, schools/students who have entered a contest need to check in at the Conference Office (Hampshire Room) on Floor 6 of the Tower Square (Marriott ) Hotel for time and place of judging. Judging for all contests is held on Saturday. Advisors wishing to volunteer to be contest judges should go to the Hampshire Room to sign up. You cannot judge a contest your Key Club has entered.
General Session: This session begins at 6:30 P.M. in the ballroom on Floor 6 of the Marriott. This is mandatory for all members and their advisors. This area becomes crowded quickly. Seats cannot be saved for long. Instruct your students to arrive promptly. Doors generally open thirty minutes early.
Caucuses: Mandatory for all members and advisors please. Caucuses will be held directly after General Session. Meeting rooms are located in both the Tower Square (Marriott) Hotel and the Sheraton. Students need to go to their own state’s/territory’s caucus. Check your program book for exact listing of locations. Here, candidates will give a short speech and members (not advisors) will have the opportunity to question the candidates. A caucus runs as long as there are candidates to meet: the larger the number of candidates, the longer the caucus. Please help your students be engaged, educated caucus attendees by encouraging them to ask appropriate questions and be good listeners. Sample caucus questions can be found in the program.
Dance: The dance is held directly after caucuses. Casual dress is suggested. The admission charge will be $1.00 or a canned good. ALL attendees need to wear a name badge. Advisors are asked to help monitor student behavior. (Wear ear plugs if needed!)
Ned’s Den: This is an alternative to the dance. The admission charge of $1.00 or a canned good will allow members into either area. ALL attendees need to wear a name badge. Advisors are asked to help monitor student behavior.
Advisor Workshop: Specifically intended for the advisor (faculty or Kiwanis) with 0 - 2 years’ experience. Bring any questions you have; we're waiting to answer them.
Feedback Box: Located in the Conference Office (Hampshire Room) on Floor 6 of the Marriott. This is a box where you can drop off Feedback Forms, which give advisors the opportunity to make general suggestions or ask questions. Feedback Forms will also be available at the advisor workshop(s). All forms will be reviewed closely and will receive a response when appropriate.
Advisor E-mail Addresses: Advisors are encouraged to provide their e-mail addresses at registration, the advisor workshop(s), or to write it down and turn it in to the Conference Office (Hampshire Room) on Floor 6 of the Tower Square (Marriott) Hotel. District Area Advisors use these to communicate happenings, news, reminders, et cetera throughout the year.
Curfew: Curfew is at MIDNIGHT. Please check in with your students. Check to see if each student is in his/her assigned room at midnight. Feel free to assist in getting all students off to their rooms, even if they are not from your school. In the event of an emergency during the night, bed checks go much more smoothly when students are in the rooms as listed. If you find a problem, please report it to an adult member of the Sergeant-At-Arms committee or to the Conference Office (Hampshire Room) on Floor 6 of the Marriott. Curfew is NOT the time to get ice, snacks, et cetera. All of these needs must be taken care of prior to midnight. Also, students must stay in their own rooms after curfew. This is not the time to have a club meeting. Hallways must remain clear of students after midnight. Curfew lasts until 5:00 A.M.
Breakfast: On your own. Dunkin’ Donuts on Floor 1 in the mall is open. Check the food court and Floor 1 of the mall in case another restaurant is open.
Advisor Workshops: Intended for all advisors. Check your conference program.
Advisor Lounge: Just for advisors to “relax” and chat both in the morning and evening! Check your conference program.
Forums: Review the program closely with your students. Forums are particular to each office and also for general members. Please send your officers as well as any member who may be thinking of running for an office next year or is curious as to what a Key Club officer is supposed to be doing. Some forums are designed to help train the new officer; others are for general members. No one should be saying, “I have nothing to do.” Insist that members attend the forums. They should not be walking around doing nothing. Each forum is run by a current member of the District Board with an adult advisor present as well.
Nominating Caucus: In the event that there are more than two members running for the same District office, those members will participate in a special caucusing session in order to narrow the field of candidates to two. Each Division is entitled to a total of three Nominating Caucus Delegates. These Nominating Caucus Delegates will have been identified to represent their Division by their Lieutenant Governor prior to the conference.
Contests: Schools that have entered a contest need to check in at the Conference Office (Hampshire Room) on Floor 6 of the Tower Square (Marriott) Hotel for time and place of judging. It is the school’s responsibility to have students and/or materials at the right place at the right time.
Lunch: Lunch tickets can be found in individual school registration packets. PLEASE tell your students to keep track of lunch tickets. Do not lose them and please pay attention to whether you are Lunch Group I or Lunch Group II.
Service Fair: When your students are not at lunch, they should be attending the Service Fair. Check your conference program. This is a showcase of project ideas, charities, other branches of the Kiwanis Family and more.
Caucuses: Mandatory for all! Same procedure as Friday night.
Dinner: On your own. The food court in the mall may be open until 5:00. Delivery to hotel rooms MUST be finished by midnight curfew.
General Session: Mandatory for all! Begins at 6:00 P.M. This area becomes crowded quickly. Seats cannot be saved for long. Instruct your students to arrive promptly. Doors generally open thirty minutes early.
Dance: Semi-formal dress is recommended. The admission charge will be $1.00 or a canned good. ALL attendees need to wear a name badge. Advisors should drop in occasionally to help monitor student behavior. (Wear ear plugs if needed!)
Ned’s Den: Same as Friday
Curfew: Midnight. Same guidelines apply as Friday night.
Services: Non-denominational for interested students.
House of Delegates: Voting time! Mandatory for all delegates. Delegates need their tickets to enter the House. There is a seating area for non-delegates.
Check-out: 10:30 A.M. Luggage areas will be provided on Floor 6 of the Tower Square (Marriott) Hotel and Floor 3 of the Sheraton if you need storage during the Farewell Session. Please remind students to leave gratuity for hotel chamber staff. Suggestion: $4.00 per member for the weekend.
Farewell Luncheon: This session is held at the Sheraton. Check your program. Tables are on a first-come basis. This area becomes crowded quickly. Tables cannot be saved for long. Instruct your students to arrive promptly. Doors generally open thirty minutes early.