ICDC 2023: Universal Night, Pin Trading, and More!

Do you think about Universal when you think about business? Last week, from Saturday to Wednesday, Lenape’s DECA chapter competed in the DECA international competition (ICDC). Held in Orlando, Florida, students from around the world competed in a variety of business-related events.

Like the previous district and state-level competitions, all competitors took a 100-question cluster exam one day and completed two roleplays the next. But, what’s unique about ICDC, is the other activities competitors got to enjoy, such as pin trading, Disney Springs, and a DECA-only Universal Night.


Pin Trading

While there were so many fun aspects of ICDC this year, pin trading has to be one of my favorites. On the first day of ICDC, all participants were given 6 of their respective state’s clothes pins, which were used to trade with people from other states. This year, New Jersey’s pin was a cartoon devil surrounded by flames, representing the New Jersey Devils and the NJ DECA theme of “ignite your flame”. Other states had pins such as Massachusetts bulldogs (a fan favorite), Florida orange juice, and Texas armadillos.


Disney Springs

Sunday night, after taking the cluster exams, we were rewarded with a trip to Disney Springs! We spent a couple of hours eating, listening to music, relaxing, and shopping (one of my friends bought three jars of honey). We even met the famous Coca-Cola Polar Bear! Not to be dramatic, but meeting him might have been the highlight of the trip.


Universal Night

After a day of roleplays, DECA spent the night at Universal! This night was especially special because the entire park was closed to outside guests, making it a DECA-only experience. 

Unfortunately, the weather was not in our favor that night; it rained the entire time. However, that didn’t stop us from having a blast! In a way, the rain was kind of nice because it made some lines shorter as people started hiding inside restaurants (the Men in Black ride had a 15-minute wait time).

Unrelated note and a fun fact, but I tried Butterbeer for the first time. I had already left Universal because my knee started hurting, so my friends brought the drink all the way from the park to the hotel for me. I didn’t end up liking the drink, but I finished the whole thing because I felt bad they worked so hard. 


That’s a wrap on this year’s ICDC trip! While I didn’t win any awards, I’m still so grateful for the experience. I had so much fun meeting new people, exploring new places, spending time with friends, and competing in the competition. It was truly a remarkable high school experience.