Feast of Tabernacles 2013 . . .
Wednesday Evening, September 18 - Thursday, September 26
Since they're not charging a registration fee, why should I register? Why
not just show up?
Good question! Maybe a good answer might be -"because we've asked you to???"
Season of Our Joy is a highly organized festival. We believe that it is better to make things happen than to just let them happen. We also believe that in order to gain the maximum benefit from activities and events, they need to be properly organized. Therefore, the leaders and coordinators of the festival spend countless hours before the festival to insure that during the festival you will be able to get the most out of the music, the dance, the various classes for children and teens, and of course, from the teachings that will be given by the many speakers who themselves spend hours organizing the presentations they will be delivering.
"But what does this have to do with registering for the festival? What's wrong with just showing up?" A lot of things . . . but primarily, if you don't register, we don't know how many are coming and therefore, we don't know what to expect. Without a good count, we cannot 1) determine how many chairs to set up and how to configure the hall; 2) determine how many supplies to purchase for various programs, such as the children's program (would you want your child to be the one who cannot participate in a craft because there were too few supplies?); 3) know how many meal supplies (plates, utensils, etc.) that will need to be purchased; and 4) if we will have enough help to get everything done. These are just a few of the reasons why it's important for you to let us know you're coming to the festival.
So let's talk about the registration process . . .
Observing the festival is more than just getting into your car and heading to Missouri. It takes planning. Those of us who have observed the festival for a number of years know that there's a process that helps insure a successful festival. Here's some of the steps in that process:
The organizers of the festival want you, as well as us, to have a joyful and successful Feast of Tabernacles. To help insure this happens, we ask that you extend to us certain courtesies, including:
In addition to our requests, Windermere has rules of its own. This includes a NO ALCOHOL policy. Their rules can be found on their web site http://www.windermereusa.org, or you can Click Here to go directly to their Rules page. Since they are a church camp, some of their rules (such as the kerfew) apply to children. Consult the Windermere staff for clarification of thier rules.
If you believe that you would be unable or unwilling to extend the courtesies we've asked for, or are unwilling to abide by Windermere's rules, then SOOJ is probably not for you and we would ask that you attend the festival elsewhere.
Since the festivals are based on a lunar cycle, and not the Gregorian calendar, the dates and days are different from year to year. It's important to block out these 8 days (along with appropriate travel time) on your calendar so you don't let the festival slip up on you. Keep in mind that SOOJ observes the festival based on the traditional Jewish Calendar. Check to see if there is anything else scheduled for that time so you can get those things moved to another date . . . God doesn't adjust His schedule to ours. Be sure to make arrangements to get off work and get your children out of school.
Just like any other time you move out of your home for an extended period, it costs money. Do what you can to make sure you have the funds to not only get to the festival, but to enjoy it and return home safely. Many families put money away each week in a fund just for the fall festival. It works!
Season of Our Joy is a massive undertaking for such a small group of people. We need a lot of help. On the Volunteer section of our web site we've listed a number of areas where your efforts can make the festival more enjoyable for us. We need more than just helpers . . . we need leaders. Please give this some thought before you move on to the next step.
Let us know well in advance that you're planning to attend the festival. If more people would register early, our work load just prior to the festival would diminish greatly. Registration with SOOJ is required before you can secure housing with Windermere. When filling out the Registration Form, please be sure to do so correctly. The information you submit will be used to automatically fill out your name tags. Use proper capitalization so someone does not have to re-enter your information. If a form field does not apply to you, please leave it blank. Do not type in words such as "none", "N/A", Deceased, or "0". Click on the areas where you can volunteer to help us out. Be sure to not overload yourself, but just about everyone can help somewhere.
Whether you are planning to stay at one of the lodges, at a cabin, or simply camp, you will need to make reservations with the Windemere Staff - - - Season of Our Joy does not handle housing arrangements. If you need a place for a large family or if you and your friends want to stay close to each other, be sure to make your reservations early since the larger units go quickly. Please note that you must register with SOOJ before the Windermere staff will allow you to reserve housing. When you register with SOOJ, please remember the e-mail address and the phone number you used when you registered as you will be asked for this info by the Windermere staff.
Note that Windermere assesses a one-time Day Use Fee of $5.00 per person (i.e. - you are only charged one time for the entire festival) for those who are not staying on campus. Be sure to visit the Windermere Sales Office during your visit in order to take care of this obligation.
After registering, if for some reason you decide you will not be able to attend the festival with SOOJ, please contact us by email or phone to let us know. This will enable others to attend that may have been turned away once we fill up. Be sure to cancel your housing as well!
We hope this little overview helps you in the process of getting ready for the festival. There is more information throughout our web site, and of course, if you have questions, give us a call.