Cultural Connections Trip: National - Part 1

Washington D.C. & Philadelphia

As a part of our newly launched Cultural Expeditions Program at PDS, we believe that giving students the opportunity to explore and grow in their understanding of their own culture, its history, and their nation’s capital is essential to developing their understanding of civic duty, their identity as U.S. citizens, and their ability to think globally. This trip is intended to immerse our students in the functions of our federal government, our nation’s history, and to experience one of the most important cities of the world.


Registration Deadline for 2022-2023 Trip: Friday, April 22

The cost is $2250 covering flights, hotels, charter buses, tour guides, and chaperones. Food costs (except breakfasts) and souvenirs are excluded.

A $500 deposit is due at registration. The balance of your registration fee is due 30 days prior to the trip date.

Our goal is for every boy to experience the benefits of joining this program and preparing them to be a global citizen. Scholarships are available.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Afternoon Flight to Philadelphia

The Big Pedal Tour of Historic Downtown Philadelphia: Overwiew of Historic Philadelphia

Historical Walking Tour near Independence Hall

Day 2

Constitutional Walking Tour

Independence Hall

Liberty Bell

Carpenter's Hall

Franklin Institute

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Day 3

Tour of Gettysburg Battlefield

Monuments Bike Tour: Lincoln, Jefferson, JKF, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, Washington, & Roosevelt

Day 4

Tour of U.S. Capitol - Visit House of Representatives & Senate

Library of Congress

Supreme Court (attend lecture)

9/11 Memorial

Day 5

Air and Space Museum

Museum of American History

National Archives

International Spy Museum

Lincoln Assassination Tour

Day 6

Tour George Washington's  Mt. Vernon

Tour Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Tour the University of Virginia

Day 7

Arlington Cemetery Guided Walk

Wreath Laying at Tomb of the Unknowns

Tour of Georgetown, National Cathedral, and Embassy Row

Evening flight to Memphis

Frequently Asked Questions

Are scholarships available for Cultural Expeditions Trips?

Our goal is for every boy to experience the benefits of joining this program and preparing them to be a global citizen. Scholarships are available.

Please use this form to apply for a scholarship.

What do we visit on the trip?
We will visit the Capitol, Supreme Court, pass by the White House, Library of Congress, a bike tour of the monuments, visit the major memorials, Mt. Vernon, Monticello, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Museum of American History, and the Air and Space Museum. We try to provide the students with a balance of serious historical, cultural, and governmental sites tempered by a fun way of experiencing this from biking the city to investigative walking tours.
Which faculty will chaperone the Washington D.C. trip?
Mr. Sewell will oversee the first Washington D.C. Trip. He will be accompanied by Coach Fruitt, Coach Spain, Mr. Rudzena, Coach Warner, and Mr. Hewer. We may have additional chaperones depending on the number of boys attending.
What are the dates for the Washington D.C. Trip?

As we are early in the process of scheduling the trip, we are providing a window of time.  The window covers more days than the actual trip.  After registration closes, we will quickly notify you of the exact dates.

5th Grade Washington D.C. Trip Window – November 5 – 11, 2022

6th Grade Washington D.C. Trip Window – March 31 – April 6, 2023

How will hotel rooms be supervised?

Hotel rooms will be monitored by chaperones. Additionally, each night a security guard is present on the floor in the hotel that’s booked for PDS boys. Typically, there will only be two boys per room. All rooms are sequestered on a floor with chaperones and a security guard present throughout each night.

What is the cost of the 2022-2023 Washington D.C. & Philadelphia Trip?

The cost is $2250 covering flights, hotels, charter buses, tour guides, and chaperones. Food costs (except breakfasts) and souvenirs are excluded.

Is the Cultural Expeditions Trip required?

Our desire is for every boy of PDS to experience their nation’s Capital and many of the most important sites in the founding of our country.  While Cultural Expeditions Trips are not mandatory they will be an essential component of PDS culture and curriculum starting in the 2022-23 school year. Students not electing to participate in the program will complete the same curriculum and engage in project based learning on campus.

What type of ID should I bring?

We will provide students with a student ID that is sufficient for airline travel within the United States.

Is the cost of food included in our trip?

Food costs are not included in the amount except breakfast. The cost of lunch, and dinner will be each boy’s responsibility.  We suggest that each student budget $30 daily for lunch, dinner, and snacks.  In order to help you budget for food costs, we will give a precise schedule of meals prior to the trip. 

How much money should I bring?

We strongly recommend that boys refrain from carrying too much cash by giving excess amounts to their group leader.  They may bring a card if that’s easier. Each morning, group leaders will distribute as much cash as needed. Bring additional money if you plan to buy souvenirs, eat larger than normal portions, or buy snacks.

What should I wear?

We recommend dressing with layers that can be removed or worn as the weather dictates, such as a PDS collared shirt and sweatshirt with a rainproof windbreaker.  We always provide a packing list of items to be worn on the trip.  We are not traveling to Siberia, but remember that your extremities tend to get cold first so plan accordingly. We walk 7+ miles a day so it is essential that everyone wear a good pair of walking shoes.  If you plan to purchase these prior to the trip, we suggest that you wear them a few times to break them in before the trip to avoid blisters. The packing list will be sent several weeks before the trip.

Is there a dress code on the trip?

Yes. When we attend Arlington National Cemetery for the wreath laying ceremony, those students selected for laying the wreath will need to comply with the dress requirements stipulated by Arlington National Cemetery.  The day we visit the Capitol and Supreme Court, students will need to wear PDS spirit shirts or hoodies.  Additionally, no baseball caps are allowed.

Where is the hotel located?

Each year is typically different, depending on hotel availability.  We will typically stay near Reagan Airport in Washington D.C. and near Federal Hall in Philadelphia.

How much walking is there on the trip?

It’s safe to assume that you will walk on average 7+ miles a day. Since we travel primarily by Metro, it requires that we walk from our hotel to the Metro to every site on the itinerary.  We make this an active trip for boys to harness their energy and keep them engaged.

What electronics am I allowed to bring?

Electronics are not allowed on Cultural Expedition Trips. Daily communications are sent through Remind App and trip chaperones.

Am I allowed to carry a backpack to the places we visit?

Yes. However, your bag will be examined and at some federal buildings you are not allowed to bring drinks inside. Chaperones will communicate what is allowed in bags before visiting federal buildings.  

Am I allowed to check-in early for my flight?

No.  We will check in as a group on the day of our departure.  Please do not attempt to check-in early online

Presbyterian Day School (PDS) is a private, Christian preschool and elementary school serving boys from 2-years-old through 6th grade for almost 75 years.

With our mission of striving to glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, we take a holistic approach to education, nurturing the heart, soul, mind, and body of each boy.

4025 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38111


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