5/26/2017 - On Thursday, each of the 6 classes returned safely from their Academic Travel Week adventures. Read on for some final thoughts and photos from our students.
Seventh Graders visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Tenement Museum in New York today before their long drive home. They finally pulled in to CCA at approximately 12:30am.
Thursday was our last day in Washington D.C. This meant that moods were a little bit down that the trip was coming to an end, but also looking back on it, we were all glad for the time we had spent together. Most of us woke up late and were reluctant to get up and start the day. After breakfast, we set out towards the Air and Space Museum. I would argue that the Air and Space Museum is more of a source of creativity than a museum itself. When you walk into the main lobby, you look up and see huge planes hanging from the ceiling. If you walk to the right, you will eventually find a huge part of a space ship as well as multiple rockets. Every part of the spaceships is so precisely designed and manufactured that it amazed us. On the other wing of the Museum are some large passenger planes. One of the planes stood out to me particularly: the Eastern Airlines DC-3. The plane itself is a large passenger plane encapsulated in a silver glistening aluminum. It would have been amazing to see a plane like this flying through the air while the sun bounced off every surface of the plane. -- Zeke Ostrowski '21
We also got to visit the International Spy Museum. This museum was different from all the others in that it was more interactive. It started with each of us picking a secret identity and then watching an introduction film about spies. Then throughout the museum there were activities related to your secret identity and your "mission." We got to do many interactive things like cracking codes, climbing through an air duct in the ceiling, and hanging onto a "helicopter" with the wind blowing in our face for as long as we could (trying to make our "escape"). The museum also had a lot about spies in movies, such as James Bond, and spies in real life throughout history. It was a fun museum and a great way to end our trip!
The trip ended with a crazy experience at the airport. Our flight, which was rescheduled to leave at 10:00 PM, was delayed 2 hours. We didn't even board the plane until midnight! We finally landed in Boston at around 1:40 AM after a tiring but exciting trip. Our time in Washington D.C. was amazing - we learned a lot and made many fun memories. -- Meghan MacBeath '21
Thursday of our trip week had a melancholy feeling because today is the day that we all return home. We are all happy to go home to our families, friends and our home sweet home, but we will miss this experience. Before we embarked on today’s long six hour drive to CCA, we stopped by Mr. Lawrenz’s in-laws (Mrs. Lawrenz’s parents) house in Port Republic, NJ. We had a wonderful breakfast. They had made a bunch of different egg casseroles that tasted amazing. They also had a store that sold all kinds of handmade decorations and even homemade honey and jam. It was a great feast that involved stories and a lot of laughter. This last moment of us all together as a class, enjoying eating breakfast together, was a great time for me to reflect on our week altogether.
Through the week my favorite part was when we all had to crawl through the mud. This moment seemed like nothing but just a bunch of fun but there is a good message behind it. When we get stuck in the mud we can look at it like sin. We are easily sucked in but to get out we need help, and for us as Christians our help comes from God. Over the course of the trip I learned that our class is one that sticks together. I saw this present when we were all in the mud as well. Even though we all wanted to go take a shower after we had gotten out — we didn’t hesitate to jump back in to help others get out. This week was a great thing for our class; before, we had our own groups, but now we have bonded and become one. I think the best time we had as a class was on the last day. We all spent three hours taking pictures and just hanging out on the roof by our hotel. This trip was an amazing adventure from crawling in the mud to chilling on the roof! I think we all had a blast! -- Caio Mauro '20
The last stop on our adventure to Quebec was at Huron, a Native American Reserve. We arrived at the site and were greeted by our tour guide named Pierre. He brought us to a small auditorium where he began to talk to us about the history of the Wendat and their way of catching animals and using their furs. He showed us many different animal furs including beaver, which is what the Wendat most commonly used because it was the softest and warmest, wolverine, and taught us about the stoat, a canadian animal that kills for sport.
After this Pierre took us to see a longhouse, which is what the Wendat used to live in. Inside the longhouse was many beds and fires, which the Wendat used to keep themselves warm and to cook fish. The longhouse beds were covered in furs, ranging from bunny to bear to even moose. He told us that there was always a leader of the tribe, the flame mother, who would choose the chiefs of the village. It was here that we dubbed our female chaperone, Mrs. Story, as our flame mother.
When coming to the next stop on our tour, we were asked to put our cameras away, for it was a sacred place. The place where we entered had masks, ranging from bigger than a kid to smaller than our faces, that we later learned were spiritual masks carved out of tree trunks. The Wendat would carve the masks into the trunks of the trees, and if the tree did not die from the carving, there would be a good spirit in the tree and they would then use the mask for their spiritual doings. In this sacred place, there was also dream catchers. Pierre told us the legend of how these dream catchers came about. He told us that a woman went to the gods and asked them for help when her son couldn’t sleep because he kept having horrible nightmares. The only god that would help her was the spider, which showed her how to make a web to hang in her son’s room that would catch all the bad dreams and let the good dreams go through. Pierre told us that the original design of the dream catchers has only one bead in it to represent the spider, not many beads like we see in dream catchers today.
Next, Pierre took us to a teepee where he told us more about the Wendat. He showed us a map and told us how the Wendat first came to Quebec. The Wendat were not always from Quebec, they used to be located closer to the great lakes. But then they moved to Quebec when the French came so that they would be under their protection. The French and Wendat people got along very well and they shared with each other things from their different cultures. The Wendat also fought in wars for the French which we learned about earlier in the trip. Pierre also showed us how they would build canoes and let us sit in them and he told us a little about what it’s like now for the Natives.
After learning a little more about the history of the Wendat, it was finally time to eat. We were brought into a restaurant, where the waitress told us about Wendat eating traditions, and we were brought out our first course, sunflower soup. Then we were given a bison burger, a meat not many of us had tried before, but ended up being not much different than an average hamburger. For dessert they placed a vanilla cake with caramel syrup before us, which was a favorite of many. Lastly, we went to the gift shop where many of us bought amazing souvenirs. Overall our trip to the Wendat was eye opening and a lot of fun, and although we were only there for a short time, we all came home with memories we will never forget.
-- by Elianna Gonzales '19 and Emma Crespo '19
This last day in New York was a very short day compared to the other days here, as we were boarding our train home at 2pm. We woke up very early to get ready and we left our bags in Mrs.Azadian's room. We headed out for our tour of the United Nations. After taking the subway to the UN, we stopped on our way at a cute, artsy breakfast place with amazing home fries. We then walked to the UN for our tour. Our tour guide told us facts about the country of Yemen, where 45% of their health services are down while they are facing the largest humanitarian crisis they've even known. The population of Syria does not account for the amount of refugees in Yemen. None of us really knew anything about this crisis in Yemen because the western media does not focus on it nearly as much as others. I feel as if that was a very striking fact, and it made many of us think about the many hard and terrible things going on in the world. But there was also great things we learned on this tour like the valuable goals the UN is working to achieve, like providing education for all, having no poverty worldwide and gender equality for all by 2030. It was a great learning experience.
As we headed from the UN to grab our bags and take the subway to Penn station where we would take our trains back home, I was thinking this is the last time our class will be truly all together outside of school, and I teared up a little bit. I thought about the kids in our class going out of state for college, or even my best friend being two hours away from me. But what made me wipe away my tears was knowing that these memories will never go away and that we came into each other's lives to leave our marks. This class has taught me so much about love, kindness, Christ centered friendships and much more. I couldn't be happier to have had this experience with them. I love them to the moon and back.
-- Seniors Last Blog. by Yasmin Simoes '17