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Hello hello!

We had a fantastic time at our Halloween Extravaganza last night! It was wonderful to see our fellow JETs and their JETlings in costume and enjoy an evening of fun activities.

At our Family Fun Hour we enjoyed making ghost and pumpkin origami crafts. These cute crafts are great for creating garlands or other decorations for the house! If you’d like to try them for yourself, you can find the patterns here.

Candy debates and JET Halloween memories dominated our Adult Happy Hour! We loved hearing everyone’s stories of introducing American candy to Japanese students and coworkers. 

Did you know that the first written record of the phrase “trick-or-treat” was in a Canadian newspaper in 1927? Or that the first citywide Halloween celebration took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921? Our Halloween Trivia game was certainly challenging! Congratulations to Devyn, Jayne, and Gabe for claiming the top three spots!

But the true star of the show was Chicago JET Alum Justin Torres and his amazing pumpkin carving skills! Justin shared with us a very special pumpkin he’d carved just for JETAA Chicago, as well as several of his other creations. If you’d like to follow Justin and his carving escapades, check out his twitch channel!

Which brings us to our next announcement…

JETAA Chicago is hosting an Instagram jack-o-lantern campaign!

From October 25th-31st, post your jack-o-lanterns with the hashtag #JETolantern2020, or send your photos to info@jetaachicago.com, and we’ll share your creations on our Instagram stories!

If you’d like to try your hand at the JETAA Chicago logo as Justin has, you can find the pattern here. We’d also love to see your original creations.

We can’t wait to see all of your pumpkins! 

If you’d like to get involved in future JETAA Chicago events, please join us at our November Open Board Meeting on November 2nd!

Updated: Oct 20

JETAA Chicago will be hosting a variety of events to help keep your Halloween souls in high spirits! Whether you’re looking for something for the kids, yourself, or both, we’ve got you covered. Come spend an evening with us enjoying all sorts of Halloween festivities.

This event is split into two main parts. You are free to attend one or both as you wish, just be sure to select the appropriate tickets when you sign up via Guestlist.

Family Fun!

Our kid-friendly event will kick off at 4:45pm CST. As participants enter the room, JETlings can show off their Halloween costumes or just say hello! We'll have a few icebreaker activities Mom and Dad can help with to keep kids engaged. At 5:00, we'll conduct a Halloween origami workshop. Parents and JETlings alike will learn to make a cute pumpkin craft!

All you’ll need for the kids' event is origami paper. But don’t worry if you don’t have any; you can make origami paper from recycled paper easily! How to guide.

At 5:30 we'll take a break so Moms and Dads can get their littles settled for the evening.

Adult Happy Hour

At 6:00 we'll open the room once more for our adults-only happy hour! Feel free to dress up in your own costume, grab a festive beverage, and prepare some spooky snacks. After introductions and a group kanpai, we'll celebrate with ghoulish games and terrifying trivia!

Special Guest!

To cap off an evening of fun, Justin Torres, expert pumpkin carver and fellow Chicago JET Alumni, will show us a special carving and answer your questions about how to carve that perfect Halloween pumpkin!

Justin is streaming his pumpkin carving projects every night of October! Check him out on his Twitch account!

Full Event Agenda:

4:45 - Family Fun Check-in and Costume Parade

5:00 - Origami Workshop

5:30 - Break

6:00 - Happy Hour Check-in and Icebreakers

6:15 - Introductions

6:30 - Kanpai!

6:40 - Fun and Games!

7:45 - Special Guest Presentation

8:00 - Event closes

RSVP Here!

* These events are for JET alumni and their families. Priority will be given to JETAA Chicago members before members of other chapters. If an alumni is social distancing with a Friend of JET (FOJ), they are welcome to join on their screen with them.

Questions? Contact us at activities@jetaachicago.com.

Updated: Sep 29

In honor of the JET Program being a child of the 1980’s...

On Thursday (10/8), JETAA Chicago is kickin' it old school for an evening of casual conversation and fun community building with fellow JET alumni from across three generations at our virtual happy hour.

We invite our fellow JET alumni from our local, national and global communities to join us in having a #ThrowbackThursday together, connecting across 33 years of JET experience and corss-cultural exchange. #JETogether2020

RSVP via Guestlist is required.

For more information and to join the fun*: https://guestlist.co/events/658596

Theme: 80's NIGHT!**

Knowledge and nostalgia from that 1980's is encouraged and welcomed - including but not limited to: fashion, music, movies, zoom backgrounds, accessories and more!

Remember to mark your calendars and SAVE THE DATE (Thursday, October 8th, 2020) here are some of the details:

  • Zoom room opens at 6:00PM CST

  • Please feel free to BYOBeverage*** (and/or Food) as the event will officially kick-off with a "KANPAI!" at around 6:30PM CST

  • We plan to have a few fun and interactive icebreakers/activities along with announcements of future events and happenings in our chapter throughout the evening

*This event is only for JET alumni and 2020 Outgoing JETs - in the USA and worldwide.

**80's attire is optional, but if you'd like or are able to dress to the theme...why not? :) ***Drinking an alcoholic beverage is not required - water, soft drinks or tea/coffee will do just fine! Especially if you are a fellow JET alum who is joining us during the morning/daytime. #nomikai


Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Alumni Association of Chicago
Connecting JET alumni in the Midwest - Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana