What to Bring (and What to Expect)

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What to Expect:

  • Simple Living – we promise you will have everything you need and some of the things you want.
  • Community Living – participants are asked to help with daily chores – Many hands make little work.

What to Bring:

  • Challenge yourself to pack “simply” regarding clothing.
  • Clothing should be reflective of positive values (no short shorts, belly shirts, sport bras worn as shirts, spaghetti straps, tube tops, low cut necklines, or muscle shirts.  No shirts with suggestive, vulgar/violent language, or inappropriate designs). 
  • All participants need to wear closed-toed shoes at worksites (no sandals or flip-flops allowed for safety reasons).
  • Shirts must be worn at ALL times.
  • Please bring a personal water-bottle for the worksites – hard work can dehydrate you!
  • If you have any board games, cards, or recreation equipment that could be used, please bring them to share.
  • Musical instruments are welcome, but will be the responsibility of their owners.
  • Summer groups should have use of the neighborhood pool. 

Facility & Linens:

  • The Tau Community House is a former Franciscan convent built in 1916.
  • Tau House not have central air conditioning, but both ceiling and standing fans are provided for each bedroom.
  • The dining room, living room, and Chapel have window AC units which help to keep these common areas cool.
  • Participants have twin-size beds and will share a bedroom with at least one other participant.
  • We provide all linens – each participant is provided a large bath towel and wash cloths.


  • Participants <age 18 must notify group leaders of any prescription medications.
  • OTC medications will not be distributed by FFTP Staff, only by chaperones in accordance with their policies.

Food and Beverage:

  • We provide all meals (although you might be the cook!) beginning with arrival night supper and departing morning breakfast.
  • Meals will be simple and healthy – Please feel free to bring snack items to share!
  • Food is to be kept in the kitchen or dining room at all times – we don’t have critters, and we don’t want them!
  • We provide coolers and lunch bags for group use for lunches during the week.

Cell phones and other electronics:

  • We endorse simple living and ask that you leave electronics behind.
  • Chaperones are asked to bring cell phones to all their work sites in case the Director needs to reach the chaperone in an emergency.   All others are asked to not bring cellphones to sites.
  • The Tau House does have CD players, a TV, and a DVD player.
  • Very limited wireless internet is available, but due to the age and structure of the building, it is NOT reliable.


  • Weather can be unpredictable in Cincinnati year-round!  In past years, summer temperatures have ranged from 50s at night to the high 90s during the day.  Groups coming on Winter and Spring trips are encouraged to bring both rain gear and a warmer coat/jacket.

Donation CollectionThis is not a requirement, simply a suggestion 

Some groups choose to make in-kind donations to the sites they serve.  Products are either kept and used at Tau House or delivered to the soup kitchens, shelters, and pantries that FFTP serves.  These products can be collected at your end and brought with you the day of arrival – however, some groups have utilized the free time on Wednesday after Supper with the Sisters to go to area discount stores to make the purchases.  Items that are always needed:

Twin Sheet SetsToilet Paper Diapers (larger sized) Baby BottlesDeodorant
Beach TowelsHand Soap Baby Toiletries & WipesPacifiers Shampoo
Body WashRazorsPaper TowelsCleaning SuppliesDish Soap
Shaving CreamDental FlossBox Fans ToothpasteToothbrushes
Laundry DetergentPrescription Bottles Tampons & PadsNew & Gently Used Books
New Underwear & Socks

Safe travels!  See you soon!