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How to Organize a JOC Event

Looking to plan an event? We welcome your initiative! Please read through the following to get an idea as to what is involved, and what steps are needed.


1) To start, thoroughly research the event you wish to plan and do your best to think of all possible scenarios. Clear a date for the event with the event coordinators. For all reimbursable purchases, obtain prior approval from the event coordinator. If you are leading a hike, you must purchase a trail map, available at EMS, REI or online (http://www.nynjtc.org/store/index.html) . A book, such as “50 Hikes in the Hudson Valley” is also recommended, especially when choosing a route.

2) Write an email to send to the JOC at least 2 weeks prior to the event. The email should contain the event title and date in the heading. The body should contain:

A) What is this activity all about? (how difficult a hike, how crazy are the rapids, etc…)

B) Where will the event be? (Minnewaska State Park, Gertrude’s Nose trail)

C) How will transportation work?

1) Have people meet in a central location and send out cars from there. From other places, people can drive on their own. In emails to attendees, post phone numbers of people driving from non-Manhattan locations, so others who live there can get a ride, and not have to meet in Manhattan.


2) For some big events, if may be worthwhile to have everyone arrange their own transportation. Send out a list of drivers and contacts no later than one week prior to the event, to the attendees only.

D) How much does it cost, and how can one pay?


    1) Check made out to Jewish Outdoors Club

    2) Cash dropped off

    3) Paypal to organizer’s account


    Pay the day of.


E) How does one sign up?

    Name, email, phone num.


F) What if it rains?

    Spell out the plan (ex. Light rain is a go, heavy rain cancels. Check email last minute if not sure)


G) Until when can a person cancel and obtain a refund?   

    Up to organizer, really depends on type of event.


H) What is the maximum number of people accepted? Any age parameters?

I) What to bring?

    1-2 liters water, lunch, snack, camera, sunscreen, bug spray, money …


J) Contact information: Your name and email (divulging phone # not recommended)




1) As people sign up, make a list of attendees, and relevant information, such as car and phone number. A spreadsheet is recommended for this. As they pay, make a note on the spreadsheet.


2) Create a separate yahoogroups with a list of attendees, where anyone can post (though you should moderate it). This is how you will communicate with attendees, giving them updated ride information, directions, etc. To create a list, go to yahoogroups, and add a group (e.g, JOC_rafting2005). You can add members by going to the “invite members” section, and clicking on “add members” at the bottom. All people who sign up late can see past emails on the yahoogroups archives for the group created. This is also a good way for people to publicize and seek rides for events, where relevant.


3) Make sure you have enough rides for people! If you seem short on cars, you can send an email out to JOC saying that only drivers will be accepted from now on. You can also request some non-Manhattan attendees with cars stop by Manhattan, for events which have carpool leaving from there.


Day of Event:

  • Be sure to pack: First Aid Kit, Walkie-Talkies, Attendees list with phone #’s, Vendor info (if relevant), extra copies of directions, Swiss knife, maps, extra water, toilet paper.

  • Meet people at the meeting place and coordinate carpools, if relevant. Do so quickly and efficiently. As soon as cars are organized, ship them off, and tell them not to linger. Please do not wait for anyone, as this sets a bad precedent for future events, and earns us a poor reputation as never departing on time. Write down names of drivers, and how many passengers, as they depart.

  • At the event location (not the meeting place!)
            Check people off your list of attendees (should be alphabetized)

                  Collect money, where relevant

                  Make sure that drivers that you counted earlier are accounted for.


                 Note: If a car has not come for a long time, tape a big note in a visible place 
                (like a sign for the trail) telling latecomers what trail you are taking, or where you are.


For Hikes:

A) Review maps and other info regarding the hike you will be leading. Have a sense of how to navigate the route, potential problem areas, and bailout routes.

B) Assign a trail guide, who is good at route finding, for the front of the group, and a sweep for the rear of the group. Everyone else will stay between these two.  Set a reasonable pace that balances the needs of those in the front with those who are lagging.

C) Post a person at trail intersections, to dictate the route until the sweep has reached the intersection.

D) After the first 5-10 minutes of hiking, stop the group for time to adjust clothing and boots. Periodically allow the group to stop long enough for everyone a chance to take care of what they need.


E) Check progress throughout the day against the time plan. Make decisions as far as turning around or using a bailout route if needed.

F) Monitor the weather conditions. Modify your trip as necessary.


Post Event:


After the event, be sure to thank individuals for coming, and make sure people have rides back. Encourage people to come again to future JOC events!


    Upon returning home, all checks should be sent to the treasurer, along with a filled out form summarizing the finances of the event. (This form is available on this site) Reimbursement checks will be cut in a timely fashion.


Thanks for organizing!

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