2015 Bulldog Band Annual Trip Information
Niagara Falls, New York City

(Images: top left - Niagara Falls, Canada; top right - Times Square, NYC; bottom left - NYC Skyline; bottom right - 9/11 Memorial)

Contents:


Last Updated - May 25, 2015

The 2015 Annual Band Trip will be a combined Band and Chorus trip this year. We will be visiting Niagara Falls and New York City. Our visit into Canada makes this an international trip. As such, each person, regardless of age, will need a current passport with an expiration date of 2016 or later. Information on obtaining a US Passport is provided below.

Since we are travelling internationally with minors, we will also need a Consent to Travel letter for each minor leaving the US. For simplicity, we will need a letter for your student even if you are travelling with the group. This requirement is to comply with current anti-child-abduction policies and streamline our border crossings. What easier way to abduct a child than to mix the child in with a group of minors? Border Patrol agents will be on alert. We will create a form letter for parents to complete, and will carry all letters in a binder. The deadline for those letters will be in May.


Payment Schedule / Key Dates  (Back to Top)

  • Nov 4:   $100 - Initial Deposit (past due)
  • Dec 2:   $150 - Payment 2 (total paid to date: $250)
  • Jan 6:   $150 - Payment 3 (total paid to date: $400)
  • Feb 3:   $150 - Payment 4 (total paid to date: $550)
  • Feb 13:   Contracts DUE!!!
  • Feb 25:   Final Headcount Due - Requires minimum $500 in total payments to be counted.
                   *** Last Day to Drop/Add!
  • Mar 3:   $100 - Payment 5 (total paid to date: $650)
  • Mar 3:   Room List Due - Requires minimum $650 to be on room list.
                   *** Changes after today or on emergency basis!
  • Apr 7:  varies - Final Payment (varies depending on rooming selection)

Click here to make a PayPal payment.

No more changes. We depart June 2.

If you have not completed forms or confirmed room mates with Mr. Scott, please contact Mr. Scott ASAP!

Changes made after Headcount Due Date may incur a penalty fee.
For Drops, fee could be up to full trip amount if a replacement traveller cannot be found.

Please make sure your Fair Share is current and that you're making your trip payments on time.


Making Payments  (Back to Top)

The following payment methods are accepted:

  • Cash/Check - Pay in person at a Boosters' meeting, or place in Payments Box in the band room.

  • Credit/Debit card - Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
    *** Includes credit, debit, pre-paid, or gift card carrying one of the above logos.
    • Visit the PayPal link on our website.
      *** On PayPal's site, click to Add Special Instructions and say this is a Trip Payment.
    • Pay in person at a Booster's meeting.
      *** Please do not send card info through the Payments Box. This is for your protection.

  • Fundraiser/Event earnings - Pay in person at a Boosters' meeting, or place payment form in Payments Box in the band room.
    *** Be sure Payment Form lists Fair Share as the payment method and includes the name on the Fair Share account.
When paying in person or through the Payment Box, please complete a Payment Form to ensure payment is credited properly.

PayPal carries a surcharge of 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction.
PayPal deducts the surcharge from your payment before sending the payment to us.
Example: You pay $100. Paypal takes $2.20+$0.30 ($2.50), then sends us $97.50.
*** Using a pre-paid or gift card? The card must be registered with your name and address. If your card cannot be registered with the issuer, PayPal will not accept the card.
*** Note: You're currently limited to the payment amounts listed online.

Square carries a surcharge of 2.75%.
Square deducts this surcharge before sending the payment to us.
Example: You pay $100. Square takes $2.75, then sends us $97.25.
Square also accepts rewards cards, as long as they carry one of the logos above.
We limit acceptance to cards that can be swiped. Manual entry fees are significantly higher, and no worries about registering a gift card.
*** Note: With Square, you may pay any amount you choose. We enter the total amount you want charged to your card.

PayPal's in person rate is the same as Square. Because Square was better suited to non-profits, allowing registered members to swipe cards without having access to our Square account, we chose Square as our in-person payment solution.


Trip Overview  (Back to Top)

Dates: June 2 - June 6/7
Check-In: June 2, very early
Departing: June 2, early
Returning: June 6, (very late, or very early June 7)

Cost (includes Transportation):

  • Quad: $739
  • Triple: $819
  • Double: $969

What's Included?

What are you responsible for on the trip?

  • 1 Breakfast
  • 3 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • Snacks
  • Souvenirs


High Level Schedule  (Back to Top)

Tue, June 2 (early am) Depart SRMHS
Travel to Niagara Falls (12-13 hrs)
Hotel in Niagara
Wed, June 3 Niagara Falls activities
Maid of the Mist
Travel to New York (7-8 hrs)
Hotel in New Jersey (across river)
Thu, June 4 New York Activities
Ellis Island / Status of Liberty
9/11 Memorial
Dinner at Cucina & Co
Top of the Rock Observatory
Hotel in New Jersey (across river)
Fri, June 5 New York Activities
Today Show (outside)
Radio City Music Hall
Dinner at HB Burger Restaurant
Les Miserables
Hotel in New Jersey (across river)
Sat, June 6 Early Check-Out, head home (8-9 hrs)
Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park
Arrive SRMHS very early Sunday am.


Passport Information  (Back to Top)

A second Passport Workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 7.
If you still need a passport, you may register for this workshop. Please ensure you have all required forms completed PRIOR to April 7.

Click here to Register for the April 7 Workshop.

This is an international trip. Everyone must have a valid Passport with an expiration date at least 6 months after the trip (2016 or later for this trip). Apply for passports in person at a US Post Office. To help with scheduling, we had US Postal representatives at our February Boosters' meeting to accept applications. Rules are specific and non-negotiable. Start gathering documentation now. Mr. Scott has a few applications and consent forms in the band room, or use the links below to print and complete your application. The application is the same for everyone, regardless of age. Required documentation differs based on applicant's age.

Passports require a recent photo that meets specific standards. While the post office can take your passport picture, it will cost you $15. Passport photos may also be made at CVS or Walgreens for $12, or at Walmart for $8.
Click here for Walmart Passport Photo Info.

NEW Passport Application

Adult Passport (16 and over):
- Valid for 10 years
- Application fee: $110 (check or money order payable to "Department of State")
- Execution fee: $25 (separate check or money order payable to "Postmaster")

Child Passport (under age 16):
- Valid for 5 years
- Application fee: $80 (check or money order payable to "Department of State")
- Execution fee: $25 (separate check or money order payable to "Postmaster")

Passport Renewal
(Only renew if previous passport was issued in the last 15 years AND only if issued at age 16 or older - renewing an Adult Passport)

Adult Passport (16 and over):
- Valid for 10 years
- Application fee: $110 (check or money order payable to "Department of State")
- No execution fee - may renew by mail

Child Passport (under age 16):
- If the last passport was issued as a child passport (valid for 5 years), you are not allowed to renew.
- Follow new passport application procedure based on child's age at time of new application.

Minors Under 16
If your student is under age 16 when applying for a passport, both parents and the student must appear in person to submit the application. The passport will be valid for 5 years. If only one parent can be present, the second parent must complete a Parental Consent Form which must be notarized!!! If the second parent's consent cannot be obtained, there is a different form for you to give the reason the second parent cannot consent and provide evidence supporting the reason. Links to those consent forms are below.

Minors Aged 16 or 17
If your student is age 16 or 17 when applying for a passport, you do not need parental consent. The passport will be valid for 10 years. You are requested to provide evidence of parental awareness for at least one parent. One parent appearing in person is sufficient evidence. If neither parent can be present, the student needs a signed letter from at least one parent stating that the parent is aware of passport application, along with a copy of the signing parent's photo id.

Adults 18+
If your student is 18 or over, he/she is legally an adult. No additional documentation is needed to apply for a passport.


Frequently Asked Questions:  (Back to Top)

Does my deposit need to be paid before I can go on the trip?
- Yes, your trip must be paid in full by April 30. We make final payment to the Tour Company on May 1.

Does my Fair Share account have to be paid in full before I go on the trip?
- Yes, your Fair Share account must either be paid in full or current on your payment plan before you can participate in the trip.

I'm a chaperone. Do I need to complete a Health Form?
- Yes, every person travelling with the Band must have a completed current year Health Form on file. We must travel under the assumption that something could happen to you that leaves you unresponsive, in which case, the Health Form is the only information we have that we can provide to Emergency personnel.

What is the last day to change my mind?
- The last day to change your mind is Feb 24. We must send a deposit and final headcount to the Tour Company on Feb 25. After Feb 25, all changes must be approved by Mr. Scott based on availability of space for additions and ability to find a replacement for drops. Change fees may apply, and could be full cost of the trip for drops after Feb 25 if no replacement can be found.

Can I make my payments online with PayPal?
- Yes, you may make payments via PayPal. There is a surcharge of 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction. Use the link on the website, and make a note in the comment field that the payment is intended for the Spring Trip.

Can I make my payments in person with a credit or debit card?
- Yes, you may make payments at a Boosters' meeting with a credit or debit card. We use Square which has a surcharge of 2.75%. See Jennifer to pay with credit card. Remember to complete a Payment Form to ensure your payment is properly applied.

Can I use my fundraiser/event earnings to pay for the trip?
- Yes, you may use your earnings to Fair Share for trip payments. Complete a Payment Form by the due date listing the Fair Share account to use for payment. The Fair Share account must have sufficient funds to cover the payment. See Jennifer if you have questions about your Fair Share balance.

What if my fundraiser/event earnings have not posted to my Fair Share account at the time payment is due?
- See Jennifer to make sure you have enough outstanding earnings to make the payment. If there will be sufficient funds once all outstanding items are posted, complete a Payment Form listing the Fair Share account to use. Please add a NOTE to the form stating the expected amount from each fundraiser/event that is outstanding. This will help to ensure all items and payments are properly applied.

When do I sign up for roommates?
- Rooming lists will be created in early April. Choose wisely. Once room lists are sent to the Tour Company, we cannot guarantee changes. If an emergency arises, please discuss with Mr. Scott to see what arrangements can be made.

What is the last date to change roommates?
- The last day to change roommates is April 14. We must send the completed rooming lists to the Tour Company by April 15.

Back to Home Page  (Back to Top)