JV Orientation


What is Orientation?

Orientation is an essential part of the JV year that offers a chance for you to explore the four values of JVC Northwest, your reasons for joining the program, and your hopes for the coming year. You will meet new friends, former and returning JVs, Jesuits, board members, and our JVC Northwest staff members. You will get to know your new community, meet your Program Coordinator (PC), and learn about your new locale. There will be presentations, gatherings, and fun activities, as well as time for quiet reflection, community, recreation, prayer, and Catholic worship services (liturgies). Orientation will help your community start your year of service with a common foundation and some important tools and insights to bring to your experience.

Navigate below for more information for Orientation 2020 about when to arrive, what to bring, and what to expect! Contact your Program Coordinator or JV Program Manager, Sarah Jones, with any questions.

Location of Orientation

Orientation takes place at Camp Arrah Wanna in Welches, OR, a camp tucked into the woods at the base of Mt. Hood with simple cabins and lodge facilities, located 1 hour southeast of Portland.

When to Arrive & Getting to Portland

Please schedule your arrival in Portland for Monday, August 3. More information about arrival is listed below. We are unfortunately not able to host JVs who arrive early. If you are arriving before August 3, please plan to book your own lodging.

It is your responsibility to arrange and pay your own way to the airport, train, or bus station in Portland, Oregon, on August 3. JVC Northwest will pick you up at your arrival site and will provide transportation from Portland to Orientation and from Orientation to the locale where you will be living and serving.

In order to meet you upon arrival, we ask that you complete the Orientation Travel Form (part of your Onboarding forms available after you are accepted to JVC Northwest). If your travel plans change after submitting the form, please resubmit the form with the new changes.


Arrive at the Portland International Airport (PDX) by 2 p.m. on August 3. JVC Northwest staff will have a table from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. near Baggage Claim; please meet us there.

Bus or Train

Arrive before 1 p.m. A representative of our staff will meet you at the train station (Union Station), which is one block north of the bus station. We will confirm your pickup time and share more details with you by email as it gets closer.


Please arrive at camp between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Please do not arrive at Orientation before Monday, August 3 (unless you are an additional-year JV attending Pre-Orientation). Contact us if you want to connect about carpooling with JVs traveling from your area. Please note that only certain locales and placements require a car for the service year. We ask that all other JVs do not bring a car for the year, unless you have discussed it with your Program Coordinator.

If your plans change or there’s an emergency during your travel day, call 503-335-8202, the JVC Northwest office in Portland. A staff member will be monitoring this phone for messages on Monday and throughout the week of Orientation. During Orientation, urgent emergency messages only may be left on the JV Program Manager Sarah Jones’ cell phone at 215-410-9751.

Luggage Allowances

At the end of Orientation, all JVs are either flying, driving, or taking the train to their locales. You are permitted to bring two pieces of luggage to Orientation. Please limit yourself to these two bags because space in our transportation shuttles will be very tight. Be sure your full name and contact information are clearly labeled on all bags!
Bag 1: 50 lb. or less: we will store this bag for you during Orientation week. JVC Northwest will pay the cost of checking this one bag when you travel to your locale at the end of Orientation.
Bag 2: The bag you’ll have with you during Orientation, which should include a sleeping bag, pillow, clothes, etc. for that week. This should be standard airplane carry-on luggage size, regardless of your mode of transportation to your locale. If this second bag is too large to be carried on for free, please note that you will be in charge of covering the cost for this on your way to your service locale. Thank you for your understanding of the limited space and finances for luggage! See below for more about what to pack.

If you are concerned you won’t be able to fit everything in these two bags, you are welcome to mail additional items to your specific JV community. The address for your community will be included in an email from your Program Coordinator in July.

Forms to Complete

Below is a list of everything that is due before you arrive at Orientation. Please note: all forms must be submitted prior to your arrival on August 3; we cannot accept forms at Orientation. All forms can be accessed online unless otherwise noted.

Forms due June 1:
  • JVC Northwest Covenant
  • Government Issued ID
  • Criminal History Check Authorization
  • Health Insurance Acceptance/Waiver Form
  • Health Insurance ID (upload a copy if you decline JVC Northwest Insurance)
  • Drug & Alcohol Policy
  • Whistleblower Policy
  • Whistleblower Policy Addendum
  • Code of Conduct
  • Online JV Information Form (with emergency contact info,cabin preference, bio, picture, etc.)
  • Signed & Completed Medical Form
Forms due by July 1:
  • The Orientation Travel Form
  • I-9 and W-4 forms (emailed to you directly)

Please keep a copy of the full version of the Code of Conduct for your records. Please note that there will be time for questions regarding the Code of Conduct and Whistle Blower Policy at Orientation.

One Final Task for JV AmeriCorps Members: In July, you will receive an email invitation from the “MyAmeriCorps” Portal. It is essential that you provide an accurate and timely response prior to Orientation.

What to Pack

Orientation weather is usually pleasantly warm, but the Northwest gets chilly at night and rain is always a possibility. The main meeting space we will be gathering most day is air conditioned. Camp Arrah Wanna provides lots of space for recreation, including a swimming pool. There’s also downtime for reflection, music, and just hanging out. Please pack:

  • Passport or other ID documents. If you uploaded a copy of your passport some weeks ago so we could process your background checks, then please bring the passport with you to Orientation. If you did not upload a passport, then David (our Business Manager) will be in touch with you about what documents to bring. We must see the physical documents in order to complete your I-9, and we must complete the I-9 before you can officially begin as a JV. So, if you forget to bring the document(s) to Orientation, you will have to have your parents (or others) send it to us by overnight mail.
  • Comfortable, casual clothing for the week
  • Jacket or sweater
  • Rain gear (just in case!)
  • One nice outfit for the closing dinner and Sending Forth Liturgy at the end of Orientation
  • Swim suit (if you want to swim in the swimming pool)
  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Towel, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, and any other toiletries or hygiene products you need
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Musicians: bring musical instruments
  • At least a month’s supply of medication, if needed; more if headed to a more rural locale
  • A small amount of cash for purchasing postcard stamps and JVC Northwest swag, if you would like
  • A spare pair of glasses and/or contacts, and a copy of your eyeglasses/contacts prescription
  • Clothing for service. Prepare to follow the dress code in your position description
  • College gear or small banner for college photo day (optional)

Simple Living at Orientation

After you arrive at Orientation and register on August 3, you can relax until we have dinner. Optional activities will be going on throughout the day. This is a good time to call your loved ones to let them know you have arrived safely. After dinner on the first night, we ask you to turn off your cell phone and any other electronic devices for the rest of the week. We invite you to immerse yourself in the core values, community, and contemplative time. If you have extenuating circumstances around communication, please talk to Sarah Jones, JV Program Manager. A complete schedule of Orientation will be included in an email in July.

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