Washington DC with school group

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Mar 16th, 2006, 02:10 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Do not know how this hostel works, but some things to consider are -
can kids leave things safely in rooms during day or do they need to lock them up in lockers

proximity of chaperones to kids in hostel - every school trip my kids have ever been on, at least one chaperone was awake all night to prevent whatever sort of behavior 11 year olds think they can get away with

are they used to accomodating school groups of young kids - will they be welcome or feel out of place in a group of 20 somethings - and what about the chaperones.

With 4 kids to a room, a budget hotel, even one not right in DC might work better. Embassy Suite type places often offer breakfast, and inexpensive food options might be a organizing a night-time pizza party, Chinese food take out, etc.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 03:52 AM
  #22
 
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Just a note for those families staying at Jury's -- when we were there in 2003 they didn't have soda machines in the building. That might not matter to your group -- but we were thirsty after walking all day and cokes from the mini-bar were around $3.50.

Also, I can't remember the name of the restaurant, but it was right behind Jury's and down the block a few steps. Our group was eight people, and we didn't have reservations. The meal was decent - with options for grown ups as well as teens (even teen vegetarians). I think our bill was around $125. Not bad. Maybe someone knows the name of the place?
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Mar 16th, 2006, 05:37 PM
  #23
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How far is Jury's from the hostel?

Someone went ahead and booked it. Apparently, the chaperones will bunk witht he kis so it should be okay. Plus, it only ended up being $90 for three night including breakfast.

Now to figure out if I should stay at the ES convention center or Jury's Washington.
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Mar 16th, 2006, 10:24 PM
  #24
 
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I am concerned about this trip. Even though it is very busy time of year to visit Washington, reservations had not been made 2 months in advance. And now it seems that people are booking lodging without telling others who are researching lodging ("someone already booked the hostel") And it seems from your posts that there are, in addition to 20 kids and chaperones, "families" involved.

This is going to end up being a far larger group than 20 - and some serious pre-planning is necessary to maneuver a group of that size around various sites in Washington.
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Mar 17th, 2006, 02:28 AM
  #25
 
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I agree with gail: This group is in serious trouble if it doesn't get its act together. AAnd I would not take a group of 5th-graders to a hostel.
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Mar 17th, 2006, 07:25 AM
  #26
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I agree! I was doing the research because the person who was assigned the job (in September) hadn't done it and had asked me to help. Then she went ahead and made a decsion. I am really nervous about this.

Luckily, someone from DC has decided to take over and decide on itinerary and meals. I guess I have to relax and back off.

But, thanks for reconfirming that I am not being overly obsessive by getting irritated about the last minute nature of things,
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Mar 17th, 2006, 07:56 AM
  #27
 
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Good idea - kids that age will sense if adults are disorganized, and exploit it. Nothing like some unscheduled time with adults trying to figure out what to do next to ignite some creativity among the troops as to how to fill the time!

Some added advice - have a meeting of parents and chaperones before you leave. Spell out exactly what responsibilities are from each. A middle school teacher in my town runs very successful and safe trips - from ski weekend to several weeks in Europe - each year. His firm rule is that accompanying parents are NOT chaperones - they are participants.

That means, they don't get a vote in what you will be seeing, they go along with the flow of the group (or can opt out of an activity, but not split off a special-interest group of kids). Chaperones are responsible for activities, supervision and safety of the kids.

This usually ends up making wonderful sense - since merely being someones parent does not qualify them to be a chaperone (who are, in our case, teachers).

But just make sure roles are clear before you leave. Make sure it is clear how much spending money kids need, that they are responsible for it.

Make sure rules of behavior are clear (hopefully alcohol will not be an issue at this age, but rules about boys and girls in each others rooms, curfews, lights out, switching room-mates)

This teacher regularly reports the one thing that causes him more trauma and drama each trip is the room-mate situation, especially with the girls. So get that clear before you go.

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Mar 17th, 2006, 01:10 PM
  #28
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Thanks so much for the wonderful tips! I'll pass them along.
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