Application for the 2014 Mexico Bus Tour - revised October 18, 2014
Instructions: Please copy and paste this application form into an email, read it carefully, fill out the blanks,
and email it to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please read the below summary of the tour to get an idea of what to expect.
Summary of the Tour, its Mission and Purpose
The Krishna Culture Festival Tour is an outreach program of ISKCON Youth Ministry to train, engage, inspire and empower
youth in Krishna Consciousness.
Travel across Mexico for three weeks and help put on Krishna Culture Festivals at yoga studios, beaches, auditoriums, and
outdoor stages in town squares. At times it’s hard work, but very worth it. Make friends, swim at exotic beaches, relax, camp, hike through jungles, national parks and Mayan ruins. You will definitely get to experience the real Mexico, its people, culture, towns and villages.
– Chant and be Happy! Be inspired by chanting Krishna’s holy names, dancing for Him, feasting on His prasadam and passing the mercy on to others.
– Live to the Fullest! Immerse yourself in service to fellow tour members and to people we meet along the way. Try to see everything
in relation to Krishna. See His mercy flowing all around. Utilize opportunities to distribute His holy names, prasadam, books to help awaken other living entities from their forgetfulness of Krishna, which keeps them suffering repeated birth, disease, old age and death, life after life. You have a most valuable gift, share it with others.
Dear Bus Tourie, be courageous, be bold, be Krishna conscious. Act on Krishna’s behalf. Do as the great souls do. Traverse the earth to reclaim the conditioned souls suffering in this world. Help them find their way back home, back to eternal bliss and happiness, back to Krishna.
Our motto: Serve to Love – Love to Serve
On the tour, we strive to develop unmotivated, selfless, loving devotional service, Bhakti-yoga. We help each other serve Krishna
and others with tolerance, humility and respect. By doing so, we gradually develop a higher taste for a life of blissful, loving
relationships with Krishna and His devotees.
– Volunteer! It’s our privilege to come on this tour. We each volunteer our time, energy and money to make it run smoothly. The total
cost for the tour is divided by the number of participants, which is the shared per-person cost. Please note that none of us
get paid to do this. This as an offering of love.
Make a difference in other people’s lives. Volunteer. You are the bus tour. It is your enthusiasm, your energy and your contribution
(shared costs) that makes this festival tour a success.
As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work.” You’ll be happy on the bus tour as soon as you allow yourself to appreciate
the many opportunities you will have to selflessly serve other devotees, to try to make others happy. In turn, as you give, as you share, you’ll receive love and blessings from others in return.
– Enjoy the Journey, and the Destination. We’ll spend a lot of time on the bus, traveling 8,000 miles across the USA and Mexico. You’ll have lots of opportunity for bhajans, reading, discussions, making friends with other like-minded young people. Enjoy the time we spend together on the bus “making memories.” Enjoy the amazing journey.
– Develop Life Skills. On this tour, expect to challenge yourself by developing the following:
1) Tolerance. Traveling on the tour will be austere at times. You’ll live on a bus with bunk beds in close quarters with other tour participants, far from the comforts of home. No matter what challenges may come, tolerance (and a good sense of humor) will be the key to maintaining a positive outlook and getting the most out of the bus tour experience.
2) Humility. Krishna is the Doer and we are His servants. He is constantly teaching us lessons. Try to find the silver lining in every challenging situation and take good advice to heart. Krishna sometimes speaks to us in mysterious ways through other people. Let pleasing Krishna be the goal of your daily activities. Let’s act in such a way that we can serve Krishna nicely together, and let something truly wonderful be produced as a result. (Such as this festival tour with its many festivals in towns and villages.) Let’s do the needful to serve Guru and Krishna, in harmony with others.
For example, we cannot all be the star performers on the kirtan stage at the same time. Humility allows us to give our all when needed,
as if the whole world depended on us, and to be able to step back the next moment and let another devotee shine in the limelight, rejoicing at their unique and glorious service contribution. Take advantage of the opportunity you’ll have on this tour to humbly serve devotees, considering such service to be a rare, rare privilege; a blessing.
3) Respect. Krishna resides as Supersoul in every living being and in every atom. Therefore every body, place and thing is Krishna’s temple. Try to respect everyone and everything in relation to Krishna. We are all His children. As you develop this vision, it can dramatically change your outlook on life and the way you deal with people and situations.
4) Selflessness. To love Krishna is to please Krishna and His devotees by loving service, which transforms our selfish lust (that binds us to this world) into selfless love. Selfless devotional service, Bhakti-yoga, brings us into the association of Krishna and His devotees on a spiritual platform, even while still in these bodies.
Strive to engage your body, mind and intelligence in loving, selfless service to Krishna and His devotees on the tour. Work to your full potential every day (even when only Krishna is watching).
5) Devotion. May you develop a taste for chanting Sri Sri Radha-Krishna’s holy names. Be enthusiastic in kirtanas, on public Harinamas, at Krishna Culture Festivals, at temples, cultural centers, hall programs, in your personal meditation (reading, japa, listening to lectures), and by always endeavoring to serve the Lord’s devotees.
6) Leadership. On the tour you will have many opportunities to develop leadership skills. Set an example. Be eager to volunteer. Lead a group in service, lead a kirtan, play an active role in the stage presentation, and proactively do the needful. Accept responsibility. Be empowered. Be a leader.
Thank you for taking the time to read this summary of the tour, its Mission and Purpose. Thank you for considering coming on this festival tour.
Please respond to the below questions in detail and email them to: email@example.com
1 a) Your name (legal name and devotional, if applicable):
b) Your age and date of birth:
c) Your email address:
d) Your Facebook name:
e) Other preferred messenger app: (example, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Viber…)
f) Your phone number(s), home and cell.
g) Your postal mailing address.
2 a) Your spiritual master (if applicable):
b) Your Bhakti family branch (i.e. ISKCON, Gaudiya Math,
3) Please review the detailed tour schedule at:
Mark an “X” in front of the portion of the tour you’d like to attend:
a) ___ Yes, I would love to come on the entire tour from December 12 to January 4, for the ultimate experience. (Alachua or Houston to all over Mexico and back to Alachua or Houston, round-trip.) $690* minimum contribution towards share of costs before November 15. $900* thereafter.
b) ___ I would like to come on __ custom weeks of the tour, and my preferred dates are from ____ to _____. (Shared costs for the tour will be pro-rated if another person can take your place on the dates you’re not traveling with us. Otherwise, expect to pay the full amount even for a shorter time with us, since we divide the costs by available bunk beds on the bus.)
Please note, it may cost you a lot more money to meet up with us at various places in Mexico, because of having to fly into smaller regional airports. For most people, we recommend doing whatever you can to come on the whole three-week tour, from start to finish. Once we’re on the road, it’s difficult to catch up with us in remote areas of Mexico.
* Budget an additional $25 for a Mexico Tourist Card that every tourist entering Mexico needs to purchase at the border. Also, some optional adventure activities like snorkeling can cost extra. For example, if we go snorkeling the coral reef near Cozumel Island, on the Carribean coast, it will cost about $90 for that. Please let us know if you would like to participate in such activities. ____ I would like to go snorkeling and will pay the extra.
AIRPORT PICK-UP and DROP-OFFs – Scroll to the end of this application form for the details on airports.
4) Please share some of your thoughts about the above “Summary of the Tour.” What inspires you, and what do you think will be challenging for you?
5) Why you would like to come on this tour?
6) Please tell us a little about yourself. Your life story.
7) What are your hobbies, skills, talents, abilities? How do you see yourself contributing to this festival tour?
(For example, let us know if you are good at playing a particular instrument, if you can sing, if you have experience
in managing small projects or leading others, such as scouts, school groups, etc. What school subjects do you excel in? What
kinds of things do you enjoy doing in your free time?)
8) Tell us about your spiritual hopes for the near future. What would you like to do, learn or experience in Krishna consciousness in the coming year?
9) On this tour, you’ll be expected to:
a) follow the four regulative principles:
– no intoxication,
– no meat eating,
– no gambling,
– no illicit sex (on the tour that means no flirting, no unnecessary physical contact);
b) engage in selfless devotional service every day;
c) demonstrate an active interest in the spiritual activities such as morning and
evening spiritual kirtan programs and discussions.
d) conduct yourself as a Vaishnava lady or gentleman. Be courteous, polite, respectful, clean (tidy), well-mannered.
e) follow night-time curfews – that is, go to sleep at the time we agree on – so we all get our sleep and can function well-rested the next day.
f) stay in groups of three–the buddy system–when going places, even if you’re over 18 or older, for your own safety, and to set a good example for others.
g) obey the instructions of the tour organizers;
How do you feel about the above? What items will be challenging for you and why?
10) What role does Krishna play in your daily life?
11) What role does ISKCON / your local ISKCON temple play in your life? (If other Bhakti family branch, substitute your matha for ISKCON.)
Your Preferred Services on the Tour:
12) Here is a list of typical responsible services and engagements on the festival tour. Many of us will perform multiple services each day, and throughout each week. Please indicate your preferences. (Mark an X next to any services you feel you’re reasonably good at, and
would not mind doing.) We will use your indications as a guide for engaging you but cannot guarantee that a particular service will be available.
I would be happy to:
___ perform lead roles in plays
___ perform supporting roles in plays
___ dance on stage, in the style of: _________
___ dance on stage during choreographed kirtans
___ lead (sing) kirtans
___ sing backing vocals (chorus) during kirtans
___ play mridanga
___ play harmonium
___ play kartals
___ play _____________ (if you have talents
in playing another instrument, such as violin,
cello, guitar, bass, flute, djembe, etc.)
___ other performance talent: _______________
(If you have talents or abilities in martial arts,
gymnastics, puppet shows, anything that can
be performed on stage under a cultural banner,
please let us know.)
(You can serve both on stage and with support services behind the stage, if circumstances allow.)
I can help with:
___ stage management (helping to make sure each performer is on standby and ready to go on stage when it’s their turn.)
___ stage design, decoration
___ stage hand (props, curtain)
___ controlling the lights during performances
___ controlling the sound (mics, mixers, wireless mics)
___ setting up & taking down lights and sound system
___ carrying equipment from and to the bus before and after each performance (likely most of us will be helping with this)
I would be happy to help with:
___ ticket booth, greeting visitors, reception
___ ushering guests to available seats
___ book tables (book distribution)
___ prasadam tables (prasadam distribution)
___ gopi dots / face painting
___ Guest-book manager. Encourage guests to sign the guest book and leave us their contact information so we can notify them the following year of our festival dates.
___ Database manager. Enter guest-book entries, as well as donations we receive, into an Excel or Google spreadsheet.
Important daily services on the tour:
Many of us will be rotating through different services throughout the day. However, please indicate your preferences, anything you feel you might be good at and would not mind doing. We are looking for people to supervise, manage, head up some of these departments and services.
I would be happy to help:
____ cook – I know how to make: _________
(Don’t be shy. If you know how to cook breakfast foods such as oatmeal, kitchri, cereals, pancakes, let us know. Or if you make a mean salad dressing or nectar drink…)
____ assist the cook (meal prep, learn how to cook, etc.)
____ shop for groceries
____ dress and decorate the bus tour Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai deities
____ make garlands for the bus tour deities
____ supervise the altar area, keep it clean, help wake and put the deities to rest…
____ morning program manager. Help make the morning program happen regularly.
____ librarian. Supervise the festival tour lending library of books. Keep the book shelves organized and clean and keep track of who borrowed what.
____ keep accounting of daily income and expenditures
____ supervise cleaning of the bus
____ supervise cooking of meals (to help ensure they happen on time)
____ supervise clean-up after meals (you’ll have a team of helpers)
____ manage assignment of daily services to participants (who is doing what service, keeping track… and checking up on people to
see if the service was done.) Managing the “driver keeper upper” rotation list.
____ driver’s assistant. Help with filling air in tires, fueling the bus, keeping shower water tanks full of fresh water.
____ Communications – phone and email secretary for the tour. (Calling the next location to let them know we’re coming, answering the bus tour phone, checking festival tour emails, and similar assisting services.)
____ Storage bays manager. Keep the storage bays underneath the bus organized and tidy. Keep an inventory list of what is where, and what needs to be replenished / purchased.
13) Would you be willing to volunteer with some of the behind-the-scenes services that make the festival tour happen, from the comfort of your home?
Examples of services you could help with: (check any you’re interested in)
__ PROMOTE THE TOUR – help spread the word about the festival tour on the web and in your community.
__ PROMOTE EVENTS – help promote performances; correspond with newspapers and websites in cities where we’ll be performing, to advertise upcoming events;
__ SPONSORS – Help us develop a network of sponsors who contribute to a fund for youth who cannot afford the entire tour fee; to sponsor books, gasoline, groceries.
__ VIDEO EDITING, THIS TOUR – by the time the tour is over, we will have many hours of video footage. Help edit those videos and post them on the Internet.
__ VIDEO EDITING, PAST TOURS – So much video footage was filmed of past festival tours. It is waiting to be edited. Help us edit videos of past tours and post them on the Internet to inspire others to attend.
__ GRAPHIC DESIGN – posters, flyers, brochures, cards, program guides, event tickets… Help us create the promotional material needed for the tour.
__ WEBSITE updates – Help keep our websites and blogs updated with new, relevant information about the festival tour.
(ISKCONyouth.com, Facebook pages and groups, etc.)
If any of the above services sound interesting to you, please let us know. You can make a big difference in a lot of people’s
lives by taking on some of this responsibility.
14) Any other suggestions for ways in which you could help the festival tour with your skills, talents, abilities, either
on tour, or during the year?
15) Please list the names and email addresses of three respectable people who know you well and can vouch for your good moral character and behavior. These can be community leaders, temple presidents, gurus, your school principal, your soccer coach, senior devotees in good standing. Explain your relationship with these people and how they know you. They should not be related to you.
Please ask them to email you with a letter of recommendation, stating how long they’ve known you, what their experience has been of working with you, vouching for your good moral character and behavior, and recommending you to come on this festival tour.
Forward these emails to us at your earliest convenience. We will begin evaluating your application just as soon as we have received your three letters of recommendation.
16) Please attach some recent photos of yourself.
Thank you for taking the time to fill out this application. Please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our team of volunteers meet regularly to review applications. We will let you know by email if you’ve been approved.
If you do not hear back from us after two weeks, and you’re certain we have received your three letters of recommendation,
please email us a reminder.
Once your application has been approved, you’ll need to fill out the registration form (see websitehttp://youthbustour.com/apply/ ) and send us your 50-percent non-refundable deposit to guarantee your spot on the tour.
AIRPORT PICK-UP and DROP-OFFs
If you’re flying in to meet up with the tour then Houston, Texas, is your cheapest and most efficient way to join the Mexico bus tour. Fly into Houston before 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 13, 2014. Fly out of Houston anytime onSunday, January 4, 2015. (We will arrange for you to spend the night with a local devotee family, as well as rides to the airport.)
If you’d like to fly into Florida and spend some time in the Alachua devotee community before or after the tour, that’s also
fine. Contact us and we’ll help you make arrangements.
Gainesville (GNV), Florida, is the closest airport, only 20 minutes away, and we can generally find volunteers to pick you up or drop you off. $20 suggested donation for their time and gasoline.
Jacksonville (JAX) or Orlando (MCO) are also options, but it may cost us up to $75 and $95 respectively to pay someone to pick you up, or drop you off, at those airports. JAX is a 3-hour round-trip. MCO 5 hours. Sometimes paying a little extra to fly into Gainesville regional airport evens out against the extra costs of paying someone $75 each way ($150 round-trip) for rides to shuttle you back and forth from other airports. Plus it’s easier on you. Less travel time.
JOINING US ALONG THE WAY SOMEWHERE IN MEXICO?
Please contact us and let us know the dates you can come, and we’ll advise you on the best airports to fly in and out of. Keep in mind this will be expensive. At this time, Cancun (CUN) airport is the cheapest place to meet up with us, about halfway through the tour, at around $500 one-way from various airports in the USA. Other airports along the way can cost up to $800 one-way.