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Keep up with the latest news and excitement from around the Carolinas!

Our Amazing ICON Experience

Kyle Ingram

From July 2nd-11th the Carolinas District had an amazing time on our trip to the 74th annual Key Club International Convention! This year, the convention was held in the beautiful and historic city of San Antonio, TX. Attendees embarked on a 9-day trip to and from the convention, during which time we saw such sights as New Orleans, the Johnson Space Center, the Alamo, and a few surprise visits planned by our District Administrator, Scott Johnson. The convention itself was an educational, energetic, and enlightening experience which we are all sure to remember for a long time to come. We are also proud to say that the Carolinas District brought the largest number of attendees to the convention, with 84 students and adult chaperones in attendance! Read below to find out what we did on each day of the trip and see photo slideshows, courtesy of our spectacular photographer, Larry Hewett. Make sure to click on the photos to go through the slideshow. 

Sunday, July 2nd

The Carolinas District met in Pineville, NC to kick off our trip to the 74th Key Club International Convention in San Antonio, TX. Students gathered at the Comfort Suites to check in, socialize, and go over the itinerary for the trip before leaving in the morning. Attendees were also presented with a convention t-shirt, pins for trading at the convention, and even an LED fidget spinner to pass the time on the long bus rides! After a debriefing from Mr. Johnson, attendees were sent to their rooms to get a good night’s rest before the long trip in the morning.

Monday, July 3rd

After boarding the bus early in the morning, attendees settled in for the 12-hour ride to Monroe, LA. Most of us got a few extra hours of sleep in our seats, cuddling up with pillows and blankets from home. After getting some sleep, attendees settled in to watch a few movies, including Harry Potter and the Three Amigos! After a long day of driving, the Carolinas District arrived at the Comfort Suites in Monroe, LA for some much-needed sleep.

Tuesday, July 4th

With the longest travel day over, attendees prepared for a fun day of touring on Independence Day! First, attendees visited the iconic Duck Dynasty Warehouse in Monroe, LA. Though the warehouse was closed for the national holiday, visitors were able to take some photos outside the famous building. After a few more hours of scenic travel, attendees arrived in Dallas for a surprise visit to the George W. Bush Presidential Library! The Carolinas District was able to learn more about an important part in our country’s history, and even visit a life-size replica of the Oval Office! After visiting the library, we headed to Arlington to check in to our hotel and relax for a few hours before leaving for the Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox baseball game! Though the Rangers didn’t win the game, attendees certainly felt the Texas spirit in the stadium with the enthusiastic cheers from spectators and tremendous fireworks show to celebrate the 4th of July. After a truly spectacular performance, we headed back to the Springhill Suites to get some rest.

Wednesday, July 5th

After a complimentary hotel breakfast, attendees boarded the bus for our trip into Dallas to see the spot where our 35th President, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza. On the way to Dallas, attendees watched the movie JFK, which explores the conspiracy theories surrounding the president’s death, and the investigators who looked into them. With our suspicions raised, we arrived at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which documents the events of JFK’s presidency and assassination. Before entering the museum, attendees were able to explore Dealey Plaza and see the marks in the road where the president was shot as well as the window from which Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly committed the murder. Once inside the museum, attendees learned about JFK’s accomplishments, as well as the details of his murder. We were even able to stand right next to the window where Lee Harvey Oswald shot those fatal bullets! After this exciting experience, attendees piled onto the bus to find another surprise in store. Due to extra time, we would be able to visit the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library before arriving at the convention! That’s two presidential libraries in just one trip! At the library, we were able to learn about JFK’s famous successor, and the events of his presidency. After learning about another prominent president, attendees headed to the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio to begin the convention. After arriving at the hotel and registering as convention participants, we attended a dynamic opening session full of music, motivation, and information for the rest of the convention. Convention hosts announced that the theme for the convention would the three domains of Key Club, which include the Courage to Engage, the Call to Lead, and the Heart to Serve. Each day would focus on one of these key domains. After the session, we attended a meet and greet event to get to know Key Club members from other districts and trade Key Club pins with them! As always, the Carolina Key pins exclusive to our district were a huge hit at convention. After the meet and greet we headed back to our rooms for some rest before the first full day of convention.

Thursday, July 6th

For our first group session, attendees entered the ballroom to find all of the chairs were gone! Hosts issued cards to everyone as they entered and then tasked us with finding those with the same number card as us and creating a group. This was all in the interest of learning about the first domain of Key Club: The Courage to Engage. Through a variety of activities, participants split into smaller groups and engaged with those around them. From discussing the best parts of ourselves, to our favorite holiday traditions, we learned about the people around us and were able to come out of our shells with one another. After lunch, we were able to choose three workshops to attend for the next few hours. Options included improving public speaking, Lieutenant Governor training, and planning a district event! After these educational experiences, attendees were free to get dinner along the famous San Antonio Riverwalk! Once we returned to the hotel we headed to another group session to learn about the Courage to Engage. We were greeted by our guest speaker, Erin Fisher from the Leadership and Training Studio, who spoke to us about finding authentic confidence. At the end of the session, Ms. Fisher invited our very own Tommy Ray Davis II from Silver Ray Bluff High School to the stage to lead a quick dance party! Check it out here! After this powerful session, attendees met back in the ballroom for a dance! We had a great time dancing the night away with Key Club members from across the world before heading back to our rooms for the night.

Friday, July 7th

We kicked off the day with a group session centered around answering the Call to Lead. Our guest speaker was Neha Gupta, an International Children’s Peace Prize winner! She spoke to us about how she answered the Call to Lead in her community by working to support local orphanages by donating the supplies that they needed. Later, we headed to caucusing where we heard from over 30 candidates for international office, including our District’s very own, Lindsey Banks! After casting our votes and getting some dinner, we headed to the Recognition Session in the ballroom. At the session, all 4 of last year’s Executive Officers were awarded with the Distinguished Officer award! Not only that, but Cape Fear High School in the Carolinas District won third place for their non-digital poster!

Saturday, July 8th

For our final group session, we heard Jess Ekstrom, the CEO and founder of Headbands of Hope, speak to us about discovering our Heart to Serve. Her company donates a headband to a girl going through chemotherapy for every headband sold. After a break for lunch, we returned to the convention center for House of Delegates. After hearing from each of the candidates one more time, we casted our votes again and waited for the results. Our hosts revealed that William Sims had been elected International President, and Minyoung Kim had been elected International Vice President. International Trustee results would not be revealed until the closing session, so we kept our fingers crossed for Lindsey! After going out to get some dinner, we returned for our final session at ICON. We watched as our old International Board was retired on stage before the new International Board was announced. The Carolina’s own, Lindsey Banks won International Trustee among 10 other charismatic and qualified individuals! The new board was installed on stage and we gave a big Carolinas round of applause for Lindsey and the rest of the new board. After the installation, we headed to the Drury Hotel in Houston to kick off the second half of our tour.

Sunday, July 9th

The Carolinas District visited the Johnson Space Center in Houston for an amazing 3-hour tour of the historic facilities and museum exhibits. Attendees were able to see where multiple space explorations were manned, as well as learn more about astronomy and science in the museum! After our visit, we began the ride to New Orleans for the next part of our tour. Once we arrived at the beautiful Drury Hotel in New Orleans, we unpacked our things before taking a carriage ghost tour throughout the city! New Orleans was both beautiful and eerie at night, and we heard many interesting and spooky stories from our charismatic tour guides. We grabbed some dinner after the ride and then settled back in at the hotel for some sleep.

Monday, July 10th

Attendees were free to explore New Orleans in groups of 6 until 4 p.m.! Students ate beignets at the famous Café Du Monde, shopped at various souvenir shops, visited the St. Louis Cathedral, and ate authentic Cajun food! Despite some heavy rain towards the end of our tour, we hate a great time discovering everything that New Orleans had to offer. After exploring, we headed to Impasto’s Restaurant on the outskirts of New Orleans for a fancy 5-course family meal. With our bellies full of pasta, chicken parmesan, and ice cream, we boarded the bus for our journey to Tuscaloosa, AL- where we would spend the night before leaving for home in the morning.

Tuesday, July 11th

We woke up bright and early in Tuscaloosa to begin our trip back home to Pineville, NC. After a long drive and a pit stop at a peach shop in South Carolina, we arrived back in Pineville to reunite with our family and friends after a long trip. We had an amazing time at the convention, but we were all happy to be back home with those who we had missed for the past week. We can’t wait for next year’s convention in Chicago, IL!

Connecting With Your Lieutenant Governor

Kyle Ingram

What is a Lieutenant Governor?

If you went to District Convention (DCON) or you read our post about the District Board, you may have heard of Lieutenant Governors before, but you may not know exactly what they do. Lieutenant Governors serve as liaisons between the District level of Key Club and the club level. They are a resource to you and your club, and there are many ways that you can utilize this beneficial relationship! 

How do I connect with my Lieutenant Governor?

The most important thing that you can do to connect with your Lieutenant Governor is to provide them with the contact information for all of the officers in your Key Club. This will allow them to update your club about District events, send newsletters, and answer questions. Your Lieutenant Governor should be working to contact your club, but if you haven't heard anything you can find a list of our District's Lieutenant Governors here with their respective divisions. If you don't know what division your club is in, you can check here.

What can my Lieutenant Governor do for me? 

Lieutenant Governors are trained to be resources to their divisions. Once you share contact information with your Lieutenant Governor, you can open up a line of communication with them for any questions you may have, or if you need assistance with your club. All Lieutenant Governors are required to visit the clubs in their division, so you can invite them to club meetings or even service projects. Lieutenant Governors will also hold regular meetings with club officers to keep them up-to-date on District events and announcements. They will also hold a meeting in fall to train all new club officers on their positions and responsibilities. You can also ask your Lieutenant Governor for help with paying dues, registering for District events, or chartering a new club!  

What Does the District Board Do?

Kyle Ingram

If you came to District Convention (DCON) this year, then you may remember voting for Executive Officers and Lieutenant Governors to represent the District. While we all see the elections at DCON, many people are often still confused about what exactly these officers do. 

Lieutenant Governors

Lieutenant Governors act as liaisons between the District and Key Clubs across the Carolinas. They typically oversee a division of 5-10 Key Clubs within a certain region and serve as a resource to those clubs for any questions or concerns they may have. Lieutenant Governors also hold meetings with the club officers in their divisions and organize division-wide service projects to bring their Key Clubs together. In addition to their responsibilities to their divisions, Lieutenant Governors also serve on the District Board. This means that they work with the other Lieutenant Governors in the District to implement new programs, work with our service partners, and organize events like Fall Rally and District Convention. 

The 2017-2018 Carolinas District Board at the Basic District Leadership Experience

The 2017-2018 Carolinas District Board at the Basic District Leadership Experience

Executive Officers

Executive Officers serve as the leaders of the District Board. They oversee the Lieutenant Governors and carry out specific duties related to their positions. 

The 2017-2018 Carolinas District Key Club Executive Board. (From left to right) Avery Freeman, District Treasurer, Isabelle Salzmann, District Secretary, Katie McNiffe, District Governor, Kyle Ingram, District Editor

The 2017-2018 Carolinas District Key Club Executive Board. (From left to right) Avery Freeman, District Treasurer, Isabelle Salzmann, District Secretary, Katie McNiffe, District Governor, Kyle Ingram, District Editor

District Governor

The District Governor is the head executive of the District. They preside over all meetings and represent the District at all conventions and events. They must ensure that each Lieutenant Governor is fulfilling their duties to their divisions and assist Board members with questions or committee work. 

District Secretary

The District Secretary keeps records of all District Board meetings and conventions. They also produce the annual District directory, known as the Carolinas Key and assist the District Governor and Executive Board with their duties.

District Treasurer

The District Treasurer works to ensure that all Key Clubs pay their required dues by the deadline and keeps records of all dues payment. They also inform the District Board of progress with dues collection and contact suspended or inactive clubs.

District Editor

The District Editor maintains the District Website as well as all social media accounts responsible for communicating on behalf of the District. They also produce the District's quarterly publication, the Carolinas Blueprint, and oversee Lieutenant Governors' newsletter distribution. 

International Convention 2017

Kyle Ingram

This year the Carolinas District will be attending International Convention in the beautiful and historic city of San Antonio, Texas! Not only will we be participating in the biggest gathering of Key Clubbers across the world, but we will also be touring all across the south on our way there and back! With excursions planned in New Orleans, Houston, and Dallas this is a trip you don't want to miss. Remember, registration is due by May 1st so if you're interested you need to act quick! You can fill out the Registration Packet here. 

The Carolinas District Tour

  • We'll start off our tour by visiting the home of the famous Duck Dynasty family in Monroe, Louisiana! 
  • Later, we'll head to see a Texas Rangers v. Boston Red Sox game in Dallas and then see a fireworks show for the 4th of July!
  • The next day, we'll visit the Dealey Plaza and Book Depository Museum where we'll learn about the conspiracy theories surrounding JFK's assassination and see the historic spot where it happened. 
  • After the convention, we'll stop in Houston to tour the Johnson Space Center and then make our way to New Orleans!
  • When we arrive in New Orleans, we'll go on a carriage ghost tour through the streets and visit the French Quarter, Jackson Square, and Cafe Du Monde!

The Convention

The annual Key Club International Convention (ICON) is an amazing event to experience. From International Board elections, to meet-and-greet sessions with Key Clubbers from around the world, ICON is an exciting and educational experience that you're sure to love. We'll spend our time at the convention listening to inspiring motivational speakers, attending informative and helpful workshops, and dancing the night away with our fellow Key Clubbers at both of ICON's annual dances. Whether it be experience, excitement, or entertainment, this convention has it all! 

For more information about ICON visit http://www.keyclub.org/events/convention.aspx. To register for the convention and Carolinas District Tour fill out the Registration Packet here by May 1st!

We look forward to seeing you there!

District Convention 2017

Kyle Ingram

This year, Key Club members from across the Carolinas District met to celebrate a successful year of service and carry out the business for the coming year. This year we had over 600 attendees at our District Convention to learn about their positions, vote in House of Delegates, and listen to amazing guest speakers such as Evan Wesley from the Thirst Project. In addition to the business of the weekend, attendees were also able to experience an amazing Entertainment Session, talent show, and "Under the Stars" dance!

Attendees at District Convention also carried out the important duty of electing their new Lieutenant Governors and Executive Board! Lieutenant Governors were elected by their divisions and the District Elections Committee. Delegates heard from each candidate for Executive office during caucus sessions and then voted at House of Delegates after hearing another brief speech from each candidate. Below you can find information about each of your newly-elected members of the Carolinas Executive Board! 

Meet Your New Executive Board

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District Governor Katie McNiffe

Katie is currently a Junior at Jay M. Robinson High School and has been in Key Club since her freshman year of high school. She originally joined Key Club to find service opportunities, but that is not why she stayed; she continued her journey in Key Club after meeting hundreds of incredible members around the district at Fall Rally her first year; after she saw the joy on the faces of those in her community; after she attended District Convention and saw how amazing and united the district is. This year as Governor, she hopes to give this same feeling to all of the members in the Carolinas District.

District Secretary Isabelle Salzmann

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Isabelle is currently a sophomore at Thales Academy, and has been in Key Club since her freshman year, serving as Lieutenant Governor of Division 11c, her sophomore year. When she’s not participating in Key Club events, Isabelle enjoys volunteering at Gigi’s Playhouse, a Down syndrome achievement center in Raleigh, as well as participating in Science Olympiad, fencing, cheerleading, playing piano, reading, and kickboxing. Isabelle’s goals as District Secretary are to ensure that the District Board can easily and efficiently collect contact information, as well as serve as a resource to all members of the Carolinas District to ensure that they can work to reach their potential as servant leaders.

District Treasurer Avery Freeman

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Avery is currently a Junior at Thomas Academy in Lake Waccamaw and has been in Key Club since his Freshman year of high school. Besides Key Club, he is on his school's basketball team and is an active member of his student government. In his free time, Avery enjoys running, working out, and watching Criminal Minds or Law and Order. As District Treasurer, he hopes to facilitate a smooth and successful dues process, reduce the number of suspended and inactive clubs in the district, and complete a successful year of service! 

District Editor Kyle Ingram

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Kyle is currently a Sophomore at Jay M. Robinson High School and has been in Key Club since he started high school. In addition to his involvement in Key Club, Kyle is also an editor for his school newspaper, an intern at a local newspaper, and a member of Spanish National Honors Society. In his free time, he loves to write, spend time with friends, and watch re-runs of Parks and Recreation on Netflix. As District Editor, he plans to improve the website, create quality publications to represent the district, and keep all members informed and excited about Key Club!