My Online DECA Experience

Clay Belmarsh, Staff Writer

Have you ever heard of DECA? Maybe you have even participated or been a member of the group. DECA, or the Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a 501 not-for-profit career and technical student organization with more than 225,000 members in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Canada, China, Germany, Poland, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Spain. Here at Scituate High School, business and marketing teacher Ross Maki does a fantastic job at making DECA available for all his students.

In a normal year, you will find many SHS students signing up for DECA in hopes of attending the District Competition around early January held at the Quincy Boston Marriott Hotel for 2 days and 1 night. However, this year’s district competition was held virtually through a video submission of your assignment. 

I participated in the District Competition this year–versus the past years when I was just a member of the society. I thought it was a way to transition myself from not participating in the competition during prior years to next year when SHS will hopefully attend an in-person competition.

Well, I was wrong. My experience this year during the competition was painful. Although I was given the category that was my first choice, Sports and Entertainment, and what I thought would be a relatively easy case study, it took me exactly 42 tries at my video submission until I could actually get through my whole presentation. I had no other choice but to submit it because it was the only presentation I got through without stumbling on my words or forgetting what I planned to say. 

Two and a half hours later, and I had 30 minutes left to submit my final presentation via a YouTube link. Luckily, I had done submissions through a YouTube link many times before, but I was just praying it was a smooth upload and wouldn’t take too long. Low and behold–when I clicked “upload,” it said, “Ready in 25 minutes.” Needless to say, I was shaking in my boots, thinking to myself this better not go up or else I would’ve just wasted 3 hours of my life stressing about getting this done in time. 

Thankfully, my presentation uploaded successfully and it was submitted on time, but since the video was so bad, I have no hope of getting to the State Competition this spring. I am expecting the District Competition to be as far as I take my DECA skills this year. This story goes to show that just because I was in the comfort of my own home doesn’t mean DECA was any less stressful this year.