6th Grade Cultural Connections Trip:

Washington D.C. & Philadelphia
March 31 - Apr 6, 2023

Email to Parents - 1/11/23

Sixth Grade Parents:

We hope you’ve had an excellent start to the school year. We have an exciting Cultural Expeditions trip planned, one your son will remember for years to come, especially as he grows in his understanding of government and the history of our nation. Below you will find a few announcements and reminders about the Washington D.C. & Philadelphia Trip:

Confirmation
This email confirms your son’s attendance on the Washington D.C. and Philadelphia trip.

Itinerary
An updated itinerary of the trip has been posted to the trip page on the website.

Trip Leaders:
Brad Sewell, Tony Rudzena, Jason Hewer, Ross Spain, Laura Glenn, Paul Warner, Alice Ball, and Ashley Garner. Trip chaperones act in a similar capacity to camp counselors if your son has been to a summer camp. Throughout the trip, each boy will be part of a smaller group supervised by one of the chaperones. Your son’s chaperone will send a communication to you prior to our departure.

Permission Form and Waivers
Please complete the online trip permission form.

Packing List
Boys will follow the PDS dress code while traveling. We ask that each boy bring a PDS hoodie or long sleeve PDS shirt for a couple of group pictures. 

Washington D.C. Questions Drop-In
While most questions regarding the trip are outlined in the FAQ, we will hold a brief drop-in time with trip leaders for clarity about any questions on March 27th at 8am in the Hussey Commons. 

Flights – Southwest Airlines
March 31: BNF 4:05PM (Depart) to DCA 6:45 PM (Arrive) – Flight 910
April 6: DCA 11:40 AM (Depart) to BNF 12:40PM (Arrive) – Flight 2766

Remind App
Pictures of the boys’ experiences in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia will be sent via the Remind app. Please text 81010 with message: @pds6t or click this link if you’re on your phone.

Bike Assessment
Boys will tour the various monuments by bike, making it an enjoyable way of taking in the sights and learning about the history of the monuments. To ensure each boy is comfortable riding a bike we will hold a brief assessment of bike skills on campus. This tour requires basic riding skills and is led by biking guides trained in taking groups around Washington D.C. 

IDs for the Flight
PDS will provide a school ID for each boy’s air travel. These will be given to each boy once they arrive at the airport and check-in with their group and designated faculty member.

Food Costs
As a reminder, breakfast will be provided each morning. The cost of lunch and dinner will be each boy’s responsibility. We typically will eat at food courts. We suggest that each person budget $30 daily for lunch, dinner, and snacks.

In order to help you budget for food costs consider the total number of times students will be dining: lunch (7), dinner (6) – a total of 13 meals. You may wish to send cash with your son (if so, please place in an envelope). His group leader will help him keep track of his meals and budget.

This is an excellent opportunity to foster independence in our boys. If you are concerned about your son keeping up with his money, you may give this to his group leader at the airport. They will distribute his money as needed. If you prefer to send him with a gift card or credit card, please let your group leader know.

Hotels:
Washington D.C. Hotel (5 Nights) – The Westin Crystal City - 1800 Richmond Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202

Richmond, VA Hotel (1 Night)Richmond Marriott – 4240 Dominion Blvd, Glenn Allen, VA 23060

Next Communication – March

Another communication regarding the trip will be sent mid-March with room assignments, faculty chaperone assignments, and any remaining forms to be completed.

Packing List

Each student is to have one suitcase and one backpack. The average temperatures in Washington D.C. for early November are: 64°F (High) and 46°F (Low). Please be mindful of the temperatures as you pack for the trip.

  • Backpack
  • Raincoat / poncho (no umbrellas)
  • We will take two group photos while on the trip in PDS attire. We will notify the boys of the days they are to wear PDS attire. We ask that each boy bring a PDS hoodie or long sleeve PDS shirt.
  • Each day of the trip will follow PDS dress code.
  • 1 pair comfortable walking shoes
  • Sleeping attire
  • Spending money (small bills if possible) / secure wallet
  • Toiletry items (toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, brush/comb).
  • Camera
  • Medication (if needed) in ziploc bag labeled

THINGS NOT TO BRING

  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Phones / tablet / computers

Questions Drop-In Meeting

Monday, March 27th • 8:00am • Hussey Commons

While most questions regarding the trip are outlined in the FAQ, we will hold a brief drop-in time with trip leaders for clarity about any questions.

Itinerary

Friday 3/31

6th Grade Meets in Hussey Commons
Bus Departs for Nashville
Arrival at BNA (Nashville International Airport)
Southwest Flight Departs for Washington D.C.
Arrival in Washington D.C. (6:45 PM)
Dinner at Pentagon City Mall
Hotel Check-In Westin Crystal City

Saturday 4/1

Breakfast at Hotel
U.S. Capitol Tour
Lunch at U.S. Capitol
Library of Congress Tour
Football and Frisbee on the National Mall
Supreme Court (attend lecture if available)
Dinner at Gallery Place
Lincoln Assassination Tour

Sunday 4/2

Breakfast at Hotel
Tour of Arlington National Cemetery
Changing of the Guard
Lunch at L’Enfant Plaza
International Spy Museum
Football or Frisbee on the National Mall
Dinner at Pentagon City Mall
Pentagon 9/11 Memorial

Monday 4/3

Breakfast at Hotel
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Lunch at Reading Terminal
Liberty Bell
Tour of Independence Hall
Walking Tour
Dinner in Philadelphia
Depart Philadelphia for Washington D.C.
Arrive at Westin Crystal City

Tuesday 4/4

Breakfast at Hotel
Air & Space Museum
Museum of American History
Lunch at American History Museum
Museum of African American History
Football and Frisbee on the National Mall
National Archives
Dinner near L’Enfant Plaza
Monument Bike Tour: Lincoln Memorial, MLK, Washington, Jefferson, WWII, Vietnam, Korean, and FDR.

Wednesday 4/5

Breakfast
Depart for Yorktown
Tour Yorktown
Lunch at William & Mary
Tour Colonial Williamsburg
Dinner in Williamsburg
Historical Walking Tour
Depart for Richmond
Check in Marriott Richmond Short Pump

Thursday 4/6

Breakfast
Load bus for Departure
Arrive at DCA
Flight from DCA to Nashville
Arrive Nashville
Arrive 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.
Packing List

Each student is to have one suitcase and one backpack. The average temperatures in Washington D.C. for early November are: 64°F (High) and 46°F (Low). Please be mindful of the temperatures as you pack for the trip.

  • Backpack
  • Raincoat / poncho (no umbrellas)
  • We will take two group photos while on the trip in PDS attire. We will notify the boys of the days they are to wear PDS attire. We ask that each boy bring a PDS hoodie or long sleeve PDS shirt.
  • Each day of the trip will follow PDS dress code.
  • 1 pair comfortable walking shoes
  • Sleeping attire
  • Spending money (small bills if possible) / secure wallet
  • Toiletry items (toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, brush/comb).
  • Camera
  • Medication (if needed) in ziploc bag labeled

THINGS NOT TO BRING

  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Phones / tablet / computers
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.

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Memphis, TN 38111

901-842-4600

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