Alpha Phi Omega Region Conference in Eugene

This past weekend I had the opportunity with another brother and a pledge from UAF to visit the University of Oregon, Zeta Psi chapter for a Region 11 conference for Alpha Phi Omega.  For those of you who don't know, APO is a National Co-Ed Service Fraternity.  There are tons of schools with a chapter.  We love to do service.  Our other focuses are developing leadership and friendships.

I arrived early Friday morning to pouring rain with two other brothers from Alaska, one from Fairbanks and the other from Anchorage.  Since most of the brothers at UO had class, the three of us gave ourselves a campus tour.  I was amazed at how many building that campus has! We visited their Duck Store (the bookstore), which was huge! After wandering around campus for awhile, we went back to the E.M.U. (the student union center [I forgot the official name of it]) and we were just in time for some live entertainment from three different a cappella groups.  My favorite was On the Rocks!

Shortly after the performances the conference began with dinner and mingling.  We had lasagna! Yum... There were crazy conversation starters and it was a lot of fun.  After that we visited an ice cream shop in Eugene called Prince Puckler's.  MMMM that was soooo tasty! And our entertainment for the evening was bowling! The first game was terrible for me, but in the second game I think I got my all time record of 104!  The Anchorage brother had like 5 strikes in a row next to me.  By the end of bowling, I was exhausted... I had been up since 7 am the day before.... darn red-eye flights.

Saturday, we were up early for a region business meeting, followed by service projects.  But after breakfast and before the meeting, we played an ice breaker called Street Fighter.  I can't explain it, but here are a couple pictures: 

  We could choose from either visiting a youth homeless shelter and helping sanitize everything or helping UO's Student Coalition in registering people to vote.  I chose to help sanitize the homeless shelter, since politics aren't really my thing.  It was nice to know that there was somewhere for the youth to go and get a warm meal and place to sleep, but it was upsetting that there are a lot of homeless youth in Eugene.

When we got back, we had an entertaining risk management "training" (review/whatever you want to call it).  This was done by APO's National President, Maggie Katz! I love that she isn't a crazy strict person and understands that we are college students and all we want to do is have fun!  She definitely wasn't there to kill our fun, just to remind us to be careful and take care of each other while doing so.  Then we had an advisor recruitment session followed by lunch.  During my lunch, since I am the president, I had to go to a confidential meeting that determined this years region winners of three awards: leadership, friendship and service. 

In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to participate in APO LEADS courses.  Launch, Explore, Achieve, Discover and Serve are the 5 courses.  Available this weekend were Launch and Discover.  It was really interesting and I had a blast improving my leadership skills. 

We had a short break to change for the awards banquet dinner.  That was the most tasty meal of the whole trip! My chapter won the Friendship award, Zeta Psi won the Leadership award and Alpha Zeta Eta won the Service award.  That was one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make in my entire life.  Following dinner, we had a "Halloween Mixer."  It was part dance, part costume contest, part charades and part just fun!

In the morning we received parting gifts and said good bye. But all of the Alaska Brothers itineraries left in the evening so we spent quite a bit of time with Zeta Psi brothers and saw a bit more of Eugene. We had lunch at Cornucopia.  I'm pretty sure that was the best burger I've ever had in my life.  After resting and digesting that some, we went to Sweet Life.  OMG, I had a chocolate silk cake that was pretty amazing and I brought home an eclair which was also to die for.

After wandering around Eugene a little more and getting to know my brothers more, it was time to depart :(
I'm really glad I went, and can't wait to visit my brothers again!

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