By Janet Birchfield
Special Trips Coordinator
While Riderwood offers numerous opportunities for residents to learn, grow, and engage in life around campus, Special Trips provides you with opportunities to get off campus to enjoy experiences outside of Riderwood. Each monthly schedule of trips offers a variety of outings to see plays, museums, historic venues, musical performances, restaurants, and more. Even if you still drive, there are benefits to going on a Special Trip. One obvious one is the hassle-free, door-to-door transportation. You don’t have to deal with the stress of driving on the often congested roads in the greater Washington, DC area , or have to find convenient, sometimes expensive parking. Leave that in the hands of our patient, capable drivers, and sit back to engage in conversation with your seat mate, enjoy the passing scenery or take a quick nap. You also benefit through lower group rate ticket prices for the majority of ticketed events. Often a special group tour is scheduled on gallery trips to deepen your appreciation for a featured exhibit.
The Special Trips calendar comes out on the third Friday of each month. Copies can be picked up at any community building front desk or in the Transportation office in Village Square. You can also access the calendar from My Erickson or request to have it emailed to you. To request an email copy, include your email address where indicated on the Special Trips registration form found on the last page in the calendar packet.
To submit your registration for a trip you have selected, drop the completed form in the Special Trips drop slot located at the left side of any front desk. You do not need to submit payment with your registration form. All trip fees will be billed to your Riderwood account. Once registration is complete, you will receive a copy of your registration form in your cubby, usually within 3-5 days. Your form will include a confirmation number for each trip you are registered for, or an indication that you are on the wait list along with a number showing the position of your name on the list. In the event that cancellations occur for any trip, attempts will be made to contact residents on the wait list in the order they appear. Please note that you will not be charged for any trips for which you are wait listed.
On the day of the trip, pickups occur at the front entrance to each community building. Look for the bus with an orange “Special Trip” sign on the side. We ask that all trip participants be ready at the indicated pickup time in case the driver comes to your building first. He will have a list with the names of everyone who if registered for that trip. If tickets are required for the event, he will distribute those as well.
At Riderwood, campus activities are the cake and Special Trips is the icing. Have you taken a bite yet? If you have any questions about the Special Trips program or have any future trip suggestions, call Janet Birchfield, Special Trips Coordinator, at 301-572-8471. You can also drop by her office in the Transportation Office suite in Village Square.