Director’s News

2024 Busch Gardens Itinerary

The 2024 Busch Gardens Trip is a very special privilege for our band. Many hours of sacrifice were made by you and your parents to make this trip possible. As representatives of Athens Drive High School and the State of North Carolina, you are required to always behave in an exemplary fashion. Your attention to all directions and guidelines will ensure that we will be able to continue traveling in the future.

General Information

  1.  Luggage: Each person will be limited to one carry-on bag large enough to accommodate a change of clothes, and a pillow & blanket. Each item should have the following identification: Name/Address/Phone/Email.
  2. Dress: Proper dress is always required. When traveling with a large group, appearance is an important factor in the eyes of the public. Wear clothes in good condition; examples of what not to wear include clothes which are dirty, have suggestive print, or are excessively worn. It is suggested that you bring a hoodie or sweatshirt for the bus ride; it often gets chilly on the bus.
  3.  Instruments: All instrument cases must be tagged (name & school). Brass instruments should be shined and oiled (you will have time to do this on Friday 5/24); reed players should bring extra reeds. Percussion and guard captains are responsible for making sure all equipment is carefully stored. The bottom line is that if you play it, you are responsible for making sure it is packed and in good condition.
  4. General Behavior: You are expected to behave in a manner reflective of the importance of this event and the people whom you always represent. Specifically, you are to be on time for all events and meetings, behave respectfully toward all the people who we encounter during the trip, and follow all rules concerning park, and bus behavior. Treat everyone the way that you would like to be treated. Words like “please” and “thank you” show others how special you are and how proud you are to be a member of this band.This is a school function, and all school rules apply; any action which violates the school’s code of conduct will be dealt with accordingly. Do not even think about drinking alcohol, smoking, vandalism, or any other type of behavior which you know is wrong. Common sense is always expected; if in doubt, DON’T DO IT! Minimum penalties for minor infractions include loss of free time (students remain with chaperones).
  5. Bus Behavior: Please exercise the following courtesies to insure a pleasant and safe trip. Failure to comply may result in an assigned seat near a chaperone.
    • Use regular speaking voices.
    • Remain seated at all times.
    • Noise making-electronic devices must be used with headphones.
    • Food wrappers/trash must be disposed of in proper containers.
    • Only movies rated PG-13, PG, and G may be viewed.
    • Whether you are tired or not, please respect the feelings of others who want to rest by keeping the noise level down.
  6. Sightseeing: When traveling and enjoying the theme park, you are encouraged to travel in a group of two or more people. This is for your safety. Please respect all  park rules including conduct in lines and behavior toward all park/hotel employees.
  7. Spending Money: BUSCH GARDENS IS “CASHLESS” MEANING, THEY ONLY ACCEPT CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS. However, you can transfer cash to a card at a kiosk in the park. My recommendation is that if you do not have access to a credit/debit card, you either transfer some cash to a card or hang out with a friend who can purchase items for you, and you pay them in cash. You will need money for 1 meal and snacks. You will be provided with 1 meal ticket for Busch Gardens to be used for either lunch or dinner. The amount of money to bring is dependent upon 1) how much you eat, including snacks and beverages (WATER); 2) how much you want to spend on souvenirs.
  8. Uniforms: We will be making one “uniformed” appearance during the trip (at Busch Gardens on Saturday morning). The dress for the performance will be a royal blue polo shirt (distributed upon arrival at park), comfortable shorts—preferable of light color, socks and tennis shoes.
  9. Family and Friends: If your family and/or friends are in the park during our visit, you will not be permitted at any time to go out of the area with them unless prior permission is granted by the director. If you want to see them or they want to see you, they must come where you are. For those remaining at Busch Gardens with your family on Saturday evening, be sure to put this request in writing. You may transfer luggage Saturday morning or Saturday evening before the bus departs. The formal “departure from our group with parents” must be witnessed and signed off by the director or a chaperone.
  10. General Safety: If you become ill or need assistance, call your designated chaperone and/or go to the First Aid Station (clearly marked on the park map). All medical records authorizing treatment will be kept at the station throughout the day.

A few other reminders concerning safety:

It can be very warm at this time of year. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses, wear comfortable clothes, and drink plenty of liquids.
You will be assigned a check-in time at Busch Gardens (6:00pm). Be sure you or someone in your group is wearing a watch (or carrying a cell phone) and be sure to check in at the proper place and time. Do not be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure of any detail.
Be careful what you eat (and how much you eat!). Stomach aches are the #1 ailment on longer trips. Try to eat healthier meals with portions on the conservative side as best you can.
Take care of each other. Most problems can be prevented if someone is not afraid to speak up.



Friday, May 24, 2024

  • 2:18pm School concludes.
  • – Shine brass instruments;
  • – Prepare cases/equipment for loading on Saturday
  • 3:30pm Perform for family/friends near the “rock” in the back (senior) lot
  • 4:15pm Final preparation for Saturday morning

Saturday, May 25, 2024

  • 4:15am Report to Athens Drive; load charter busses (2)
  • 4:35am Group meeting in cafeteria
  • – Attendance taken
  • – Chaperones assigned
  • – Bagged breakfast distributed
  • 5:00am Depart for Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA
  • No stops anticipated, bus driver discretion
  • 8:30am Arrive for Busch Gardens
  • – Issue uniform polo shirts
  • – Visit restrooms
  • – Prepare for warm-up
  • 9:00am Warm-up in parking lo
  • 9:40am Walk to front of park (performance area)
  • 10:30am Return to busses;
  • – load instruments; change clothes;
  • – receive ticket and meal coupon;
  • – enjoy free time in the park.
  • 6:00pm Mandatory check-in with supervising chaperone in one of these ways:
  • – Text/call
  • – Meet in person at site TBA
  • 10:00pm Park closes.
  • 10:15pm Meet at front of park; board busses for return trip to Raleigh
  • – Student head count.
  • 11:00pm Depart for Raleigh, NC.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

2:30am Approximate arrival to Athens Drive High School.

All students expected to help unload and clean-up buses.

*We will notify the students when we are ½ hour away from the school so that they may call you (cell) for a more accurate arrival time. We will also post messages on the REMIND system. Thank you for your anticipated courtesy in picking up your child(ren) within 45 minutes of our arrival time.

Dr. Jerry Markoch, Director of Bands

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Nothing from Sat, 13 July 2024 to Sun, 14 July 2024.