ATW Day 2: Getting to Work
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5/22/2018 - It's day two of Academic Travel Week and our Upper School students are getting to work!  Eighth graders explored the many monuments of Washington, D.C., our Freshmen collected and studied organisims from Chincoteague Bay, and our Seniors reflected on the tragdey of 9/11 at the museum in lower Manhattan.  Read the student blogs below to find out what our students were up to on Monday!

 

Seventh Grade: Gettysburg, PA & New York

by Ella Sims ‘23

Today, we started by loading the buses at 5:45am. We drove for 3 hours, and then stopped at McDonalds for a bathroom break. We had a lot of fun talking and telling jokes! Then we drove for another 2 hours and stopped at a rest spot for lunch, and then drove to the Cavern. For dinner we went to a buffet, and lastly, we drove to the hotel for some swimming and sleep. The pool is awesome! There is a hot tub, and plenty of room in the pool for games. We’re having a great time and can’t wait for tomorrow!

 

by Savannah Ferreira ‘23

When we got to Indian Echo Cavern, we met our tour guide Claudia. She explained the rules of the cavern and told us to be respectful of the property. As we got into the cave, it turned very dark. There was water dripping down the ceiling and the air felt very heavy. Claudia showed us to the sections of the cave. The cave was huge! The passageways were very narrow and the roofs of the cave in some parts were very low. My favorite part of the cavern was when we went to the bridge and saw the crystal clear water. At the last stop Claudia told us about a man who used to live in the caves. It was a very interesting and fun adventure!

 

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Eighth Grade: Washington, D.C.

by Abby Baird ‘22

Today’s monument walk was moving because it showed the immense loss that our country has suffered during war stricken times. The Vietnam memorial was huge and it went on and on listing all the names of the people that died. It was moving to see all of the people that were willing to sacrifice their lives for us, and our nation. The Korean Memorial consisted of many statues, and legend says one of them will be staring at you from any different place around the memorial. The WW2 memorial was breathtaking. It showed all the states and their contribution to the war. Besides that it also had a big fountain in the middle that brought the whole piece together. There is a place where you can here applause by the monument if you listen close and to my surprise, I could hear it. The Lincoln Memorial was huge, in my mind I thought it would be much smaller but it was way bigger. Seeing the Lincoln memorial and the place where many people had done their famous speeches made me speechless. There was so much history that took place there and to be able to see that was a privilege. Each of the monuments was different in how they were built and what they were for, but the heart of it all was still the same. We as Americans want to be able to honor those who served, sacrificed and lost their lives for us. We are thankful for them and we are grateful to them.

 

by Joshua Pekari ‘22

Today we headed to Arlington National Cemetery in the morning. I think that we were all a little tired, but eager to see the changing of the guard. I for one thought that the changing of the guard would be my favorite part, but it turned out that my favorite part was seeing a funeral procession that was going through the cemetery while we were there. I think that it is really awesome how every single soldier buried there gets a full military funeral like that. It must be really nice to know that your friend or family member is being honored in such a way like that. I also appreciated how nice all of the white tombs on the hills were - a beautiful memorial to those that have died serving our country. I’m not sure if it is a bad thing to say this, but I think that visiting Arlington National Cemetery will be my favorite part of this trip. It was just so amazing how huge the place was too.

 

 

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Freshmen: Chincoteague, VA

by Meghan MacBeath ‘21 and Gaby Perdomo  ‘21

We started our first full day of our trip here in Chincoteague Bay on a research cruise. We observed the water’s qualities by conducting measurements.  We examined the temperature, salinity, density, pH, dissolved oxygen, transparency, color, and current. We used an otter trawl as a mechanism to collect a variety of organisms including blue crabs, flounders, shrimp, squid, and fish. We worked together to collect the data and haul the net. Next we went on an exciting trip through the muddy intertidal zone where we engaged in many activities involving capturing and examining organisms. One of our classmates Brandon Kruse lost his shoe during one of these mud activities, but after much searching it was victoriously found by Jacob Enfield. 

 

Later, we came back to the lab and examined the organisms collected on the research cruise and in the internal zone. We observed and attempted to classify the microorganisms and macroorganisms. Ben and Hannah, our field guide instructors, helped us recognize these organisms and sort them into groups. We used microscopes to look at plankton, which are very important organisms to their ecosystems. An eventful moment in our organism lab was when Madeline McNeilly was examining a small crab and she accidentally dropped it on the table and spilled water on herself. At the end of the day, we took some time to worship God as a community. We recognized the beauty of God’s creation around us.

 

by Jimmy Yan ‘21

Today was such a good day - we learned a lot. In the morning, we took a boat and got on a river. We learned how to get water samples and test the PH and salinity of the water. We learned how to test the depth of the water. We grew our friendships. We learned how to work with others. In the afternoon, we went to the intertidal zone. We caught some fish. We learned what is harmful. (For example, the blue crab.) After that we prayed and worshipped the Lord. We sang songs together, and we said thank you to God. I’m grateful that I had such a good day. Oh Lord, thank you for being with us and blessing us. We thank you that we can be with each other and have fun with each other!

 

by Jacob Knowlton ‘21

Today was full of fun and fruitful activities. We learned from all the the fish we caught the beauties of God’s creation, and then saw in the microorganisms lab how intricate God’s creation truly is. There was a great sense of community with all of our classmates today, and everyone enjoyed themselves, even if at first it was difficult (walking on a knee-deep muddy trail). At the end of the day, we enjoyed a great time of worship to honor the creator of everything we see in nature. Everyone was engaged in worshipping, and God’s presence was felt within the room. The whole day the group was kind to one another, honoring to one another and to God. We had a great day in God’s creation!

 

 

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Sophomores: Quebec City

By Will Rourke ‘20

The CCA sophomore class departed the school bright and early. After an exciting Bruno Mars-filled car ride, we arrived at our hotel. We got changed and started our walking tour with the one and only Mr.Wegrzyn! We walked along the St. Lawrence River and drew in our trip journals. We then entered Petit Champlain, a beautiful little shopping area with cobblestone streets. After some plentiful shopping, it was finally time for dinner. We ate at a beautiful restaurant with some of the best food we’ve ever eaten. For appetizers, many had soup or sushi and for the entrée, steak, salmon, duck pad thai and ham was offered. For dessert we all had our own crème brûlée. After dinner, we had a nice walk back to our hotel for bed. We all fell asleep eager to see what is in store for tomorrow!

 

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Juniors: "A Hard Thing" Houston, Texas

by Kelly Russell ‘19

We started off Sunday with a time of fellowship, worship, and a short sermon from the leader of the organization we are working with. Before the day’s work began, we enjoyed getting to know some of the college students from Wisconsin who are also volunteering here. They taught us a fun game called “Spicy Uno” and now we play it whenever we have free time. The family hosting us made us a buffet of food for lunch, with stir fry rice, steamed greens, chicken wings, yellow watermelon, sausage, salad, and more. We were not expecting such a delicious feast! After lunch, we helped build fencing for the spinach farmers’ greenhouses. Around dinner time, we went to Chuy’s for Tex-Mex food. It was amazing - we were all full by the time our food came out because our classmate, Jacob Sims, paid for queso for all of us and we totally pigged out. From there, we drove to Minute Maid Park for the Houston Astros baseball game. The Astros beat the Cleveland Indians, 3-1, and there were fireworks when they won! We were honorary Astros fans for a night, even cheering in the streets walking back to our van, the classic Josh Reddick cheer (“whooooo”) like all the other fans around us. It was also a great chance to see downtown Houston on the ride back. It was our classmate Aria Heil’s birthday, and we all loved getting to spend her special day with her. Happy birthday Aria!

 

By Joao Ornelas ‘19

The first day in Houston really has given us a new perspective on what it means to "give up for everything." We all understood that giving up comfort, sleeping hours, and distance from home, would be a small price to pay for the great work we have been able to participate in these few days. We could all feel the spiritual atmosphere instantly when we arrived, and certainly like past trips, we have built a stronger bond with each other. Truly this experience repays us with not only amazing food, but the opportunity to do good while praising our Lord and savior with many others. Here's to more days filled with joyful praise and hard work ahead of us!

 

By Elianna Gonzales

Today (Monday) was the first full day of work for us. I think we were all a little surprised by the heat at the end of the day.  We all came back into the cabin and saw that we were covered in sunburns.  It was hard work but we learned a lot.  After lunch today we were split up into different groups.  At first we were sad to leave each other but then we got excited that we would have more opportunities.  Kelly and I were volunteered to go and lay down the foundation for a new house.  When we first heard we were doing this we were excited but when we got there we realized that it was actually a lot harder than we thought.  We had to hammer stakes into the ground to outline a 30 feet by 30 feet house.  We had to make sure all the measurements were precise in order for the house to be built correctly.  We did not realize how physically and mentally exhausting it is to build a house.  Trying to get the foundation straight made Kelly and I really appreciate the houses we have. We are very privileged with houses that are a lot better than the ones we were building.  I cannot imagine how difficult it must of been to build our houses if we had such a hard time with a smaller house.  

 

After we finished working we went back to our house and listen to the leader of this charitable organization give a message.  It was very powerful to see a lot of people confessing their faith and becoming followers of Christ.  A girl was getting baptized but her parents were not Christian. We have heard that people get baptized almost every night here and it is amazing to see them so full of God’s joy. We all feel like we are learning a lot here and the presence of God can definitely be felt at this place and in these people.  We are very happy to have the chance to serve here. 

 

by Amanda Guerriero

Monday we ate breakfast at 7:00 before going out to the greenhouses to work.  We removed old and rotten boards from the sides of the greenhouses to replace them with new boards and detached boards from the roof.  We went back to work at 1:00 after breaking for lunch and ended our work day at 5:30.  After dinner we had a debrief where we talked about what it means to be a Christian in non-Christian settings and how God adopts us as his own, even if we are rejected by others. Later two people from another group here got baptized!

 

 

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Seniors: New York City

By Tate Ostrowski ‘18

We woke up this morning and at around 7 and started making our way to Old John's restaurant. While we were waiting outside we saw a baby bat hanging outside of the entrance. Once we were inside, we were seated in a dim lit diner. From breakfast we walked to the subway and rode it to Chamber st. The subway was quiet except for our group. Everyone could tell we didn't ride it often.

 

Once on the street, we made our way to the 9/11 memorial. Standing at the foundation of one of the fallen buildings gives you a sense for the magnitude of the event. Walking around the memorial I found “The Survivor Tree”. This tree was the only tree that survived in the wreckage, and it represents the survivors of the incident but was still was wounded. Inside the museum you are immediately struck by the unity that this event brings. Everyone is silent, everyone shows respect and everyone knows that these places means something.

 

After the 9/11 memorial we went to lunch. We sat with a great view of the river and the city. From there, we had a short distance to walk from lunch to the Tenement Museum. The museum was able to recreate the living arrangements and lifestyles of many immigrants coming from different backgrounds.

 

From there, we made our way to Brooklyn! We had pizza for dinner in a small restaurant near the river. To cap off our stay in Dumbo, we took in the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge from a rooftop. Making our way back across the Brooklyn bridge was hectic. Among the crazy bikers and the crowd of people, Jordan Ann found a guy with a HUGE snake! In the end, we did some walking around the city and winded the day down with a quick visit to CVS before returning to our lodging for the night.

 

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