Let The Beta Times Roll


The Beta Club of Apopka High School (AHS) has always taken pride in having numerous students place in the state convention here in Central Florida. So in theory, AHS would have a select few of students go on to the National Beta Convention. Over the years, students would go to a big hotel to compete in the competitions, converse with other Beta students across Florida, and have an overnight experience. However, this year due to COVID-19, National Beta decided that the state convention this year would be all virtual, wanting to take precautions to keep everyone safe. The Blue and White  heard from the sponsor of Beta, Mrs. Hough, one of the presidents, Renee Rowley, and Vice President Delia Miller detailing their experience at the virtual convention this year compared to previous years’ convention.

The Blue and White asked Mrs. Hough about how she felt about the overall experience of the virtual convention. She explained, “It was definitely worse. I understand why it had to go virtual but it was not the same. We all missed out on the overnight stay and bonding experiences with other Beta clubs.” This was not the only obstacle that Beta had to deal with this year. All meetings had to be virtual, less contact between students, less community service, and Mrs. Hough feels that students were less motivated due to everything going on in our world this year. Beta prides itself on volunteering at the First Baptist Church in Apopka, Buddy Ball in Altamonte, Selling Chocolate, and numerous car washes for fundraisers. Some of these events were limited, and the others simply could not happen because of the social guidelines. When posed with the question of whether she looks forward to the format reversing back to the old way for the convention. She said, “Honestly I have no idea, I hope it will. But there are so many unanswered questions with the whole pandemic.”

Next, we spoke to the president Renee Rowley who explained to The Blue and White how much different this year really was for the club. She said, “Many of our group projects such as feeding the homeless were postponed and changed to meet the social distancing standards. Betas were not able to serve the community through the dining service,  but the sponsors of the event changed it to where we do it food pantry style instead of restaurant style.” As you can see, the Beta kids really take pride in wanting to serve our community and building connections with members of the community that will last a lifetime. The pandemic stripped away one of the  most important values of the club, coming together. Lastly she speaks on the format change of the convention. She detailed, “We were originally going to have a virtual state convention, and in person national convention. However, a couple weeks before the state convention they decided to be on the safer side and alter the event entirely.” She further added, “All the group talents could not compete in the state convention; instead all state group talents could qualify and compete at the national level all at once at the national convention this summer. With those who qualified in the online competitions moved onto state, complicated at first but simple in the end.”

Last but not least, we heard from Delia Miller on her view of the virtual convention this year along with the obstacles Beta has faced as a whole this year. She explained, “Beta is very different this year mostly due to our change in contact. With meetings being 100% virtual, sometimes it can be difficult to feel the personal connection with other members we once had.” Delia is a senior this year and has been in Beta Club through its best years and now is seeing it at its worst because of the deadly virus COVID-19. Lastly she explains her personal experience of a virtual convention this year. She explained, “I was very disappointed, because a lot of the fun that surrounds convention comes from the connections we form with other Beta’s around Florida. That just can’t be replicated through a screen.” Hopefully, in the near future we can see everything start to get back to a sense of normalcy in our world with vaccines being distributed to the American people.