2023 Teacher Seminar FAQ

Orientation and Seminar Materials

Orientation

Orientation and welcome will be at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. in the MacArthur Building on Sunday. There will be a short overview of the campus and Medal of Honor grove. All participants are required to attend orientation.

Program Syllabus

A syllabus will be posted on a Google drive and will be continuously updated as the program evolves. You will receive a link to the Google drive once your registration is complete.

Required Reading

Required reading for the program will be posted on the Google drive for your program. You will receive a link to the Google drive once your registration is complete.

Program Materials

Participants are responsible for purchasing the required books and readings for the program unless otherwise stated. It is very easy to accumulate large quantities of material as the week progresses. If you do not want to pack this material in your luggage, USPS Priority Shipping boxes are available in the Education Office. Participants are responsible for all shipping fees. Additional details on items to bring with you to the seminar are listed below.

Conduct

Conduct Code

We ask all participants to follow our conduct code:

  • Participate in all aspects of the program.
  • Be on time for all lectures.
  • Show respect to fellow participants, speakers and staff.
  • Leave the campus, classrooms, dormitory rooms and dining hall as you found them.
  • Follow all instructions as communicated by the program director and staff.
  • NO smoking in the dormitories, classrooms, dining room, or in any of the Freedoms Foundation offices.
  • Use alcohol responsibly.
  • Illegal drugs are not permitted.

If, after reading the above, you have any questions please email the Education Department at grad@ffvf.org

Program Etiquette

Please plan to fully participate in this program and stay with the group at all times. If you would like to see additional sites in the area, please make arrangements to fly in prior to or stay after the program ends. Please be mindful of other participants but most of all have fun while learning. Please see the Conduct Code (above) for further details.

Bus Etiquette

During the time you will be off campus, you will be traveling with a large number of teachers on a small motor coach. Please keep in mind the comfort of other passengers on this motor coach. Please do not wear any heavy perfume or aftershave.  Alcohol, tobacco and drugs are prohibited at all times while on the motor coach.  Trash cans are available in the front and rear of the motor coach. Please clean up any accidental spills or trash.

Transportation to Freedoms Foundation

Airport Arrival and Departure Information

All flight reservations should be made to fly in and out of Philadelphia International Airport (Airport code PHL). Please see the Flight Arrival and Departure info below for specifics on how and when to book your airline reservation.

Arrival/Departure City: Philadelphia International Airport (Airport code PHL)

Flight Insurance: As in all instances where travel by airline or train is taking place, it is recommended that you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances.

Arriving Flights: Flight reservations to the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) should be booked to arrive between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the arriving Sunday, if you want to take advantage of the complimentary shuttle service to our Valley Forge campus. (See below for instructions on where to find the shuttle.)

About one week prior to the start of the program we will post the name and cell number of the staff person who will be greeting you at PHL. If your flight is delayed, please text or call the staff person and let him/her know what is happening with your flight. It is your responsibility to let the staff person know what is going on with any delayed or cancelled flights – the airlines will not give us any personal information. The Education Office cell phone is 610-960-3357.  This number is only for the Sunday travel day and is not answered on a daily basis.

Departing Flights: The motor coach will drop off participants at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) at approximately 12:30 p.m. on the last day of the program. Due to heightened security measures at PHL, you should allow at least two hours to get through security before your flight departs.

If your flight departs prior to 2:30 p.m., it is your responsibility to make your own arrangements to get from the campus to the airport. Freedoms Foundation is not responsible if you miss your flight because you did not leave enough time to get through security. American Airlines, the largest carrier at PHL, spans four different terminals, and security lines can get lengthy.

AMTRAK: No transportation is provided to or from AMTRAK’S Philadelphia 30th Street Station. For those arriving on AMTRAK, please take SEPTA’s regional rail line to the airport. Get off at American Airlines Terminal B, go down the staircase, cross the taxi/bus zone into the baggage claim area and follow the instructions listed in the Shuttle to Campus section of this information to find the shuttle to the campus. You can also take Septa Regional Rail to the Paoli Train Station and get an UBER/taxi to the campus (approximately six miles).

Shuttle to Campus: Complimentary transportation from the Philadelphia Airport to the campus is available for those who make reservations in advance with the Education Office at Freedoms Foundation. If you do not make a reservation with the Education Office in advance, please find your own transportation to campus.

To find our staff person at PHL please claim your baggage, walk to the American Airlines baggage claim area in terminals B/C. Our staff person will be greeting teachers between luggage carousal “F” and “G” near the hotdog stand.

The first shuttle to the campus will depart PHL at approximately 2:15 p.m. This will be followed by a second shuttle at approximately 5:15 p.m. All times are estimated and will be determined by the flight schedule of those who make reservations.

We cannot guarantee complimentary transportation for flights landing after 5:00 p.m.  If your flight is running late, it is your responsibility to contact the staff person.

If you arrive at PHL early and want something to eat, you should stay in the secured area for a better food selection. After leaving the secured area, the only food available is from the hotdog stand and vending machines.

Philadelphia Airport Meet and Greet Staff Person: Name and number of this contact will be sent closer to the program start date.

Education office cell number: 610-960-3357 (This phone is only answered on Sunday, the first day of the program.)

Transportation to Campus

Complimentary shuttle service is provided from PHL to the Valley Forge campus if you arrive and depart within the specified time frame listed in the Flight Arrival and Departure information. Please see the Flight Arrival and Departure above for specifics on where to meet our staff person at PHL.

Driving to Campus

For those driving to campus, please note that GPS does not work in the village of Valley Forge. To get a more accurate reading on GPS, please use the following address:

GPS ONLY

1601 Valley Forge Road

Phoenixville, PA 19460

Please DO NOT mail anything to the above address as it will not be delivered.

Our mailing address is:

Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge

Attn: Grad Office

P.O. Box 67

Valley Forge, PA 19481

On Google maps or other GPS systems (such as Waze), you can find us by entering Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Drivers ONLY: For those driving the east/west Pennsylvania Turnpike, please make note that GPS will tell you to exit at the Phoenixville/Malvern exit – this is an EZPass exit only. If you do not have EZPass and take this exit, you will see camera flashes when you exit taking pictures of your license plate. After exiting, you will be mailed an invoice for the entire length of the turnpike. For those without EZPass, please use the Valley Forge Exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. We are located on Route 23/Gulph Road, approximately six miles west of the Valley Forge exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Please note that Route 23/Gulph Road becomes Valley Forge Road when entering Valley Forge National Park.

Commuters

All commuters are required to attend the Sunday evening program orientation. Lunch is included on the days the group in on campus. You are welcome to join the group for breakfast and dinner each day. The program director will announce if evening programs are mandatory.

Travel Stipends

If your scholarship came with a travel stipend, all stipend checks are given to teachers at the conclusion of the program. Only those who complete the entire week-long program are eligible for the travel stipend.

Campus and Accommodations

Campus

Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge is located in the village of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, adjacent to the western edge of Valley Forge National Historic Park. Even though suburbia surrounds the village, Valley Forge is considered a rural area. There are no sidewalks along the roads and no convenience stores or restaurants within walking distance. If you would like to explore the surrounding area during your free time, there are taxi services, Uber services, and car rental companies within a five-mile distance of the campus.

The program will take place between six buildings situated on approximately 14 of the 75-acre campus. If you need help getting between the buildings, please note it on your registration form.

Meals

While on campus, your meals are included throughout the program. All meals are prepared by Valley Forge Catering, our in-house kitchen staff. If you have a true food allergy, please note it on your registration form. You will meet the chef at orientation.

The staff will take exceptional care of you during your stay, and you will not go hungry.

Accommodations

Housing will be in one of three dormitory buildings on the Freedoms Foundation campus. Rooms are typical dorm rooms with a bed, desk, chair and lamp with cell phone charging station. All linens and towels are provided. Every building has at least two stories but does not have an elevator. Buildings have central A/C. If you need a first-floor room, please note it on your registration form.

We will try our best to give each participant a single room with private bath. This depends on the number of participants.

Walking and Mobility

While we do not have a gym or fitness facilities on campus, there are three-plus miles of paved trails through the 42-acre Medal of Honor Grove for walking or running. There is a moderate amount of walking for participants on our campus and at historic sites.

What to Bring and How to Prepare

Dress Code and Packing

Dress is casual for all sessions. Shorts and t-shirts are permitted provided they are not torn or ragged. A good pair of walking shoes and an umbrella or rain gear are suggested.  A sweater or light jacket may be needed in the classroom, which is kept cool.

Dress or business casual attire is strongly encouraged for Thursday night’s celebration dinner banquet.

Please remember to bring your cell phone, tablet or laptop, and chargers. An extension cord for your laptop is a good idea.

Bug repellent and sunscreen are also recommended.

You will be handling your own luggage. Please pack your bag so you are able to transfer it from one location to another.

Program Materials

It is your responsibility to purchase the required reading books for the program unless otherwise stated. It is very easy to accumulate large quantities of material as the week progresses. If you do not wish to pack this material in your luggage for your trip home, USPS Priority Shipping boxes are available in the Education Office. Participants are responsible for all shipping fees.

Laptops and Tablets

Having a laptop or tablet is not required for the class though it is highly recommended.  If you choose to bring one, please consider bringing an extension cord and charger.

We also offer free Wi-Fi for seminar attendees.

General

Recording Lectures

Lectures may be recorded with permission from the speaker.  Please follow any restrictions speakers give for recording or picture taking during their lectures. If visiting an off-site venue, participants will need to follow the rules set forth by the venue.

How much is physical activity involved?

There is a moderate amount of walking on our campus and at historic sites.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the information listed above, please email grad@ffvf.org.

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