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Old 09-29-2011, 02:27 AM   #31
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I live in the DC area so can't really help with prices, but I wanted to commiserate on the school trip costs. Sometimes they are ridiculous. DS's chorus is going to a music festival in NYC in the spring. They are going to bus to NJ on Friday then go into the city for a show, sing and sightsee on Saturday, then home first thing on Sunday. $750 and I still have to pay for his food.

I'm getting off cheap though. The Japanese students are going to Japan at spring break to the tune of $4000.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:05 PM   #32
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I just remembered we took the boyscouts to DC this summer for five nights. It was $170 per kid, which included all food. Just posting for comparison.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:11 PM   #33
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they switched it to Baltimore for the day.
They didn't switch it. You were being punished.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:31 PM   #34
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Our Middle School stopped offering the overnight trip to Washington DC back in the early 2000s. They had a particularly rowdy group one year and that was all it took. My son did a day trip with his class (I was called in at the last minute to chaperone a group too) and it went fine. But I could see why it must have been hard on the chaperones when they did it overnight. Many of those kids refused to listen to directions.

If my kid had a trip that was over $1000 in eighth grade, I highly doubt we would have had him participate.
I think it's too bad that ONE group a decade ago ruined it for the rest of the students to come.

When I did my 8th grade trip to DC it was nearly 1K just for the plane ride from San Francisco ($800 round trip on TWA)...


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Plus, there are guards outside the kids rooms at night for added safety.
That would have been great for my trip! So many of the other kids were out roaming, and our chaperones were too busy smoking and drinking elsewhere to really care.

I sure wish my mom could have afforded to be a chaperone. Your son is very lucky!
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:57 PM   #35
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i am going to piggy back on sparklynails.

My oldest son's (current 8th grade) class is scheduled for DC as well. He is not going for two reasons. One, the cost is somewhere around 1500. (don't know the details because my mind is made up due to my second concern)

Second, the trip has only teacher chaperones, 2-4 for 45-55 kids. In my mind, the number of adults does not meet the requirements of an adequate child to adult ratio. I think, at a minimum it needs to be 1-10 or less. Further, it is very difficult, and, in my experience, somewhat scary, to have kids in a hotel, in their own rooms.

case in point, when we traveled over 600 miles for boy scout camp this year, we opted to stay in a hotel room on the travel day, so as not to bother with the equipment in the trailer. We set up fire watches, had a room key for each room, and made bed checks, following YPT principles. I highly doubt chaperone teachers are going to be concerned enough about the kids to set up a fire watch to ensure they don't decide in the middle of the night to run the halls. In DC, the kids have much more opportunity to be in harms way, than, say, at a summer camp, where they have freedom, because of the closed and contained environment.

Personally, I don't believe these trips follow the safeguards that I trust, i.e. BSA, and, as a result, he is not going.

I agree with the cost issue as well. With some planning, a family of four could go to DC for 3-4 days, flying, and sdtay at a holiday inn, for darn near the same cost, exclusive of meals.

Finally, I don't understand why schools seem to feel compelled to offer, and sometimes, assume that parents actually want 8th graders to travel across the country on a "field trip".
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:02 PM   #36
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Sparklynails:

Did you go to Blue Ridge Scout Reservation, and make a side to DC, or did you you go to a camp in the DC area?
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:09 PM   #37
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My daughter is in 8th grade and she told us a DC trip was approved.
So far I heard is it will be April vacation week and they are renting a bus. It will be 1 day in NYC and 4 days in DC. And the cost per child is $500.00 but they are planning fundraisers that will bring the price down some.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:17 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by sparklynails23 View Post
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.
This ......

Someone should start a thread on what a single adult(not 4 kids to a room) can do for $1700 a week. I would imagine one could stay at an all inclusive in the carribean or go on a cruise for 7 days for this price. Like someone else posted I could probably take my family to DC for 5 days for an amount close to that.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:31 PM   #39
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Finally, I don't understand why schools seem to feel compelled to offer, and sometimes, assume that parents actually want 8th graders to travel across the country on a "field trip".
Because it's been a traditional thing across the country since before '82ish, when I went on my 8th grade DC trip.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:37 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by mkel34 View Post
This ......

Someone should start a thread on what a single adult(not 4 kids to a room) can do for $1700 a week. I would imagine one could stay at an all inclusive in the carribean or go on a cruise for 7 days for this price. Like someone else posted I could probably take my family to DC for 5 days for an amount close to that.
for 1700 dollar i can almost go to disney for 10 days 11 nights have the deluxe dining plan and park hoppers

too bad no intercontinental flight but still
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:57 PM   #41
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A big part of the costs of these trips is the transportation costs. The bus fees are absolutely ridiculous around here- a day trip on a yellow school bus is $700-$800 a bus. A charter bus for an overnight trip is thousands and thousands per bus.

I went with DD's 8th grade class to Quebec this year. We left late Wednesday and drove through the night, spent Th, F, Sat in Quebec, and headed back through the night and got home early Sunday. The cost was $799 per person for 2-4 in a room, and if any chaperone wanted their own room, it was $899. Lunches were not included, but most other meals were. It was a fabulous field trip, and I'm really glad we went. Quebec is probably not a place my whole family would go on a vacation, so it worked out fine cost wise for the two of us.

addicted- our MD school has a Japanese program this year as well, but it is in June. The Japanese students came here last school year, and now it's the other way around. It's estimated to be around $3,500 to get to Japan, and stay for free with a host family, who has to feed you, plus you still have to bring your own spending money. There isn't too much sight seeing because you spend the week going to school with the Japanese students. DD is not at all interested in this experience and I'm glad!
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:59 PM   #42
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My son leaves in about 3 weeks. Trip cost 395.00. They leave Wed am and will return late Friday night. They will be driven by bus. I am excited for him.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:56 PM   #43
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Our trip to D.C this year is $630. But, we are in Ohio and our kids take a bus.
My son has decided not to go, he is going with the French club to Quebec.
That price is $1700 and I am going with-due to sons food allergies.
So, yeah....lots of money no matter how you look at it.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:17 PM   #44
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Sparklynails:

Did you go to Blue Ridge Scout Reservation, and make a side to DC, or did you you go to a camp in the DC area?
They stayed at Greenbelt State park and took the metro into town each day. It was fine for camping, but there are other parks with pools on site that probably would have been a little better. The night tour of the monuments was the kids' favorite, and a parent arranged for the kids to lie a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier and take part in the ceremony. That was special.

We go often and used to live there, so I could never see spending $1700 to send one kid for a visit. That's beyond excessive. I should be in the tour business.

There are so many cheap places to eat in DC, too, if you know where to look.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:33 PM   #45
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That price does include airfare from DFW. Just for comparison, I recently paid $220 to fly into Washington Reagan when my husband went to DC on a business trip and I met him there.
You got a bargain. I just looked, the economy super saver NON-refundable fare on that route is now $379, and if you want a refundable fare it $920...I suspect the group fair is probably halfway between those fares.

My kids both did the trip. It was about $1700 a person then, but for 5 nights. My wife went with our daughter, everyone loved the trip.
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