Hidden Valley DECA Dominates SLC

Hidden Valley DECA Dominates SLC

Sarah Arner, Reporter

Hidden Valley High School DECA members competed in the State Leadership Competition in March 2021 by making videos through virtual platforms such as Zoom and YouTube to send in to the judges.

Competing virtually was new for everyone this year. Despite this change in competition format, Hidden Valley DECA participants were competitive. Mr. Hunt (DECA sponsor) said, “We had the same percent of winners this year as we have had in past years, and I thought everyone competed very well.”

Since the competition was virtual, videos to the judges had to be submitted at a certain time and date. Mr. Hunt commented that he thought it would have been “easier to procrastinate preparing for the competition” this year compared to previous years. It would have been easy to put off preparing for the competition when competing from home, whereas in previous years competitors would have had to have their presentations ready before the trip to Virginia Beach.

Mr. Hunt expressed that the virtual competition put less stress on him because he did not have to chaperone the DECA members at Virginia Beach. Even though it was less stress on him, Mr. Hunt said, “I did not care for the online competition and I am looking forward to be back in person and traveling.”

This was the first year DECA members had the opportunity to compete virtually. Hope Smith (DECA president) expressed, “I definitely prefer in-person competition. The atmosphere of an in-person SLC is unmatched and it really makes you realize how big of a deal the competition is.”

Virtual and in-person competitions are very different. Hope commented, “Competing in-person gives the competitor the experience of a real-world interview type of scenario, whereas competing online is more of a computerized simulation.”

Despite some of the downfalls to virtual competitions, there are benefits as well. Hope stated, “When you are presenting from behind a computer screen, you have access to outside resources and even the ability to utilize computer software.”

In a typical year, DECA members would get to go on trips to different locations to compete against other schools. This could have been part of the reason that the number of people involved in DECA this year has decreased. Hope said, “I think less people have joined DECA this year, and this is a concern for DECA chapters across the globe.”

This year has been unique in many ways, but it is interesting to see how this program has adapted to the idea of a “new normal” in order to continue competing. Hidden Valley DECA members stepped up and competed as well as usual at this year’s DECA competitions despite the differences.