DEN National Institute 2009

The summer will be here before we know it (at least that’s what those of us with snow-covered driveways keep saying) and that means the DEN National Institute will be back.  This year Jannita suggested Hawaii, Steve wanted Cavo, I pushed for Mechanicsburg, PA and when the rest of the team chimed in we decided that we just didn’t know.

So, we figured it would be best to ask the DEN community.  Where would you like to have the DEN National Institute?  Post a comment with your suggestion.

After a week’s worth of DEN input we’ll trim the list down to five choices and put it to a community vote.


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  1. Eric Strommer said:

    How about:
    Florida Keys
    Las Vegas
    Mackinaw Island MI

  2. Bridget Belardi said:

    DEN in Dublin or DEN Pays Homage To Steve Irwin in Australia.

  3. Lori A said:

    I liked the idea of DC before NECC so we only have to pay one airfare, but would also love AZ, Chicago, or a cruise too.

  4. Sarah Johangiry said:

    Hawaii would be pretty cool! Vegas is my second choice:)

  5. stacy said:

    A cruise would be great. And with the prices as low as they are right now, it would be a wonderful buy. Another fun place is Green Valley Spa…fun for golf players, tennis players, SPA, working out, and just pure relaxation…as well as wonderful places for meeting. Hiking in Zion and horseback riding are other fun things to do there.

  6. Ruth E Manlandro said:

    How about a 4 day cruise- some reasonable out of Jacksonville.
    Florida Keys
    Washington, DC

  7. Fred Delventhal said:

    Asheville, NC
    National Harbor, MD

    I liked the Mackinaw Island idea posted above too

    and the whitewater rafting in the Grand Canyon

  8. Chris Taylor said:

    A cruise! Norfolk now has a port with regular cruises to Bermuda!!!

  9. Howard Martin said:

    Either cost/work efficient cruise or my new favorite: Spend 3-4 days hiking the Continental Divide with Bear Grylls one day for survival, Mike Rowe to the dirty part of hiking, Josh Bernstein another for the legends of the Rockies, Bruce Parry another to go tribal with Native Americans in the region. Invite the Blue Planet crew to film. Seriously!

    We’ll promise professional educators who will share their experience, we’ll draw straws to see who breaks a major bone for some suspense, and someone else will volunteer to be the bear attack survivor! Come on! It’ll be fun!!

    ..wait, do they have wireless in the mountains?

  10. Tom Turner said:

    Yet another DEN academic excursion as it was the most work intensive workshop I’ve EVER been on!

  11. Margie said:

    I like the cruise idea–I’ve never been on one! It would be nice to do one where we can see wildlife (whales, snorkeling, or something like that).

    Spa sounds good, too. What about Greenbrier, WVA? There is a spa, a beautiful setting, AND they are offering tours of the US Govt Relocation bunker!

    I’m up for anything!

  12. Heather said:

    Cruise was great. I like the idea of Norfolk to Bermuda.
    Since I am from Boston I can go with that idea too.
    Love the ranch idea
    Grand Canyon

  13. Gena Price said:

    You know Northern Michigan is beautiful in the summer!

  14. Nancy said:

    Cruise….it was awesome being ‘confined’ with my DEN members….

  15. Traci said:

    I would SO love Hawaii…(who wouldnt!) but already had looked into flights there… $850-$1000! I would have to win the lottery 😛

  16. Heidi Burri said:

    Love the cruise idea also how about the West Coast-Monterey, Long Beach, San Diego, Mendocino.

  17. Darcie said:

    I vote for…

    Washington, DC (like the idea about it being before NECC)
    Inner Harbor, MD
    Asheville, NC

  18. Delta said:

    Definitely Vegas….

    if that’s not possible then a cruise is acceptable

  19. Linda said:

    Nashville, the home of country music
    Smokey Mts. East TN
    Memphis, TN, Home of Elvis

  20. Kelli said:

    Turtle Bay Hilton in Hawaii on the North Shore of Oahu is beautiful or a cruise would be fun.

  21. Deb Wrobel said:

    I love the West coast cruise idea
    San Francisco?

  22. Shannon said:

    I like the idea of rotating the location – last year eastern US, this year western US.

  23. Charlotte Solorio said:

    Vegas Baby! or Napa Valley is super, too!
    Anyone mention Denver? However, cruise always rocks!

  24. Suzanne said:

    Since last year was on the East Coast, how about the West? We could do a cruise to Mexico from LA.

  25. Robin Martin said:

    Love the 4 corners suggestions, AZ,CO,UT,NM!!I don’t care where, just post the dates so I don;t schedule a vacation during that time!!

  26. Jennifer Gingerich said:

    Go west coast. An Alaskan “excursional” cruise sounds fabulous. Grand Canyon or other outdoor adventure in the western half of the US also would be wonderful.

  27. Kim Harrison said:

    West Coast would be great … here are my suggestions:
    1) Las Vegas–always tons of fun!
    2) Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes on the Eastern Sierra—hiking, fishing, biking, beautiful during the summer! High altitude fun!
    3) Hawaii—always a blast!
    4) Grand Canyon
    5) Santa Fe, NM—I heard it’s beautiful there!
    6) Mexican cruise out of L.A. or San Diego

  28. Ginny said:

    cruise to Alaska but have the institute in Anchorage. You can go white water rafting, fly to and land on McKinley, fish, hike…lots of recreation besides the education.

  29. Kati said:

    Florida Keys (fly into Miami / take a DEN bus for the 3-hour drive to the Keys)

  30. Tom Turner said:

    Ummm Howard….you will PAY for that…..oh you will….I won’t subject these poor people to my wrath! ;p

  31. Ruth said:

    How about having it around NECC…more cost effective for travel…

  32. Paula White said:

    I’d vote cruise first, out of Norfolk or DC for travel purposes. Then, Las Vegas.

  33. Gina said:

    SO many good ideas! And the excursion was by far the most intense. Hate to “choose” a coast. Don’t know the middle of U.S. all that well. Is that a sign??? All I can think of “centrally” is South Dakota. Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse…anywhere we can see Tom in the fur bathing suit would be good! ;~}

  34. Maryann Molishus said:

    Like Carol Ann McGuire suggests, I think members should volunteer to “host” at your school or district and the best proposal “wins.” You would, of course, have to get a prize too!!! (Like they do for the Olympics.)

  35. Carol Anne McGuire said:

    Hi Maryann!
    Ha! That’s funny! We’d love to host any event! Our founders are really excited about having educational events at New Village Leadership Academy!
    So if it’s not now, we’ll have to come up with SOMETHING! 🙂
    Carol Anne

  36. Erica said:

    Boston would be nice, so would Philadelphia. Any place that won’t have any snow!!!

  37. Kim Randall said:

    @Lee Kolbert, now we’re talking…Turks and Caicos… @Katie Warren Happy to go first. Looks so fun!

  38. Vickie Lamb said:

    Lots of great ideas out there! I’d love the idea of the Grand Canyon, Denver, anywhere where there’s a lot of outdoor activities. Realistically, however, the cost may prohibit a lot of people from attending. So, why not consider Kansas City (or the Table Rock Lake/Branson area)? It’s centrally located so airfare from both coasts would be reasonable and believe it or not, KC actually has lots of fun activities, restaurants, shopping, NASCAR, etc. Table Rock Lake/Branson is beautifully located in the Ozarks with crystal clear lake water, lots of water and land activities (boating, skiing, shopping, shows, etc.). Just a couple more ideas that may fit into a tight budget.

  39. Linda Rush said:

    Stanley Hotel – Estees Park, CO
    (hiking, biking, team building and great sites)

  40. Robin Talkowski said:

    I think I posted in the wrong place …
    3 places I would love to visit: Alaska; Vancouver, BC; Ashville, NC
    3 places I love: Boston (my home area); Burlington, VT; and the coast of Maine

  41. Susan Plack said:

    I vote for either a Hawaii, or a cruise, or a Hawaiian cruise. Something on the west coast!

  42. Cathy Houchin said:

    Grand Canyon
    Cruise anywhere, but Alaska would be great
    Digging for gems, rubies or diamonds

  43. darcy white said:

    any cruise would be great…the company is what makes DEN the BESTsummer gathering!

    NEVER, repeat, NEVER come to AZ in the summer…it’s 120 degrees.
    i know, i live here!

    oh, and i’ll be “doing” a honeymoon this summer…with our Vegas wedding in March…FYI DENers.


  44. Carolyn Rains said:

    I would love to share Hawaii with the DEN, but don’t think my $$ would take me that far.

    How about a cruise to Cozumel, or the Yucatan???? It sounds great!

  45. Andy Losik said:

    DEN NI in Saugatuck, MI would be a blast and I would do all I could to help make it happen. Beaches, hiking, fishing and my DEN Star’s wife’s school could be used. It’s 1/2 mile from the water.

    Personally though I would love to spend the week at Carol Anne’s school in Malibu.

    I am always up for Vegas. DEN Caesars Palace has a lovely ring to it. DEN Palms, DEN Hard Rock, DEN Rio, DEN Mirage, DEN NYNY, DEN TI would work as well. DEN Circus Circus? Not so much. Would be reaaaaallly cheap in the summer.

  46. Lisa Linn said:

    Hawaii is great but expensive, same thing with a cruise -although that might be more do-able.

    How about:

    Sedona, AZ

    San Diego, Monterey, Napa, Sonoma, Carmel, or San Francisco CA

    I looked up Saugatuck, MI and it looks great too. Check out this site for other great possibilities:

  47. Suzanne said:

    I love the Alaska cruise idea – as well as Nashville. What a fun place to go! Of course, we would all have to bring our boots and cowboy hats.

  48. Martha Snider said:

    1. Hawaii–a. Kauai, b. Hawaii, c. Maui, d. Oahu
    2. California–Yosemite, Monterey (I’ve got contacts for both locations, including places that welcome groups like ours)
    3. Alaska Excursion
    4. Australia and New Zealand
    5. Singapore: They have a Technology Mall that’s amazing! I’ve got friends there who might be able to help with logistics.

  49. Andy Losik said:

    cruise anywhere 18
    Hawaii 13
    Las Vegas 13
    N. AZ/ Ranch/ Grand Canyon/ Flagstaff 13
    Boston 10
    Alaska cruise 7
    DC area 6
    Santa Fe, NM 4
    Monterey, CA 4
    Mackinac Island, MI 4
    Chicago 4
    NYC 4
    Florida Keys 3
    Cape Cod, MA 3
    Maine 3
    Vancouver, BC 3
    Green Valley Spa, UT 3
    Asheville, NC 3
    Bermuda cruise 3
    San Diego 3
    Mechanicsburg, PA 3
    Bahama Cruise 2
    National Harbor, MD 2
    Dublin, Ireland 1
    Australia 1
    Aspen, CO 1
    Toronto, Ont. 1
    Maine Cruise 1
    Warm, Tropical geocaching underwater 1
    Jamaica 1
    Alaska 1
    Banff 1
    Montreal, QE 1
    Cancun, MX 1
    Hike with Discovery Network stars 1
    Greenbrier, WV 1
    Mendocino, CA 1

  50. Carolyn Rains said:

    Don’t forget Cozumel cruise! I would vote for that or Chicago! It’d be great!

  51. Michele Futch said:

    A cruise anywhere, Boston, or even…Orlando.

    I am from Florida and I know it is corny to recommend Orlando. But, there is so much educational stuff that you can do there that is free for Teachers….Sea World, Kennedy Space Center, and Universal Studios has very cheap rates for teachers.

    Michele Futch
    N FL DEN

  52. Janet said:

    Los Angeles- located in the midst of mountains, the coast, and urban areas, there isn’t a shortage of things to see & do!

  53. Bobbi Gurney said:

    There are wonderful cruises out of Seattle for Alaska! Very reasonable airfare.
    Another idea on the West Coast is Victoria, BC. The ride from Seattle to Victoria through the San Juan islands would be a remarkable way to start off the party together. Gathering video to use in activities throughout the week. Victoria has a little bit of everything.
    Portland, Oregon is beautiful in July. There are rides on the Columbia river in the beautiful Sternwheeler riverboat. Mt. Hood is 30 min. away w/ an awesome resort w/ great meeting facilities. Amazing hiking, biking, golf, fishing, etc. Yet you are close downtown as well. Lots to do.

  54. Judy Uhrig said:

    A cruise sounds great- I also like the bus ride down to the Keys idea.
    How bout both?

  55. bev matheson said:

    Holy cow!!! So many great suggestions,,,A cruise in the Florida Keys, New York, or Boston…I think any fun in the sun while learning on the run is a great idea!! But being around sights rich in American history are also very appealing!!!!

  56. Chelsea Forbus said:

    Alaskan cruise is a great idea!

    My other choices would be…

    – San Diego, CA
    – Boston, MA
    – Norfolk/Hampton Roads, VA

  57. Ms. De Santis said:

    I think we should rotate- it’s been on the east coast and I have been able to attend. Since many districts don’t cover the travel costs, some folks may not have the chance to attend.

  58. Rita A. Mortenson said:

    Anywhere DEN people go I would be happy to go!


  59. Dawn Birchenough said:

    I love the idea for the Florida Keys, you can go on excursions daily, snorkeling, day cruises, night cruises, kayaking, the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, aquariums, museums, and of course the Pirate Walking tours, among others

  60. Wendy Norton said:

    I like the idea of Boston so much to do. The weather in summer us usually nice, not so hot as Florida. Alaska and Grand Canyon not bad either.

  61. Debbie Bohanan said:

    I’m with Jennifer Dorman – white water rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. It’s on my bucket list!!!!

  62. Charlotte Solorio said:

    Boston! Here’s our chance to visit the Granary Burying Ground the final resting place of Mother Goose and of course its the burial ground for famous American patriots like Paul Revere, John Hancock and Sam Adams.

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