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Cultural Connections Trip: State

Nashville & Knoxville

Boys receive a crash course on the Volunteer state! On this trip, the boys will broaden their knowledge by experiencing important cultural sites of our state, such as the State Capitol, Smoky Mountain National Park, and the Cumberland Caverns.

Our Tennessee Trip is planned in conjunction with and helped led by Jimmy Ogle, a PDS Alumni and Memphis Historian.

This trip provides the boys a great opportunity to foster independence and expand their perspectives in their learning experience of Tennessee.

4th Grade:
Dates TBA

centennial park 2
centennial park
Parthenon 2
Ft loudoun
Indian Creek Camp
cumberland caverns
Treemont Hikinh
Brushy Mountain
state capitol
knoxville world's fair
Smoky Mountains
He Scholarship

The He Family Scholarship for Cultural Expeditions

He Family Foundation

With the expansion of the PDS Cultural Expeditions Program, we desire for every boy to participate and have these seminal experiences. Through the He Family Scholarship provided by the He Family Foundation, boys with financial need are able to step into historical spaces and cities to understand the culture and experience those locations play in our history.

The He Family Scholarship for Cultural Expeditions is a need based scholarship providing over 10 students the opportunity to participate in the Cultural Expeditions Program.

Each student receiving the scholarship submits a short reflection paper on his time and learning on the respective trip.

Scholarship Application Deadline: October 13th, 2023

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Depart PDS
Tour TN State Capitol
Recess at Centennial Park
Tour the Parthenon
Tour the Hermitage
Dinner and Games at Indian Creek Camp

Day 2

Breakfast at Indian Creek Camp
Tour Brushy Mountain
Bus Tour of Oak Ridge
Play at World’s Fair Park
Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont

Day 3

Breakfast at Tremont
Tour Ft. Loudon Historic Area
Lunch near Lenoir City
Tour Cumberland Caverns
Dinner in Murfreesboro 
Depart for PDS

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 via the He Family Foundation Scholarship for Cultural Expeditions.

Please use this form to apply for a scholarship.

PDS will utilize the same information provided for your Variable Tuition application to determine eligibility and scholarship amount for Cultural Expedition Program. If you are applying for a CEP Scholarship and not enrolled in our variable tuition program, please contact the Business Office for more information.

Which faculty will chaperone the trip?

Tony Rudzena oversees the trip and will be accompanied by several faculty, including Head of School Brad Sewell, as well as Palmer Albertine, Paul Warner, Mark Fruitt, one additional 4th grade homeroom teacher, and our school nurse Alice Ball. Faculty act in a similar capacity to a camp counselor if your son has been to a summer camp. Throughout the trip, each boy will be part of a smaller group supervised by a faculty member. Communications will be sent during the trip via Remind App with pictures of your son each day.

What are the dates for the Tennessee Trip?

4th Grade - April 24-26, 2024

How will lodging rooms be supervised?

On this TN trip, we will be staying at two overnight camps (that are very similar to an overnight camp our 5th and 6th grade boys stay at when they go to Victory Ranch). Boys will sleep in cabins that have a large room with multiple bunk beds with a chaperone in an adjoining room. The boys will be monitored by chaperones. 

What is the cost of the Tennessee Trip?

The cost is $750 covering overnight camps, meals, charter bus, tour guides, and chaperones. Food costs for three meals and souvenirs are excluded.

Is the Cultural Expeditions Trip required?
Our desire is for every boy of PDS to experience the opportunity to travel and learn about our state.  While Cultural Expeditions Trips are not mandatory they are an essential component of PDS culture and curriculum. Students not electing to participate in the program will complete the same curriculum and engage in project based learning on campus.
Is the cost of food included in our trip?

Food costs are included for the meals we have at the overnight camps. The cost of two lunches, and one dinner will be each boy’s responsibility. This is a chance for boys to foster independence on these cultural expedition trips.  We suggest that each student budget $20 for each lunch and dinner. Faculty will help boys look after and allocate their money as needed or requested.

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. 

Is there a dress code on the trip?

Yes. The boys will adhere to the PDS dress code while on the trip. The day we visit the State Capitol, students will need to wear PDS spirit shirts or hoodies.

Additionally, no baseball caps are allowed.

Where is the lodging located?

Each year may be different, depending on availability.  We will typically stay at Indian Creek Camp and the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont.

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.

For more information on our Cultural Expeditions program, contact Tony Rudzena.