Yesterday I arrived in St. Louis to join the rest of the CAJE staff and volunteers who have begun all of the pre-conference set up. I am settled into my dorm room and I have to say that the Washington University dorms are among the nicest that we have ever used for a CAJE conference. We are using the dorms located in the South 40 quad. These are the newest dorms and are located close together, with the dining hall we will be using in the middle of all of the dorms. The Washington University campus is an ideal campus for a CAJE conference. The University is a very compact, flat campus with nothing further than a 10 minute walk. The University is under going some construction which we will have to walk around, but other than that everything looks great.
In addition, the Washington University staff have truly been amazing and very welcoming. They have printed special color coded maps of the campus for us that each participant will receive at registration. The map shows the CAJE dorms in one color, the Expo Hall in another, and even shows the best paths to use for our wheel bound participants. As another CAJE first, the University has taken these maps, blown them up and created 4 foot X 4 foot posters which they have then secured under heavy plastic and placed around the campus.
This evening CAJE volunteers and staff will get togther and do the “packet stuffing”. Typically we do this after Havdalah Saturday evening, however this year we will stuff the packets early. This way all of our pre-conference and Shabbat attendees will be able to receive their full packets at registration.
By noon today we will be able to have our first meal in the newly Kashered dining hall. By this evening Patti K. and her crew should have the registration packets stuffed and read, Ari and his staff will have worked their behind the scenes magic and moved all of the conference “stuff” so that it is all in place, signs will have been posted, Yoram will have printed out all of the name tags, the University will have set up all of the rooming envelopes with room keys and the first conference CAJE Page will have gone to the printer. Tomorrow our first conference participants begin to arrive.
So much to do, so little time.
See you in St. Louis.