March 9th 2023
“I never thought I would be able to have fun with kids my age doing things like this.” This was shared during a moment of reflection on the first night of our 11th grade trip to Washington DC. Each and every night of a Trekker Trip, we make it a practice to gather around in a circle, known as a circle up, where we intentionally slow down and talk to one another. Similar to a campfire, a circle up creates a brave space to be vulnerable with one another, as we talk about the things on our hearts. Just as important as it is sharing one's thoughts and feelings of their day, a circle up also welcomes everyone the opportunity to listen.
The 11th grade trip to Washington DC could be described in many different ways. Some kids would say too long. Some kids would say too short. Some staff would say not enough sleep. But what I believe all would say, was needed. This group of 12 adolescents were a class that had gone on one trip before in 2019 and would not go on a trip again until 2022. Bonded by Covid, this DC trip was their chance to connect with one another without screens, without zoom links, and without others to infere.
During the trip the 11th graders were able to learn many things.
For some they learned about americas toiled but rich history at the African American history Museum
For others they learned about the spark of an idea, and the inception of a nation at the US capitol
For a few they learned about the pain of a people at the Holocaust museum
For all, they learned about themselves and what it means to slow down and spend time with friends.
In the end, this trip was a opportunity for the kids to be kids. To step away and take a break from everything that life throws at them. The DC trip every year cannot be explained. Though the itinerary may remain the same year after year, the impact that it has on the students is never the same.