FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the NSSSA?
The Nova Scotia Secondary School Students’ Association (known commonly as the NSSSA or affectionately as “N-Trip” to its members) is an organization in Nova Scotia, Canada run mainly by students in Grades 10 to 12, enrolled in a Nova Scotia secondary school. Its purpose is to foster growth of leadership skills among youth, primarily through the use of regional and province-wide annual leadership conferences.
How can I get involved in the NSSSA?
The NSSSA offers many different opportunities to get involved as a student. Firstly, attending conferences is a great way to participate and get to know more about the organization and the people that run it. Often, participation in a conference is a student’s best and easiest opportunity to get involved. After attending your first provincial conference you may apply to be a skillbuilder at regional conferences and further at the provincial conference, or inclusion conferences. After attending your first provincial conference you may also feel like you want to commit your time to help participate on one of the many NSSSA provincial or regional cabinets. Each year at the provincial conference we hold elections to select positions for the upcoming year and appointments for all other positions are held annually.
Further, regional and provincial cabinets are always looking for assistance in carrying out the many events that they put on. Contacting your regional cabinets and asking how you can help is a great way of introducing yourself.
Who can go to a conference?
All students are welcome at conferences!
Every student enrolled in a secondary school in Nova Scotia can go, regardless of whether they have ever attended an NSSSA event or not. If your child is a High School Student (Grades 9/10-12) they are welcome to attend their regional conference, as well as the annual provincial conference, and inclusion conferences!
How does the NSSSA promote leadership?
The NSSSA holds at least eight conferences annually, one in each region, and one province-wide conference on the third weekend of May, as well as an Inclusion Conference for special needs students. Additionally, most regions host a conference for students in grade 9. The delegates (students) at these conferences are divided into groups of about 8 to 10, known as skillbuilding groups. In charge of the skillbuilding groups are the skillbuilders. Skillbuilders are students who have been to at least one Provincial Conference in a previous year, are familiar with the organization, and wish to take on a position of responsibility. The skillbuilders are the leaders in skillbuilding sessions, where the entire skillbuilding group meets by themselves and does activities with the intent of building self-esteem, leadership skills, and knowledge of self.
What happens at conferences?
Skillbuilding sessions are comprised of 8-10 students, and two experienced student facilitators. Students gain various leadership skills such as communication, personal leadership, working under pressure, and group dynamics through various fun and exciting activities. Outside the skillbuilding sessions there are other activities, such as motivational speakers, how-to sessions, a group leadership challenge (also known as the EPIC), a talent show and high energy sessions. Meals are also provided as part of the conference fee.
What are the rules at conferences?
There are three major rules at conference that are absolute; these are called the “3D’s”. The “3D’s” are:
- No Drinking
- No Drugs
- No Doing “It” (“it” consisting of any sexual or romantic gestures or activities)
These rules are very strict; if anyone is caught breaking a “D” they will be sent home at their own expense and their parent will be notified.
Another rule is that nobody (with the exception of Chaps, First Aid, and the Provincial Advisor, when necessary) is allowed in the residences of the opposite sex (i.e. no males are allowed in female residences, and vice versa).
As well, nobody except Chaps and advisors are allowed to leave the university campus once conference begins. This is to ensure that nobody goes missing.
In 2005 a new rule was put into effect that there were to be no “energy drinks” (such as Red Bull or Monster) allowed on the university campus for the duration of conference.
All these rules are vigilantly enforced by advisors, Chaps, and (to a lesser extent, and usually only during the day when most Chaps are sleeping) Logistics.
How will my child benefit from attending an NSSSA conference or event?
Does your child like sports, music, academics, hanging out, volunteering, or maybe planning parties? Anything that your child likes to do is associated with leadership. In every day of life there are opportunities for any student to be a leader; whether it is setting a good example for others (maybe by doing homework or practicing hard at a task), being encouraging to a teammate, helping someone who is struggling with a task, taking on the responsibility of planning something, or even something as small as saying hello to someone know and demonstrating kindness.
There are no limitations to leadership, and at an NSSSA conference the positive energy, motivation and new life long friends helps people to recognize their own leadership skills and how they can apply them to their lives. The NSSSA also offers an endless variety of opportunities for students to get involved with the organization; we encourage you to encourage your child to get involved with the NSSSA!