Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the topics below for questions and answers.

Registration and Conference Fee

  1. How do I sign up or register for a conference?

    SGI-USA members with an active portal account are able to register online or register through the local zone/territory office using this PDF application.
  2. What is the conference fee?

    The package price of a conference is $495 (airfare not included). The package price includes: sleeping accommodations for 3 nights at the FNCC (double occupancy), all meals from Friday (dinner) through Monday (lunch), ground transportation to and from the Fort Lauderdale or Miami International Airports (within the designated times) and conference materials. Elementary School Division with Parents/Guardians Conference participants between the ages of 5–12 years old pay a fee of $248 and must room together with their parent(s)/guardian(s).
  3. Can I pay a reduced conference fee by bringing my own food or sleeping off campus?

    A participant can bring their own food to the conference, but the package price will remain the same. All participants are asked to stay on campus through the duration of the conference.
  4. What is the minimum age limit to participate in a conference?

    For most conferences, unless otherwise indicated, the minimum age is 16 years old. For minors, a minor consent form is required.
  5. Can children participate in a conference?

    Children between the ages of 5–12 years old and in elementary school, may apply for the Elementary School Division with Parents/Guardians Conferences held during the summer with a parent or legal guardian. At this time, infants and children under the age of 5 years old are not able to participate.
  6. Are there any terms and conditions that I need to be aware of?

    REGISTRATION CANCELLATION POLICY

    The deadline to receive a full refund for your registration is two weeks before the conference. Cancellations received less than 14 days prior to the conference will be subject to $50 administrative cancellation fee. Refunds will not be issued for registrants who do not show up to the conference. Cancellation requests should be submitted via the SGI-USA Portal or directly to the FNCC coordinator at the office where your application was processed. A full refund for cancellation due to an emergency situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the office that processed your application.

    IF THE CONFERENCE IS CANCELLED:

    Although it does not happen often, there is a chance for a conference to be cancelled due to weather or low participation. If a conference is cancelled for these or other reasons, you will receive a full refund of the conference fee. SGI-USA will not be responsible for the cost of the flight but will reimburse the airline change fee up to a maximum of $150. The official hurricane season in Florida is June 1–November 30. The peak of the season is from mid-August to late October. If you are attending a conference during this time, especially during the peak of the hurricane season, we recommend that you purchase flight travel insurance in the case that the conference is cancelled.

    ACKNOWLEDGMENT FROM CONFERENCE PARTICIPANT

    I understand that some optional activities that I may voluntarily choose to participate in during the conference contain inherent risks of physical injury, such as bicycle riding, swimming in the pool, using the exercise equipment, hot tubs, participating in sports or other games in the gymnasium, and so on. In consideration of my participation in the conference, I hereby voluntarily accept all such risk, and release SGI-USA, its affiliated organizations, employees, volunteers and representatives (“SGI-USA”) from all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law.

    I further give consent and authority to SGI-USA to obtain medical treatment on my behalf if I am injured or require medical attention during the conference. I understand and agree that I am solely responsible for all costs related to such medical treatment, medical transportation and/or evacuation. SGI-USA does not assume any responsibility or obligation to provide financial assistance or other assistance, inclu ding but not limited to medical, health or disability insurance of any nature in the event of my injury, illness or death, or damage to or loss of my property.

    PHOTO AND WRITTEN MATERIAL RELEASE

    In further consideration of my attendance and participation in the conference, I hereby give SGI-USA permission to capture and/or record my name, image, likeness, photograph or voice, in any media and/or technology now known or later developed. Such use of my name, image, likeness, photograph or voice can be used throughout the world for educational, promotional or any other lawful purpose.

  7. Are non-members (friends of SGI) able to register?

    FNCC conferences are tailored specifically for the faith development of SGI-USA members. Non-members (Friends of SGI) must attend with an SGI-USA member. To apply, they need to contact their zone or territory office FNCC coordinator to go over the registration criteria. They must sign the Friend of SGI FNCC Conference Acknowledgement and FNCC Acknowledgment and Assumption of Risk forms. For further questions, please contact your local zone/territory office. Non-members living outside of the US are not able to attend FNCC conferences.

  8. Are members from other SGI countries able to participate in FNCC Conferences?

    FNCC primarily serves as a conference facility for SGI-USA members. International members must contact their general director to make an official request via SGI in Tokyo. This includes international members temporarily visiting the US. SGI-USA will only consider requests received from SGI on a case-by-case basis. First consideration is given to SGI-USA members, availability and other factors. If approved, the FNCC-Org Department will contact the individual directly. Keep in mind visa letters or documents to secure a visa will not be provided. Soka Gakkai members are NOT eligible to attend FNCC conferences.

Shuttle Service, Parking and Drop-Off

  1. If I arrive outside of the designated complimentary shuttle pick-up times, how much is the shuttle service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Miami International Airport (MIA) to FNCC?

    The FNCC package price includes complimentary shuttle from both FLL and MIA airports on Friday with the first service at 9:00 am and periodic shuttles between 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm. The final shuttle departs promptly at 6:00 pm. If your travel arrangements are outside of these time frames, you will be responsible to coordinate and pay for your own transportation to the FNCC.

    You can take a taxi, ride share service or use the FNCC’s transportation company. If you would like to reserve a shuttle through the FNCC’s transportation company, please contact them a few days prior to your arrival. Upon arrival at FLL/MIA airports, please call the FNCC Transportation Line to coordinate the exact pick up location. FNCC Transportation Line: (954) 349-5222.

    Average cost (including gratuity):

    • Ft. Lauderdale Airport to FNCC: $64.00
    • Miami Airport to FNCC: $92.00

    Please bring cash or credit card to pay the driver upon your arrival to the FNCC. You can split the fare if any other participants ride with you.

  2. My flight is scheduled to arrive at 5:55pm on Friday, will the 6pm shuttle wait for me?

    If your flight is scheduled to arrive before 6pm, the last shuttle will wait for you. If your flight is delayed, the shuttle service will honor the flight delay and no additional fee will be required.

    However, if your flight is scheduled to arrive after 6pm on Friday, you will be responsible to coordinate and pay for your own transportation to the FNCC. You can take a taxi, ride share service or use the FNCC’s transportation company. If you would like to reserve a shuttle through the FNCC’s transportation company, please contact them a few days prior to your arrival. Upon arrival at FLL/MIA airports, please call the FNCC Transportation Line to coordinate the exact pick up location. FNCC Transportation Line: (954) 349-5222.

  3. Where do I meet the 9:00 am shuttle on Friday at the FLL or MIA airport? When is the next shuttle?

    For both airports, please meet the driver by 8:45 am, the shuttle will leave promptly at 9am. The next shuttle following the 9:00 am shuttle will depart at 12:00 pm.

    For the 9am shuttle, at the FLL airport, please look for a shuttle driver holding an "SGI-USA" sign or a shuttle with an SGI-USA sign outside the baggage claim area between terminal 2 and 3. At the MIA airport, please look for a shuttle driver holding an "SGI-USA" sign at baggage claim carousel #24.

  4. I will be driving to the FNCC, am I able to park my vehicle on campus?

    Yes. Please indicate your mode of transportation on your application form. As a conference participant, you will be able to park your vehicle on campus from Friday, 9am through Monday 3pm. All vehicles must exit the campus by 3pm on Monday.
  5. I will be dropped off at the FNCC by a friend, will they be able to enter the campus?

    Yes. Please check in with the security gate for the designated drop-off and registration area.

Visitor Policy

  1. While participating in a conference, am I able to have a friend or family visit me on campus?

    Friends or family who would like to visit a conference participant are permitted by appointment only. When you arrive at FNCC on Friday, please visit the FNCC Staff office to inquire about your request and schedule an appointment for your visitor. Visitors are permitted to visit during free time only and cannot join meals in the cafeteria, visit the dorms, or attend conference sessions.
  2. While participating, can I leave the campus to visit or have dinner with local friends?

    The conference schedule begins with dinner on Friday at 6pm and concludes on Monday at 11am. To visit or have dinner with local friends, please coordinate personal plans before or after the conference.
  3. Are general visitors (non-conference participants) able to visit or tour the FNCC?

    General visitors are not permitted. The Florida Nature and Culture Center serves as a conference facility for registered conference participants only. Visitors including members of SGI-USA, Soka Gakkai or other countries will not be permitted on campus.
  4. Are guests/friends of the SGI able to attend meetings at the Everglades Center located on the FNCC Campus?

    The Everglades Buddhist Center serves as a facility for local members, family and friends. Guests participating in these activities can follow the instructions of the local organization.

Accomodations

  1. What are the accommodations and amenities included in the room?

    Sleeping accommodations for 3 nights are double occupancy. FNCC uses digital keys to access the rooms. Complimentary toiletries such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shower cap are provided. A hair dryer is also provided in each room. The FNCC gift shop sells toothbrush, toothpaste and other basic toiletries.
  2. Are single room options available?

    Single rooms should be requested at the time of registration but are not guaranteed. Upon arrival at the FNCC, please check in with the FNCC office staff. If a room is available, the cost for the single room of $150 can be paid by cash or credit card (checks are not accepted). If the conference is at maximum capacity, the single room option will not be offered.

Dietary Needs and Allergies

  1. I have food allergies/special dietary needs, do you accommodate accordingly and how so?

    Your request must be indicated on your application. FNCC is able to accommodate vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free diets. Gluten-free is self-managed and options will be indicated.

    Sample vegetarian/vegan menu is as follows:

    • Stuffed Zucchini w/Wild Rice grain filling
    • Mediterranean Succotash
    • Barley Black Bean & Corn Burrito
    • Three- Bean Vegetarian Chili
    • Tofu Scramble
    • Soy Glazed Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
    • Vegan Enchiladas
    • Sweet and Sour Tofu Toss
    • Vegetable & Tofu Curry
    • Black eyed pea Fritters/w Tofu dipping sauce
    • Sweet Potato Cakes/w Wilted Garlic Spinach
    • Tofu Stuffed Peppers

    These meals are prepared with an appropriate portion of protein, cooked with flavor, and accompanied with fresh vegetables using the highest quality olive oil. In addition, an unlimited salad and/or fruit bar is available for all meals. Items are subject to change based on market availability and pricing.

    If you have severe food allergies, such as celiac disease or shellfish/nut allergies, please feel free to contact the FNCC Executive Chef Bill Bunn (bbunn@sgi-usa.org).

Health and Medications

  1. What should I do to evaluate my health before my application to a conference?

    No one wants to miss or postpone attending a FNCC Conference; however, there are times when staying home might be best for health reasons. First, evaluate your health or the health of those traveling with you by using the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guide below. Then, talk to your doctor. He or she will help you assess your situation and help you decide whether to postpone your trip.

    In general, you should not travel by air if you:

    • Have passed 36 weeks of pregnancy (or 32 weeks if you are carrying twins, triplets, etc.)
    • Have recently had any type of surgery, especially stomach, brain, eye, or orthopedic (bone and joint) surgery.
    • Have had a recent stomach, eye, or head injury.
    • Have had a recent heart attack or stroke.
    • Are suffering from:
      • Chest pain
      • Any disease that you can easily spread to other people
      • Swelling of the brain caused by bleeding, injury, or infection
      • Severe sinus, ear, or nose infections
      • Severe chronic respiratory diseases, breathlessness at rest, or a collapsed lung
      • Sickle cell disease
      • Psychotic illness except when fully controlled
    • Have a fever of 100° F (38° C) or greater AND one or more of the following:
      • Obvious signs of illness (e.g., severe headache, weakness, skin and eyes turning yellow)
      • Skin rash
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Persistent, severe cough
      • Confusion, especially if it has just started
      • Bruising or bleeding (without previous injury)
      • Diarrhea that does not go away
      • Vomiting that does not go away (other than motion sickness)

    Some airlines check for visibly sick passengers in the waiting area and during boarding. If you look like you may be sick, the airline may not let you get on the plane.

    For more information: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/health-status.

  2. Do you have distilled water I can use for my CPAP machine?

    Yes, FNCC does have distilled water. Please indicate that you will be bringing a CPAP on your application or contact your zone/territory office so we can make sure to have water ready for you.
  3. I have diabetes/other illness and need to keep my medication refrigerated. Where can I keep my medicine and have access to it whenever I need it?

    Each dormitory has a lounge with a refrigerator located under the sink. You can keep your medicine there and access it at any time.
  4. If I need to go to the pharmacy to pick up prescription medicine, can anyone at the FNCC take me?

    Please arrange to fill your prescriptions prior to coming to the FNCC. We recommend bringing an ample supply just in case of an emergency. We also recommend packing your medication in your carry-on luggage, instead of check-in luggage in the case that your check-in luggage is lost. Each conference has a designated nurse and over the counter medications are available at the FNCC.

Facilitators and Conference Material

  1. I am participating in this conference and would like to know who the facilitators are going to be. Can you tell me who? What is the study material?

    The facilitators for each conference are posted online. Facilitators are subject to change. Click here to see the list of conferences. If there are any materials the facilitators would like the participants to study in advance or bring to the conference, an email notification will be sent out. Otherwise, you will receive the conference booklet with the necessary study material upon arrival at FNCC.
  2. Can you mail me the booklet or how can I get the electronic one?

    A printed conference booklet is provided to each participant upon arrival at FNCC. For those who signed up for an electronic booklet only, you will receive the booklet via email (the day before the conference). Please bring your own portable electronic device to access the booklet during the conference. FNCC does not provide these devices.

    The electronic booklet is available for download to all conference participants through your online membership portal. See download instructions below.

    Download Instructions:

    1. Log into your membership portal: https://portal.sgi-usa.org.
    2. Click on the "My FNCC Conference" tab. The conferences you are registered for will appear under "Upcoming Conference".
    3. Click on "View Details" for the specific conference.
    4. Scroll to the very bottom of the page where you will see Conference Material, click "Download". The electronic conference booklet will download as a PDF file

Gift Shop

  1. I would like to order from the FNCC gift shop. Can I pay by phone with a credit card and have items shipped to me? What is the cost for shipment? Do you ship internationally?

    The FNCC gift shop is not able to ship any orders, domestically or internationally. Please visit the SGI-USA online bookstore.

Miscellaneous

  1. Are there ATM machines at FNCC?

    No, there are no ATM machines at FNCC. If you think you will need cash, please bring some with you or withdraw cash at the airport prior to coming to FNCC.
  2. Are service dogs allowed at FNCC?

    As a religious entity, SGI-USA and FNCC is exempt from the requirements of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which covers public accommodation requirements for people with disabilities, including service dogs. Nevertheless, we recognize the value and function that service dogs provide for their disabled handlers, and our policy is to allow service dogs where possible, but we must reserve the right to deny any request after reviewing all factors and the needs of the other conference participants.

    Service dogs do not include emotional support animals that provide support, therapy, comfort, companionship, therapeutic benefits or the promotion of emotional well-being. Please contact your zone/territory office for more information.

  3. Does FNCC recycle?

    Yes, the FNCC utilizes single-stream recycling, which means all recycled items may be placed together in the recycling bins. Once at the cycling facility, the recycling trucks are weighed and their contents are dumped onto what is called a "tipping floor," where materials are checked for contamination. Employees monitor and remove non-recyclables as materials travel on conveyers. A powerful magnet pulls out steel, tin and ferrous metals and sends them out for compacting and shipping to steel mills. Plastic and aluminum are separated and shipped to end markets. Glass is shipped out for remanufacturing. Cardboard, magazines and other paper products are separated from newspaper and shipped out. Newspaper and other paper products are baled and sent to various recycling markets. New products are created from recycled materials, purchased by consumers and recycled again, creating a "loop."
  4. How can I find an SGI-USA meeting in my local area?

    To find the SGI in your local area, click here: www.sgi-usa.org/find-us/.