Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome!  You’re about to join an exciting group of individuals who have experienced Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, otherwise known as HOBY. You are in for a life-changing experience over the course of the weekend. And to get ready, you need to know what to expect, right? You also need to know what to bring with you as you prepare for your trip. Take a look and see what’s in store….This information is for the 2018 Seminar.

Where will the seminar be held?

The seminar will take place at the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, CT. Students need to check in at Barnum Hall on Friday June 1st between 7:30 am and 8:30 am. Barnum Hall is located at 150 Marina Park Circle, Bridgeport, CT 06604. 

When will the seminar be held?

The seminar will be held between June 1st and June 3rd, 2018. Seminar participants may arrive and complete registration anytime between 7:30 am and 8:30 am on Friday June 1st. The seminar will begin with Ambassador Orientation and Opening Ceremony on Friday, June 1st at 9:00 am and conclude with Closing Ceremonies on Sunday, June 3rd from 2:30 – 4:30 pm. You must be present for the entire seminar, including overnight.  

Where should I go when I arrive?

Ambassadors should report to Barnum Hall, located at 150 Marina Park Drive Bridgeport, CT 06604. A HOBY volunteer will be there to greet you and check you in. Breakfast is not provided on Friday morning for ambassadors, so please make sure to eat before you arrive. Registration and check-in will take approximately 20-30 minutes including settling in your dorm room, so please plan accordingly. We will do everything we can to make the process efficient. You will begin by checking in, receiving your room key, submitting your key deposit, submitting medication to the medic and receiving important information for the weekend. 

What kind of program is planned?

Our theme this year is “History Has It’s Eyes On You,” a reference to a song from Hamilton: An American Musical. Every year we do our best to instill in each ambassador a passion for giving back to their communities. We will be having several goal oriented activities, panel discussions, keynote speakers, social events, a leadership luncheon and service projects throughout the seminar, that will be focused on leadership and also support our overall message. During the seminar there will be panels on various topics, these session will have speakers who are leaders and experts in their particular topic. They will each have a chance to speak for a few minutes. The remaining time will be for ambassadors to ask questions, discuss the subject and to form their own opinions about the information presented. Keynote Speakers will share their experiences with the ambassadors and join us for part of the day in order to interact with staff and ambassadors in a casual setting. Each Ambassador will be matched with a community leader for a brunch on Sunday morning. They will get to choose from various leaders in the community – teachers, medical personnel, small business leaders, etc. Lastly, HOBY as an international organization promotes community service. Ambassadors and staff will be completing projects as a seminar group. Facilitators will be reaching out to ambassadors individually to discuss items to bring so we may complete our service projects. This year we will be partnering with LifeBridge Community Closet. We are also having a talent showcase! If the ambassador has a special talent – sing, play an instrument, like to do dramatic or comedic skits – the Ambassador Talent Showcase is for them. *Please let us know if you want to participate (there is a form in your registration materials). 

What are the accommodations like?

Participants will be assigned to rooms in Seeley and Barnum Halls, by gender, on floors reserved exclusively for the seminar. Students will need to bring bed linens/blankets/pillows and towels. There will be no linen service provided. Students will also need to bring towels in addition to their toiletries. Additionally, the Residence Halls ARE NOT air conditioned, so students may bring a fan for their dorm room (no A/C units please).

Everyone will receive nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners starting with lunch on Friday – so please plan to eat breakfast BEFORE you arrive on campus. On the Medical History Records Form, please indicate any special dietary considerations, including vegetarianism, and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Parents are discouraged from calling their Ambassador during the weekend due to the confusion created when meetings are interrupted. Several staff members will have cell phones available all weekend in case of an emergency. In case of an emergency,  call our Operations Team at 860-884-0250. The seminar will be chaperoned by qualified adults who will be staying at the facility 24 hours a day. A trained and certified medic will be on hand for the seminar.

What should I bring/wear?

CT HOBY asks that students take their first step in practicing their leadership skills by “dressing for the job they want, not the job they have.” The official dress code is dressy casual. It is very warm this time of year, but it is also very cold inside the buildings we are in. Students should be mindful of not only the temperature, but of how they wish to present themselves as representatives of their schools and hometowns. Students’ attire should be consistent with what would be appropriate for any school function. On Friday, students may wear jeans or other comfortable clothes. On Saturday, students will be provided a HOBY t-shirt to wear. Bringing a sweater or sweatshirt is recommended. Students should wear good walking shoes since we do a good amount of walking between buildings throughout the seminar. On Sunday, students are asked to dress up – “Sunday’s Best” or “Game Day” attire is the dress code for that day (a jacket and tie, dress/skirt/dress pants, etc.). For Sunday, comfortable walking shoes are encouraged as there is a fair walk to Closing Ceremonies.

What if I need to take medication while I am at the seminar?

Please provide information about your medication on the Medical History Records Form and bring the Physician Medication Verification Form with you to the seminar. It is part of the downloadable Pre-Seminar Forms you filled out. Make sure to read and comply with the Policy for Use of Medication during a HOBY Event. In addition, HOBY has over-the-counter medication on hand should the need arise.  

If necessary, how may I be contacted during the seminar?

Students will be permitted to have their phones on them, but will be asked to turn them off or put them on silent during sessions. Parents are discouraged from contacting their student during the weekend so as to ensure students are focused on the program and out of respect for the speakers and volunteers we have at CT HOBY 2018. Several staff members will have cell phones available all weekend in case of an emergency. If you have an urgent need to contact your student, please call our Director of Operations, Renee Rushefski, at (203) 417-5482. The seminar will be chaperoned by qualified adults who will be staying on-site for the entire duration of CT HOBY 2018. There will also be a medic on staff for the weekend. 

Who pays for the seminar?

Your school or parent has paid a Registration Fee and will provide transportation to and from the seminar. All costs for meals, lodging and training materials have been generously provided by sponsors throughout our state, including businesses, foundations, individuals, and service organizations wishing to support leadership education.

May I leave and come back during the weekend?

No. Once you check in Friday morning, you’ll be expected to stay with the seminar group until the program ends Sunday afternoon. If you feel you’ll have problems meeting this requirement, please contact your school counselor right away and ask them to designate a replacement for you as soon as possible. Please make your plans now, so they don’t interfere with HOBY weekend. No early departures will be allowed for any reason. By the end of the weekend, you’ll understand why!  

What about religious services?

There will be no religious services provided at our seminar.

What transportation arrangements have been made?

You are responsible for their own transportation to and from the seminar. Please include all details of your itinerary on your Pre-Seminar Forms. If you have last minute transportation problems up through Friday, June 2nd, please notify Director of Operations, Renee Rushefski at renee@cthoby.org.

When will the program conclude?

The CT HOBY Seminar will conclude Sunday, June 3rd by 4pm. Parents are invited to attend a Parents’ Program as well as the Closing Ceremony. The informational “What is HOBY anyway?” parents meeting on Sunday runs from 2-2:45 pm. If you are planning on attending the parents meeting, please arrive on campus by 1:30 pm. This will allow time to park and make your way to the Cox Student Center, so you can take in the full parents program. Following that, our closing ceremony will start at 2:45 pm and conclude by 4:00pm, also at the Cox Student Center. When the program has completed, students and parents will make their way back to Barnum Hall to check out. We recommend parking near Barnum Hall at 150 Marina Park Circle, Bridgeport, CT 06604. This is where students will check out and luggage will be. Please note, as we are on a college campus, parking is at a premium and you will have to walk across the campus to the location of closing ceremony.  

Where should I pick up my student??

The parents program and closing ceremony will take place at the Cox Student Center, 244 University Avenue, Bridgeport CT 06604. Student check-out will take place at Barnum Hall, 150 Marina Park Circle, Bridgeport CT 06604 following the closing ceremony. Please note, as we are on a college campus, parking is at a premium and you will have to walk across the campus to the location of closing ceremony. While it is a relatively small campus, you may have to walk up to ten minutes from building to building. We recommend parking at Barnum Hall, as that is where the final check-out will take place.

What should I do if I’m not sure I can attend the seminar?

Every year, a few unlucky students have to cancel plans to be a HOBY ambassador. A program like this takes a full year of planning and execution, all by volunteers. Please help us by making your commitment to participate as soon as possible and following through with that commitment. If you are unable to attend, please inform your school counselor and follow-up with Leadership Seminar Chair, Mike Roy at mroy@cthoby.org. Likely, your school has designated an “alternate” who would like to attend in the chance that you are no longer able to. This way, every school is assured of a chance to be represented. Please let us know as soon as possible if you cannot participate.

What happens next?

Access to the registration forms will be emailed to students May 1. They need to be returned by May 15. Please let us know by if you did not receive them; this might imply an error with your registration. These forms should be submitted prior to the seminar, per the application instructions. Of course, if you have any questions about registration, you may contact us.

Who may I contact should I have additional questions?

* If you have any questions, please contact our Director of Recruitment, Rob Baurley at rob@cthoby.org.

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