Editors’ Note: Holy WOW IC IS THIS WEEK!! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO! Wait, that means we need to start packing. Okay, that’s not too hard. Let me just grab…… Oh no! I can’t remember what to pack! Thankfully for us here at Achshav, and any of you unsure what to bring to IC, Far West’s Austin Kaufman has got you covered.
It’s that time of the year again!! International Convention is coming up faster than ever and I am here to bring you some of my best pointers on what to pack. NOTE (my team of 14 lawyers made sure that I said this): although I actually have experience packing for IC (unlike building a sukkah), I still would take this advice with a grain of salt because it is all in good fun, but if you want to be the talk of the town, go for it!!
First off, you need something to pack your stuff in. Most people are traveling from across the country so that leaves you with two main options: extra large duffle or drawstring bag. There are pros and cons to each, but although the drawstring bag is stylish and could EASILY fit a week’s worth of clothes, I would put the @dailydose_comedy guarantee on the ginormous duffle bag for one simple reason. Whenever someone is jealous because they aren’t going to live it up for 5+ days in Southern California and say, “hey _____, you should just bring me in your suitcase so I can go,” you can!! It is probably a long flight though, so I’d at least give them a bag of pretzels and some water, and if you are really in the giving mood then maybe throw in a kosher steak, they would appreciate it.
Now that you have your suitcase, you’ve got to put some stuff in it. As everyone knows, Southern California is very warm, even in the winter, so make sure to bring all of your heavy coats. The heavier the better. Whether it is at the beach/Santa Monica Pier, the hike to the Hollywood Sign, or walking down Rodeo Drive, if you don’t wear exclusively parkas the whole time then you are doing something wrong. Besides leaving extra room in your duffle or drawstring for friends, make sure you leave some room to bring back all of the awesome regalia you buy (*genuine tip*). You can never go wrong with a really cool CRUSY shirt or a HaNegev crocodile purse or pair of loafers. My favorite thing to do is pack clothes that are conversation starters like a cool restaurant shirt from your hometown, a funny piece of old regalia, or a dope pair of pants. The number one thing is to be comfortable and feel good, so don’t think too hard about it!! Whether you are wearing a pair of blue jeans or pink pineapple shorts (been there, done that), you won’t have a hard time fitting in and making new friends.
In terms of toiletries, every person is different. For toothpaste you can go minty fresh, kids watermelon (I’m pretty sure I used that one until I was 14), or if you are feeling rebellious, strawberry. Make sure you bring as many containers of AXE Bodyspray as you can carry (*Borat Voice* NAHT) and the smallest drugstore deodorant you can find. Make sure to bring dental floss because that is CRUCIAL to gum health. Also, bring gum because that is CRUCIAL to dental health (or mints if that is more your speed). Chapstick is also a nifty little toiletry and it is required to make sure you get the one with less chap and extra stick, it is 4 feet long and will definitely keep you covered for the whole week.
I’d also recommend packing some fun stuff to do in your room. Whether it is a small basketball hoop you can tape to the closet, a medium-sized basketball hoop behind a trash can, or a full 10-foot basketball hoop in the corner, the possibilities are endless. Also bringing a speaker to help wake up your room in the morning with songs by the famous Australian band, The Wiggles, is a must. Fruit salad, yummy yummy. One more must is bringing a large bookshelf of children’s books because I have never met someone who does not like their roommate reading them a bedtime story after a long day of hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones.
Everybody knows that the “excruciatingly long” walk from your room to the elevator and vice versa can be pretty tiring which is where our next must-have comes in: roller blades and/or a skateboard. Everyone knows that USY is filled with the most active and athletic youth in the country (which is why some people call us “The Olympics”), but don’t forget to use protection. Knee pads, elbow pads, a baseball catcher’s chest piece, a professional football helmet, and a fresh clove of garlic are all 118% necessary to keep yourself safe from all the harm that can come from skating and/or vampires.
There is one major thing I have been missing: snacks. I think another extra-large duffle bag may be necessary for this one. There are so many options from kosher Trader Joe’s Takis to Cheez-Its to the good ol’ fresh quesadilla (if you didn’t give the steak to your friend in your suitcase, now would also be a good time to eat it… but not with the quesadilla or cheez-its). Snacking and hanging out with the people in your room at night is one of the best bonding experiences USY has to offer and is also a really nice way to accompany a bedtime story.
This last tip is actually 136% legitimate: make sure you pack your ruach!! IC is a gathering of some of the most passionate USYers from across the continent and there is plenty of time to belt songs at the top of your lungs from Opening Session to IC Shacharit Live. I know I speak for so many people when I say I can’t wait for IC and I am beyond excited to see you there!!!
Austin “Danger” David Kaufman
Austin Kaufman is a senior from Far West USY. He is a proud member of Congregation B’nai Israel USY (CBI USY) in Tustin, California. He is currently serving as regional Membership/Kadima Vice President and a USYer Connection Chair (aka Find. Your. Sheep.) on Membership/Kadima International General Board.