Montana Summer FAQ
Program Preparation Information
Program Expectations & Zero Tolerance Rules
Zero Tolerance Rules
VISIONS is a Zero Tolerance program regarding (1) consumption, possession, or attempted possession of alcohol or drugs/illegal substances; (2) sexual activity. Consuming, possessing, or attempting to possess alcohol or drugs/illegal substances will result in immediate dismissal from the program. Participants may not abuse over-the-counter drugs or use medications not prescribed to them. Sexual contact—meaning conduct deemed unacceptable in public places—also will result in dismissal. Remember that VISIONS focuses on an inclusive group dynamic, making cliques and romances out of sync with the goal of a powerful and life-changing experience. Please review the Enrollment Contract for the complete Terms of Participation.
The “Airplane Rules” (zero tolerance rules) are in place for everyone’s safety, health and welfare, common sense, group dynamic, and with local laws in mind. It is important to remember that local laws may be different than what you are used to, and in some locations, repercussions and penalties are severe and may have a long-lasting impact on your future. If a participant is sent home early from a program, the participant’s parent/guardian will be responsible for booking the next available flight directly with the airline. VISIONS travel agents are not always available for these types of flight changes, and purchasing a new ticket is sometimes necessary.
Sending a participant home is difficult for everyone, but it will happen if an Airplane Rule is broken. Being sent home, even in the final days of a program, results in forfeiture of the Certificate of Service and recognition of service hours. Again, the safety, health, and wellbeing of participants is at the core of our policies.
Being In Touch
While VISIONS leaders do not post constant updates from the field (their primary job being to be fully present with the program and kids), we do post a few photos and short updates every week to the VISIONS Facebook and Instagram pages, which we invite you to follow.
Calling the Program
If you need to get in touch for an urgent matter outside of the call days, please call the program site directly. Leave a message if there is no answer, and messages are checked at least once a day. If you’re not able to get through, you may also call the VISIONS home office. During non-business hours, a 24-hour number is provided on the office message system.
Weekly Calls Home
Remember that we make time for kids to connect with home once a week. Not all choose to do so, but the opportunity is provided. Parents will be informed of the Call Home dates and timeframes shortly before the program begins.
Packing Guidelines / Tech Policy
Our somewhat conservative dress recognizes the fact that we are going to work each day, and certain apparel is more appropriate for such work. We understand that you may need to shop to purchase some new or new-thrift items in order to adhere to the dress code, and we appreciate your understanding with this.
- Articles of clothing NOT permitted on VISIONS programs:
- Short-shorts or short skirts. All shorts—for boys and girls—must have a minimum 5” inseam. 4 ¾” and less will not be permitted, and please note that VISIONS is specific with the length of shorts in order to remove discrepancies or confusion.
- Crop tops or shirts that reveal midriff
- Spaghetti strap shirts
- Low cut shirts
- Clothing that reveals undergarments
- Thin or see-through spandex or yoga pants (wearing these under other clothing such as shorts is permitted)
Note: If you bring clothing items that don’t follow the dress code described above, you won’t be able to wear those items during the program. Thank you for your understanding.
- VISIONS is a cell phone / tech-free program, but [non-phone] cameras are allowed and encouraged. If you choose not to bring one, leaders will be taking photos throughout the program and we will share the photos with everyone at the end of the program.
- Cell phones, music devices, e-readers and any other gadgets will be collected on the first day and will be returned on the final day. We make every effort to safely secure electronic devices, but VISIONS is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Tuition covers almost everything during the program, but some participants like to bring extra money (around $100) for personal items such as souvenirs, snacks, and baggage fees. VISIONS leaders encourage participants to turn in cash and cards at the beginning of the program and then check the money/cards out as needed. Please refer to your airline’s website for baggage fees (if applicable).
- ATM Card: VISIONS recommends bringing an ATM card. They are more secure than cash and ATMs provide local currency. Additionally, they can be held in a parent’s name because ATMs do not require identification.
- Credit Cards: We recommend bringing a credit card for things like baggage fees and other expenses where cards are accepted. Since many small shops will not accept credit cards, however, you will still need a means for cash.
- Cash: Please do not bring more than $150 cash—VISIONS can lock up cash in a secure area, but we don’t want to accept more than $150 per person. You can rely on the ATM card for additional money needs.
- Carry medications in their original containers, clearly labeled. Confirm that you have enough for the entire trip.
- We recommend you bring medications in your carry-on, so you will still have access to them if your luggage is delayed or lost.
- It is recommended that participants carry a doctor’s letter that lists the diagnosis, treatment, and prescription routine (including generic names of the medication).
Please download and print the packing list for your program:
Passport / ID
If you are remaining within your home country for the program, travel with a valid ID, as the airline may ask for it. If you don’t have a driver’s license or passport, bring a copy of your birth certificate. Participants who are not U.S. citizens must consult with the appropriate embassy or consulate regarding entry requirements. Please contact the VISIONS office if you need a letter confirming program participation.
- The VISIONS designated travel agent is Aileen Setiawan at Discover Travel, 215.925.6174 or email@example.com.
- VISIONS strongly recommends that flights are booked with Aileen since she has the arrival and departure parameters as well as an overview of all participants’ itineraries in order to facilitate travel days. It is not guaranteed that there will be more than one participant on every flight, but participants booking flights through Aileen will be placed on the same travel itineraries whenever possible.
- If families choose not to book with Aileen, the itinerary must be submitted to VISIONS for approval prior to booking. Neither VISIONS nor our travel agent will be able to assist with travel issues associated with flights booked through an alternative option.
- In cases of flight delays or changed flight dates, Aileen is a resource, but there will also be instances when parents may need to call an airline to assist.
- Unaccompanied Minor (UM) Service is required by some airlines for minors who are not traveling with an adult. Aileen will inform you of the requirements, and please also check the regulations of your carrier. UM assistance is arranged directly with the airline, but you will need to share the details with VISIONS so we can pass it along to program leaders. If you are not booking with Aileen and are booking directly with the airline using miles, the airline might not advise you of the UM requirement, which can cause last minute issues at the airport. It is each family’s responsibility to take care of UM requirements well in advance of travel day.
Evacuation & Trip Insurance
General Arrival Logistics
- The VISIONS home office is available around the clock on flight days. VISIONS leaders meet each participant at the program airport as they arrive. Leaders pick participants up directly outside of the secured area. Bozeman is a small airport.
- Parents receive a “safe arrival” call from a leader and their child from the airport.