Many thanks, and a possible trip...
Thomas C. Petrik (EC92@AOL.COM)
Thu, 29 May 1997 11:29:59 -0400
First, thanks to everyone who helped me with locations to exchange at the
Canadian border. Between you and the Michigan Credit Unit page we did well.
While not a Scouting trip, the weekend I spent with my son's band in Toronto
provided me with enough opportunities for Adventure and Super Activities that
I felt I should share.
We'll start at a trip that included at least one meal/day, a bus, and hotel
rooms for four days and three nights costing only around $275.00/youth, and
that included paying for the chaperones and band director and his wife, so it
should go even lower for a large unit traveling dutch treat. We had 40 people
Chicago to Lansing and some time to swim.
Lansing to the border at Port Huron then on to Toronto (where the price
canadian on my room was listed as $175/night) for two days. Arrive, clean up,
and get dressed up for a fancy evening of dinner and then going to see
Phantom of the Opera ($70.00 seats).
A late return to the hotel followed by a very early start so we got to visit
and tour the baseball stadium, CN Tower, Eaton Plaza (ok, so with 30 females
we gave in to a shopping mall), Casa Loma (lots of fancy rooms, hidden
passageways, and turrets like a castle you can climb), the Science museum
(can't recall the real name, like Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry
but with much more "hands on" including internet access), dinner, and several
hours at the Playdium (we had prepaid $10.00 cards for games, which went
fast, especially since I spent my evening coaching several people with no
climbing experience up their climbing tower, but there was also video games,
VR, miniture golf, go-karts, and more than I could even see from where I
spent my evening).
Up early the next morning for a ride to Niagara Falls, where we figured we
had an hour. The wait for the Maid of the Mist on the Canadian side was only
15 minutes for a 1/2 hour ride, plus without prior reservations we were able
to walk up to a window, explain the situation, have them enter us as a tour
group, and instead of paying $10.10 Canadian paid about $5.00/person with two
free adult admissions thrown in. Off the boat, back on the bus, and ride
straight to Chicago arriving about 10 p.m.
This is a "long weekend" adventure that any unit should be willing to try.
One suggestion: avoid any aversion to travel agencies (you may be able to
plan it all out, but can you get the discounts o the prices they did in every
case?) and find one that handles groups on a regular basis and let them do
most of the work. But make sure they give you details (not just addresses of
sites but also which entrance to use - we weren't sure where the gate to go
in for the tour was at the baseball diamond and we didn't know the science
museum had a special entrance for groups).
Other possibilities must exist so that not every "high adventure" or
"superactivity" requires a trip lasting two weeks or more, some may even be
in the HA file I haven't had time to look through. I'd like to know about
others, especially something like this that could combine Exploring's social,
career, and outdoor areas in one trip.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City