Mountain Spirit Convention 2020

Friday, January 17, 2020 FROM 4:00 PM - Sunday, January 19, 2020 12:00 PM

Four Points by Sheraton Phoenix South Mountain , AZ 85044

Mountain Region

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Event Details

Join us for our second Mountain Region Convention of the year, Spirit Convention 2020!!!!!! The convention will be held over MLK weekend, January 17-19, 2020, at the Four Points Sheraton South Mountain Hotel in Phoenix.

Spirit Convention is for every Jewish teen involved with BBYO and any teen interested in becoming more involved in BBYO. Chapter leaders, chapter members, new members, eighth graders, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are all invited. No leadership role or prior program participation is required to participate. Teens must be registered members of BBYO to attend convention.

We are so excited to have 8th graders come to their first convention of their BBYO experience and for everyone to have an incredible weekend at our next SPIRITED convention.

There are also 2 add on pre-summits (Thursday January 16-Friday January 17), for an additional $85.  Registration for these is separate and be can found at the below links:

For any questions, please reach out to Jeff Hast ([email protected]) or Tess Terry ([email protected])

-Mimi Yonover and Charlie Ratterman, 2020 Spirit Convention Coordinators,  The 2020 Spirit Convention Steering Committee & The MTN Regional Board


Jeff Hast, Senior Regional Director

Tess Terry, Associate Regional Director

Abbie Levine, SLC City Director

Katie Spector, Tucson City Director

Danica Torchin, Las Vegas City Director


Cost: $365.00 (due by 01/16/2020)
Deposit Amount: $50.00

Location: Phoenix 85044


What are the important dates we need to know?

  • Wednesday November 20th: Early Bird Registration, $50 off, and Scholarship applications open, you can also email [email protected] for informaton on payment plans. Scholarship link:
  • Monday December 2nd: Early Bird Registration Ends at 11:59pm, after that the convention costs $365
  • Tuesday December 3rd Scholarship applications due by 11:59pm.
  • Sunday December 29th: Registration closes at 11:59pm. No refunds will be given after this date. No late registrations will be accepted; the hotel needs the full roster by this date.  (See full cancellation/refund policy below). Final payment is due.
  • Friday, January 10th: CampDoc medical/dietary information due online (SEE BELOW FOR AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT CAMPDOCS)

What is the scholarship process?

  1. By December 3rd at 11:59pm: Complete the scholarship application
    • Late applications will not be accepted for any reason.
    • Note that we do not typically award more than 50% of the convention cost.
  2. Each family will be contacted via email with scholarship allocation information and next steps by the end of the week, December 6th or by the latest, Monday, December 9th.
  3. Accept/deny your scholarship award- directions will be provided via email on how to accept/deny. If you do not accept/deny your scholarship award by this time, your scholarship will be released.
  4. Register for convention.
    • IMPORTANT: By applying for scholarship you are NOT guaranteed a spot at convention. You must register as detailed above using the same email address you use for the scholarship application. When you register for convention the website will automatically deduct your scholarship award from the total cost.  If convention fills and you are placed on the waitlist your scholarship will be put on hold until if/when space becomes available.
    • Your scholarship will be deducted based on the cost of convention at the time you register. So PLEASE be sure to register before Early Bird ends on December 2nd to maximize your scholarship opportunity.
    • All convention fees must be paid by the final registration deadline unless the family has had a conversation with the Senior Regional Director.

Can I register after the registration deadline?  Registration closes at 11:59pm on Sunday, December 29th. If a teen wishes to register after this date he/she should not expect to be able to attend convention. Because this is a hotel based convention, it is much more difficult once we give the list of names to the hotel.

What is the cancellation/refund policy?  The deadline to cancel with a full program refund is the final registration deadline for this program. Until that date, full refunds will be granted for cancellations in writing (e-mail is acceptable), for any reason. After the registration deadline, partial refunds may be available based on convention expenses already paid (hotel/camp, transportation, etc.). “No shows” will not receive a refund.

Are there an unlimited number of convention spots? No. Our space is limited based on program and rooming space. We have a limited number of spots and will move to a waitlist once we have reached our maximum. We encourage all participants to register as early as possible.


CONVENTION BACKGROUND                                                                                                                                                   .

Who is convention for? Spirit Convention is for every Jewish teen involved with BBYO and any teen interested in becoming more involved in BBYO. Chapter leaders, chapter members, new members, 8th graders, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are all invited. No leadership role or prior program participation is required to participate. Teens must be registered members of BBYO to attend convention.

Why should I attend convention? BBYO conventions are one of the things that teens look most forward to during the school year. Conventions are planned and led by teens, and they are an opportunity for our region to come together as a community. Conventions provide teens with meaningful Jewish experiences and friendships that they will remember for years to come.

Where will I be? Will I be leaving the hotel/camp? Teens will be staying at Four Points Sheraton South Mountain Hotel in Phoenix, AZ and will remain on-site for the duration of convention. Teens should not leave the camp under any circumstances unless parents/families have been in communication with the Regional staff. 

What does programming look like? We like to keep some things a surprise! Here are some program highlights:

  • Friday
    • Shabbat Experiences
    • Friday Night Onegs
    • Opening Ceremonies
  • Saturday
    • Shabbat Experiences
    • Morning Rotations
    • AZAA/BBGG Activities
    • Speaker(s)
    • Separates
    • Social


PREPARING FOR CONVENTION                                                                                                                                               .

What medical form does BBYO need? Within a week of registering for convention you’ll receive an email from and will be able to fill out the form electronically. Please note that if you have attended another BBYO convention or will be attending International Convention you will use the same login and only need to update your information. You do not need a physical for this convention.

  • Important Note: On January 1, 2020, we are updating our CampDocs information which may require new forms and/or questions to be answered.  If you would like to wait until after January 1, 2020 to fill out the forms, that is okay.  If you fill it out prior to January 1, you may receive an email to add more information in order to attend convention.

What if I take medication? Teens will be responsible for keeping and taking their own medications. These medications should be noted on your Campdoc medical form. We will not have a professional nurse on staff. We will have over the counter medicines if need be (Tylenol, Tums, Advil, etc.) and we do keep track of when teens are taking these meds from us.

What is the recommended dress? Stay tuned for a complete packing list. You’ll want to check in with your teen’s chapter if they are expecting members to bring additional items. Teens are not permitted to wear clothing that is revealing, such as short skirts, cut off tank-tops, see-through tops, and may be asked to change clothes if necessary. Clothing that is profane or references to drugs or alcohol is also not permitted. We do not permit any wear that is potentially offensive to any race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc.

What should I pack? The recommended packing list includes:

  • BBYO regional or chapter clothing
  • Toiletries
  • Jeans/slacks
  • Casual shirts/blouses
  • T-shirts
  • Sweatshirts/sweaters
  • Shabbat appropriate attire- Friday evening Shabbat attire should be nicer than typical casual clothes. Slacks and khakis with a polo shirt or button-down shirt are appropriate for Alephs, and slacks, khakis, skirts, blouses or dresses are appropriate for BBGs. 
  • Sneakers/casual shoes/dress shoes
  • Pajamas
  • Kippah, Tallit and Tefillin (if desired)
  • AZA and BBG pins
  • *BBYO is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please leave all unnecessary valuables at home.

Will I need spending money? Teens are advised to bring a small amount of spending money to Convention (we will be in touch if we able to accept credit/debit cards).  During free time, teens may be given the option to purchase snacks with cash in addition to the snacks provided to them by BBYO. Also, teens may choose to purchase items at the Shuk (marketplace), showcasing BBYO ‘swag’ and apparel from chapters across the region.  BBYO is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Please leave all unnecessary valuables at home.

Need Extra Care? Conventions and overnights have their challenges for teens, especially our younger members. If your teen needs extra care during the Convention, either socially, physically or otherwise (anxiety, shyness, etc.), please reach out to MTN Senior Regional Director, Jeff Hast at [email protected]. For the safety and well-being of all our members, only our professional staff is able to arrange and/or provide extra care.


ON-SITE LOGISTICS              

How do I get to convention?

  • Scottsdale, Phoenix, East Valley, West Valley:  Parents should drop off their teens during the time of registration.  Depending on the interest level, there may be transportation provided from the Scottsdale VOSJCC for Phoenix/Scottsdale area teens.
  • Tucson: Bus transportation will be provided to and from the Tucson JCC on Friday, January 17 and Sunday, January 19.
  • Las Vegas: Vehicle transportation will be provided to and from Las Vegas on Friday, January 17 and Sunday, January 19.
  • Salt Lake City: Flight times will be provided by Abbie Levine, City Director, and a bus will pick teens up and drop them off at the Phoenix Skyharbor Airport.
  • Please direct any travel questions to Jeff at [email protected].
  • Teens may NOT drive themselves to/from convention. There are no exceptions to this policy. If a teen drives to convention, they will not be allowed to participate in the program. Their parent/guardian will be called to come pick up them and the vehicle immediately.
  • What if I have to come late or leave early? No problem! If you have other commitments throughout the event that you’re unable to miss- don't worry! We will work with you so can attend. Late arrivals and early departures are typically no problem as long as we know in advance. Teens may not drive themselves to/from convention. Prorated convention costs are not available. Please email Jeff by January 10th at 11:59pm if you have late arrival or early departure needs.

What are the meals like? What if I have a dietary restriction? At the hotel, we will have dairy and vegetarian meals. We will have vegan, gluten-free or glatt kosher options for teens who specify this need on their medical forms. We ask for allergy information and food needs on the online medical form and we appreciate you sharing information as soon as possible so that we can accommodate specific food needs and limitations. All BBYO conventions are peanut and tree nut-free.

What is BBYO's supervision policy? BBYO has a minimum supervision ratio of 15 teens to every adult. All of BBYO’s professional staff have had background checks and are trained to work with your teens and keep them safe. The staff and advisors help to supervise teens before, during, and after programming. Teen safety is our #1 priority.

What is BBYO’s discipline policy? As a reminder, when you registered for membership you signed BBYO’s Code of Conduct, which outlines our policies for substance abuse, property damage, and behavior guidelines with the full understanding of our behavioral expectations as a member of BBYO. Rules and guidelines will be made clear to all participants upon their arrival at convention opening. Should one of our teens choose to act outside of our Code of Conduct, the incident will be addressed by the appropriate staff members. We have a zero-tolerance approach to any violation of the Code of Conduct and any discipline matter that comes to the attention of staff. If you are (or your teen is) dismissed from Spirit Convention for disciplinary reasons or Code of Conduct violations, BBYO staff will arrange for travel home immediately, at your family’s expense and without a refund.