5/23/2017 - Here's a look at what our Upper School students were up to on Day 2 of Academic Travel Week.
The Seventh Grade students departed CCA early Monday morning, headed south to Gettysburg. It was a long day of driving, broken up with a fascinating visit to Indian Echo Caverns, a limestone cave cut through Beekmantown limestone that is over 440 million years old.
It all started when we arrived at the school and packed our bags in the vans. We met in the cafeteria and prayed that our trip would go well and we would have a safe drive. After saying our goodbyes to our parents, we all packed into two buses and left. The bus ride consisted of loud singing, yelling, talks, sleeping, and eating. We took a couple stops along the way to take bathroom brakes and to eat our lunch. We finally arrived at Indian Echo Caverns where we were going to enter the cavern. Our tour started an hour after we arrived so we had some time. Some went to the gift shop, some to see the goats that were at the cavern, and some played an intense game of ultimate frisbee. Mr. Mac called us over and the guide took us into the cavern. The sights inside the cavern were amazing. The stalactites and stalagmites were extremely cool. They said that they have been growing for millions of years! after the tour we hung out and filled out our notebooks and went to the gift shop. What a fun day! -- By Emerald Bell '22
Although the day started off rainy, we all still managed to have a ton of fun. We went to a few museums including the Smithsonian American Museum of Natural History and the Holocaust Museum. The Holocaust Museum was very touching and even brought many people to tears. We’ve been studying the topic for a majority of the year, but actually being able to see the horror in person truly moved us at a different level. We were able to see the shoes of the Jewish men and women who were killed in the gas chambers. I don't think anyone will forget this experience.
However, sadness wasn’t the only emotion felt by the class today. We also celebrated Katie Crowley’s 14th birthday! Later on in the day, the class split into two groups and spent the rest of the day having fun. We had the choice to either play frisbee near the Washington Monument or go to the zoo. Those who went to the zoo were able to see a panda family, elephants and flamingoes. Mr. Willis, Mrs. Pintone and Katerina Pintone were even able to be featured in an episode of Seriously Amazing Objects on the Smithsonian Channel. The night ended with a nice dinner, ice-cream, swimming and fantastic magic tricks from Wizard Ethan.
As our groups adventured through the halls of Jewish experience during WWII, each person witnessed how truly terrible the Nazis treated human beings. Not only did they consider Jewish people the lowest in the human race, but they were starved, tired, and most, unable to survive the devastating extermination camps. Although we have read and watched videos of the holocaust in Mr. MacDonald’s history class, this museum brought everything to a whole new depth. As terrible as the pictures were, the real life videos that were taken at the camp show how much suffering and excruciating pain the people went through. Unfortunately, if someone were lucky enough to survive the holocaust, most likely not all of their family would have made it to the end of the war. Today, we honor the Jewish people — those who died and those who survived — for the miserable years they spent suffering. We will never forget the experience we had at the Holocaust Museum, and we are excited to see more and learn more in the next few days to come.
It was an early morning for the freshman class. Some students were regretting staying up too late the night before, while others jumped out of bed, eager to start the new day. We started off the day with group devotionals in our suite of rooms, primarily focusing on what it means to value God’s creation. After breakfast, we had a session with our instructor, Samantha or “Sam” as she likes to be called, in preparation for going on the research vessels. The session was followed by a scenic drive to the docking area, including a view of the NASA base right next door to the Chincoteague Bay Field Station. And even better, Mr. Lawrenz got us doughnuts! We eventually arrived to the docking station in a small water area which was infested with mosquitoes — most students suffered at least a few bites while waiting on the dock. Lifejackets on and equipment secure, we made the small step from the dock onto Research Vessel R.V. Flatfish! We boated through beautiful marshes, surrounded by the echo of birds flying through the misty air and the rush of the wind through our sweatshirts — it was absolute serenity.
Once we anchored, Sam divided us into groups where we would put our new knowledge of marine life into action! We had “stations” on the boat where we got to use special equipment such as a refractometer and a Van Dorn Bottle, instruments that help calculate temperature, density and salinity. We had the opportunity to use a giant trawling net — yes, a net somewhat like the one in “Finding Nemo.” As Sam and CCA students pulled the contraption out of the water, the boat was flooded with various species of marine life such as blue crabs, fish, and mollusks. I found it especially humorous when one of the crabs so cleverly escaped the net, in hopes of returning to sea, and ended up in the captain’s cabin. Wrong way, Mr. Crab! We definitely found enough creatures to bring some back for our Organisms Lab later tonight.
The rigorous activity on the Flatfish was followed by lunch and some free time for the classmates in the field; many of us slipped on the wet grass while playing soccer. Our next adventure was exploring the intertidal zone. In this activity, most of the class got drenched and what was supposed to be an educational program, turned into a water fight. We had the experience of trying to catch marine creatures in a seine net, but since the tide was high, it proved very difficult. We only managed to catch one minnow in three attempts.
When we got back to the Field Station we took a welcome shower and had dinner. The meal was followed by an Organisms Lab in which we were able to observe the various creatures and plants we had collected through a microscope. The day concluded with an edifying time of prayer and worship with our class. What a great day! -- By Brianna Benkley, '20
Photos by Hannah Saulnier '20, Ms. Cushing, and Mr. Church
We are awaiting a summary from the Sophomores who arrived in Quebec City late yesterday afternoon. They had a chance to get out and walk around the old city last night. We will post their summary when it arrives.
Today was the sort of day that looms over you when you look back on high school. I will remember the sound of everyone laughing, singing their thoughts unnecessarily loud and making the kinds of jokes only we thought were funny. I'll remember wandering around manhattan for ice cream only to find that everything was over priced and we wanted smoothies instead. I'll remember the rain seeping into our shoes as we trudged an hour through the city, blaming Riley for every turn we didn't feel like taking, just because he's easily irritated. I'll remember the look of respect that crossed everyone's faces when we learned about the workers who lived in tenements and worked six day weeks from the age of nine. I'll remember feeling grateful, walking through the 9'11 memorial. We listened to a man leaving a message for his wife, as his plane was being high jacked and he realized he might not be seeing her again: "I totally love you," he said. I think I'll always remember that. I don't know what I'd say if I had to leave a message like that, if I'd even be able to say anything at all. I don't know what I'd do if I suddenly saw the world go up in smoke. Walking through a place like that makes you think about what's really important in life. And I think moments like this are really important--just the laughing and the stupidity and the sudden realization that none of this wonderful happiness is guaranteed or given away for free. Some people don't get to live long lives with people they love. Some people don't get to spend a week in a fun city with all of their friends. But I do. I'm here. Today happened. And I'm so thankful for that. -- By Emma Schell '17
Photos by Mikey Gergely '17, Mike Tammaro '17, Mr. Miller and Mrs. Azadian