Dear WHC Families
Closed Practices: This week (September 21 to 24) and next week (September 28th – 30th) will be closed practices. Parents are not permitted to stay and watch practices for these dates. The exceptions are for the Sunday teams (Innovation, Wonder & Prodigy). Team Moms are expected to stay in the kitchen and in the office, and parents who are making payments are asked to do so at the beginning or end of practice if possible. We thank you for your cooperation.
Theme for September (Week of 21 – 27): Bright & Sparkly: Come dressed with your brightest (NEON) and most sparkly (GLITTER) outfit!! Note, please come dressed for the theme at your LAST practice of the week (you don’t have to get dressed up for both practices during that week).
- Tuesday- Precision, Brilliance
- Wednesday- Adore, Ambition, Charm
- Thursday- Passion, Charisma, Unity, Love, Devotion
- Sunday- Wonder, Innovation, Prodigy
Parent Team: For those of you who came out to try the parent team, awesome job! Next practice is Sunday at 1 pm. Come on out and give it a try!
Uniform Swap Day: Reminder that we are having a Uniform Swap Day on September 27, 2015 from 5-6:30 pm. This is your opportunity to purchase a second hand uniform from someone who no longer is cheering with WHC, or has outgrown their uniform from last year. It is first come first serve. If you have a uniform to sell/swap, please contact Caren@westhalifaxcheer.com or if you need one, please come this night to get one. If you have questions about what is available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unable to get a used uniform, you may need to purchase a new one (see below).
Uniform Sizing Day (new uniforms): Total Spirit Cheerleading will be visiting our gym on Thursday, October 1, 2015 from 7 – 10 pm to size all the athletes who require the purchase of a NEW uniform.Note that this time is 30 minutes earlier since last week’s email. This includes our tiny and mini cheerleaders (Wonder, Innovation & Prodigy). Older athletes please try to come past 7:30, so that the 7-7:30 time slot can be used by the younger kids. Please be sure to wear a sports bra/tank top and spandex shorts, as there are many children being sized, and there are only two bathrooms to get changed in. It goes much smoother if you are dressed in a way that you can quickly slip on a uniform top or bottom. If you are sized for a new uniform, you will then receive an invoice for the amount owed. If you are unable to attend the uniform sizing night, your team mom will contact you and will help you figure out a size based on the sizing chart, and other similar sized athlete’s uniforms.
Choreography Dates: The choreography dates are posted on our website, here: https://westhalifaxcheer.com/whc-practice-schedule/choreography-dates/
This weekend is:
- Prodigy: Saturday, September 26 from 12 pm – 2 pm
- Passion: Saturday, September 26 from 2 pm – 5 pm
- Precision: Saturday, September 26 from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
- Ambition: Sunday, September 27, 2015 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
- Prodigy: Sunday, September 27, 2015 4 pm – 6:30 pm
- Charisma: Sunday, September 27 from 6 pm -9:30 pm
Statements: Statements have been sent out last week. As mentioned, if you have any questions, please email me. I can return your calls, but it takes me longer to get back to phone calls than emails. Also: I’m in the gym every Sunday from (minimum) 2 pm – 5 pm, so you can always drop in to see me J
Senior Trip 2016: Last night we had our first Senior Trip Planning committee. Thank you to all those who attended! We have some work to do over the next week, but we did make a couple of important decisions. Although this section is long, I encourage you to read it. At the end, there is a link survey that we would like completed. Please complete it by mid-week (Wednesday).
One Trip: We decided as a group that although it’s amazing that Devotion won a special award at Cheer Expo last year to attend “The One” cheer competition this year, it was not a good idea to have this senior team go on their own trip, and the other teams go on a different trip. The reasons for this are:
- Only Devotion & Charisma won bids last year at Expo. Therefore, Love & Ambition would not be able to attend “The One” competition without winning a bid at Expo this year. Expo is April 1, 2016 and the trip departure date would be anywhere from April 6 – April 13, 2016. . This would be too much of a risk to fundraise/pay for a trip that they would have to win a bid for at Expo. If they don’t win a bid, then they cannot compete. This would clearly not be an ideal situation.
- The dates for “The One” competition are the week before provincials (which we are hosting), therefore making travel directly beforehand very challenging. There are 3 “The One” competitions – Chicago, New Orleans, and Florida. The competitions in New Orleans/Florida were the same weekend (April 30 – May 1); the week before provincials. And Chicago was not a first choice destination if we were travelling to the USA.
- There are several crossovers from Ambition to Devotion. Crossovers would either have to go on two trips, or would have to decide which team they could travel with. Neither is ideal.
- Even though Devotion’s prize would save some money in that they would not have to pay for registration fees and some hotel costs, we suspect that any money they would save would be countered by not travelling with the larger group and benefitting from economies of scale.
- We thought it would be better for all the senior athletes to travel together. It makes the experience that much more fun to go with the full senior teams instead of two separate trips. And as we continuously enforce – the trips we take are about experience. We have no expectations of winning, although it’d be nice.J
Now that we have decided to go as one group, we need to figure out where to go!! The travel committee will be pricing out several options and getting back together next week to compare. The three destinations heavily considered are:
- Niagara Falls, Ontario
At first it may seem that the Canadian destination is the cheapest, however, we will see when the numbers come out next week. I know that several other cheer clubs have traveled to Niagara Falls for Cheer Evolution Nationals from here, and Niagara Falls is not a “cheap” tourist area, and the hotels/flights are about the same (if not more) than the US destinations, and we would still need to charter buses after landing in the location.
There has been some discussion of the low Canadian Dollar. The rate of exchange when we went to Springfield, Massachusetts last year was .79. Today, it’s .75 (so not much difference in comparison). However, compared to when we went to Florida in 2014, it was .90. So yes, it is definitely something to consider. We will factor that in when doing the price comparisons to see what the difference in costs are. Also, Niagara Falls wouldn’t have the tourist attractions like the US at that time of year (not sure if Canada’s Wonderland is open at that time), but we will check into it.
Our reasoning for California includes the fact that many of our existing seniors experienced Florida in 2014, and we thought we’d try something different, but also fun/warm. The transportation costs seem lower than Florida (or similar) but the accommodations seem a bit higher. We will price compare. Also, California is somewhere exciting and different, and there are a lot of “Cheerlebrity” teams there that might compete with/against us (California All-Stars, Top Gun, Smoed, etc. Ask your kids if you don’t know who they are haha!).
Our goal is to try to keep the costs for each athlete for the trip to be less than $1500, but we will know more after we get quotes from providers.
For those of you who HAVEN’T travelled with WHC, once we decide on a destination and a plan, we will have another meeting to provide you with the information package. We typically operate on these principles:
- WHC will provide a group booking option for flights. You can choose to use our group rate/booking or decide to book on your own. This decision is up to you. Some people use Air Miles, etc. Some people choose to drive. For all three options – we will be planning to fly (not renting a bus as the destination is too far). However, again, you can choose to book with WHC’s group transportation, or travel on your own. So long as you arrive for the mandatory events.
- WHC will book a group hotel. We require that you at least stay at the hotel for the Friday & Saturday night of the competition. If before/after that you wish to stay elsewhere, we are fine with that.
- WHC will book a banquet at the hotel on the Saturday night of the competition. This will allow everyone to meet and eat and dance. This has proved to be very successful in both Florida & Springfield, as it’s near impossible (as well as more costly) to book out a restaurant. This way, you don’t have to leave the hotel. Family, siblings, etc are welcome to attend the banquet. Costs will be provided in the information package.
- WHC will book one activity (usually the Monday after the competition) that we strongly encourage everyone to attend. In Florida – it was a day at Wet n Wild. In Springfield, it was at Six Flags. While this is not mandatory, it’s definitely a lot of fun especially after the competition is all done! Outside of the core WHC-required events, athletes/families are free to do whatever they like (shopping, etc). We want the trip to be a mix of family/team time. We realize it is an expensive investment, and want to make the trip about cheerleading, but also respecting how you choose to spend your money. In Florida – some chose to do Disney, Universal, beach, cruise – whatever they wanted!
- If we require ground transportation while on location (i.e. bus rental), it will, again, be optional. Some people decide to rent cars or use public transportation. This will be up to you.
- The Friday night before the competition, we will either try to book a practice at the competition venue, or visit a local cheer gym to practice/hang out. It’s proven to be a great experience for the athletes in the past.
- If you are choosing to send your child as an unaccompanied minor, WHC can find another family or a chaperone for her to stay with. This may result in an extra cost, but we have done that in the past. Generally, most children seem to travel with their families, so we plan the trips to cater to the majority, we can definitely accommodate those who wish to travel without their families.
We’ve done trips several different ways in the past, and this has worked best. We will have a meeting and a detailed information package to share once the dates and destinations are known. We are aiming for mid-April.
Senior Athletes/Parents: Please complete this survey no later than Wednesday, September 23, 2015: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Z6XVF7M
If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.