Train Trip To Los Angeles!

Santa Fe DepotTHE TRIP IS FULL. Thank you to all who have expressed an interest!

Are your girls excited about travel? Are you looking for the “next step” for them or an inexpensive “practice trip” before you take a domestic trip to San Francisco, Boston or Washington DC? This is the ADVENTURE for you!! Deadline to register is October 5th.  Limited to 50 travelers.

THE DATE: Saturday November 4th, 2017

THE COST: only $35 per person. Please send the Train Trip Registration Form  ASAP with your payment for the train and insurance.

THE GOAL: The goal of this trip is to give your girls some experience planning a trip, budgeting and taking public transportation together. Try to spend a few meetings figuring out what you’d like to do, where you’d like to eat and how to get there and back from Los Angeles Union Station at 800 North Alameda Street in the given time, using public transportation. Have each girl help plan part of the trip so everyone gets to lead at some point. You’ll get great experience that will help you as you plan other troop travel. You can go on this trip at any time but you’ll save a lot of money by going with the group!

Here are some photos from past trips!

THE PLAN: We will meet at the Downtown San Diego Santa Fe Train Depot at 6:30 am on Saturday Nov 4 check in with Deb Lechner.  In the morning we leave from Santa Fe Depot at 6:57am on  the 565 Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and arrive in Oceanside at 7:55am, then catch the Metroliner 661 leaving Oceanside at 8:15 am arriving in Union Station at 10:30am.

Coming home we will gather at the Downtown Los Angeles Union Station at 4:20 pm to check in with Deb Lechner Returning we catch the Metrolink train #666 from Union Station at 4:40 arriving in Oceanside at 6:55pm. Then catch the Amtrak train # 584 leaving Oceanside at 7:04pm arriving at Santa Fe Depot at 8:18 pm. You’ll have five and a half hours in LA to explore!

Los-Angeles-Trip-63-300x200THE PROGRAM: There are so many fun things you can do in LA!  Program options might include – Journeys, college or career emphasis or just go for the fun of exploring…there are lots of great possibilities! You will plan your itinerary for the day by troop, we will only be traveling together as a group on the train. Some ideas might be:

1) Explore historic Olvera Street with its Mexican imports and delicious food. The Day of the Dead Celebration is November 4th this year so try to go by and see the dancing and music and altars to the dead.  Free tours given by docents at 11am and noon by request.

2) Lots of girls enjoy exploring the Fashion District in LA, a 90 block area that caters to wholesale buyers but is open for retail on Saturdays. Learn about careers in fashion at FIDM  (Fashion Institute Design and Merchandising)  Then spend a few hours at the Fashion District hunting down bargains! High School girls might like to shop in the prom dress section of the district for a winter formal dress.  Santee Alley offers cheap nailpolish, sunglasses, t-shirts and cell phone covers! Check out the map of the district and info about shopping there.

3) It’s Your World – Change it! (Science and Technology: visit the world famous La Brea Tar Pits or see the Space Shuttle Endeavor at the California Science Center or see a fascinating new dinosaur hall at the LA Natural History Museum.)

4) It’s Your Planet – Love it! (Practical Life Skills: Sow What Journey – Learn about Urban Gardens at the Natural History Museum. Find some neighborhood gardens in the city to visit. Visit a Farmer’s Market like the Grand Central Market. ) Talk to a chef about where she gets food for the restaurant.

5) It’s Your Story – Tell it! (Adventure: explore Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Little ItalyLos Angeles Trip 52 and Olvera Street try some exotic foods and experience other cultures. The Japanese American National Museum, offers cooking classes, or a tour with a docent who can share a WWII incarceration experience, learn origami in a crafts class. The Italian American Museum offers an interesting perspective about the wineries and farms that were in Southern California and the people of Italian heritage who helped to develop the area. Admission is free and it’s open from 10-3pm on Saturdays. It’s located between Olvera Street and Chinatown.)

6) College Exploration (seniors or ambassadors- visit one of the colleges in the LA area, get a tour, eat lunch on campus, meet a Girl Scout who attends: USC or CSULA. Find out about the application process.)

7) Chef Career or Cooking Badge (take a cooking class in Los Angeles..try East LA HipCooks or a sushi class at the Japanese American National Museum, visit a big Farmer’s Market..The Grand Central Market in LA is fabulous, visit a Chinese market in Chinatown, try Dim Sum or Korean Barbecue!)

8)  Movie Career (interested in working in Hollywood? Learn about careers at USC or FIDM, Visit a production studio, TV studio or game show, arrange to meet a woman director or producer. Go to a show…if the timing works out)

9) Visit the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Disney Concert Hall. Free tours at 12 and 1:15 p.m. The tour includes architectural highlights and a historical overview of The Music Center. It takes visitors into all four venues, including the Ahmanson Theatre, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper Forum and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, as available.

10) Art Career (arrange to meet one or more artists at the Brewery Art Colony or take a tour and meet a bunch of artists. Maybe one would let you try to create something.)

11) Rose Parade Float (learn about the history of the parade, talk to one of the groups that make them about the plans for the Rose Parade Float, learn how the floats are constructed and come back to volunteer to help in December!)

12) Photo Bug (explore downtown LA through the lens of your camera. See the Fashion District, Chinatown, the big buildings and freeways in a new way. Frame your favorites and have an exhibit when you get back to San Diego. Sell your prints to your family and friends and make some money for your troop! (do a money earning project proposal) Maybe arrange to meet with a professional photographer or visit a gallery or museum in LA

13) Take public transportation to the American Girl Place at the Grove Shopping Center, 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036. There are arts, crafts and reading programs on Saturdays, see if you can get to one.  Have a special lunch or tea together. Walk to the Pan Pacific Park to read aloud from one of the books and do a photo shoot together before you take the train back home. Maybe you’ll want to sew something special for your doll to wear on this trip! (CBS Studios are nearby and they have free tickets to the Price is Right during the week if you make this trip on your own.)

14) Other Ideas?? (you figure out what you’d like to do! Research it, map it, plan it and DO IT!) Here’s an interesting article from the NY Times called 36 Hours in Los Angeles

(Email if you’d like to visit FIDM, USC or CSULA or a museum with one of the other troops who are going to get a group tour or rate!)

THE COST DETAILS: The cost for the round trip Train trip and Girl Scout insurance is $35 per person, due at my house by October 5th in time for me to pay Amtrak. You can send me a troop check, made out to “Debbie Lechner” (my address is 1133 Del Rio Court, Chula Vista, CA 91910) please include this  Train-Trip-Registration-Form 2016  We need to have at least 20 people signed up to get the group rate.  I need a list of participants with your payment, you’ll include those on the registration form.

You may have other costs to put in your budget:

Parking – at the Train Station or car pool and drop off for free!

Bus/Subway – Our Metrolink tickets allow us to ride public transportation all day in LA, just not on the express busses. ( )

Admission – to museum, program or event. Or plan to explore on your own for free.

Los-Angeles-Trip-47-300x200Food – Chinatown, Olvera Street food vendors are inexpensive options near Union Station. Research on Urban Spoon or Yelp. Or bring a brown bag lunch. You may want to eat breakfast bagels or yogurt while we wait for the train in the morning and have dinner before we get on the train in the afternoon. You may purchase food in the dining car on the train but it’s expensive!

Amtrak says “There is food available to purchase on the train. You are welcome to pack a snack and water bottle for the train trip or a brown bag lunch to eat in LA but please don’t bring coolers or plan to eat meals-to-go on the train.”

THE PAPERWORK: Please fill out and email the
Train Trip Registration Form  ASAP with your payment for the train and insurance. List of Participants one to me (on registration form) one to your in-town contact with emergency contact info (by day of travel)

Permission Slip to parents and activity consultant  (1 month before)

Activity Approval (because you’re going outside our council) to your activity consultant (1 month before)

sample itinerary where are you going how will you get there? (one to me one to our activity consultant and your in-town contact, by day of travel)

Girl Health History and Adult Health History (you’ll keep those, collect anytime)

Permission to Give Medications (you’ll keep those, collect anytime)

TRAINING  You should have a minimum of two level trained, registered adults with your troop, one should have first aid/cpr training and have a small first aid kit.

You don’t need to have Troop Tripping for this trip but it’s recommended as you start to travel with your girls! Please review the Let’s Go resource and planning guide in any case.

SAFETY:  Safety Management – All girls should have a card with adult contact name, troop #, cell number for emergency. Talk through the Safety Management Plan. Where is the nearest hospital? What would you do in an emergency? What if there’s an earthquake? What if someone gets separated from the group? What if someone feels sick? What are other problems you might encounter and how can you be prepared for them?

Basic Field Trip Safety – Use the buddy system. Pick a meeting point in case you get separated. Plan what to wear & what to take in your purse or daypack. (snack, water, sunscreen, walking shoes, map, matching shirts for the day?, uniforms? etc)

Good girl scout travel behavior & manners – Stay together, no running or being loud on the train,  decide on rules for personal electronic equipment,  leave a place cleaner than you found it,  say “thank you”, be sensitive to others’ needs, habits and customs, practice the girl scout law you’re representing Girl Scouts!

Money Safety – You can’t ask that parents send a certain amount but you may set a limit so girls aren’t carrying large amounts of cash. Discuss limit with parents and girls. Talk about not flashing around your money in public. Use a safety pin to close backpack zippers. Talk about how to hold your purse when you’re in a crowd.


Just to give you an idea of where some of these things are on a map…


 QUESTIONS?  contact Debbie Lechner or call 869-9734