Thursday, October 1, 2015

Band Trip Special Edition

I thought I would write an "extra" version of the blog this week to keep everyone as up to date as possible regarding the December band trip to Memphis.  Here are some things that we think you need to know at this point; others will follow as needed.

PAPERWORK Your child should be handing you a form/letter/info sheet on Friday, October 2.  This page contains band "homework" - it involves registering your child on the tour company's website so they have the information they need for our group.  This registration will allow you to eventually be added to the room list.  It is required by the tour company - if you don't do the registration, your child will be unable to attend.  Please have this done by Monday, October 5.  This form is also available on our web page -

LATE ADDITIONS  If your child does not receive this paperwork tomorrow, it means we think he/she is not traveling with us.  If you would like to add your child, let me or Cathy Lugten know.  You will need to get completely caught up on the monthly payments that have occurred, but we can add people for about two more weeks before we have to have everything all set.

PAYMENTS  If you are up-to-date with your payments, you will have paid $550 of the $750 trip cost at this point.  A monthly statement is emailed to keep you apprised of your account balance.  Students whose accounts are not current will not be allowed to sign up for a room.  Please contact me or Cathy Lugten to arrange a method to get your account paid to the current level as soon as possible.

PARENT MEETING  We are planning a parent meeting for Thursday, October 15, probably in the band room, at 7:30 p.m.  Details will follow ASAP - there is a concert in the auditorium, but this is a perfect date to get everything taken care of.  Every student who is traveling must be represented by a parent or guardian at this meeting.  We are asking, though, that the kids stay home due to room constraints - it will be a little cozy that night!

ROOMING LIST  In about two weeks' time we will be putting together a rooming list.  Students will be writing down a list of friends with whom they would like to share a hotel room (four people per room).  We try to guarantee at least one of these friends will be in the room with them; we also include the option of letting us know if there is a person they absolutely could not be with for any length of time, and try to avoid placing those kids together.  We understand that not everyone gets along, and we want the trip to be as pleasant as possible for everyone.  Again, if your child's account is not current, he/she will not be allowed to sign up for a room.

CHAPERONES  I am still working on this.  I have about 4-5 spots to fill, and the next round of "choices" will be made based on the boy/girl ratio of students.  We try to keep male chaperones with boys' groups, and females with girls'.  I will finish this up as soon as possible.  As of now we have Tom and Amy Busa, Tom and KayLynn Beltman, Jeff and Sherry Costello, Andy Watson, Becky VanValkenburg, and LoriJo Schepers.  Please be aware that I am the director and not a chaperone.  There will be times when I am required to be away from the group for directors' meetings prior to rehearsals and performances; the chaperones will be in charge of your children during those times.  They are all well-trained and experienced in many different things from teaching to ministry to medicine to Air Force logistics, so we have everything well-contained!  Chaperones are assigned on a 1:12 ratio, with each adult having responsibility for 12 students.

FUND RAISERS  We have several fund raising opportunities coming up that you should be involved with.  On Saturday, October 24 you have the chance for TWO simultaneous fund raisers - another mattress sale and a Home Expressions party.  Information for both of these is on Facebook ( ( the mattress sale will be explained at the parent meeting on the 15th.  We are also hosting fund raisers at the Fuzzy Peach, Vitale's, and Buffalo Wild Wings.  Information regarding these will be sent out via email.  Your child has the chance to earn money toward his/her trip account with all of these, so please encourage participation!

MEDICAL FORMS, MEDICATIONS, ETC.  If you have not yet done so, please fill out the medical form and return it as soon as possible - it is found in the "Liberty Bowl Trip Packet" file on the band trip web page (  While there you can also download a PDF file of the information your child should give you on Friday.  Medications must be listed on this form, and they must be turned in and administered by a chaperone per school policy.  We will try to have our resident doctor/chaperone be in charge of this.

HOTEL POLICIES, ETC.  There will be much more specifically spelled out regarding the hotel expectations as we get closer to departure, but here are the basics: 
 - Room telephones, pay-per-service TV/gaming/wi-fi/movies will be turned of by the hotel (unless the wi-fi is already free).  This allows us to pay a flat, pre-paid rate without incurring extra costs.  Students will not be allowed to pay for these services to be turned on.
 - No boys in girls' rooms, no girls in boys' rooms.  EVER.  PERIOD.  Not to sit with the door open and play cards, not to chat, not ever.  Hallways will also be kept clear; there will be time for chatting and hanging out while we go about our daily activities.
 - Four students per room.
  - Chaperones do not room with students (that has been a question in the past).

That concludes the list that Cathy and I came up with today.  Please feel free to email her - - or me - - if you have any questions.