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DECA Power Trip Report from Austin, TX

SK 2023 DECA Power Trip Report Thumbnail

SKHS DECA students visited Austin, TX in November.  Read student, Ryan Allen's "Ultimate Power Trip" report to find out how this immersive conference experience impacted them and what they plan to share with their fellow chapter members at SK.

SK DECA 2023 Austin TX Powertrip Report.pdf by Ryan Allen, VP of Marketing.

For more information about the South Kitsap DECA program visit:

Austin, TX skyline aerial photo

Written By: Ryan Allen, VP of Marketing

South Kitsap DECA recently attended the DECA Ultimate Power Trip in Austin, Texas. DECA aims at preparing the next generation of business leaders through interactive, competitive-based experiences. The Ultimate Power Trip built on the skills of our chapter officers in the fields of leadership, competition, business, and marketing, as well as improved upon their networking and social skills, providing the officers with invaluable resources that they can share with their chapter.


After taking an early flight from Seattle, South Kitsap DECA officers and advisors arrive in Austin, Texas, an innovative, environmentally-focused cultural and technological hub, where new ideas are being pioneered every day. Anticipating the fantastic days to come, the officers head into the JW Marriot. Throughout the next few days, the hotel and its neighbor will be the generous host of the 2023 DECA Ultimate Power Trip, a game-changing, boundary-defying experience for young leaders hosted by DECA, Inc.

SKHS DECA students at Opening Session

Opening Session

Served to inspire DECA members and get them ready for the immersive, game-changing days to come! Outlining the content of the conference, the opening session also hosted an empowering guest speaker; artist, performer, and AGT Finalist David Garibaldi, who shared an important message on following your dreams, while performing live painting! Following the opening session, SK DECA officers spent some time familiarizing themselves with Austin and all of the amazing foods and sights, growing closer as a team through the experience.

Leadership & Learning Labs

Throughout the duration of the trip served to elevate our chapter’s experience. These sessions explored deep skills in leadership, business, and marketing, and prompted DECA members to take their skills and effort to the next level. Through these groundbreaking sessions, our chapter officers experienced significant and invaluable growth and learned new information and skills to take back to their chapter.

cityscape background image - pink buildings with blue and white background.

A Competitive Experience

Was presented to our individual chapter members on Saturday; a fast-paced challenge where DECA members have to quickly come up with a solution to a business problem and pitch that solution to a judge. In approaching the roleplays, our chapter officers were eager to put their enhanced skills to the test, feeling invigorated by the opportunities that they took to excel as business leaders. Regardless of how their role-play went, each chapter member gained invaluable practice that strengthened their role-plays for competition.

Closing Session

Photo of a DECA Conference speaker

Brought an end to the inspiring and motivating series of workshops and activities. Drummer, author, and professional speaker Clint Pulver, in between live drum performances, taught DECA members how to work effectively and strongly as a team, culminating in the thousands of members present carrying out their own drum line! While the closing session brought an end to the Ultimate Power Trip’s organized events, South Kitsap DECA still had the following day to spend quality time immersed in the seemingly boundless city of Austin!

Kelsey Gotcher and Reese Willson holding awards.

Our Impact

Congratulations to Kelsey Gotcher and Reese Willson for achieving Competitive Excellence in their role plays! Each SK DECA officer participated in a practice role play during the Ultimate Power Trip. Kelsey and Reese were two of the top scorers in the highly competitive role play experience.

“The Ultimate DECA Power Trip was awesome! It was my first flight, the take off felt kind of weird but it was cool, landing wasn’t fun though, my ears hurt a lot. Austin Texas is really cool! It’s a lot warmer there than it is here. The workshops were pretty cool, I think it was more focused on networking with different people more than doing the workshop, my favorite workshop was “Ace Your Next Interview”. There were a lot of different colleges and businesses there. Opening and closing session were cool, opening session’s guest speaker did some painting, closing session’s guest speaker was a drummer and taugt us how to play the drums on the back of the chair in front of us, that was awesome! We went to the Capitol and the University of Texas at Austin, that was really cool! The Capitol was getting some repairs done so we couldn’t see it without construction but it was still cool. The food in Austin TX is great! There are quite a bit of options to choose from, like fast food to expensive italian restaurants, there’s a restaurant of everyone’s budget. Our hotel room was big and had a nice view of downtown Austin and the river, there was a pool at the hotel and it was heated! The pool has a great view of downtown Austin and it looks really cool at night!”

Nate Littlewolf, Vice President of Finance

“My experience during this DECA Power Trip is priceless, granting easy access to real-world professionals and workshops catered towards our growth. I loved learning about property investing, and loved learning about how to manage my time effectively. None of our learning has been without fun, exploring the city and attending recreational events was for sure a highlight of this impactful trip.”

Anton Bloch, Vice President of Career Development

“I truly adored this year’s Power Trip, from engaging workshops to exploring the vibrant streets of Austin. It was an incredible experience. Connecting with DECA students worldwide and strengthening bonds with my officer team was a blast. A standout workshop for me was “Sharpen the Saw,” where I learned to focus on priorites, concentrating efforts for maximum positive outcomes. This lesson has been very impactful in helping with my prioritizing and managing my time effectively to enhance goal achievement. I look forward to applying these newfound skills to improve our chapter’s success, just in time for competition! ”

Kelsey Gotcher, Vice President of Hospitality

JW Marriot Austin, TX

Experience the Difference

Is the international DECA theme this year. It is important to recognize and embrace the diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives that every individual has to offer, inside and outside of a business context. This mission was furthered at the Ultimate Power Trip through various leadership labs, including “Human Machine” and “Blooming A Community”, in addition to the experiences and advice shared by guest speakers David Garibaldi and Clint Pulver. Additionally, chapter members were able to engage in experiences with chapters from across the world, forming a stronger connection with a global, business-oriented community.

Thank You

To our chapter advisor Ms. Feider and to our chaperone Mrs. Nass, for making this experience not just possible, but amazing! We appreciate all you have done and continue to do to help and support us through our journey. We would also like to thank DECA, Inc. for their powerful organization and execution of this event. Additionally, thank you to South Kitsap High School and the larger Port Orchard community for your support of South Kitsap DECA!

“I very much enjoyed the DECA Power Trip as it provided me with many new skills and ideas that I had not previously thought about. The many workshops included topics such as career, competition, and college including insights from professionals in the field. I also loved the messages from the key speakers during opening and closing session.

However, my favorite part of the trip was networking with other students from all over the country. The DECA Power Trip provided me with knowledge and a gateway into opportunities that I may not have gained otherwise.”

Katie Wright, Vice President of Leadership

“The Power Trip was impactful, from the delicious Austin cuisine to powerful keynote speakers to the Texas A&M Wrangler’s performance. Attending the Power Trip for the first time brought me new information from business professionals and a unique edge in the DECA competition. Specifically catering to my area of career interest, the “Make Hospitality Your Place to Stay” workshop provided insight from hospitality professionals about finding a career in that field. Along with eye-opening information, I also had the pleasure of meeting fellow DECA students from Texas, Nevada, and even Trinidad and Tobago. Ultimately, the DECA Power Trip was such a treat to soak up knowledge and enjoy the beautiful city of Austin!”

Reese Willson, Chapter President

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