Class Trips

The oldest bar still in operation in the United States

My son is on his eighth grade class trip to Boston this week. Thanks to modern technology and a savvy teacher who tweets frequently, I’ve been able to follow along on their adventures. I’ve never been to Boston, but I want to go now. They’ve been on a walking tour of downtown Boston, a nighttime ghost tour, visited Salem, Lexington, Concord and Cambridge, the JFK Library & Museum, Plymouth Plantation, the Mayflower, House of Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne’s house), and many, many more places.  Visiting historical places brings history alive in a way no text book or video tour can.

His trip got me thinking about my eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. back in 1985. Our trip was a bit different. For one thing, we left on a bus early on Monday morning and our parents didn’t hear from us again until Friday evening. We also had a handful of chaperones for all 200+ of us, while my son’s class has four teachers with them keeping a very close eye on forty-three students.

I do hope there are some similarities between our trips. No, not the roach motel we stayed in or the crummy food. That trip to Washington, D.C. was truly transformative for me. I had traveled before, but for some reason that trip really made me look at the world in a new way. I still remember the magic of seeing the National Mall at night with all the monuments lit up and reading the inspiring words of Jefferson and Lincoln (it’s amazing how much more interesting they are when you’re not reading them from a textbook). Though I had studied all of the wars in which the U.S. was involved, visiting Arlington National Cemetery brought to life all the people who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and getting to see our government in action at the White House and the Capitol was amazing.

I loved Washington so much I later decided to attend The George Washington University. My freshman dorm was two blocks from the White House, and I spent four fabulous years exploring the city. I hope my son’s trip is as inspiring for him. Perhaps he’ll decide to go to school in Boston. They did visit Harvard this week.

Please share. Have you ever been on a class trip, or a trip that gave you a new perspective or changed your life in some way?

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10 Responses to Class Trips

  1. Ella Quinn says:

    This is really bad, I don’t remember any of my class trips, but I’m sure I went on them.

    • Ally says:

      LOL, Ella. Class trips were one of my favorite things about school, so I remember them better than most anything else, especially the two trips I took to the Soviet Union in high school.

  2. Eek! Me too, Ella. Our school didn’t do class trips, although I went on many with my children’s classes.

  3. My hubs and I are going to Boston this summer…I can’t wait!

    As for class trips, we did a few to Chicago to the museums and such and Mackinac Island and several other places, but it was in elementary school and middle school…by the time we reached HS we had such large classes you had to be on the honor roll to be eligible, so only a handful went. LOL They went to Daytona, Washington DC and a few other places. LOL

    And I did the ones with my kids too…but more like apple orchards, a Shakespearean play in Chicago and a few other small ones.

    Fun topic Ally 🙂

    • Ally says:

      Thanks, Christine. Too bad you didn’t get to go on any trips in high school, but it sounds like your earlier trips were pretty good. Class trips got even better for us in high school – they were tied to the foreign language you took – so I got to go to the Soviet Union twice since I took Russia (the others went to France or Spain).

      Have a fabulous time in Boston!

  4. I grew up in a very rural part of California, and back in the day when transportation to far places was not quite as common. But, I was active duty in the Air Force, and lived near Boston for over 3 years. I will tell you, that part of the country is SO rich in history – I know that your son is learning a ton!! How fortunate that he can see first-hand what I could only read about so many years ago…

    • Ally says:

      Hi Lacey,
      Thanks for stopping by. I spent my first ten years in a rural area of Michigan, so I don’t recall many field trips in elementary school either. I’m glad my son had the opportunity to immerse himself in so much history.

  5. Lori Ann says:

    How lucky is your son! The only trips I went on were the Galveston Beach trips for choir competitions. They were fun, too, and I don’t even REMEMBER there being chaperones in our hotel rooms, although I’m sure there were. My most memorable: going to NYC with my older sister when I was a senior UNCHAPERONED. We went to visit a friend who graduated and moved to NYC to become an actor. That Spring Break trip was amazing. I think the Broadway shows and the lively streets stayed with me a long time. Thanks for conjuring up those old memories!

  6. Ally says:

    Oh, to have had an unchaperoned trip to NYC back then! I’ve driven through NYC several times, but never really had a chance to visit. Some day. Thanks for stopping by, Lori.

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