Tag Archives: class trips

Students Travel to Charleston, South Carolina to Learn About Revolutionary War Battle of 1776 and the Siege of 1780

by Howard Clemens

Charleston, South Carolina has a rich history, beginning in the Revolutionary War era and pre-dating it. The Ashley and Cooper Rivers converge to create an inland harbor, making it one of the most prosperous and perfectly formed and located port cities in Early America. Seen as a ‘crown jewel’ city by the British Navy, Charleston was attacked twice in the Revolutionary War: once in 1776, when it was defended by General Moultrie successfully, and again in 1780, when the main peninsula and harbor were commandeered by the British and no ships besides theirs were allowed into port.

Students of history and social studies and even military history can learn much through the active study of Charleston. Since its inception in 1670, Charleston has always been a strategic coastal settlement and bustling port city – and remains so to this day.

While the army of Patriots in the North fought off the British and dealt with traitors (Tories) and espionage, the South was also faced with inconstancy in allegiances. In Georgia, prosperous landowners and businessman aligned with the British, so the state was easily taken over by the British. Some of these sentiments spread to the landowning class in South Carolina. In South Carolina the entire population was not so easily converted to ‘Tories,’ especially in the upstate, the rural areas and the backcountry, where resistance to British rule was strong. So the Revolutionary War resembled a civil war in the South because these open alliances with the British divided families, neighborhoods and towns.

1776: Charleston is Bombarded & Defended During Revolutionary War
The first shots of the American Revolution may have been heard in Massachusetts – but they also resounded in the south in Charleston’s harbor on June 28, 1776. With some foresight, Americans built fortifications at Sullivan’s Island, which sits at the mouth of the harbor. An assault force of nearly 3,000 British soldiers and seaman were repelled by Patriot General Charles Lee in 1776, protecting the city from harm. By engaging the British forces here, the Patriots were able to save Charleston from falling. This important first battle for Charleston encouraged many to join the Patriots and fight for a new united country.

1780: Charleston Under Siege and Occupation
Recalling the battle of 1780, when the British once again attempted to lay siege to Charleston, is a far darker episode in the Revolutionary War. Overwhelmed by the nearly 10,000 British troops in the harbor – the Patriots fought valiantly. The second time the British Naval forces entered the Charleston harbor, they passed Sullivan’s Island and laid siege upon the City. The British successfully captured the Peninsula and the entire city of Charleston fell into British hands on May 12, 1780. Over 5,000 Patriot soldiers were imprisoned and British troops occupied Charleston until the Revolutionary War concluded. Over a year later, the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781 would free Charleston’s occupants from British rule and captivity.

Knowing the history of Charleston’s struggle with Patriotism, it’s no wonder the movie, The Patriot, was filmed in Charleston and in some of its historic homes and estates. Some sites student groups will want to tour include Fort Moultrie, Fort Sumter, the Heyward-Washington House and Middleton Place House Museum. All of these sites date to the Revolutionary War era.

Trip leaders may want to take shorter trips west, into South Carolina, where the Revolutionary War continued. In Camden, South Carolina British troops were met with strong resistance that spread into other battles across Clarendon County. A tour bus can easily take student groups out to selected battlefield destinations. Work with a student travel company to determine which sites work best for Revolutionary War studies and are accessible at the time of year Charleston is visited.

Learn more about a student tour based on Revolutionary War sites in South Carolina. Request a Quote for more information.

State College Tours: Virginia

The Commonwealth of Virginia is home to some of the oldest and most distinguished colleges and universities in the United States.  For residents of Virginia, this can mean a first class education for the price of in-state tuition.  Out-of-state residents will attend these schools because of their reputation for academic excellence and historical significance.

This list is not inclusive of all state colleges in Virginia. I have highlighted the most widely known universities for this particular tour that is designed for high school juniors and seniors who are preparing for college.

College of William and Mary (Williamsburg)

Founded during the Colonial era in 1693, by King William and Queen Mary of England, this state college became publicly funded in 1908. The College is located in the heart of downtown Williamsburg and retains the character of centuries gone by with historic buildings and English gardens.   With nearly 6,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students, the campus community is sizable.   The student faculty ratio is 12:1.  Academic emphasis at the College of William and Mary is on the liberal arts.  Student tours visiting campus may also want to explore Jamestown Island, Yorktown Battlefields and Colonial Williamsburg.

University of Virginia (Charlottesville & Wise)

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is steeped in political and social history and inseparable from Jefferson’s vision of training the best minds as leaders.  With approximately 14,000 undergraduate students, 5,000 graduate students and 1,700 law and medical students, the university offers 51 bachelors degrees, 84 master’s degrees, two professional degrees in law and medicine, as well as 57 doctoral degrees in 55 fields.  Located in Charlottesville and Wise, Virginia, the heart of the main campus was designed by Thomas Jefferson and is visible from his estate, Monticello.  The original curriculum of University of Virginia was liberal arts and medicine, and the student body retains this character today.

Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU (Richmond)

This university serves 32,000 students with two campuses in Richmond:  Monroe Park and Medical College of Virginia (MCV).  VCU traces the founding date to 1838, when the medical college of Virginia was created.  The Monroe Park Campus opened in 1917.  In 1968, VCU was established as a public university.  Renowned as a research university, VCU offers the following degree programs:  60 Baccalaureate, 67 Master’s, and 40 Doctorate.  The university has a history of liberal arts teaching and also emphasizes medical research and health care.  Student life is focused in the historic downtown Fan district and at the many residence halls on campus.

Radford University (Radford)

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the New River Valley, Radford University is an aesthetically pleasing rural campus with an interesting history.  It originally began as the State Normal and Industrial School for Women in 1910 and the curriculum was designed to train teachers.  Later, it temporarily merged with Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VA Tech). When the turbulent 60s came and went, it impacted life on campus dramatically. Radford began a shift from a finishing school for girls to a public university open to men in 1972. Late in the 70s Radford attained university status.  Radford serves 9,000 students and provides 153 undergraduate and graduate programs. Though Radford began as an institution that trains teachers, it has expanded to a university that encompasses diverse academic studies. Colleges and departments include:  Business and Economics, Education and Human Development, Health and Human Services, Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, Science and Technology and the Visual and Performing Arts.

Virginia Tech (Blacksburg)

Virginia Polytechnic University, also known as Virginia Tech, is home to the Virginia Hokies football team and has established a name for excellence in engineering and technical fields.  The school serves over 30,000 students and has a 16:1 faculty student ratio.  Virginia Tech was founded in 1872 and boasts one of the largest number of degree offerings in Virginia.  This public land grant university also houses a 1,700-acre agriculture research farm located close to the main campus.  Like Radford, it is also located in the New River Valley, in a particularly scenic, rural area of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  In addition to engineering, VA Tech is known for Architecture and Urban Studies, Science, Business, and Agriculture and Life Sciences programs.

College tours of state universities in Virginia are worthwhile for in-state and out-of-state students who are juniors and seniors in high school.  There are so many excellent state colleges to choose from in Virginia, all with rich and varied histories and curricula. Request a quote for college tours.

Grad Nite in Walt Disney World Orlando: A Great Senior Trip Idea

One of the best high school senior trip ideas in the United States is for a class to attend Grad Nite in Walt Disney World Orlando. There’s also a Grad Nite for high school seniors at the Disneyland California location, for students that find travel easier to a West Coast location.

 

On Grad Nite, Magic Kingdom is closed to everyone except high school seniors on the cusp of their graduation — and the park is theirs all night.  In 2011, Grad Night is slated for April 29th  and 30th  and May 6th  and 7th at Walt Disney World Orlando.  In order to reserve a place at Grad Nite, teachers and trip leaders scheduling this type of senior trip will want to plan at least six months in advance, and start making commitments by the end of 2010.

 

There are lots of reasons to recommend Grad Nite to parents. Many senior parties near home may include the opportunity to consume alcohol. This is a concern for many parents who do no allow their children to drink and certainly do not want them driving if they do consume alcohol. The event occurs in one place and transportation is provided to and from the park.  Grad Nite is alcohol free and monitored by adults and employees of the park.

 

High School Seniors enjoy dancing, going on rides, video games, and dining in a closely monitored, public environment.  They get to spend the evening with their high school friends and engage in activities any teenager might enjoy.  Students travel to the event with chaperones, and with some educational travel companies, security is provided while the group is resting at the hotel.  When security is provided at the hotel, it gives additional piece of mind to parents and teachers.

 

The Grad Nite event is designed to appeal directly to high school seniors, with the entertainment selected with their tastes in mind.

In 2011, Grad Nite in Orlando is scheduled to include the following:

–    DJ Pauly D, who plays dance mixes with electronic sounds that appeal to this age group, will     occupy the Cinderella Stage.
–    Live music is also scheduled for the evening, with two bands slated to perform:  Taio Cruz and 3OH!3.
–    Seniors get to hang out with their friends and dance in an alcohol free environment and meet graduating seniors from across the U.S.
–    Access to interactive video games gives students a pleasurable break from dancing or rides and another way to celebrate with friends.
–    Students can take as many rides as they like Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and other popular Magic Kingdom rides.
–    Near the end of the evening, a fireworks show is provided to honor graduating seniors.  This show makes the group of traveling high school seniors feel like the center of attention.

For seniors who want special mementos to remind them of their Grad Night experience, Walt Disney World sells keepsakes commemorating the evening.  They can also take photos or have them taken by a Disney World photographer.

Student travel discounts are available for groups of ten or more students and are best obtained by working directly with an educational travel company that specializes in booking group tours.  Grad Nite fills up fast, so book early to ensure a group reservation.

For information about booking a high school senior trip to Grad Nite in Disney World Request a Quote or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Preparation Tips for Class Trips

When student travel groups embark on a class trip to a destination far from home, it can seem like a daunting endeavor. Over the last 25 years of planning class trips to a variety of U.S. destination, I have found that pre-trip planning and organization can be key to a smooth trip.

Student groups need to be given clear instructions in planning for a class trip. These student tour groups will manage their departure from home and arrival in another city much better than those who do not receive directions.

Class Trip Suggestions

I am going to detail some basic preparation tips for class trips that assist in creating a tour that proceeds on schedule and allows student travelers, chaperones and teachers to relax and derive maximum enjoyment from the journey.

1. Luggage rules for airline carriers have changed over the past two years. To avoid extra baggage fees students are best advised to limit their luggage to one suitcase and a small carry on.

2. Students should bring a minimum amount of cash with them. My educational travel company recommends $50 total. If students require more than this on tour, then credit cards, bank cards, or travelers checks are a wise alternative.

3. While taking a student tour of the destination city, we strongly advise that students stay in groups of four or more and with their assigned chaperone.

4. Eating and drinking is allowed on most buses. Should the bus driver decided to discontinue this privilege, then the student travel group must honor this request. Encourage all members of the student tour group to keep the buses clean.

5. These days, many students have their own cell phones. For those who do not, hotel phone numbers are listed on the itineraries. Parents should retain a copy of the itinerary so they may reach their children easily.

6. While staying in hotels, long distance phone calls and pay television are turned off. The group sponsor may elect to allow students to pay for movies at the front desk, but the student must be accompanied by an adult. Local phone calls made from the room are paid for by that room’s occupants.

7. Hotel rules need to be made and ultimately enforced by teachers. This includes curfews (which are usually set at 11 p.m.), room assignments, and room-to-room calling.

8. If a security person is retained for this class trip, then this person will meet the group sponsor to be apprised of the rules and implementation.

9. If problems occur on the class trip and a tour escort is unable to solve them, the educational travel company should be contacted directly.

My educational travel company provides a list of preparation tips for class trips prior to departure. I recommend teachers copy this list and give the written tips to the students that are traveling.

If students and parents are made aware of these class trip suggestions, the majority will follow these requests. Wherever their destination may be, we feel these guidelines help create a safe and enjoyable class trip.

Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information on class trips to a desired destination, or take five minutes to fill out our online form and Request a Quote today.

The Ultimate Chicago Student Trip! Plan a Student Tour of Obama’s Chicago

by Howard Clemens

A majority of teachers in the United States chose the teaching profession because they believed they would have the opportunity to educate, inspire and nurture young minds. In the classroom children of all ages learn about themselves and the world around them. Outside of the classroom extracurricular activities like sports, academic clubs, band and school field trips provide experiences to help kids imagine all of the possibilities ahead of them.

Create a Chicago Student Trip Itinerary to Inspire Students of Any Age

President Barack Obama’s life has been an amazing journey with struggles and triumphs. He is proof that with hard work, dedication and passion people can live their dreams. President Obama’s story shows children from all walks of life they can be anything they want when they grow up. Here are some ideas for a Chicago student trip itinerary that include some destinations on the “Obama Tour.”

Take a Student Trip to Chicago and Explore the Personal Life of the Obama Family

In order to understand where it all began student tours can follow the suggestion of the Chicago Tribune and visit the Chase Tower, the former home of Sidley & Austin, the law firm where Barack and Michelle Obama first met in 1989. Then stop by to see 1400 East 53rd Street, the location of a brick building that used to be a Baskin Robbins ice ream parlor. It was here that the president and First Lady had their first kiss. Student trips can also include a stop at the basketball courts on Hayes and South Lake Shore Drive where President Obama and his brother in law regularly shot hoops. Next visit the South Shore Cultural Center where the Obamas held their wedding reception in 1992.

At 5450 SE View Park student tours will catch a glimpse of the condominium where Barack and Michelle lived for twelve years before purchasing their Kenwood neighborhood home in 2005. According to an article in the Chicago Sun Times written by Mark J. Konkol, Michelle Obama stated “I love living in Hyde Park, so close to so many of our friends and family. The community is diverse and very family-oriented, and, as the mom of two daughters, I really appreciate that.” The Obama Family Home is not currently open to the public.

Student Tour Destinations that Explore Barack Obama’s History as a Professor, Politician and President

A Chicago student trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the sites associated with President Obama’s academic, political and presidential past. First on the list is the Holy Rosary Catholic Church rectory located at 351 E 113th Street. Obama worked here as a community organizer during the 1980’s. Next students can enjoy a tour of the University of Chicago Law School. President Obama taught here from 1993 until 2003.

In order to spark student conversation about President Obama’s political views stop by Federal Plaza, where then Senator Obama gave a speech against the Iraq war at a rally in 2002.

Student groups may then take a student tour of the campaign trail, which includes:

–233 N Michigan Avenue: the pre-election campaign headquarters.
–151 E Wacker Drive: the Hyatt Regency Chicago where Obama watched the election results.
–East Congress Parkway: Grant Park’s Hutchinson Field where approximately 250,000 came on election night to hear president Obama’s victory speech.

Enjoy Some of Obama Family Favorites on your Student Trip to Chicago

In order to complete a Chicago field trip itinerary include some practical, affordable destinations students can experience first hand. The Chicago Tribune suggests these Obama family favorites.

Shopping Favorites

1508 E 55th Street–What the Traveler Saw Gift Shop
Shop in the gift shop located next to Obama’s former barber that the President would visit.

135 N Jefferson Street: Maria Pinto Boutique
Get a feel for the style of the designer who dressed First Lady Michelle Obama for the Democratic National Convention.

1301 E 57th Street–57th Street Books
Visit this co-op bookstore where the President and First lady are members. President Obama held parties here for the release of his books and Michelle Obama is quoted in the Chicago Sun Times by writer Mark J. Konkol as saying, “The variety of titles, the programs for kids and the neighborhood feel make it a wonderful place to take a walk to and browse around.”

Dining Favorites

445 N Clark Street?Topolobampo
Choose a blue-and-white fabric-covered booth on the south side of the restaurant like the Obamas and make sure to try the guacamole and sopa Azteca.

1518 E 53rd Street–Valois
Located in Hyde Park for over eighty years Valois offers simple, cafeteria style dining.

5412 W Madison Street–MacArthur’s Restaurant
A well-known, soul food restaurant beloved throughout Chicago MacArthur’s is the place to be. Make sure and try an Obama favorite: turkey legs and dressing.

980 N Michigan Avenue–Spiaggia
The president and First Lady ate here the Saturday after the election. According to the Chicago Tribune, rumors say President Obama “loved the wood-roasted scallops.”

Outdoor destinations
2500 North Halsted Street?Mural of Barack Obama
Student travelers: do not miss this eye-catching mural of Barack Obama.

55th Street in the Hyde Park Neighborhood–Promontory Point
Known to Chicago locals as simply The Point, Promontory Point is part of Burnham Park and opened to the public in 1937. The man-made peninsula extends out into lake Michigan and is a popular spot for sunbathers, kayakers, windsurfers and swimmers in the summer.

With all of these destinations to choose from that are linked to President Barack Obama’s past and present, there’s a great deal to see on an Obama tour. Select some top destinations on the Obama tour and add them to a student tour of Chicago. Portions of the Obama tour will also fit nicely into an art or performance tour of the windy city. Whatever a student group’s focus while on tour of Chicago, some short stops on this tour can provide insight into the new President’s formative years as a professor and a politician and his character as a whole.

For more information on the Obama Tour of Chicago, email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or simply fill out the brief Request a Quote form.

A Sample Itinerary for Student Travel to Atlanta Georgia-Only $369 Per Student

As part of ETC’s November specials, we’re offering a special price on student travel to Atlanta for a three-day trip. Complete costs for student trips to Atlanta begin at $369 per student. There are numerous ways to tour Atlanta, but one of the most popular ways to take in the city??s historical highlights is to study the places where Martin Luther King Jr. lived, worked and died. King made a huge impact in Atlanta. There are other exciting things for student groups to do in Atlanta, such as visit CNN studios, tour the Atlanta Zoo, see the Atlanta Aquarium, or visit Six Flags Over Georgia.

If it’s possible for the student group itinerary to include an extension of the 3-day trip, many types of activities, including visits to sites just outside of Atlanta, may also be added. Just ask a professional student travel consultant at ETC and we??ll be happy to assist in creating a custom itinerary for a group.

What’s Included in the $369 Student Trip to Atlanta?
Educational Travel Consultants provides a tour escort for the $369 per student price. This price also includes deluxe motor coach from a school group??s hometown, two totally free teacher/chaperones, hotels, admission and entrance fees, two breakfasts and two dinners, coverage under ETC’s Liability Insurance Policy, taxes and tips. The hotels where ETC student groups stay are just outside of the city, with private hallways and 24-hour security.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Atlanta
Atlanta is a fantastic city to discover history and learn about the civil rights movement. For educational groups, a visit to Atlanta needs to include a trip to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Here students will see the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., the church where he worshipped and served, and his grave. Obviously, Atlanta meant a great deal to Martin Luther King, Jr. A student trip to these sites will bring MLK’s character and struggles for social justice in alignment with historical facts they may learn in class about the civil rights movement.

Tour CNN Studios in Atlanta

Many students are aware that CNN??s headquarters are in Atlanta. Student travel groups can visit the studio and take a tour. They will learn about day-to-day operations of the network and technical information about CNN. Student groups will also see a demonstration about weather broadcasts.

Zoo Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium, and the Atlanta Braves
Get set for a day of excitement when student groups tour Zoo Atlanta. There are several different exhibits, such as the Ford African Rain Forest, Flamingo Plaza, Masai Mara (a replica of East African Plains) and the Ketambe Exhibit, where the rare Sumatran Tigers are housed. Student groups may also plan a part of a day to visit the Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium. As an optional activity, student groups may see an Atlanta Braves game in the evening. For students that have no major league baseball teams near their home, a Brave??s game is an unforgettable experience.


Student Travel Tours: Dining in Atlanta

At ETC we strive to offer complementary activities on student trips that excite and engage students. Student travelers love the Hard Rock Cafe, so it’s the restaurant of choice in many cities, not just Atlanta. Another student favorite in Atlanta is the Picadilly Cafeteria, or a similar style restaurant.

Amusement Parks in and Near Atlanta
Stone Mountain Theme Park and Six Flags Over Georgia are the two main choices for student entertainment on the Atlanta trip. In addition to rides and shows, Stone Mountain has a Laser and Fireworks Show that begins in mid-April and extends through the summer. Six Flags near any destination is a familiar and popular choice for any student group.

The $369 per student price for Atlanta includes admission to both amusement parks. A visit to a theme park is a good way to balance learning activities with fun and relaxation. This overview of the $369 special Atlanta tour is a great deal and will last through the end of 2008. So, don’t delay — book your student group today for a spring trip. Contact an educational travel professional at info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or call 800-247-7969.

Add On Day Trips for Student Travel to Washington D.C.

Student travel groups headed to the Washington D.C. area may want to consider adding on day or overnight trips to nearby areas relevant to colonial or revolutionary history. There are many rich educational experiences in the Washington D.C. area, and even more destinations just a 2-4 hour driving distance outside of Washington D.C.
In my experience as an educational travel consultant, groups benefit greatly from visiting additional cities. From an educational perspective, it gives students a much wider scope of the historic period they are studying. For many groups, a study of the Civil War is relevant to their tour, and a northern and southern perspective is needed for a complete overview of the Civil War period.
Suggestions for additional cities that can easily be added to a student travel trip to Washington D.C. are included here. If the student group flies into Washington D.C., a motor coach can be utilized to travel to additional destinations such as Williamsburg, Gettysburg, and Philadelphia and Lancaster.

Williamsburg
Approximately three hours south of Washington D.C. is the town of Williamsburg Virginia. Williamsburg was the 18th Century colonial capital, and the place where the Governor resided. Colonial Williamsburg has been called the living history capital of the east, and for good reason. A student travel group can tour the town and watch history come alive as costumed interpreters tell stories derived from historical records, and give more detailed information about buildings and colonial lifestyles. Students embrace living history because it’s a fun way to learn. If student groups can stay in the Williamsburg area overnight, an additional trip to Historic Jamestown, site of the first permanent English settlement, and Yorktown National Battlefield, significant in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, is plausible.

Gettysburg
The Gettysburg National Military Park is located about two hours northwest of Washington D.C. and makes for a nice additional city to add on to a student travel tour.

The Educational Travel Consultants student tour of the Gettysburg battlefields includes a tour guide with expert knowledge of the Gettysburg area and the Civil War era. Student travel groups should be prepared to tour for two to three hours. A visit the National Park Visitor Center benefits student groups by giving them a better understanding of the Gettysburg National Battlefield history through exhibits and films.

Philadelphia and Lancaster
Student travel groups who explore the educational venues in Washington D.C. will expand their knowledge of history when they take a short trip to Philadelphia and/or Lancaster Pennsylvania.
The Philadelphia walking tour is a great way for student travel groups to familiarize themselves with colonial history and the history of the U.S. government. A tour of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were both composed. Students can also see the Liberty Bell, Visit Betsy Ross’s house and walk in Elfreth’s Alley, one of the oldest residential streets in Philadelphia, which dates back to 1702.
In nearby Lancaster Pennsylvania, students can experience the Amish way of life, tour a working farm, and dine at an authentic Amish restaurant.
With all of the additional choices for educational travel outside of Washington D.C., there are lots of creative ways to construct an interesting trip that will give a group a great overview of history and be fun and interesting at the same time.

Here’s a link to the article on ArticleSphere.com.

Washington D.C. and Vicinity – a Revolutionary War Tour

Many student travel groups I have toured with are visiting the East Coast for the first time. I like to offer these types of groups a view of Early American life that spans many of the Eastern states, with a focus on the Revolutionary War period.
In order to understand the Revolutionary War within the larger scheme of things, I advise teachers coordinating student tour groups to visit Yorktown and Mount Vernon in Virginia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. Boston, Massachusettes is also on the list of destinations for the Revolutionary War Tour, but in the interest of keeping the trip brief and manageable, Boston is usually excluded. History and government teachers may want to offer an overview of Boston and the role it played during the Revolutionary War period prior to the student travel trip.

For student tour groups taking the tour from the West Coast or the Midwest, flying into Norfolk, Virginia, and flying out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania makes a great deal of sense for the Revolutionary War tour because it saves time. Students coming from closer locations may want to consider alternate flying routes to save time and cover the most distance possible. The educational travel professionals at my company schedule the student tour with everyone’s comfort and convenience in mind.


Yorktown Virginia – A Must See on the Student Travel Tour

Yorktown Battlefields are a primary destination for the Revolutionary War tour of the East. In 1781, General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered with 8,300 troops, ending the American Revolution in Yorktown. Yet the story leading up to this surrender, and the battles fought before it took place are engaging and numerous. Student travel groups will want to take the 7-mile or 9 mile driving tours of Yorktown Battlefields to have a fuller understanding of the scope of this final battle and Cornwallis’ surrender.

Yorktown Battlefield Museum
The Yorktown Battlefield Museum details it as the place where Virginia’s colonial government was established in 1691. Because of its strategic location on the York River, one of the main tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, Yorktown was a highly contested Naval post during the Revolutionary War, and so was the appropriate place for the final battle to be fought. Student tour groups will learn a great deal about the culmination of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown and therefore, should not miss this destination.

Teachers may visit http://www.nps.gov/york/forteachers/yorktowneducationalprograms.htm and with enough advance notice, may book special interepretive programs that are in sync with curriculum objectives.


Historic Revolutionary War Sites Near Washington D.C.

Not far from Washington D.C. is one of the most famous estates on American soil. Mount Vernon was George Washington’s Home, and was a working farm as well as an estate home in the Early American style. Both are well preserved. Living history programs including an actress who plays the part of Martha Washington, Our First Lady, and demonstrations of Early American farming techniques are some of the highlights of the Mount Vernon tour. Students can visit the Eighteenth Century house, farm, and gristmill for an authentic glimpse into what it must have been like to live during Washington’s time.

Philadelphia: Important Sites for a Student Tour of Revolutionary War
Since the creation and signing of the Declaration of Independence from British Colonial rule occurred in Philadelphia, many would consider it the birthplace of democracy. Thus, Philadelphia is on the Itinerary for the Revolutionary War Tour. There are many prominent sites to enjoy in Philadelphia.

Independence Hall: Visit the place where the signers of the Declaration of Independence sat and had discourse on this historic document before penning their names in old fashioned ink. Independence Hall is a well preserved and maintained site and is well worth the visit.

Liberty Bell: Though it is broken and not in use the Liberty Bell is on display for all to see now at a special location between 5th and 6th on Market Street in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell Center has exhibits and a movie to explain the significance of the Liberty Bell in American History.

Betsy Ross House: Nestled in Old City Philadelphia, not far from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall is Betsy Ross’s historic home. Betsy Ross made the first American flag and is one of the earliest women patriots. Student tour groups will enjoy a short tour of her home and the story of how she made the first American flag.

Christ Church: Located near 2nd Street and above Market, Historic Christ Church dates to 1695 and is an appropriate place to visit for the revolutionary War Tour. Christ Church was one of the first parishes of the Church of England in the new world. The Christ Church Burial Ground includes the tombs of some famous early Americans including Ben Franklin who was interred there. This historic, early American landmark is a site that student groups will not want to miss.

Washington Crossing Park
George Washington led 2,500 troops across the Delaware River on Christmas Day in 1776 from Buck’s County Pennsylvania to Trenton to attack an army of 1,500 and won. This victory came at a low point in the Revolutionary War. Students will want to visit the Pennsylvania side of Washington Crossing to see the museum, and should time permit, cross to the New Jersey side to see the landing area and the road used by the continental army to march to Trenton and attack. The trip to Washington Crossing is a short one hour journey from Philadelphia and well worth it for its historical significance during the Revolutionary period.

There are other historic sites that date back to revolutionary times and are significant. For this tour, I have concentrated on the major high points of the war and the major historic sites. Student travel groups wishing to book a tour with a Revolutionary War theme can email: info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information.

Civil War Sites of Interest to Student Travel Groups Around Washington D.C.

Significant American Civil War battlefields surround the Washington D.C. area and can complement a student travel tour with a curriculum based on the Civil War era, or one that includes an overview of this time in our nation’s history. Simply hearing about battle strategies and the numbers of wounded and deceased is not enough. Students gain a fuller understanding of the scope of the American Civil War when they visit the actual battlefields and hear stories about the soldiers and their struggles.

During the Civil War era, capturing Washington D.C. was the goal of the Confederate Army. For this reason, many famous Civil War battlefields are between 45 – 85 miles outside of Washington D.C., just a short distance by bus with any student travel group staying in the Washington D.C. metro area.

Following are my recommendations of Civil War battlefields within a short driving distance to Washington D.C. that are well worth the effort for student tours.

Gettysburg National Battlefield, Pennsylvania: Student Tours Learn About Civil War
As owner of Educational Travel Consultants for the past 24 years, I have taken many student tours based in Washington D.C. to Gettysburg National Military Park and the surrounding area. Our student tour of the battlefield includes a tour guide with a special knowledge of Gettysburg and the Civil War era. The tour may take two to three hours. Along with The Electric Map, student tour groups visit the National Park Visitor Center to have a better understanding of the Gettysburg National Battlefield. If the travel tour schedule allows for an overnight stay, students may dine at the historic Dobbin House and enjoy a living history presentation by Abe Lincoln or Robert E. Lee. The Ghost Tour of Gettysburg is also a popular entertainment for student travel groups in the evening at Gettysburg.

Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland: Active Student Learning About Civil War
Student tours who visit the Antietam Battlefield just an hour outside of Washington D.C. in Maryland, will find this historic site intriguing. On September 17, 1862, General Robert E. Lee assembled Confederate forces for the first attack on the Union Army. This bloody battle was recorded in historic photographs by Alexander Gardner, and in a series of paintings by James Hope, a member of the Union Infantry who sketched during battle and later painted the battle scenes. These visual images provide a realistic glimpse into the intensity of the battle at Antietam, named after the creek and the bridge. Student tour groups may take the driving tour, attend interpretive programs, or participate in other educational opportunities.

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia: Student Tour Groups Learn Armory’s History
Harpers Ferry is located in West Virginia and is at the heart of our nation’s history. Washington made it a federal armory and arsenal in 1794. In 1859, John Brown’s famous attempt to overtake the Harpers Ferry armory with the “Provisional Army of the United States” took place.

In the Civil War era, Harpers Ferry was exchanged between Confederate and Union control eight times. Stonewall Jackson trapped Union soldiers there and obtained the surrender of 12,500 troops – thus attaining the largest Federal surrender during the entire Civil War. Student tours will learn a great deal about Civil War history as well as other important moments in the history of Harpers Ferry, on a visit to this historic armory.

Bull Run in Manassas, and Fredericksburg Battlefields
Both within an hour’s drive of the Washington D.C. metro area, Bull Run and Fredericksburg are excellent Civil War sites for student visits. I have written about student travel to these historic battlefields in another article. Visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com to read the article on the Government Student Tour of Washington D.C. published in November.

For more information on creating a Civil War tour for students visiting the Washington D.C. area, email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

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Itinerary for an Educational Field Trip to Orlando

A student travel tour to Orlando Florida is a great destination for a high school class trip or a band trip. Orlando, Florida provides performance venues, education, and cultural diversity opportunities for students from various backgrounds. Educational tours that include performance and/or workshops are included in the student tour. Students can become a part of Disney Magic Music Days, with high school band performances and a wide range of other performance types to an international audience. Or, student groups more focused on active learning may choose to take part in Disney Performing Arts Workshops while visiting Orlando.

These two excellent Walt Disney World programs are a great way to focus an educational field trip experience to Orlando Florida. Any well-rounded student tour will also include visits to Universal Studios, Epcot Center, or other popular destinations at Walt Disney World. Culturally diverse dining and entertainment opportunities are also available at Walt Disney World.

Disney Magic Music Days

For the young musician, the thrill of performing in front of a live audience is critical to development and growth. While researching a school field trip for the band, choir, orchestra, dance ensemble, drill team or other types of performance groups, consider a visit to Walt Disney World to perform in front of a live international audience. Disney proudly proclaims on the website: ‘Become a star on the world’s greatest stage.’

Make the high school band trip a tour for all to remember. First, work with a qualified educational travel consultant to pull together a fantastic field trip and performance tour that includes Disney Magic Music Days. The educational tour company will work closely with your high school band or orchestra, or other type of performance group to schedule an appropriate Florida field trip that includes an audition for the Disney Show. Disney divides the auditions into three categories: instrumental, choral, and dance. If your student tour group is chosen, they will perform in front of a worldwide audience as part of Disney Magic Music Days.

The National Association for Music Education endorses Disney Magic Music Days performances by student tour groups. This program is an activity that contributes to greater musical learning and development. Overnight field trips to Orlando Florida to perform at Disney Magic Music Days are complemented by fun in some of Disney’s greatest theme parks including: Epcot Center, Universal and MGM Studios, Space Mountain, the Twilight Zone Mountain of Terror, and more. Rely on a qualified educational tour professional to schedule the Disney Magic Music Days performance and tour for your student travel group.

Disney Performing Arts Workshops

Student tour groups that visit Orlando Florida can become deeply engaged in the Disney experience through participation in a Performing Arts Workshop. These workshops inspire the student performance tour participants through direct interaction, coaching, and practice. Student tour groups are trained and coached by professional Disney performance artists.

Artistic techniques are taught under a wide range of programs, with participants from auxiliary units, pom squads, color guards, drill teams, orchestras, concert bands, jazz and marching bands, vocalists and dancers.

Walt Disney World Performing Arts Workshops are educational in nature and teach the student tour participants to improve their techniques, presentation and staging. Student travel groups are excited about learning from the professionals in the Disney Performing Arts Workshops. The enthusiasm builds if the student travel group is scheduled for a public performance as part of Disney Magic Music Days.

A student tour of Orlando Florida is greatly enhanced when an educational travel professional is engaged to take care of the details. Visit www.EducationalTravelConsultants.com for a complete overview of educational student tours.

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