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Old 06-19-2014, 02:10 PM   #21
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I had always wanted to go to sleep away camp but my parents could not afford it .We were not poor just a middle class large family. I worked overtime to send my children to camp until finally my daughter said " Mom you can't live your camp dreams thru me " .Maybe that is why I liked Club Med it was like a summer camp for grown ups .

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Old 06-19-2014, 03:03 PM   #22
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I know what my parents would have said: "Sure you can go. If you pay for it."

They just didn't have the money for anything like that and I knew it so I never bothered to ask.

I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:15 PM   #23
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My son is being offered a similar trip for a similar price.
My big issue with the trip is the pace - there is NO time to absorb the sites - and too much time is spent on the bus going between sites.

When you factor in 2 days are spent in travel (at the airport, on the plane) - then they cram DC into 2 days... and NYC into a day and a half... how can a kid learn from that.

We promised our kids that we'd forgo the whirlwind death march and we'd take them ourselves at a more reasonable pace.
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:15 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ER_Hopeful View Post
DD really wants to go on a school trip to the East coast next spring (8th grade.) ...

But I hate to turn down DD. She's a very good kid. frugal even at a young age, well disciplined, buys her cloth at thrift store even though her friends are shopping at the mall, doing really well at one of the top middle school in CA. I guess this is where the companies got us parents by the ball, the kids want to go with their friends.

Should I just bite the bullet and get over it?

She really wants to go, is a good student, and is a great kid. She sounds like she will really appreciate the whole trip. Make it her birthday and Christmas present and don't worry that it might be overpriced. She will always remember it.

Our kids did not go on this trip. We had been to DC just a couple of years before for the second time, but DD was petrified of the clique situation in 8th grade so stayed home and went to school with the other 20 percent of her class. DS was overly social in an incredibly social class, and the year before his, several boys were sent home at great expense to their parents for breaking the rules and we didn't want to deal with that possibility haha, so we did other educational activities in Illinois that week (that year the teachers who didn't go on the trip didn't hold classes). He did go on a trip that year to Nashville with the school's show choir, a smaller and well behaved group, so we weren't really depriving him too much.

Interesting note that the history teacher in charge of the DC trip was fired the next year for scamming the parents for a fake fee. Not sure if the school still does this trip.
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:26 PM   #25
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I know what you are saying regarding financially it is a bad deal. Same goes for fundraising making the kids sell overpriced stuff.

I went in high school and have good memories from it. I also paid for my kids to go to South America and D.C.

The cost is not going to matter in the long run and as long as they were putting in a decent effort in school and treating people respectfully I was happy to send them.

Besides, I am going to be travelling the world soon while they are starting their families and at work. They got a small taste.
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Old 06-20-2014, 05:14 AM   #26
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Our 3 kids did the DC trip in the late 90s (from roughly the Chicago area at the time) and did it for $800 (which included a little spending money). The school (with the help of volunteers like DW) found "slave labor" projects for the kids to do to earn the money. Ours all earned more than the 800. I do think they went on a motor coach instead of a plane (20 hours of misery for the chaperones - who paid most of their own way.)

All depends on perspective, but I think kids value what they pay for themselves - though mom and dad should kick in if need be (assuming the kids really w*rk at it.) Our kids learned a lot about w*rk and money from this trip - not to mention a bit of US History (which is sadly lacking in today's K-12 curricula).

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Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:16 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
I know what my parents would have said: "Sure you can go. If you pay for it."

They just didn't have the money for anything like that and I knew it so I never bothered to ask.
I grew up like that, too.

My favorite movie scene regarding school trips is the one in The Hangover where Bradley Cooper is collecting $90 cash from each of his private school students for a day trip to go to Griffith Observatory (free admission) and using the money for his Vegas trip.

For our kids I'd pay for trips and expensive school and scout events if I thought they were well supervised and their close friends were all going so they wouldn't feel left out. Otherwise, I am okay with paying for travel but I'd rather fund a youth hostel type trip with their friends or put the money towards a family vacation for better value.
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:59 PM   #28
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Such trips are amazing experiences. Most of these school trips also involve fundraising for the kids who can't afford them. Maybe she could earn part of the expense?

We sent DS to Europe twice, and chaperoned 2 out of 3 band trips to Orlando. I don't regret for a moment doing it. I spent a month in the USSR and Poland in the seventies, a group of high school students and a few of us were in college. It was a highlight of my life. Fell in love with DH along the way too!

You may have forgotten expenses such as tour guides, bus transportation between sites, etc. For such tours the bus drivers are with you all day and you have to pay their hotel expenses too. The Orlando trip cost $1300 per person and we didn't fly-18 hrs on a bus. We had Disney meal vouchers and at Universal we ate dinner at restaurants.
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Old 06-20-2014, 06:20 PM   #29
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We've done quite a few of these trips. Seems teachers here have discovered that they can go for free and they make it sound very attractive to the kids. Costs of the fully supervised trips seem high, but for the supposed full supervision perhaps that's a good part of the cost. Some teachers have started coordinating so one goes one year and the other the next, so at least they avoid competing trips.

Our experience has been mixed. Some trips went very well, some not so much. One well subscribed trip to Europe was guided by full-time local tour guides, who mostly did a good job, but forgot that a famous museum was closed on the day they planned to bring half the class, so only half the students saw it the day before and the other half had an unplanned, unsupervised day loose in the neighborhood of the closed museum. Fun for the kids, but hardly worth the premium for "guided" touring.

Also, we have had some issues with High School trips that were only minimally supervised. These involved faculty supervisors who were absent for large blocks of time in their rooms together. Kids finding ways to access alcohol and drinking and some rather open partying for couples. Some students were arrested and sent home early. The school reprimanded those teachers and won't let them on another trip for a few years, but in the informal "rotation" that may not be much of a penalty.

In short, it can be an interesting and very educational experience, It can be an unsupervised nightmare. And mostly will be something in between. For responsible and mature kids, they can do well even as their peers are making terrible choices, but for kids who can get sucked into bad behavior, it can be a real problem. Going with another responsible friend or two was a very good support system and seemed to work well for us, even if the "adult" supervision was lacking.

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