Tag Archives: high school senior trip

Components of a Successful Student Trip to Washington D.C. from a Teacher’s Perspective

Over the past 25 years I have worked with many K-12 teachers to organize student trips to Washington D.C. This spring I received a thank you letter from Shawn Tierney, a teacher at Santa Rita High School in Tucson, Arizona, detailing specific aspects of a trip to Washington D.C. that made it a “resounding success.”

I was happy to receive this detailed letter from Mr. Tierney. Parts of his commentary are included in this article. Tierney reflects upon the important aspects of student travel that help teachers and student tour companies to create a safe, rewarding educational experience for all involved.

Travel can be an eye opening educational experience. For many student travelers, it may even be their first time on an airplane or visiting a large urban area. In this particular instance, a class traveled from Arizona to Washington D.C. – which is a significant distance. Some students may only make this trip once in a lifetime.

In order for a student trip to be a memorable and pleasurable learning experience, coordination among a variety of individuals is necessary. A qualified student travel company will hire the most capable professionals. Student trips are influenced by: tour escorts, bus drivers, restaurant owners and managers, hotel managers, security guards, administrators and docents at various destinations, and the educational travel company. Of course teachers, students and chaperons are key to an excellent trip as well. When everyone works together in a synchronized way the trip is bound to be successful.

Starting the Trip on the Right Foot: Ground Transportation to the Phoenix Airport
Trip planning is a key foundation for success. The less a teacher has to worry about the details, the more he or she can focus on the educational objectives of the trip. Shawn Tierney mentioned he was relieved his selected ground transportation company, Mountain View Tours, has “bus drivers that were accessible and ready when we needed ground transportation in Arizona. It was as comforting to see the white bus turning into the school parking lot early Saturday morning, as it was to receive a call from the bus driver in Phoenix who was ready to pick us up at the airline terminal upon our return.”

Tour guides & Teachers Can Make or Break a Student Trip
When a tour guide and a teacher work well together, a school trip is sure to go smoothly. Kelly Everett was the licensed Washington D.C. tour guide assigned to work with Santa Rita High School students and tour leaders. Tierney says, “She was informative, proactive, and flexible. She made suggestions due to weather and traffic so that students had a thorough visit to Washington D.C.” When visiting any destination, adaptability and problem solving can make all of the difference. Tierney commented that, “the high point of the trip was when we were able to meet with our Congressional District Representative on the steps of the Capitol within 24 hours of the Health Care Reform Bill being passed. This required an overhaul of the schedule, which Kelly handled with composure and enthusiasm.” The experience of actually seeing the Congressional District representative following the passing of this historical bill was certainly a rare and rewarding experience for the school group. Tierney recalled, “the looks on the faces of our graduating seniors who saw, many for the first time, the interior of the Capitol, made it all worthwhile.”


Experienced Bus Drivers in Washington D.C. Save Time by Averting Hassles and Hang-ups

Bus drivers with a thorough knowledge of the streets of Washington D.C. as well as appropriate places to load and unload large groups when entering museums, government buildings, and other destinations, can save time on student trips. Shawn Tierney is a Washington D.C. native, so he knows full well the pitfalls and delays that might await any large school group or individual when winding through the streets of the city. According to Tierney, the bus driver, Bob Pearl, had, “knowledge of the maze of streets in D.C. This was critical in making many of our scheduled appointments. He did an excellent job of managing the one way streets and constant construction and security restrictions.” The bus driver was also “always mindful for the safety of the students.” The fact that the bus driver and the tour guide worked well together created a smooth trip.

Santa Rita High School students went on a four day, three night trip to Washington D.C. that included: Arlington National Cemetery, Ford’s Theatre, Smithsonian American and Natural History Museum, a visit to the Supreme Court as well as the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Navy Memorial, Washington National Cathedral, the Holocaust Museum, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, and Mount Vernon.

Even though Santa Rita High School’s itinerary was full — there are even more worthwhile educational destinations to see in Washington D.C. For the March 2011 trip, Tierney plans to add another night so more destinations may be included. He also indicated he’d start planning in August 2010. Planning a student trip to Washington D.C. six months to one year in advance is always wise, especially if teachers want student groups to gain admission to the Capitol, White House, or Pentagon when visiting.

To review an itinerary or speak to an educational travel professional about the costs or details of taking a student trip to Washington D.C. email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote by taking a moment to fill out a brief, online questionnaire.

Educational Tours: Tips for Packing Light on Student Trips

These days, when student travel groups set out for any destination by air, it is both practical and economical to travel light. Many airlines have begun applying new lower minimum weight requirements that average 75 pounds per bag for transported baggage. If bags exceed this limit, additional fees may apply.

The trick for many student travel groups is to pack light when planning the initial trip and when making a return, avoid carrying an excessive amount of souvenirs. If heavier souvenirs are purchased, then the student or chaperone may want to consider shipping items instead of bringing these items on board the return flight.

The practice of carrying one bag only works especially well on 3-5 day student trips. Some airlines are even beginning to add extra charges for the first bag and additional bags; some only charge for extra luggage.

Encourage students to limit their possessions to one piece of luggage for the trip and a carry-on item such as a backpack, handbag, or laptop bag for items they may need easier access to on board.

Following are several other packing tips I would like to share with those taking student trips this year and next.

Select a good piece of luggage: Do NOT select a suitcase that’s overly large. Instead, opt for something medium sized that has wheels and a handle for easy transfer. A lightweight bag would be canvas or nylon. Leather bags are going to be heavy. If the class trip is three days or less, students may be able to get by with just a carry on bag and a bag to stow under the seat. Check with airlines for regulation sizes for carry on baggage to eliminate a potential luggage charge.

Tag Luggage: In the event that a piece of luggage could be lost, place a name and an address inside each checked-in and carry on bag. Make sure to carry at least one change of clothes and a toothbrush in the carry on bag.

Make lists: A packing list is always helpful. It can help the student traveler to focus on what is needed, instead of adding extra items that will not be used. Make sure only necessary items make it to the list.

Select Clothing Appropriate for Climate: When packing, be aware of the climate or potential weather conditions at the destination. Pack essential clothing (and coats) accordingly. Wear bulkier items such as coats on the plane, to save space and weight in luggage. Roll underwear and place inside shoes to save space.

Limit shoes to two pair:
One pair of shoes is worn on the plane. Pack another pairs of shoes and that’s all. Make sure both pairs of shoes are comfortable walking shoes.

Pack Trial Size Body Care Items: Try to shop ahead and obtain trial size toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, shampoo and hair care items. This saves space in baggage and makes bags lighter. Put all liquids in zip lock bags and take an extra zip lock bag for a wet bathing suit or towel.

Prescription Drugs: Prescription drugs, especially diabetes medications with syringes, should be in pharmacy prescription bottles.

Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses: Make sure to bring protective eyeglass cases, as well as spray and cloth for care. Bring just enough disposable contacts (with maybe one extra) for short trips to save space, or smaller amounts of contact lens cleaner to save space and weight in baggage.

These packing tips are designed for the student traveler who may be new to the idea of traveling afar. Yet these advance planning ideas for trips are essential for saving money and making transfer of baggage easier.

In the interest of economy, security, and ease of travel remember to go light on class trips. For information on booking class trips email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote via the online form.

Student Trips to Boston May Request a Revolutionary War Tour Theme

by Howard Clemens

For students reading about the Revolutionary War in social studies or history classes, Boston, Massachusetts is a great choice as a destination for active learning. Visits to select destinations bring the early days of the Revolutionary War alive for student travel groups. Student trips headed for Boston, Mass. will learn about the Revolutionary War from multiple perspectives, with some sites offering living history programs.

Leading men who fought for freedom from England during the time period include: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Paul Revere. These are just a few of the well-known figures of the Revolutionary War who come alive on a student tour. Countless farmers and families who mustered as Minute Men and defended their properties while under attack by British troops supported these leading figures.

Boston Massacre
The Boston Massacre occurred in 1770 in downtown Boston, just outside the Old State House at the corner of Devonshire and State Streets. British soldiers had occupied Boston for nearly two years and tension between the colonists and soldiers reached a peak. An agitated crowd began to complain loudly to soldiers and one of the British fired into the crowd, killing five people that day. This event was widely publicized and well documented. John Adams, a lawyer then, defended Captain Preston and six of his troops were acquitted, while two men were found guilty of manslaughter and discharged from the army. The first patriot to die was a freed slave who worked on whale ships: Crispus Attucks.

John Adams: Roles in Revolutionary War History
John Adams was at one time a lawyer, and he actually defended Captain Preston in the case of the Boston Massacre. Despite his beginnings, he became one of the most esteemed figures of the Revolutionary War period. Adams gifted his extensive collection of books to the town of Quincy, Massachusetts in 1822 at the age of 86. Today, parts of this collection are being digitized for easier public access. The collection as well as Adams’ papers is housed in the Boston Public Library Copley Square Rare Books and Manuscripts Department. Student trips may tour this part of the library to gain an understanding about the life of one of the influential figures in drafting and signing the Declaration of Independence. Adams was the first Vice President and the second President of the United States. He also served as a diplomat to Paris and Holland. Though he and his wife Abigail lived frugally on a public servant’s salary, Adams invested a huge sum in books, which is evident from visiting the library. Teachers and students may access special educational materials from the John Adam’s library at http://www.johnadamslibrary.org/explore/teachersandstudents/.

John Quincy Adams
The son of John Adams, John Quincy became a capable diplomat and linguist. Long before he became the 6th President, John Quincy Adams held many distinguished governmental roles, including Secretary of State for James Monroe, where he was instrumental in drafting the Monroe Doctrine. John Quincy can be studied in depth at the Adams National Historical Park. Student travel groups may tour the Visitor Center. With reservations, the student group may also take a Ranger guided tour of the Old House and the Presidential birthplaces. Historical narratives by costumed interpreters John and Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson are also presented in season. Check with your student travel agency to see if there will be any living history performances while a student group is on tour.

Lexington and Concord
On any student trip to Boston to study the Revolutionary War, a trip to the Minute Man National Historical Park, which spans the Lexington and Concord battlefields, is a must. Here is where the first battle of the Revolutionary War was fought by the Minute Men or troops from the New England countryside. For groups with time, a 3 ? hour battle road trail walk gives the entire perspective of the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Student groups may also visit the Minute Man Visitor Center and watch the film and visit the exhibits. At Hartwell Tavern, Rangers demonstrate firing muskets from an authentic early American rifle. Or, students may want to add a visit to The Wayside, where Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott both wrote. The Lexington and Concord Museum ranger programs and historical sites draw upon information from the Concord writers of the Revolutionary War period. Teachers who would like to prepare a curriculum for the student trip may visit http://www.nps.gov/mima/forteachers/index.htm.

Walking Tour of Boston
The Freedom Trail is a fun, healthy way to see Boston through the lens of the Revolutionary War period. This walk may take several hours so students are encouraged to dress accordingly, wear comfortable shoes and bring some drinking water. The Freedom Trail begins at Boston Common and includes Beacon Hill, The Union Oyster House (for lunch) and a visit to Paul Revere’s home, a two-story clapboard house across from North Square. Groups also stop at Old North Church, where the first bells of the British Colonies were rung in North America. The Freedom Trail ends with the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument. The USS Constitution has been nicknamed “Old Ironsides” as a result of engagements with the British in the War of 1812. Student groups love to take The Freedom Trail tour because it is mostly outdoors and a wonderful way for a group to see Boston in the spring or fall.

Educational travel can be a great way to get students excited about periods in American history. Boston is a city where student travelers can experience Early American architecture, artifacts, politics and art and it should not be overlooked as a worthwhile student travel destination. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for information about a student tour of Boston or Request a Quote.

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.

Student Travel Recommendations for the Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C.

The excitement is building for the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington D.C. For student tour groups that are traveling to Washington D.C. for the presidential inauguration there are specific rules which must be followed for this event. Security for our new president is a top concern among the intelligence and crime fighting community. Not only do these professionals have to do their part, but each American that attends this event will have to observe the rules to ensure greater security for all.

It is predicted there will be over two million people attending, so the lines are going to be long. Security checkpoints will be common and unauthorized belongings will be confiscated. Avoid losing your property and prepare appropriately.

Following are some requirements for inauguration day. Please read this list carefully if you are attending.

1 Please do not let your group carry baggage of any kind, no umbrellas, coolers, strollers, canes, chairs, knives, thermoses, signs, posters, backpacks, packages, bags exceeding 8″x6″x4″ or anything that might trigger security concerns. There are no childcare facilities. All attendees will be subject to security checkpoints and if you have any items not allowed, they will be confiscated.

2 There will be around 10,000 motor coaches transporting groups into Washington D.C. The coaches will not be able to get the groups in close, so I advise you to wear very comfortable walking shoes as student tour groups will most likely be walking long distances (up to 2/1/2 miles) and standing for several hours. The coaches will be parking at RFK Stadium or elsewhere along the route and either taking a shuttle, metro or walking to the Mall area.

3 Dress warmly in layers and wear a raincoat, as umbrellas will not be allowed. It can typically be a rainy or damp 37 degree day on Inauguration Day in Washington D.C. which is in the full throes of winter. So, dress appropriately.

4 Student travel groups may have other activities scheduled for the Presidential Inauguration day. In that case, don’t be surprised if they have to be canceled. It will take much longer than usual to get to the Mall and departing will take a significant amount of time also. A tour escort will be in charge of your trip and can guide you around that day. Be patient with your guide, do everything that he or she asks of you, and be prepared to spend a lot of time waiting. You are very fortunate to be attending this inaugural event and our advice is to just go with the flow and enjoy the celebration.

5 Plan to eat early and get on your way to the Inaugural event. An early breakfast at 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. will allow student tour groups to get to the Mall to be in line for the security checks starting at 9:00 a.m.

6 If all goes as planned, student tour groups will be inside the Mall area for the Inauguration event on time. Many student tour companies will not be able to guarantee arrival on time. The parade is not scheduled till 2:00 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. Groups will depart for a motorcoach as soon as the parade is over.

Please visit http://inaugural.senate.gov/2009/ and click on the Key Topics on the right hand side of the webpage or http://inauguration.dc.gov/spectator_info.asp for more updated information.

Student travel groups and others are looking forward to the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington D.C. They are excited about witnessing history. Take care and follow instructions carefully in order to truly maximize enjoyment of this student trip. Be aware of surroundings and do not carry disallowed possessions so they will not be lost at checkpoints. Remember to leave items not allowed on the bus or in the hotel room. Student travel companies, tour guides, teachers, students and parents main concern is that everything goes smoothly and that students are secure. Be flexible and most of all have fun!

Educational Travel Consultants: Defining Excellence in Student Travel

There are many factors that go into making a student travel company a success. Perhaps one of the most important is the guiding principles behind the company must be in sync with educational objectives. Many of the professionals who work for Educational Travel Consultants have a background in education. They bring this outlook to their work in student travel, as well as a passion for working with student groups.

Washington D.C., New York City, Orlando and More
In our various markets, large and small (including Washington D.C., New York City, Orlando Florida, and more) we recruit and retain only the most qualified tour escorts. In fact, we work exclusively with members of the International Tour Management Group (ITMI) to make certain we only work with the best tour escorts available. This ensures the quality of educational and historical information on the student tour. Our tour guides are also very familiar with the cities they work within, which adds a great deal of insight to the tour. Some even choose to further their education and study by becoming licensed in the Washington D.C. or New York City tour market(s).

Educational Travel Consultants Provides Tour Escorts at All Times
Unlike other student travel companies, at ETC we believe student groups should be accompanied by professional tour escorts at all times. When groups are not in the midst of a tour led by a guide, they are overseen by a tour escort who can answer any questions they may have or resolve problems that may arise.

The Best Buy in Student Travel
For student travel groups and schools looking to economize on their travels, we believe we provide the best possible prices with the most quality. All taxes and tips are included in our final per person price. This means less out of pocket expenses while touring. For every 10 students, one chaperone or teacher may travel free of charge (double occupancy). This bonus is not offered by other student travel companies and helps schools to stay on budget.

3 Diamond Hotel Accommodations for Student Groups
Safety and security are our number one priority on student trips. Our hotel accommodations are always 3 diamond rated, which means there are interior corridors to ensure student safety. The security guards provided by ETC on student travel trips give adults peace of mind and everyone receives a good night’s sleep.

Keeping on Top of Trends in Student Travel

Finally, we research popular trends in student travel, and provide exciting dining and entertainment opportunities on tours. Our student groups eat at the Hard Rock Café, or old historic taverns where living history actors perform after supper. In New York City, student groups see popular Broadway shows like “High School Musical” and “Wicked” and in the Washington D.C. area, the Mystery Dinner Theaters are popular choices. We select memorable experiences so students and adults may relax and enjoy the educational experience, and cherish it for many years to come.

Student Travel Groups Take the Freedom Trail in Boston

Boston’s Freedom Trail takes its travelers back in time – with visual reminders of the events that led to American independence. Boston’s Freedom Trail is a must for any American student. Some of the greatest events in American history happened in Boston. From the famous tea party to Paul Revere’s infamous midnight ride, it happened in Boston.

Benefits of Educational Field Trips
Seeing historic sights in person can bring history to life for students, help put the information into context for them, and spark their interest for further study. Imagine walking in Boston Common, seeing America’s first public park, and the place where settlers shared the land for cattle grazing. Imagine the military training that once happened in that very spot. Students will imagine the same things, and gain perspective on what it must have been like to be a settler in early America, or a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

Highlights of the Freedom Trail
Boston Common is only one part of the Freedom trail. A student tour of the Freedom Trail also includes the Massachusetts State House on “Beacon Hill,” so named because it is the tallest hill in Boston where a beacon would be lighted as a warning signal if the city were attacked.

The trail moves on to Park Street Church, where William Lloyd Garrison launched his crusade against slavery and Samuel Smith’s famous hymn “America” was first sung publicly in 1832 at the church’s Independence Day celebration. The student tour then moves to Granary Burying Ground, where Samuel Adams and John Hancock are buried. Both of these men signed the Declaration of Independence.

Important Freedom Trail Sites for Student Groups

Another important historical site along the Freedom Trail is the King’s Chapel Burying Ground. Buried here are Mary Chilton, the first pilgrim to touch Plymouth Rock; William Dawes, who accompanied Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride; and William Paddy, whose gravestone is said to be the oldest existing grave marker in Boston. Next on the trail is the Old Corner Bookstore, formerly the publishing house of Ticknor and Fields, where The Scarlet Letter and the Battle Hymn of the Republic were printed.

Lunch at the Union Oyster House

When everyone’s feet are tired, it’s time to stop for lunch. What better choice than one of the oldest restaurants in the country – the Union Oyster House. The Union Oyster House was built in 1713, and it is rumored that Daniel Webster was a regular there. The restaurant is part of the Freedom Trail.

Continuing Your Student Tour: Paul Revere’ House and the Old North Church
After lunch, continue on the trail to Paul Revere’s house, a two-story clapboard structure overlooking North Square. Revere was a silversmith by trade, but no one remembers that about him. What everyone remembers is his famous “midnight ride,” which took place on April 18, 1775. Thanks to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, every high school student has read about Paul Revere’s ride.

From Paul Revere’s house, the student tour moves to the Old North Church. The bells in the Old North Church’s belfry were cast in 1744, weight from 620 to 1,545 pounds each, and bear the inscription: “We are the first ring of bells cast for the British Empire in North America.”

U.S. Military Monuments of Land and Sea

The Freedom Trail’s student tour ends with the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument. The USS Constitution has been nicknamed “Old Ironsides” as a result of engagements with the British in the War of 1812. The Bunker Hill Monument commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill. Although a technical defeat for the Americans, the battle provided a much-needed psychological boost for American troops.

Walking the Freedom Trail with student groups
The trail is well marked with red bricks or granite stones embedded into the sidewalk. These red stones guide the student group from place to place. In some places, a red line is simply painted onto the sidewalk or street. The trail can be explored in one day, or divided into two days of touring, depending on how much time an educational travel group has allotted for the trail. The Freedom Trail has also added a handheld digital audio tour, available from the Boston Common Visitor Information Center, for $15.

Because of Boston’s importance to the Revolutionary War, and its full military history, the Freedom Trail is perfect for high school students learning American history, and for Junior ROTC groups. ROTC groups benefit from seeing military history firsthand – an experience that can only be found through educational travel.

Visit the Boston page for more detailed information on the basic student tour.

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Government Student Tour of Washington D.C. May Include Historic Sites in Annapolis, Baltimore, Manassas or Fredericksburg.

What better way to understand the evolution of our democratic system of government is there than to visit actual historic sites which describe it in vivid detail? Student travel groups traveling in and around the Washington D.C. area can be given a wider scope on history if the tour group goes just a little bit outside of Washington D.C. into nearby Baltimore and Annapolis Maryland, and Manassas and Fredericksburg, Virginia. These towns offer a precious glimpse into the past, as they thrive in the present.

Here is an overview of some important historic sites in these cities neighboring Washington D.C. of interest to student travel groups on tour.

U.S. Capital and White House
Of course the U.S. Capitol and the White House are two government buildings that should not be missed on a tour of Washington D.C. I have mentioned them in another article in great detail. Visit: http://educationaltravelconsultants.com/blog/?m=200707
for more information.

Annapolis, Maryland, Berth of the U.S. Navy
Annapolis is a city that dates to over 300 years old and was once a thriving mecca and cultural center in colonial times. Only one hour outside the city of Washington D.C., Annapolis is well worth a daylong visit by a student travel group on tour. Designed and built on a grid similar to Baroque cities in Europe, Annapolis is truly modeled on classical architectural and urban planning styles. The radiating streets highlight the significance of buildings in the center.

Named after Queen Ann, the city of Annapolis is rich in history. Because of its strategic location, Annapolis was a colonial seaport and offered berth to European traders as well as entrée to the Chesapeake Bay region and further south to other port cities. Annapolis is also known for horse racing. The gentry of Europe needed to indulge this passion in the new world, and so Annapolis is renowned for breeding thoroughbred champions whose lineage dates to colonial times.

Baltimore Maryland
Fort McHenry is perhaps one of the best-known historic destinations in Baltimore Maryland, and is the place where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner while witnessing the Battle of Baltimore there in 1814. Yet Fort McHenry, because of its location on the Baltimore Harbor, would also be a well-defended location during subsequent U.S. Wars including the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. Student travel groups maybe tour the highlights of Fort McHenry including a look at the battery, Major Armistead’s quarters, soldiers’ barracks, the place where a British bomb was dropped but not exploded, and more. Teachers may visit http://www.nps.gov/fomc/forteachers/lessonplansandteacherguides.htm for lesson plans and guides for student travel visits to Fort McHenry.

Manassas, Virginia Historic Battlefield
Bull Run is the site of two famous American Civil War battles fought there beginning in the summer of 1861 and culminating in another battle a year later. The Battle of Bull Run tipped the cards in favor of the Confederate army during this part of the war. Student travel groups may tour the 5,000 acre battlefield to learn more about the Battle of Bull Run, just an hour’s drive from Washington D.C. A one-hour self-guided walking tour is available to groups on the Henry Hill Loop Trail, or student groups may select a driving tour, or a park ranger guided hike. Bull Run is an excellent place for students to learn about the Civil War era. Teachers may obtain curriculum materials by visiting: http://www.nps.gov/mana/forteachers/curriculummaterials.htm.

Fredericksburg, Virginia
One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Fredericksburg, was fought there and is lauded as General Robert E. Lee’s finest victory. This was the first of four battles fought there between 1862-64. Three others include: Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of Wilderness, and Battle of Spotsylvania. Student tour groups can see Chatham Manor at the Fredericksburg battlefields, a well restored and preserved Georgian Manor that sits on a hill overlooking the Rappahannock River and historic Fredericksburg. Chatham Manor was at one time a hospital and Union headquarters. Student groups will also want to visit Salem Church and the Stonewall Jackson Shrine at this National Park Service site. Teachers may obtain lesson plans for student travel groups visiting Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial by visiting http://www.nps.gov/frsp/forteachers/lessonplans.htm.

Take a student travel group on a short trip just outside of Washington D.C. to help them understand the big picture of American history.

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