issue 1 / march 2019
Hello Junior Civitans!
I'm Chessie Chesapeake, the official mascot of both the Chesapeake Junior Civitans and Chesapeake Civitans.
I've been around for over three years now. My first Junior Civitan Convention was in Atlanta in 2016. Since then I've attended Junior Conventions in Birmingham and Tupelo. I've also helped host the adult Civitan's 2016 International Convention in Norfolk, VA.
Where and What is Chesapeake
The Chesapeake District of Civitan International includes Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Deleware, New Jersey and part of West Virginia. (Cardinal District covers the the Western and Central parts of West Virginia)
See that tiny little circle? That is Washington, DC. (might be difficult to see if you are viewing on your phone)
Our Convention hotel, the Hyatt Regency Dulles, is located in Northern Virginia just 37 miles west of Washington, DC.
The Greater Washington DC Area refers to Northern Virginia and parts of Maryland closest to DC. Essentially all the areas accessible by our public Metro (subway) system.
Why are we called Chesapeake? Well, I wasn't around when they named the Districts, but I'm sure it has something to do with the Chesapeake Bay and the fact that over 150 rivers and streams from PA, WV, VA, DC and MD flow into the Chesapeake Bay which borders both Maryland and Virginia.
We can get this next fact out of the way and then move on to the fun stuff. I'm sure you are asking why Chesapeake has a Crab for a mascot.
Besides my charming personality, the Chesapeake Bay is known for having the best Blue Crabs in the Atlantic.
So, now you've noticed I'm not blue. Well, I prefer to not talk about such unpleasantness, but let's just say, when a blue crab is cooked, it turns orange/red.
While you are in Chesapeake, I hope you get a chance to eat some crab. (Maryland Crabs and crab cakes are the best) No, you won't hurt my feelings or offend me; I understand the the food chain and all that circle of life nonsense. Just don't do it in front of me, please and thanks!
There are three (3) major airports that serve the Greater Washington DC Metro area:
Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Regan National Airport (DCA)
Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
Dulles (IAD) is going to be the closest airport to our host hotel, Hyatt Regency Dulles. (less than 5 miles away)
We suggest you fly in/out of IAD. The hotel has a complimentary airport shuttle for you to use and yes, Southwest does fly into IAD
BWI might give you cheaper airfares, but is over 60 miles away. With traffic in this area it could take over an hour and a half to two hours to get to the hotel.
If you choose to fly in/out of DCA, we recommend taking the Metro (subway) for your transportation. There is a convenient Metro station at the airport. We could have someone transport you from Metro to the hotel, just a short 15 minutes away.
Speaking of airfares, did you know you could get discounted airfare if you have 10 or more people all traveling together from the same airport on the same flight? Feel free to contact my District Chair, Carmen Gorby at ChesapeakeJrCivitan@gmail.com if you want more info about how to arrange group airfares.
There is so much to do and see in the Washington DC Metro area.
Our membership specialist, Emily Kicker, is working hard to make sure you all have lots of free time to explore; however, I assure you, it isn't going to be enough time to adequately experience all the sights our area has to offer.
I highly recommend you try to come in a day or two early (Tuesday or Wednesday) or stay a day or two late (Sunday, Monday) You will want to take advantage of exploring DC and Northern Virginia and possibly Maryland/Baltimore or Annapolis.
Emily has arranged for guest rooms to be available a few days before and after our convention and has negotiated a special rate for us. These options are included in your official Conference Registration info. DO NOT CALL THE HOTEL to book your rooms, work directly with Emily ONLY!
Btw, this is a picture of the Hyatt Regency Dulles, our host hotel. In the lower right corner is the Conference Center portion of the hotel where all our meetings will be held.
International Director and Chesapeake Junior Governor, Victoria Davis, and I spent the day together a couple of months ago to help you navigate DC.
The reason I am looking a little forlorn is to let you know that there are so many things to do and if you don't plan in advance, you will miss out on some really cool experiences.
Over the next couple of months, I'll be showing you lots of Things To Do and See, however, I want to start out by letting you know about some of the the places you need to have advance tickets to visit.
Tour the White House
For many visitors, just viewing the People’s House from the street and snapping a few photos is more than enough. But if your heart’s set on a tour, you’ll be disappointed if you just show up and expect to get in.
You need to submit a request to a member of congress—not less than 21 days in advance of your proposed tour date. If you’re a citizen of another country, you need to work with your embassy to get your request approved.
Use this website for info on tours and contacting a member of congress.
Tour the US Capitol
All visitors can tour the historic areas of the Capitol on a guided tour.
All tours, programs and activities are free of charge.
Advance reservations are recommended, but not required.
Individuals, families and small groups (of 15 and fewer people) can create an account and reserve a tour date and time. Reservations are available 90 days in advance.
U.S. residents may also contact the offices of their representative or senators. Many congressional offices offer their own staff-led tours to constituent groups of up to 15 people, and most can assist you in reserving a tour of the Capitol. Visit this website for all the details to book your tour.
We thought our Canadian friends might enjoy some info about the Canadian Embassy in DC. It is located at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. (very close to the US Capitol)
The Candadian Embassy has an art gallery that is open to the public from 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday.
Here's the website for info on the Canadian Embassy.
Did you know that that nearly all countries have an embassy in DC? We refer to is as Embassy Row.
Most embassies do not allow tours, however with advance planning, you might be able to arrange one. Visit this website if this interests you.
No trip to DC is complete without going to the top of the Washington Monument; however, it has been undergoing some renovations and is currently closed. It is suppose to reopen sometime this spring.
Keep checking their website for reopening updates. You will need tickets in advance if you want to go inside and get a 360 view from the top of the monument.
The area in the foreground is the WWII Memorial and the Reflecting pool.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Located next to the Washington Monument, on the National Mall, one of the Smithsonian's newest museums you won't want to miss.
As with all Smithsonian Museums, entrance and tours are free, however you must have a Timed-Entry Pass for this museum. Visit their website to get your pass. https://nmaahc.si.edu/
J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building and Tours
The FBI Experience is a self-guided tour at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Open to the public, the tour features interactive multimedia exhibits, content, and artifacts—including a number of items from notable cases on display for the very first time
Visits to The FBI Experience must be scheduled no later than four weeks in advance of your desired visit date
- Contact your congressional representative’s office and ask to schedule a tour of The FBI Experience.
- School groups and other organizational groups (e.g., scout troops and veterans’ organizations) with 12 or more people may submit an FBI Experience Group Visit Request Form online.
Visit the FBI Website for more info:
Check out a baseball game
The Washington Nationals MLB team have home games from June 13th through Sunday, June 23rd.
Reasonably priced tickets are still available on their website (remember Convention is Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so DO NOT get tickets for those nights.)
Concerned about how to get there and back, use Metro!
In my next issue:
I will cover more (free) things to do and see in DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland, as well as how to get around. I'll even share traveling tips for my fellow District Mascots.
In the meantime, visit DC's Visitors Bureau website for more info.
If you have questions or suggestions about the Greater Washington DC area you'd like me to address in our next issue, send an email to:
ChesapeakeJrCivitan@gmail.com or Emily@civitan.org
Image by Bilal EL-Daou from Pixabay; Image by MotionStudios from Pixabay; Gryffindor [Public domain] / wikimedia; Image by skeeze from Pixabay; FEDagent; mapchart; Image by David Mark from Pixabay