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September 25 - 28, 2017
2017 Fall Leadership Institute
Washington, D.C.

Useful Facts about the Families Unite for Head Start Spirit Rally & Hill Day

Wednesday, September 27th
Hill Day: 8:30am - 5:00pm
Spirit Rally: 11:00am - 12:30pm


What will the weather be like in Washington, D.C.?

By late September, the average high is 80 degrees and the average low is about 60 degrees. The city can feel much warmer due to high humidity levels. We recommend bringing an umbrella in case of rain.

I’m attending Parents as Leaders (PAL), but staying at the Fall Leadership Institute (FLI) hotel. How do I get between FLI and PAL?

The PAL training will take place at the 4H National Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD, while FLI will occur at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, VA. Uber is likely the easiest way to get between FLI and PAL. An uberX from Crystal City to Chevy Chase should take about 40 minutes without heavy traffic. However, since you’ll likely be traveling in the morning at the height of rush hour traffic, we recommend allotting at least one hour for the uber trip.

Public transportation is another option available to you. We recommend allotting at least an hour and fifteen minutes for travel time. From Crystal City metro station, you can take the Yellow Line north towards Mt. Vernon Sq or Ft. Totten. You must transfer to the Red Line at Gallery Place (5 stops). Then, take the Red Line towards Shady Grove and get off at Friendship Heights (8 stops). Once out of the Friendship Heights metro station, you can either uber 1.8 miles (about $7) or continue taking public transportation. The L8 Metrobus and Ride-On #1 and #11 can all get you from the Friendship Heights metro station to the 4H National Conference Center (stop is at Connecticut Ave & Raymond St). 

FLI-PAL Transportation Costs
Cost of uberX from Crystal City to Chevy Chase= $18.00-$26.00 (depends on surge pricing)
Cost of MetroRail ride between Crystal City & Friendship Heights= $4.05
Cost of MetroBus between Friendship Heights and 4H Center= $2.00

What are the closest metro stations to the Spirit Rally location?

The closest metro station to the rally is Union Station (red line). You may also use the Capitol South metro station (blue and orange lines), but that is a further walk to the rally site (please see the map below).

What should I wear to my Capitol Hill meetings?

Capitol Hill is a business environment so we encourage folks to wear business attire. We recommend suits and ties for men, while women are encouraged to wear dresses, pants, skirts or pantsuits. However, we will also be providing Families Unite for Head Start t-shirts at the rally, if you’re more comfortable wearing that (which is also a great option!). Be sure to bring comfortable shoes for walking around Capitol Hill! And, don’t forget to pack an umbrella in case we experience bad weather on the day of the rally.

Will I meet my Member of Congress?

Yes!  As in years past we hope you’ll make the most of your time in Washington by meeting with your entire Congressional delegation. This year, for the first time ever NHSA is offering to provide assistance in setting up your entire Hill meeting schedule for the day! Of course we understand that you may have strong relationships with your Members of Congress already and may prefer to set your own meetings up directly. This is merely an offer that we hope you will find helpful, so feel free to take us up on it if you like.  If you are not planning to set up your meetings, please check with your state leadership to see if they are planning to do it or if they prefer NHSA to set them up. If you have any questions please contact Kim Cooper at  or 516-647-2226. There may be some meetings arranged before the rally begins (from 9:00am to 10:30am), but the majority of Hill meetings will occur after the rally finishes at 12:30pm.

How will I know my Hill meeting schedule?

If your state leadership is setting up your Hill meetings, they will let you know the schedule. In the event your state elects for NHSA to set up meetings, there are a number of ways to find your schedule. First, NHSA will send an email to all Hill meeting participants regarding their individualized schedules. Second, you will have a Team Leader responsible for taking your team around the Hill and for taking notes in each meeting. This person will be in touch with everyone on your team to let you all know about schedules, meeting places, and any schedule changes that may occur.  We will work with programs and state leadership to determine Team Leaders.  Please note that you representatives’ schedules often change last minute so your Hill day schedules likely will not be finalized until 48 hours prior to the Hill day and day-of changes are not uncommon.

What’s happening with the buses?

Buses will depart from the Parents as Leaders training in Chevy Chase, Maryland around 7am en route to Capitol Hill (drop off at Garfield Circle). Participants at the Fall Leadership Institute in Crystal City, VA will also take buses that morning to Capitol Hill. 

For those returning to the 4-H Conference Center after the Hill Day, buses will depart beginning at 3:30 pm and will leave every 30 minutes (departing from Peace Circle). Please note, return transportation is not provided to FLI. You may take an uber/taxi or ride Metro to Crystal City.

If you’re busing in separately from your state (ie. not on a bus from PAL or FLI), we recommend you reserve a space for your bus as soon as possible at Union Station. Spaces can be reserved for $60/bus for a 24 hour period with in and out privileges. We recommend reserving these spaces sooner rather than later, as Union Station is a hot spot for drop-offs and may fill up quickly. To reserve your spot, please email Union Station parking at Make sure to include the date and time of your arrival at Union Station and how many buses you will have. If you have questions, please call Union Station Parking at (202) 898-1950  .

When and where is the rally happening?

The rally location is 2-3 blocks from Union Station in Upper Senate Park (just west of the Russell Senate Office Building, across Constitution Avenue from the Capitol). Please see the map below for a view of the area. Note, the rally will be held in the section labeled NHSA Rally Site. We recommend getting to the spirit rally around 10:00am.  The program will begin promptly at 11:00am. The rally will wrap up no later than 12:30pm at which point Hill meetings will resume. The closest metro station to the rally is Union Station (red line). You may also use the Capitol South metro station (blue and orange lines), but that is a further walk to the rally site.

(View a larger map)

What to Expect at the Rally

Once you arrive to the rally site, if you have any questions simply look for a volunteer who will be wearing an easily identifiable Families Unite white hat or go to the information tables that will be set up on the side of the rally (exact location TBD).  Water and other useful items for you to utilize during your day on the Hill will also be available at these tables.

Once the rally finishes, volunteers will be available to direct you to where your Hill meetings on the House or Senate side of Capitol Hill.