Can you think of a better way to learn about our nation's history than going back in time and experiencing it yourself? Well, I don't know about you, but in my world, time travel hasn't been perfected yet, so I think the next best thing is to go to the birthplace of our great country and see where history unfolded. When my daughter graduated, her first trip away from home without me was to the east coast. When she called me to report on some of her activities, she asked me why, in all the travelling we did when she was young, did I not take her and her siblings to DC. She said it would have made her history lessons much more comprehensive, had she been to the places she was studying about in American History. Good point! Being a Mom who was more into heading west, that thought had never occurred to me.
Fast forward about 20 years, and I am pleased to say she is now helping coordinate the fundraising for the Triton 8th Grade student trip to..... guess where? Yep! Washington DC! I love how she took the initiative to give her kids what I wasn't able to give her! From July 30th to August 6th, Legacy Student Travel, a company that caters to young people traveling to learn about things they may never have the chance to see on their own, is giving 8th grade students a safe way to learn about the beginnings of America. The company puts together all the trip requirements, and knows the best places to stay, eat and learn. The hotels, restaurants and activities are scheduled, and include some of the meals, and all of the accommodations. The children will have chaperones at all times, and it looks like they will be having a lot of fun learning opportunities that they will never forget!
Some of the activities scheduled are a pizza party in a hotel with a pool in Ohio after the first day of travel ....... oops! I digress..... A stop in the Appalachian Mountains to tour Flight 93 National Memorial, then on to Gettysburg. In Gettysburg, they will have the opportunity to visit the Gettysburg Visitor Center and Cyclorama, an evening battlefield walk called "Heroes of Gettysburg", and time to explore the fields and monuments of honor.
The following day, they will tour the 6,000 acre Gettysburg Battlefield National Military Park with a licensed Battlefield Guide, a walking tour of the National Cemetery, which was the site of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and lunch at the Farmhouse Restaurant. Several other historic sites will be toured before they retire and get ready for more history!
On to Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson, stopping to explore the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, an illuminated night time tour of Washington, including the U.S. Capital, Thomas Jefferson, FDR, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Korean and Lincoln Memorials. They will be staying in DC for 3 nights to be sure to get all the history they can handle!
A walking tour of Arlington National Cemetery, witnessing the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a wreath laying ceremony, and a stop at the Iwo Jima Marine Memorial are next on the agenda. On to the Capital Hill tour, a White House sidewalk stroll with a Legacy Tour Guide, and topping it all off with an evening dinner and theater performance.
A visit to George and Martha Washington's home of Mount Vernon is the start of the next day, after which the kids will visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art Museum, and/or the National Museum of the American Indian. They end up this day with a riverboat dinner and dance cruise on the famous Potomac River on the riverboat "Spirit"!
The last day of this fabulous trip takes them to discovery time at the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Wall, and World War2 Memorial, The Holocaust Museum, and last but certainly not least, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History & National Museum of Natural History.
I would venture to say our kids will be coming home with a new respect for our country's heritage, and a valuable understanding of our history as American citizens. These are most, but not all of the experiences they will encounter on their journey of American History, and as you can imagine, there are costs involved. The parents and families of the students who are going on this trip are raising funds with events and activities to cover the fees associated with this week of history. There will be Burger Nights at the American Legions in Dodge Center and Kasson, a cash raffle with a top prize of $1500.00 to the lucky winner, chocolate candy bar sales, Hegge's Pizza sales, and Kwik Trip Car Wash cards, to name a few. Cash donations are gratefully accepted and will be added to the funds raised for the kids to cover the costs. Parents and Students are doing fundraising, or volunteering at the Burger Nights and having their kids sell the chocolate, pizza, car wash cards and raffle tickets. For information as to how you can help a great cause by purchasing any of the above, or donating cash, please contact Jessie Maes at (303) 324-6294. Persons and businesses who donate to the cause will be listed in the Triton Thank You article to come by the end of the school year, letting everyone know how much was raised to support our kids!