2019 Colorado Academy Middle School Quebec Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2019 Colorado Academy Middle School Quebec Program! We have created two webpages dedicated to this once in a lifetime experience so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. This page, the Pre-Enrollment page, is meant to share exciting details, highlights, and pertinent info which participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page is intended to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for Canada!
Travel Dates: May 11, 2019 - May 18, 2019
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,100 USD
Deadline(s): Travelers should enroll by November 1st

What to Expect

Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.

Itinerary

We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DateLocationActivityLodging
May 11Denver - Quebec CityTravel from Denver to Quebec City, settle at local hotelConcorde Hotel
May 12Quebec CityWe will begin our morning with a traditional breakfast before walking to the center of Quebec City's famous old town. We will enjoy a guided tour as we stroll the cobble stone streets between towering classical French architecture. We will also begin to learn about the settlement of Quebec City and it's unique history. In the afternoon, we will do some shopping in the old town, have a homestay orientation and meet our host families. The evening will be spent with our host families.Homestays
May 13Quebec CityWe will begin our day with our host families as we eat breakfast with our kinds hosts and get ready for our first day of French classes. We will meet at our partner language school and be divided into groups based French level. After class we will go to Galeries de la capital to ice-skate with local youth then watch an IMAX movie in French. We will return to our family's houses for the evening.Homestays
May 14Quebec CityWe will have breakfast with our host families and return to our partner school for French classes. In the afternoon, we will visit the Musée de la Civilisation in the old town to formally learn the history of the province. We will continue to Marché du Vieux-Port, a beautiful market along the St. Lawrence River where we can buy local good and practice French. We will spend the evening with our homestay familiesHomestays
May 15Quebec CityAfter breakfast with our families, we will go to Village des Huron a cultural site honoring the history of the first people of the region. We will enjoy a hand on educational experience and a traditional lunch. We will continue on to the Chutes Montmorency, the iconic and thundering waterfalls just north of the city. Afterwards, we will return to our host families for our final night together.Homestays
May 16Quebec City, Mont TremblantThis morning we will say goodbye to a wonderful hosts and make the pretty drive to Mont Tremblant, the crown jewel of the Laurentian Mountains. This is our chance to experience the a Quebecois ski resort and have some adventure after our time in the city. Along the way, we will fuel up with a sugar shack menu, where we will sample maple butter and other local delicacies. Upon arrival to Mont Tremblant, we will unpack at our local hostel, then head out for dinner. After dinner, we will gather around a camp fire to eat smores and reflect on the homestay experience.Le Grand Lodge
May 17Mont TremblantWe will start the day with a private yoga class (in French!), then gear up for an exciting zip line adventure after lunch. Afterwards, we will return to the hostel to canoe and relax at a local pond, then have dinner.Le Grand Lodge
May 18Mont Tremblant, Quebec City & USAAfter an early breakfast we had back to Quebec City for our flight back to Denver which departs around 2:30PM. Your own bed, eventually!

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Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe. 

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Hotel Le Concorde

This 3-star hotel is the ideal place for an urban getaway in Quebec City. Its imposing structure offers a beautiful view of the majestic fleuve Saint-Laurent, of Quebec City and of its numerous parks and green spaces. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Le Grand Lodge

This Scandinavian-style lodge located on the shores of Lac Ouimet is only five minutes from the Mont-Tremblant resort. The cozy furnishings and design of the hotel provides a beautiful setting for relaxation. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the hotel to help everyone stay connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Group Flight

DEPARTURE FROM USA

Airline: Air Canada
Flight: AC1036
Date: May 11, 2019
Departs: Denver (DEN) – 8:30 AM
Arrives: Toronto (YYZ) – 1:34 PM

Airline: Air Canada
Flight: AC1796
Date: May 11, 2019
Departs: Toronto (YYZ) – 5:55 PM
Arrives: Quebec (YQB) – 7:31 PM

RETURN TO USA

Airline: Air Canada
Flight: AC1795
Date: May 18, 2019
Departs: Quebec (YQB) – 3:40 PM
Arrives: Toronto (YYZ) – 5:10 PM

Airline: Air Canada
Flight: AC1041
Date: May 18, 2019
Departs: Toronto (YYZ) – 6:55 PM
Arrives: Denver (DEN) – 8:28 PM

Once your flight has been confirmed, the itinerary will appear here.

Walking Tree will secure a seat on the group flight for each participant unless otherwise instructed.

Travelers are responsible for checked baggage fees. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to learn if you should expect to pay anything.

We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the Group Organizer/s before departure, and travelers will need to check in at the airport in order to receive their boarding pass and have documents verified. We recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure, but contact your Group Organizer for specific details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure.

FLIGHT INTERRUPTION, DELAY OR CANCELLATION 
Air travel can be unpredictable.  Regardless of proper planning, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to staffing shortages, weather, mechanical problems, etc.  Please note that in such an event, Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unanticipated costs incurred by travelers en route.  Our programs officially begin and end in the destination country, and because our staff doesn’t fly with the group, Group Organizers (the traveling faculty member/s) become the front-line advocate for the group in the event of a delay. In most cases of cancellations or delays, the airline will be the one who re-books travel or possibly arranges a hotel and food the night.  Our primary role will be to  keep families updated and provide support to the Group Organizer to reach a  quick and effective resolution.

Host Community and Project Details

Host Family Distributions:
Famille Albisetti: Olivia and Madeleine
Famille Pelletier-Poulin: Fabi, Alex, Aron
Famille Edith Caron: Hadley, Cara, Heidi
Famille Kobinger: Abisai and Andrew
Famille Fabiola and Vincent: Violet and Ava

Packing List

Below is a sample packing list that is provided as a guideline. If something is required it will be specified, otherwise feel free to adjust as necessary. We recommend you bring one larger piece of luggage like a backpack, duffle or suitcase alongside a smaller backpack that you can use on the flights and hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

“Less is more” is a packing tip we encourage for all travelers. We suggest bringing only as much as you are able to carry on your own.

Finally, a few days before departure, it’s a good idea to consult a weather forecast for your destination. If you have questions about what to bring or how to bring it, just ask!  

CLOTHES
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • T-shirts, tank tops
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Sweatshirt/sweaters
  • Shorts
  • Jeans/pants
  • Swimsuit
  • Rain jacket
  • Sturdy shoes (appropriate for lots of walking)
  • Sports sandals ie Chacos/Tevas etc. (optional)
  • Flip flops (optional)
  • Hat/s
BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:
  • Sunscreen
  • Face masks
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Band Aids and Neosporin, basic first aid kid
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Medication in properly marked original container
MISCELLANEOUS
  • Sense of adventure!
  • Passport
  • Student ID
  • Sunglasses
  • Journal and pen
  • Simple gift for host family
  • Book/s
  • Camera
  • Power Converter
  • Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $50-$150, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
  • Durable water bottle
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Deck of cards or other portable games
  • French/English Dictionary

Support Team

At a minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every trip. In addition to this full time leadership presence, Walking Tree has additional support staff in all destinations and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

Fabiola Hudicourt
Fabiola Hudicourt
Canada Country Director, Program Leader


University of Montreal – B.S. International Relations
Institute of Development Studies in Switzerland – Masters in Development Studies 

Fabiola grew up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, until she was eighteen. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Montreal, Canada, and a Master’s in Development Studies from the Institute of International Relations and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Fabiola has been traveling since she was five years old but her passion for traveling started when she spent time in Barcelona to study Spanish. She has been travelling ever since on a regular basis and has been to 20+ countries, across Canada and the U.S. She has volunteered for many organizations, including the Canadian Council for International Relations in Montreal, the Canadian Red Cross and Ten Thousand Villages in Vancouver. She has worked as a fair trade development agent in Quebec City and as a project manager for development projects in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She has a passion for languages and speaks fluently French, English, Haitian Creole and conversational Spanish. She is currently learning German, too! A mother of two, she is looking forward to discover the world with her children.

Jesse Grindler
Jesse Grindler
Program Leader


ESNAM Theatre Institute, Charleville-Mézières, France – BA in Theatre/Puppetry

Born in Tokyo Japan and moving to Canada shortly thereafter, Jesse grew up on the rocky coast of British Columbia climbing trees and exploring the coast of that beautiful region. After high school he travelled by land for a year from Canada to Central America and back. He has hitchhiked across the Sahara Desert, walked across Spain, led arts workshops in the remote mountains of Colombia and studied puppetry at one of the top French theatre schools. He learned Spanish on the streets of Mexico and Colombia, and since settling in Montréal, he speaks both French and English in his day-to-day life. He has trained and worked as a theatre artist for the last decade and creates his own shows that perform in festivals and cabarets. He also works as a Nature Mentor in Montreal, teaching and practicing wilderness living skills with youth – he can make a fire with friction and knows some of the tastiest wild plants out there. Jesse sees travel as a way to transform lives and cultures towards a state of connection, integrity and creative possibility.

Luke Mueller
Luke Mueller
Co-Founder of Walking Tree Travel and Business Lead - Denver, CO


Emory University – B.A. Sociology and minor in Latin American History

During college, Luke spent a semester living and traveling in rural Mexico. His experience sparked a fascination with Latin America and a commitment to community service that continues to this day. Upon graduating from college, he joined WorldTeach and lived with a local family in a small village in Costa Rica while teaching elementary English. After this experience, he moved to San José, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, and wrote for The Tico Times newspaper. Luke has since traveled to over 60 countries on five different continents.  Now settled in Denver with his family, he continues to crave massive helpings of rice and beans.

Group Roster

Below is a list of the travelers enrolled on the program.

  • 1 Abisai Olivas
  • 2 Alejandro Miramontes
  • 3 Aron Walker Jr
  • 4 Ava Geisler
  • 5 Cara Babbs
  • 6 Daniel Lopez
  • 7 Erin Carlson - Group Organizer
  • 8 Fabian Frenz
  • 9 George Koclanes
  • 10 Hadley Morris
  • 11 Heidi Schmid
  • 12 Jennifer Wilczewski - Group Organizer
  • 13 Madeleine Worrall
  • 14 Olivia Harris
  • 15 Violet Tetzeli
15 Travelers

Blog and Communication

During travel we will work hard to keep families updated as frequently as possible with blogs and photos, giving you peace of mind that your traveler is safe and thriving on their program.  Students regularly contribute to these posts, giving parents a great way to vicariously track the progress of the trip. You will receive an email notification when the first blog is posted, after which we recommend you check in regularly via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page.

Beyond this proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi so you can also expect to communicate with your traveler directly. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.

 

GLC Curriculum

Walking Tree has developed a curriculum of activities meant to help travelers get the most out of their trip before departure, during travel and after they return home. These simple and engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.

For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Standards of Behavior

In order to run a safe and successful program, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1.  Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs.
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of, or are consuming, or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs.
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety.
  4. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo.
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials.
  3. Threatening physical or emotional harm, or brandishing a weapon.
  4. Possessing, consuming, or distributing tobacco or nicotine, including vape pens.
  5. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle.
  6. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew.
  7. Breaking group rules.

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of your program. Please take the time to review these as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them.

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Canada website to get the most updated information on health and vaccination considerations in your destination country. In addition, we encourage you to consult with your personal family physician so you can be as informed as possible when making important decisions about vaccinations and other necessary health-related preparations before travel.

Our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. Walking Tree will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.

Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.

We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.

Insurance

While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers on program, experience teaches that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we recommend that all travelers consider a travel insurance policy with  two additional provisions: Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) and Bed Rest. Detailed explanations of both provisions can be found on the link below.

To provide families with a quality option, Walking Tree has partnered with Travel Insured International, one of the most respected providers in the industry.  Begin by getting a quote here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: in order to secure coverage with CFAR included, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your deposit/first payment. You must also insure 100% of your trip cost, so program tuition + flight.

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