We selected the venue for our conference after careful consideration of several alternatives. Early on we decided to hold the conference in the Washington, DC area because of the presence of Board members and other supporters who could help, and its ready accessibility by air and train from many locations.
The National 4-H Youth Conference Center, 7100 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase, MD, is a facility owned by a non-profit, and is located in a residential area just a short distance from Washington, DC. It has a nice auditorium and a number of other meeting rooms of various sizes. The facilities are the equivalent of those offered by commercial hotels, but at a considerably lower price.
Unlike conference hotels, the Center offers two different styles of accommodations. One style is their traditional rooms with two double beds which look like, and have all the amenities of, standard rooms in conference hotels. The other style has bunk bed accommodations, two bunk beds to a room. However, these rooms are not typical camp style. Each room has its own bathroom facilities and all the other amenities of the traditional rooms. These rooms provide a low-cost option, costing only $37 a night per person with quad occupancy. There are many more bunk bed rooms than traditional rooms. We expect traditional rooms to sell out. However, there is a fallback option for people who would prefer traditional rooms but won’t be able to get them due to demand. We can substitute bunk bed rooms at the same cost for single or double occupancy, and people can just use the bottom bunks. Attenders are, of course, free to find their own accommodations and commute to the Center for meetings, but we hope most people from out of town will choose to stay at the Center. We would encourage local attenders within a reasonable commuting distance to either commute or use bunk bed rooms.
The Center has cafeteria-style dining facilities open for all meals which will accommodate all attenders, the only venue we looked at which does. Attenders can eat all they want at reasonable prices ($10.50 breakfast, $14 lunch, $16 dinner). They are willing to accommodate all dietary needs. We have already told them we will want vegan options at all meals. When you register, please indicate any dietary needs so that the Center will be able to plan to accommodate them. If your dietary needs are so rigorous that you don’t trust any facility to meet them, you can bring your own food and they will put a refrigerator in your room to store it. We will be sharing the facilities with others using the center while we are there, but they will suggest different times for different groups to avoid long lines, and will provide a section of the seating for our exclusive use. All people who plan to attend and eat meals, including commuters, are asked to register in advance for them. There will be a limited number of walk-in tickets available for purchase at the front desk, but they can not accommodate very many people on this basis.
The Center is on a major bus line which stops right in front of it. The nearest Metrorail stop is almost two miles away. We are hoping to find a volunteer with a van who will shuttle people between Metrorail and the Center at peak times coming and going. Parking is free (rarely the case at conference hotels in the DC area).
The Center Web site has extensive information and many photos, so you are invited to check it out if you want more detailed information on the venue.