Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the cut-off age for Youth Conference?

Youth turning age 14 by Sept 30, 2010 and older are eligible to attend Youth Conference.

What is the Registration Deadline for Youth?

The Registration deadline for the Trek is June 7, 2010. See Registration for Youth Page. Any late registrants must contact Phil Broderick here for approval.

What are the dates for the Trek?

The dates of the Trek are Thursday morning, July 8 through the afternoon of Saturday, July 10th.

Why must I use a 5-Gallon Bucket and Lid?

It is optimal to use a 5-Gallon Bucket for many reasons: first and foremost, it is waterproof, just in case it rains; it takes up a uniformly small amount of space on the cart; it keeps you from packing to heavy; it will provide you with a place to sit; it will not roll off the cart easily. Resources here.

If my Ipod/ MP3 player or cell phone acts as my camera, can I bring it?

The answer is no. Any camera that acts as another electronic device such as an MP3 player or phone is NOT permitted on the Trek. Simple, single function cameras are the only ones permitted. Small, pocket size, cheap disposable cameras are preferable because of the risk of damage or loss. No other electronic devices of any kind are to be brought as stated in your Registration Agreement. Any electronics detract from the true Pioneer Trek experience. See Youth Packing List and Policies here.

Are Guests Participants or Observers Allowed?

We expect that the number of Ashburn Stake Youth that are attending will fill up the available slots.  We will entertain guest participant requests on a case by case basis.   Guest observers are highly discouraged for logistical reasons unless they have some direct connection with the Youth Conference staff as all hands must be in pioneer clothing. To email any inquiries to the Stake regarding bringing a guestemail President Simmons here.

Can I request a specific family group or individuals to be in my group?

Requests can be made in the comments section when registering, or by emailing Phil Broderick here if you have already registered. However, there is no guarantee that requests will be met. Please make us aware of any special circumstances where placement might be a priority such as a relative or guest visiting from out of town or inviting a non-LDS visitor in their registration and kids with whom they should be match. Phone calls can be directed to Youth Conference Director, Calvin Andrus 703.444.9169.

Why can't my child bring a cell phone? What if I need to contact him/her?

Electronics may get lost or damaged. In addition, all electronics detract from the full pioneer Trek experience. We are aiming to provide a three day spiritual and testimony building experience for the youth in nature, away from the world, and away from texting and the internet. In this manner the youth can more fully immerse themselves into the spirit of the Pioneer experience. See Youth Packing List and Policies here.

If you need to contact your child while he/she is on the Trek, you may contact the leaders here.

How can I change or update my registration information once I have submitted it?

The only way for registrants to update or change any registration information once they have submitted it is to email Phil Broderick here with the updated information. Registrants cannot personally access the database after submission.

Where will the Trek take place?

The site of the Trek is the Marriott Ranch in Hume, VA, about 1 hour and 15 minutes away from the Ashburn Stake Center. A map & directions are here.

Where is the Drop Off Location?

The Drop Off point on Day 1 of the Pioneer Trek will take place NEAR Marriott Ranch in Hume, VA. A map & directions are here.

Who is providing transportation to the Trek location?

Ward/Branch YM & YW Organizations are responsible for coordinating transportation of their youth to the Trek location at the Marriott Ranch Drop Off location on Day 1 the morning of July 8th and their return trip on July 10th. Please contact your YM & YW leaders for more details. Adult leaders and staff will provide their own transportation if not designated as a driver of the youth. See Ward/Branch YM & YW Information page and the Transportation and Directions to Marriott Ranch page.

Who will handle my child's medications?

The Ma & Pa of each group will hold any generic over-the-counter or prescription medications that do not require any special handling. A nurse or other medical personnel will always be present along the Trek and will hold any other medication that requires special handling. See Youth Packing List and Policies here.

Where do I get a pioneer outfit? I cannot sew. Is it expensive?

A pioneer outfit can be assembled in many ways and rather inexpensively. You can search items at a thrift store (Your clothes will get dirty and sweaty. Therefore many a past trekker has used the thrift store option happily- you would be surprised what can be adapted to work!) Certainly you can borrow from a veteran trekker, or adapt a piece from a wardrobe as well as buy new or sew your own costume, but it is not necessary to sew one yourself nor to spend a lot of money. See the Pioneer Clothing Guidelines page for more detailed ideas and resources.

Does my costume need to be exactly historical?

An attempt to replicate a semblance of a pioneer outfit is more important than historical exactness given your resources. In other words, while a one-piece dress was more typical of the day, a skirt and a blouse are completely permissible on the Trek as well as being the most available option. It helps to stick to similar fabrics that the pioneers used, natural fibers, like cotton or linen. If fabric is printed, choose nothing too modern. Patterns were small or pinstriped. We will not quibble over the cut of the sleeve nor collars, but the idea is to allow the youth to appreciate the pioneer experience, wear similar clothing to feel what the pioneers felt. See the Pioneer Clothing Guidelines page for ideas and resources.

What is the one-page pioneer story my child must prepare?

We are asking each participant to prepare and bring a one-page pioneer story.  They will be called upon during the trek to re-tell this story.  The story can be one of three kinds: 1) if the youth has a pioneer ancestor, the story can be about that pioneer's experiences; 2) if the youth does not have a pioneer ancestor, the story can be about the conversion story of their progenitor who joined the church -- if the youth is a first generation member, then they should tell their own conversion story; and 3) if they are a non-member, the story can be about a progenitor who came to America -- if they are a first generation American, then they should tell their own immigration story.  The story should be typed onto an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper, folded in half, placed into a quart-sized zip-lock bag, and put into their equipment bucket. See One-Page Pioneer Story here and Youth Packing List and Policies here.

What is visqueen and where do I get it?

Visqueen is a particular type of plastic that is good for use as a groundcloth.  For our purposes, a plain old regular camping ground cloth is good enough. Plastic sheeting from your local hardware store (about 4 ML thickness) or a vinyl shower curtain will also work. See the 5-Gallon Bucket Resources & Visqueen Resources page here.

Where can I buy a 5-gallon bucket & lid?

Many local hardware and tractor supply stores carry the, Remember, you must have a lid. They are often sold separately. See the 5-Gallon Bucket Resources & Visqueen Resources page here.

Can I wear sunglasses on the Trek?

Sunglasses are discouraged on the Trek because of lack of period authenticity. Pioneers wore brimmed hats and bonnets to keep the sun out of their eyes. Prescription sunglasses are permitted.

Why can't I wear my contacts on the Trek?

We cannot guarantee sterile enough water nor the proper conditions for washing out eyes and maintaining contact lenses on the Trek which therefore increases the risk of eye infection. Therefore, we recommend using eyeglasses for the Trek. See Youth Packing List and Policies here.

How can I use Trek preparation for Personal Progress or Duty to God?

Many ideas from sewing your own Pioneer costume or coordinating a group trip to the thrift store to find pioneer clothing, from helping to pre-wash handcarts to coordinating a group purchase of 5 gallon buckets with lids for your ward, from coordinating a group sew-off of clothing items like bonnets & bloomers to researching pioneer heritage, the list of possibilities is endless and is not limited to the suggestions listed here. These and other ideas are listed on the Personal Progress/Duty to God/Eagle Project Ideas page here.