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Old 09-28-2011, 12:44 PM   #16
ilovejack02
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Our school goes too, my little guy is in 4th grade now so I have a few years. Right now it is costing about 1000 from what I hear. 3 nights . I am sure it will be more when it is his turn. I don't know if there is fundraising involved, but I don't think so as I haven't heard about any. DH and I won't be sending DS . I would rather take the 1200 or so that we will spend to send him and take the three of us on a longer more relaxed trip . DH and I would like to go too and not with a bunch of kids LOL.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:45 PM   #17
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I interviewed with Worldstrides once... didn't get the job.

Anyway... what I remember from my 8th grade trip to DC was smoking my first cigarette and flirting with some cute boys from Buffalo in the hotel lobby. I guess my point is, make sure it is well supervised!
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:10 PM   #18
hereyago
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My DD13 8th grader, has a field trip to D.C. for this year. However, we live about 3 and half hours away and it won't be an over night stay. It will be 40.00.

My thing is that: the kids will go to school regular time to get on the charter buses. So they won't get into D.C. until almost noon then they want to do: Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials-Washington Monument if it's open. Some part of the Smithsonian, National Mint, National Archives and maybe Ford's theater. then leave D.C. around 6pm or so. So everything will be rushed.

Then here is when they want to do: In between Thanksgiving and Christmas, yea winter. If it snows here or there it's a no go, if they have to change, they want to try for January if that isn't possible go in June. Um, I'll take warm weather any time.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:27 PM   #19
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I am old now but I did it the summer between 8th grade and 9th grade. My teacher had been "hosting" the trip for something like 15 years prior and this was her final year so our trip was actually Washington DC and New York City!

It was an absolutely amazing and wonderful experience and I am so very grateful my parents were able to swing it. We were very well supervised during our trip as well..there were several adults per group of kids.

I know it was not cheap even back then..I imagine costs have only risen since. We were given the option of participating in several fundraisers during the year to help us fund our trip (basically our profit went to pay our individual cost). My trip was Phoenix to DC so depending on where you live and cost of airfare that will play a role in your overall cost as well.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:48 PM   #20
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My son did an 8th grade Washington DC trip just last year and it cost us $949. They flew out from O'Hare at approx. 6:30 am on a Friday (the school had a half-day that day so they didn't miss a lot of school) and got back to O'Hare around 9pm on Sunday. They went to all the memorials (Vietnam, WWII, FDR, Lincoln, etc.), the Washington Monument, the Capitol, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Arlington Cemetery, the Air and Space Museum (and one other section of the Smithsonian), Holocaust Museum and Mount Vernon. They also did a ghost tour, went to the roof of the Kennedy Center, They got to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and saw way more than I would have ever expected. The company they used is called Brightspark (used to be Educational Tours).

DD has already started planning for next year's trip (the cost this year is $979). The school has set up fundraisers for the kids who are going and this year they're allowing 7th graders to participate with the understanding that any money they raise this year will be applied to next year's trip, and if the student ends up not going at all, the money raised will be split among the students who do go.

ETA: The price included airfare and all meals except for breakfast at O'Hare before the flight. Any water or incidentals were out of pocket. We sent our son with a $100 Visa gift card that he was able to use for water and snacks and the gifts he brought home for the rest of the family.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:15 PM   #21
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crazy

For 3 nights that is more than $500 per day. That's a lot. If he has already been to D.C I wouldn't pay that. I can take myself and 3 kids to D.C for 5 or 6 days for that much money.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:10 PM   #22
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My daughter is going on her 8th grade DC trip in May. Four days. They bus there from Indiana. Four kids to a room. Total Price: $800. And they do fundraisers during 6th, 7th and 8th grade to earn the money, so we will pay nothing out of pocket. This amount even includes a small amount (given to the student in cash) for souveniers.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:34 PM   #23
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I went twice in highschool. We bused from Ontario and spent March break visiting Gettysburg, Williamsburg and Washington. Now this was 20 some years ago so don't recall the price. I think it is a fabulous opportunity for the kids to experience a bit of freedom for the first time and have fun.

Being Canadian our grade 8 trip was Ottawa or Quebec City. I went to Quebec and still remember the fun and freedom for the first time in my life.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:57 PM   #24
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No way in heck would I fork out $1700 for my 8th grader to go out of state for a couple of days when I could use that same amount to take my family of 6 to the Gulf for a week. The kid would not be going .
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:18 PM   #25
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Good grief. $1,700 is a bunch of money for a school field trip. I think that my DS would be staying home under similar circumstances, and I suspect he'd have a LOT of company.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:26 PM   #26
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I'm blown away by this whole thread! That sounds more like a senior class trip! Our 8th grade trip was to NYC for the day. After 9/11 they switched it to Baltimore for the day.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:42 PM   #27
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That does seem like a lot. My ds went 2 yrs ago-and current 8th grade ds will go this spring-and it was $400. But we're only 5-6 hours away. I wonder if it's the airfare that makes it so high.

If my ds' trip was $1700...we'd have to pass. That is a huge cost expectation for the parents! If my ds' school offered that trip, there would probably be low to no participation.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:07 PM   #28
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!)

We are doing a lot of group fundraising. Plus, as individuals, we are doing fundraising as well.

It is a lot of money, but there is so much my son will get to see, and this will truly be a "once in a lifetime" trip for him (and for me too!).

The fact that the entire trip is planned down to where we will eat, is great! And there is no way that we would be able to see even half of the items planned if I even attempted to plan the trip on my own (and I was a travel agent years ago!).
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:10 PM   #29
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That's way too much money. Almost everything in DC is free. Even if you go on the Duckie tour or the tourmobile, you can't get anywhere near that amount. I'm guessing it's a 100% markup, meaning the cost is about $850.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:45 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Aristocath View Post
It is common here for eighth grade students to go on a trip to Washington DC. When I taught middle school I chaperoned several trips and I think it was a good experience for the students. One of the teachers "sponsored" it by organizing it with a reputable tour company and got other teachers (usually) to chaperone. We always went for six days/ five nights and it was over Spring Break. The kids (parents) paid under $1000 to go and it included airfare/food/hotel/transportation and any entrance fees.

So fast forward fifteen years and now I have an eighth grade son. He came home very excited about the eighth grade trip to Washington DC, even though he has been there with us. I'm thinking we will probably send him anyway, since I think it is a good experience and memory.

Then I read the information about the trip... 4 days/3 nights in early June and for quadruple occupancy they are charging $1700! I realize prices have gone up in fifteen years but wow! And that is for only 2 full days in DC. I was expecting about $1200.

The tour company is Worldstrides. I haven't researched them yet but wondered if anyone was familiar with them. I'm not sure if we will send my son or not.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone else does the eighth grade Washington DC trip and how long it is and how much it costs.
WorldStrides has been handling our middle school's 8th grade DC trips for several years. Our son went during 8th grade spring break (March of this year.) We have also had numerous friends with older kids that have done the WorldStrides trip.

Like your situation, one teacher organizes and has a couple of other teachers go with him. He has nothing but good things to say of working with WorldStrides for several years. They accomodated all his special requests including assigning the particular bus driver they had worked with before and wanted again.

DS's trip was DC, Jamestown, Mt Vernon and usual DC sights, all packed in 4 days. They got up early and crashed in the hotels late at night. The trip was extremely well planned, down to giving the kids meal money in the airports, providing snacks on the busses, etc. I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly and well organized the whole trip was. I would recommend WorldStrides to anybody thinking about doing a trip with them.

Ours was the same price. Denver to DC - however, our kids took full advantage of the 4 days. They had an early flight from Denver, landing in DC at noon. No downtime for them, they toured the Smithsonian and some of the memorials until 10pm - so pretty much a full 10 hours after getting off the plane before they even saw the hotel. Up at 5 the next morning for more touring. Late flight coming home (got back in Denver at midnight), and they toured from early morning till they had to go to the airport.

DS loved every minute of it! Part of the fun was the rooming with his friends and sleeping in chairs, in the bathtub, one slept on the ironing board. I snuck an air mattress in his suitcase and he was MORTIFIED. It never came out off his suitcase. Then again, I don't think most of the clean clothes he packed got used either :-)

The price was so well worth the experience he got! Sure I could have done it cheaper myself, but like the old mastercard commercials - getting his first experience at traveling independently was priceless.

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