Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tight Ship!

From the start of the planning phase way back when, until we boarded the plane to come back home, the process for this trip has been like the crew of a tight ship. It kind of has to be when you're talking about taking 29 teenagers out of the country... 

When we left St Johns on April 3, we had been assigned to groups of 7 or 8, we had a commemorative T-shirt, a laminated card printed with all the chaperone names and cell numbers, labelled envelopes with portioned $$ for the kid's daily lunches, all of the applicable tickets and passes. We had our groups assigned to chaperones and were off for an experience of a lifetime!

Upon our arrival at the different shows and events we were dealt with quickly and efficiently getting 34 people through the gates or into their seats quick as can be. 

This was my first experience with a Heritage Festival so I was extremely impressed with the running of this process. 

The school we visited on Friday morning was equally prepared for us and was so welcoming. 

Our performance on the Downtown Disney Stage was another huge success. As is anything Disney, it was so well organized that we couldn't have messed it up if we tried. Our bus was boarded by our cute-as-a-button hostess who explained the process and took us back stage. We were then officially "honourary cast members". The kids were given in door or outdoor space to use to practise. We were then taken to the parking lot at which time they were told they were officially "on stage" and should consider themselves representatives of both their school and Disney. She told us she was once doing exactly what they were doing and loved it so much she made it her goal to come back and work at Disney. In talking with her later, I discovered none of that is taken lightly. She has a BA in vocal performance and had to apply for the job 4 times. She comes on for 3 months at a time when the stage productions are busiest and the rest of the year she dances in the parade. She had been there 10 years. The kids made not realize the difficult application process Mr Collins went through to get them there.

Once on stage they had exactly - and I mean EXACTLY - 25 minutes to perform, talk, cheer and then they were done and we were back on the bus!

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. I'm pretty sure the only glitch we had in the area of organization was being directed to the wrong location for the festival BBQ. Considering it was all within the same park, it ended up as no big deal. 

A good portion of this could be contributed to Barb Hudson who took the leadership reins early on and had those first meetings with the travel agents who put the whole package together for us. She spent a lot of time putting together folders for the kids, organizing the insane amount of paper work and communicating with restaurants and making the Blue Man Group HAPPEN. I have been trying to take notes in case I get the honour of organizing another trip in two years, as only two of us from the planning of this trip will be able to do another term on the committee. We have learned so much about how to make this happen, how to have as few hiccups as possible and where we can improve. I'm sure we all have lists going and when we debrief soon we'll put it all together and save it for next year when we start brain storming a whole new adventure. 

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