View Full Version : Senior Trip?
22nd March 2008, 03:59 AM
Does anyone have any genuis ideas for a good senior trip to be taken next year during the spring? I am a current junior in HS and the seniors of our AFJROTC unit always take a senior trip... And I will be a SENIOR next year! Very exciting! But I digress...
Any strange and/or wonderful ideas?
22nd March 2008, 06:49 AM
L a s V e g a s :thumb:
23rd March 2008, 02:44 AM
Haha, OK sounds good... I'm down for Las Vegas :rolleyes:. Now suppose it had to have some connection to the Air Force, the USA, or such... Does that annihilate all the "fun places?"
23rd March 2008, 06:43 AM
You could always go to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii :)- it may be a bit expensive though
23rd March 2008, 11:02 AM
He's planning a HS senior trip....what is there for him (legally) to do in Vegas? Save that one for a college trip!
23rd March 2008, 12:05 PM
Have to agree with Mom3boys; Vegas is a GREAT college trip (when you're old enough to do the "fun" things :smile: ), but there is quite a few things there for someone underage. From the shows, the rides at Stratosphere (a roller coaster on top of a 1000' tower! :thumb: ), New York, New York and other Casinos, to the sights of the strip. However, all the things downtown are getting EXPENSIVE (some ofthe show tickets are above $90), so you have to do your research to find the good deals.
But when it comes to do something AF-oriented, Vegas is the home to Nellis AFB (the home of the Fighter Pilot (and WSO :biggrin:) ). Nellis is the home of the Weapons School (AF's "Top Gun"), the Thunderbirds, RED FLAG, and a bunch of other neat things. If you're unit is lucky, the timing might work out for you to be there during a RED FLAG. If it is allowed, they may let you in to see a brief or watch the RED FLAG Mission Debriefing System (RFMDS), which is basically a "live feed" of the aircraft flying in the exercise put on a theater sized screen. Looks like the world most expensive video game! :biggrin:
If you do decide to go to Vegas, contact the Public affairs office on Nellis to arrange a tour; there is soooo much to see there. And you can always do the "Non-Sin-City" things at Vegas too; like visit Red Rocks National Park, the Hoover Dam, and such. I've been there sooo many times (for FLAGs, Weapon School Support missions, Live drops, etc.) that I'm mostly bored with the "Sin-City stuff, and stick to the sight-seeing.
23rd March 2008, 12:25 PM
I am with Bullet and the Commissioner on this one - Las Vegas is pretty awesome.... much to do/see without gambling.
Many families vacation in LV and I can see why - of course you would have to spend an entire day at Hoover Dam - very cool.
But Semper Excelsius - your request is difficult without knowing what limitations you would have - what part of the country are you from and how far can you travel?
Any ideas where (geographically speaking) you would like to go?
If you and/or most of your class have never been to Washington DC - it is difficult to pass that up.
23rd March 2008, 12:35 PM
Hedonism II in Negril, Jamaica. :thumb:
23rd March 2008, 08:14 PM
Apologies for not giving a bit more detail... Located here in Westminster, CO (Suburb of Denver), and no specific idea of where we would like to go (Our senior instructor advised in order for us to go somewhere it must have some relation to aerospace/Military). Our budget is based on how much we raise during the school year with fundraisers, but there are very few seniors for next year(less than 8) so costs are lowered. Washington DC is our fool-proof plan, which will be our trip if we fail to construct another idea for a different senior trip.
Now, I'm sure someone is wondering , "He has an entire year to plan this out!" Now, here is my answer. The seniors this year spent many many hours on fundraising for their senior trip, raising a total in excess of 2000 bucks. But... They failed to plan their trip until the last minute and consequentially did NOT get a senior trip. Big bummer. Now, my senior class is going to have it down and not have to worry about last-minute planning, hence the seemingly premature question :smile:
23rd March 2008, 08:53 PM
Seattle could be a lot of fun. Museum of Flight, Boeing factory tour, Olympic National Park, Mt. Ranier, Mt. St. Helens, Bremerton Sub base (not really airplanes but still cool), McChord AFB, (check out if they have an airshow scheduled....not sure what time of year you are going), Coast Guard in Seattle and Port Angeles, plus the city of Seattle itself.
Frontier flies there pretty cheap from Denver.
23rd March 2008, 10:00 PM
For a 'pure' Air Force theme, Dayton, Ohio and the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB can't be beat. Of course there isn't much else to do in Dayton unless you want to risk a minor in possession rap. Just down I-75 is Cincinnati and a big amusement park, major league baseball, and a few other attractions. Consider it a 'cheap' date.
25th March 2008, 08:30 PM
Washington DC can be awesome, especially if some of your classmates haven't been very far from home.
Spring Break 2 years ago we took about 20 Civil Air Patrol cadets to DC. We were able to stay at Bolling Air Force Base, just a few mile outside the capital area. We stayed in really great rooms at the visiting officers complex (kind of like a motel) and ate some meals in the mess hall.
We were able to get tours of the Capital building (through our Senator), White House, Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetary, Air and Space Museum, etc. Great time.
Backup, Peterson Air Force Base down in Colorado Springs has housing for groups like yours. You could get tours of the Academy, maybe Cheyene mountain, etc? Being that close you or your unit probably know more than I do.
Good luck, early planning is key.
25th March 2008, 09:12 PM
Thanks all for the suggestions! I'm digging the Vegas trip :thumb:
Bullet: Looks like Nellis is going to have a Red Flag sometime during August 2008 (random wikipedia finding) but our trip will be in the spring so perhaps we will have to pass that up
Cougar: Peterson, the AFA, and Cheyenne Mtn. are all very cool! Unfortunately (or fortunately - depends who you are), we take field trips to those three places almost every year. So perhaps a more distant backup would benifit us more :cool:
But it looks like Washington DC is what most of our seniors will pick, but we don't have to have a decision till middle of May so I'm still open for any suggestions; strange and/or interesting! :spacecraft:
25th March 2008, 09:37 PM
DC is outstanding, especially because most of it is free (made up for with expensive food).
If you want to visit the Congressional liaison office of any of the branches, they welcome that stuff. The Senate liaison offices are in the basement of the Russell Senate Office Building. It's a public building. It also houses the offices of two Presidential hopefuls.
26th March 2008, 01:18 AM
But it looks like Washington DC is what most of our seniors will pick, but we don't have to have a decision till middle of May so I'm still open for any suggestions; strange and/or interesting!
As a native Washingtonian, let me make a few suggestions:
Do not stay in DC. Stay in Northern VA or Montgomery County MD and take the Metro (subway train) in to town. There is nowhere that you want to see that isn't close to a Metro stop. The dangerous parts of the city are far away from the tourist locations, no worries.
In the Spring, anytime close to when the Cherry Blossoms bloom, prepare to pay double. For everything. They know you're coming. But it's worth it. There is no more beautiful city in the world than Washington DC during the Cherry Blossom festival.
Arrange for tours for the White House and The Capitol through your Congressman or Senator. Tickets are free, but you have to schedule them way in advance to get them, and you must have a group of 10 or more.
Visit the Air & Space museum late in the day. EVERYBODY goes there first, it is extremely crowded every morning.
Don't bother going in the Smithsonian Castle, there is nothing there.
The best museums in my opinion are (in order):
American History (free)
Air & Space (free)
Natural History (free)
National Archives (free)
Army Medical Museum/National Museum of Health & Medicine (free)
International Spy Museum ($14)
National Zoo (free)
Navy Museum/Navy Yard SE (free)
Hirshhorn Gallery (free)
National Portrait Gallery (free)
Holocaust Museum (free but need tickets)
26th March 2008, 01:54 AM
MOST of the Smithsonians are in the same area, the exception being part of the Air and Space. Either Natural History or American History is closed this year.
It is nearly impossible to get a tour of the White House, unless you act far in advance or have an in in the executive branch. The Capitol can be arranged day of, however, you will need your Senator or Congressman to see both sides, otherwise you get the "other" tour, which isn't bad either.
I was able to go TAD to Congressional Affairs for a month, DC is a different animal, but I loved it, and I would love to go back...if I get that assignment.
Use the Metro like it's your friend, because it is, and it's clean, incase you've ever used the T in Boston or the Subway in NYC.
DO NOT sit on the benches, especially near Union Station, the homeless people DO urinate on them.
ENJOY the nations capital. With all of the grief we give the government, stuff does get done there, and it is a sight to see.
26th March 2008, 02:41 AM
And if you go to DC, make sure you see both Air and Space Museums; the old one on the Mall and the new one at Dulles.
26th March 2008, 03:11 AM
DO NOT sit on the benches, especially near Union Station, the homeless people DO urinate on them.
^^Really? Not to sound like a smart-alec, but how was this found out? Anyways, I'm going to take your word for it :thumb:
26th March 2008, 03:45 AM
Found it out each morning when I took the Metro from Mclean, VA to Union Station and walked from Union Station to the Russell Senate Office building. You run into the same people each day. Lunch was always with a civilian CG Senate liaison (who was also a reservist E-7 in the USAF), and an Army major from the Army Senate Liaison office. The smells and the sights are not easily forgotten...which is just how I like it.
26th March 2008, 12:03 PM
Definetly go to the Spy Museum and then eat in China Town. You can buy the tickets on line, don't show up and expect to get in. They have limited tickets and if you go during the spring, tickets sell out quickly. You can show up at noon, and they might be sold out until 3.
Go to Ford's theatre (I think they are free) and go to eat at the hard Rock, only about 200 ft from it.
Stay on the VA side, Ballston is a great area and has a night life. You can get into DC quickly. Old town Alexandria is also great. There are 2 metro stops and easy to get to Reagan National on the Metro.
When you go to the capitol, if they are in session, go to Bullfeathers Bar, it is a watering hole for the MOC's.
Crystal City/Pentagon Row is also a great place to stay. There are some nice restarant/bars that are located across the street from the Pentagon. A lot of the military hang out there after work on Fri. night. The metro goes straight into the city.
If you want to go cheap and stay out further, try Springfield. It is further out there, but the hotels will be cheaper.
I know the military puts up their people off of Key Bridge in DC, you might want to look in that area and ask for govt. rates.
There is also the O'Club in DC, that has a hotel, not sure how easy it would be to get into that.
26th March 2008, 12:24 PM
I admit to not having been to DC since I was stationed in the Pentagon more than 15 years ago- but the way you guys are describing the stuff to see in DC- this sounds like a great Senior trip! I'm really jealous!
By the way- don't forget going to Arlington - the Tomb of the Unknowns is a moving experience and is also pretty cool to watch the posting of the guard. I assume that the Marines still do a weekly twilight tattoo at the USMC Memorial, and I think that the AirForce now has a new memorial up the hill from the Pentagon (haven't seen that one myself).
I don't miss much about being 18 again- but I do wish that I could recapture some of the excitement about a future full of endless possibilities. You should have a good time just planning this as well actually going on the trip. Good luck and enjoy!
26th March 2008, 12:35 PM
Something that is way cool is seeing the Korean War memorial at night. Look at their eyes, they seem to follow you everywhere. This happens to be my favorite memorial.
26th March 2008, 01:13 PM
OK, If it's DC, and you're looking to do things related to miitary, and things that are just plan cool, allow me to make a few suggestions:
- Start at the Pentagon (but after 0800, as the crowds getting into the place before hand for work ARE HUUUUGE). They have tours, and the memorabilia and portraits just "hanging on the walls" are AMAZING! A warning: It's a HUGE confusing maze, but the tour guides (enlisted military who walk BACKWARDS while explaining everything you see) give a great tour). Tour takes about two hours, and you can soveinger (-5 sp?) shop in the Pentagon Mall concurse afterwards. See the Hall of Heroes (ceremonial room, with listings on the wall of every CMOH winner from every conflict), and thememorial Chapel (on the spot the plane hit during 9/11, very moving).
- Go to Arlington National Ceremony to walk the grounds (two metro stops from the Pentagon). See the Tomb of the Unknown for the changing of the guard, and walk the rest of the grounds for an hour to just soak in the place (you'll always be amazed by the tombstones and memorials you'll just stumble across). Another word of caution: the place has been busy for the past few years with ceremonies for casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan (Sadly :frown:), their being interned near the front by the Pentagon side. if you happen to com across a funeral, SHOW YOUR RESPECTS AND BE QUIET. Honor them in a dignified manner, they earned it. Two to three hours at arlington should cover it.
- Hop on the metro to the mall (lets you off by the Washington Monument). Grab a quick lunch from a street vendor (Ummmh, soft pretzels!) and start walking from the Washinton to the Lincoln Memorials. Like Luigi said, if it's Cherry Blossom time, it's a beautiful walk (I used to run PT on the mall every other day while I was at the Pentagon because it was just so nice!). See the WWII memorial (pretty new, very impressive), go down the north side to the Korean Memorial (somber and moving), go to the Lincoln then go to the Vietnam Memorial (even more somber and moving). This should take you all the way to late afternoon. Take a break to go back to your hotel or dinner somewhere near the mall.
- I would do the Smithsonianon and the Capitol on day two. You literaly can spend HOURS in each museum, and the Capitol tour is a half day as well. Do the Capitol in the morning (stop by your MOC's office first if you arranged a tour with them), grab lunch,then walk to the Air and Space museum. Plan on at least 2 - 3 hours there, then cross the Mall to the Natural History to spend a few more hours there. Go to the Hall of Documents afterwards to see the Declaration and Constitution.
As you can see, there is SOOO much to do in the Capitol, and you'll try to get in everything in a few days, but quite honestly it's impossible. Just highlight what you all want to see as a group and stick to th eplan, or you'll all just end up exhausted.
Feel free to PM either myself or Pima for other tips if you want. Best of Luck!
26th March 2008, 01:36 PM
And please if you go into a Medal of Honor memorial or a 9/11 memorial, do not talk on your cell phone or wear your hat. It's out of respect. I was pretty angry going through a MOH memorial, reading the stories and listening to the recordings of the accounts when some lady behind me jabbered away on her cell phone.
DC is great though. If you go, enjoy it, and eat it all up. Even take a moment to notice the Code Pink ladies or any other of the many protesters clogging parts of the city.
I second the comment about Ballston, nice town.
The 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon was very moving.
26th March 2008, 01:49 PM
You absolutely cannot go wrong with a trip to DC - if you guys are from CO and most or none of you have ever been (even if you have!) then you will not regret it.
IMO - you just can't go wrong. Esp if it is in the spring - before the sweltering HHH July weather!
I had forgotton about Twilight tatoo! I saw this many moons ago while in HS myself! Of course you will go to Arlington National Cemetery and see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown - get there early! It gets crowded.
All these suggestions are fabulous -
Hotel - there is a Holiday Inn right behind the Air and Space Museum that I stayed in with my kids a few years ago - it was actually quite inexpensive - had a cool roof top pool with a great view of the Capitol. It is also right near a Metro Stop.
The Metro- easy to use and very clean. Do NOT even attempt to eat a candy bar while on it or in the station. The No Food rule is STRICTLY enforced.
Planning - Notify your Congressman and both Senator's office. As far in advance as possible. If they are in town you will wine and dine you! They might even arrange for a group picture on the Capitol steps - politicians eat this stuff up! :wink:
I am not sure if they can still get White House tickets - but ask!
Sometimes they have an aide available who can show you around.
Definitely make a half a day for the Holocaust Museum. You have to get tickets in advance. This is not "fun" but necessary - IMO. Too many young people these days think the Holocaust is a hoax.
When I took my younger kids a few years ago - we had a great walk - started at Jefferson (very cool at night), the the FDR memorial - this is really neat and takes a while, then on to Lincoln, Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall, Korean ( I agree with PIMA - very cool at night) and the Vietnam Women's memorial. Then go up the hill toward GWU and get the Metro.
International Spy Museum - worth every penny of the $14.00 - you kids will love it. There is also a ESPN Zone nearby.
If you want to get a show - check out what is playing at the Kennedy Center - great cultural experience.
In VA don't forget about Mount Vernon.
If you guys like baseball - take in the Washington Nationals in their new stadium.
You will definitely NOT be bored!
26th March 2008, 01:52 PM
Even take a moment to notice the Code Pink ladies or any other of the many protesters clogging parts of the city.
Absolutely! there is always some kind of protest or demonstration on the Mall. Walk around and take notice - this the first amendment in action and a big part of what makes our country so great!
26th March 2008, 02:00 PM
Lifelong resident tip #1 - Do not board the Metro at the Mall (Smithsonian) when leaving. Board at Federal Triangle, MUCH less crowded and only a block-and-a-half walk from the Mall down 12th street.
#2 - Do not even think about chewing gum on the Metro - you WILL go to jail, trust me on this, they don't play around - no drinks or food of any kind.
#3 - Do not walk anywhere east of 2nd street (NE, behind the Capitol), south of D street (south of the Fed Center SW Metro) or north of K street.
#4 - If anyone gives you directions that include "J" street, they are playing a joke on you, there is no J street, never has been a J street.
#5 - Taxis still use a confusing zone system that charges by how many zones you cross. Prepare to be dazzled by how many zones a cabbie can cross between the Washington Monument and the Capitol.
26th March 2008, 03:19 PM
I don't remember the exact story, but wasn't a pregnant woman man handled by the police a couple of years ago over a candy bar?
Luigi wasn't joking, they are very serious about food in the Metro.
Cabbies do have a racket there!
26th March 2008, 03:54 PM
There's a homeless lady that I think someone paid to hold a sign near her very elaborate box set-up. She's outside the White House...I've always seen her there.
Go to your Senators and Rep.s websites. They will have a section about their people in DC. While I was TAD I took a day and headed to my Senators' Tennessee Tuesday breakfast. They take pictures with you and mail them. I then contacted my Congresswoman.
Sidenote, your Congressman will love you more, after all, for them, your vote really counts, and instead of presenting the state, they represent your district.
I met with my Congresswoman during lunch time. She was very nice, we talked about things back home, NHL hockey, and had a picture at the Capitol. Her staff was very nice, sat down and shot the $hit with her Chief of Staff, who was also very nice and had a father in....the Navy...maybe the Army. If it was Army, he atleast had an interest in ships and the Navy/Coast Guard.
Other side note, the ONE day I didn't go to eat lunch with the guy from the office, a man in Union Station asked if they could eat together...the fellow worker's daughter was there, from the Air Force in uniform. Well who asked to eat? Lt. Dan and what they told me when I got back to the office. Lt. Dan? Who was that? Of course, I knew plenty of LTs....then they said, "you know Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump".
I missed a very good personal lunch with Gary Sinese (Sp?). The ONE day I miss lunch, they have lunch with a Pro-military big time actor. Sadness. I thought it was very big of him to ask to have lunch with my coworker and his daughter. People tried to interrupt to get autographs but Gary told them they were having a meeting and shouldn't be interrupted.
I want to go back...it is at the top of my list for staff tours during this transfer season. Might find out this week, might be next week. I'll keep you posted.
26th March 2008, 03:59 PM
You guys are all getting me excited about DC again. I don't know how ROTC works, but the Civil Air Patrol has a policy that cadets must wear there Class A Blues uniforms when in the city. It was great to be there with them. We had absolutely no problems with disrespect or messing around, which is a little unusual for that many teenagers for a week.
I reiterate something I said earlier. Bolling AFB is just a few minutes from the Capital and extremely cheap if you can get permission to stay there. We had 1 adult and 3 or 4 kids in these two bedroom apartments plus ate one or two meals a day in their mess hall. Ground costs, including all tours and meals, was about $300 for the week. We borrowed two 15 passenger vans from the Maryland CAP, so that might be something you'd need to spend some money on. I'm not sure if the metro runs to Bolling. Bolling also has the Air Force Honor Guard Academy which is really cool to see.
At Arlington, if you plan far enough ahead they will let you place a wreath on the tomb of the Unknowns. They have a wreath placing ceremony every hour or something like that.
At the Pentagon ask about the most dangerous hot dog stand in the world.
As of March 2006 they still allowed tours of the White House. You only get to see the public areas and are nowhere near the Oval Office, but it's still really cool.
Get ahold of your Senator's offices now and they will really help.
You're definitely doing the right thing planning ahead.
26th March 2008, 04:43 PM
Haha, the hotdog stand was dangerous in the Cold War.
The uniform for inside the Beltway is also depended on branch, some branches require a certain uniform. I have no idea about ROTC.
26th March 2008, 07:20 PM
Wow, I'm definently getting revved up for next year. Thanks so much! I will have to keep this thread under my favorites when I begin to plan my detailed days.
For JROTC senior trips, blues are not required while out and about (not sure why, I could be wrong... Our senior instructor has last say though). But we are all exceptionally well behaved cadets if I may say so myself :angel:
This is by no means a closing remark! Please continue to post advice, hints, tips. I enjoy reading all the ideas and adventures you all have experienced, and the great suggestions.
28th March 2008, 05:43 AM
Just got back from San Diego about 20 minutes ago for my "senior trip" and if you're into anything Navy, Coast Guard, or ship-related at all there are a lot of things to do out there. Depends on what you're into I guess!
28th March 2008, 11:02 AM
Do the whole USS Midway thing? I liked how they had guys explaining the catapalt and lines..good time, and worth the $10.
29th March 2008, 04:19 AM
LITS: Actually we skipped that... USCGC Morgenthau was in port doing some training so we got a tour of that instead! Pretty good deal, got to go in pretty much every part of the ship.
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