In the CWD weekly staff meetings, we’ve been working through all the details of our upcoming Virtual Friends for Life Orlando 2020 conference. We’re excited for what’s coming, but of course there are moments when we stop and think about what we’re not able to do this year. COVID-19 has reshaped so much of how we, as a world, are able to connect right now, but we’re still a community. We’re still a CWD family. And today, Laura Billetdeaux has penned a letter to our community, sharing her thoughts.
I miss you.
In a normal year, two weeks before a Friends for Life conference, I’d be poring through Banquet Event Orders (BEOs) – 300+ pages of them – with my Disney counterpart, Michele. We’d be making sure every single detail is in place for the upcoming Friends for Life week. The room set… how many tables, how many chairs, and where do they go? How wide should the aisles be? Where do the trashcans go? Do we want plastic or glass cups in the back by the water dispenser? Where should the emergency glucose tabs go in each room? The AV – lav mics or handheld? CWD speakers or house sound? How many screens? The meals, the snacks, the gluten-free menus – chocolate dipped strawberries, sugar free red punch, The Banquet, and what has become affectionately known as ‘FFL Cheese.’ The room block – who is staying where for how long, rooming with who else, and arriving early (or staying late) to do Disney. Teen Day at the park – did we order enough buses to take the teens to Animal Kingdom? Are there enough tickets? Enough $20 lunch cards? Are the contracts for DJ Miles and our Disney characters in place and are the times and dates correct? Who are the handlers? What time will everyone arrive for set up? Have the decorations arrived?
Details. Thousands of them.
Every single day for the next two weeks, we’d be updating BEOs. Because, you see, if it’s not in the BEOs, it doesn’t happen.
This year, instead of BEOs, we have BoFFLs. Boxes of FFL. Our amazing sponsors donated items to fill nearly 1,000 boxes for those attending Virtual FFL Orlando. The incredible team of volunteers who filled, taped, labeled, and shipped these BoFFLs last week thought of each of you as they did their work.
Last thing, I put a hug in every box.
I will see you all in person next year, July 6-11, 2021, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
For now, though … I miss you.
Laura and a team of Friends for Lifers spent time packing boxes of Friends for Life (aka “BoFFLs”) for as many of the CWD families as we could manage. A huge thank you to our sponsors for making this happen and to Laura and the BoFFL box team for providing that extra bit of FFL magic. We miss you all and can’t wait to see you at Virtual Friends for Life Orlando!