This spring break, a group students at NSS took the opportunity of a special field trip to the United States: New York, New York. the students had many things to report, with an enthusiastic response to their adventure in the big city.
But international travel is not new to our school. For years tours have been made to Europe through the “Education First” (EF) program, stimulating many a young traveller from our community. It’s a commendable effort on the part of the organizers, primarily Nakusp Secondary’s principal, Susan Paterson, especially in a time where we all struggle through an ill-faring economy.
It’s easy to see the appeal of this program, not just for the excitement of travel, but for the education it offers, giving young people the chance to witness first-hand the results of significant events in history, as well as providing activities and cultural experiences.
After his return from New York, Dustin Larrimore expressed that “it’s a different lifestyle” and that “people are so rushed.”
Marina Cunningham, an attendee of last year’s Euro-tour, described the native cuisine, architectural sites, and her newfound love of Amsterdam, which she intends to revisit; her favourite activity there being a tour of the city on bicycle.
Megan Hughes, a grade-twelve student who has been on the European tour twice, and will be attending again next spring break, described her favourite aspect of the excursions was meeting new people and interacting with students from other schools that they toured with. She said, “it teaches you lots about how to take care of yourself in different situations.”
Ms. Paterson explained that, “it basically opens minds, opens opportunities. It’s amazing the growth I see in people.”
It’s evident that quite a bit of growing up was done during these international visits. Shaely Gresiuk in grade twelve had never even been in an airport before the trip to NYC, and she had been terrified in her anticipation. But it was all worth it in the end, as she relayed in eagerness the remarkable view from the top of the Empire State Building.
Fellow graduating student Katie Hoffman stated her favourite sites were Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The two learned of parts and places in history, such as the structural planning behind the famed Statue, and a memorial church dedicated to the deaths that took place on 9/11. I learned from them that this trip was “definitely an eye-opener.”
Such extensive and thorough educational sprees require much effort to be put towards them. In the past, funding activities have been limited, mainly requiring fees from students, but this upkeep has become challenging, and organizers of these activities have been making tentative plans and considerations towards opening up fundraising for future plans, such as bottle drives. Ms. Paterson says that they are most definitely open to ideas and suggestions.
These field trips are something worth supporting, and even participating in, as evidenced by past students.
The next European tour will not be as broad as the previous ones, taking place in multiple nations, but instead will be specific to Italy and Spain, where there will be a number of stimulating hands-on activities, such as pizza-cooking lessons, gladiator workshops and glass-making. And in the year 2015, students will have the chance to join the New Denver Lucerne class visit to Costa Rica. And by the sound of it, it will be well worth it!
Hughes agreed with the added encouragement that on these trips, one receives a “better understanding of the world,” and that “it’s just a good experience, and it’s something people should be privy to. It shows what the world has to offer.”