Tag Archives: student travel tour washington d.c.

A Junior High Class Trip to Washington D.C. and Williamsburg VA

This past spring, a junior high school from Texas traveled to Williamsburg, Virginia and Washington D.C. on a class trip that was organized around the theme of American history. This was the first time that 8th grade teacher Bobbi Goodson led a school group on a trip. She had many interesting observations about the trip and the process of bringing nearly 50 people across the U.S. for a learning experience they will never forget.

Q. What made you decide to sponsor a class trip to Williamsburg and Washington D.C.?
A. In previous years, other teachers had taken this on. I always heard great stories when students came back. The teacher who had done this previously was unable to organize a trip this year because she had a new baby at home. I decided it was time for me to lead a trip.

Q. What course do you teach at Pleasanton Junior High School? How was the trip related to your curriculum?

A. I teach 8th grade special education. My students need assistance with reading comprehension. The object of my course work is to improve reading skills and get kids focused on the study of math, science and history. In eighth grade history courses, students learn about Colonial American history. They study Jamestown and the inception of the colonies, as well as the life of George Washington and the Revolutionary War, among other things. So, a trip to Washington D.C. with an additional day or two in Williamsburg was the perfect complement to course work.

Q. What sites did you visit in Williamsburg, VA?
A. We visited Jamestown Settlement, where living history actors were dressed in costumes. The students saw replicas of the three ships colonists landed on and they saw what a settlement encampment might look like. We also took the lantern tour in the evening in Williamsburg, and a daytime tour of Colonial Williamsburg.

Q. How did the students (and you) respond to the idea of learning from living history?
A. The living history actors and actresses are dressed in period costumes. This type of learning is very hands-on. I found it to be kid friendly and interactive. There was certainly an awe factor and students responded well. Compared to a museum setting, listening to a story about history by a dressed interpreter was far more appealing and engaging for this age group.

Q. What sites did you visit in Washington D.C.? And which were most memorable for students?

A. We visited the Washington Cathedral, the Holocaust Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, the Supreme Court, Mount Vernon, and we even had a photograph in front of the White House. The number of dead buried at Arlington National Cemetery astounded students. There were also plenty of comments about the Holocaust Museum. I don’t think students had any idea how many died there, until they saw a room filled with shoes, and numerous videos that described the events. They also found the trip to Mount Vernon and Jamestown Settlement memorable because of the exciting way history was presented at each site. Also, their history course had prepared them pretty well for Jamestown and Mount Vernon.

Q. How were your tour guides and bus drivers? Were they personable and responsive to your needs?

A. Ann Greenwald was our Washington D.C. tour guide and she was fabulous. She had a deep knowledge of the area and helped to adapt our itinerary to meet our needs. When time was running out she helped us to hit the hot spots in Washington D.C. She helped students by pointing out things they might have missed along the way. She had an excellent rapport with the children. Everyone in the group loved our bus driver. It felt like we would not have had the same experience if we did not have this tour guide and bus driver. We were on the go from morning until night and I was surprised we could all keep up – but we did!

Q. What type of response did parents have after the class trip was completed?

A. I ran into some parents afterwards while shopping around town. Many said they never could have done a family trip to Washington D.C. for their child. They were thankful their children were able to experience this. Some of the parents who were chaperones appreciated the time they had to spend with their child before they became high school students.

Goodson also mentioned that the five day, four night trip offered a great deal, but kids were missing their parents by the end of the trip. “Of course you always lose at least one cell phone to a swimming pool,” said Goodson. She was most appreciative of the security provided at the hotel at night, which made her sleep sounder, too. “If I ever lead a trip again,” commented Goodson, “I will make sure security is included.”

For junior high school students from Texas, a trip to the East Coast helped to enrich their study of American history and give them a new perspective about the founding of our country. It was also a welcome change of pace and scenery they will remember for years to come.

To obtain more information about a class trip to Washington D.C., email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or request a quote online.

Educational Travel Consultants Offers a Special Price of $299 per Student (with transportation) for Travel to Washington D.C.

Educational Travel Consultants is in touch with the times. Most Americans are facing economic challenges and the company wants to assist our valued partners and new school groups to continue to travel for educational purposes. We believe student trips can still travel well and learn a great deal, while keeping a close eye on budget and making the right decisions when planning the trip to Washington D.C.

As part of our early bird specials this summer, Educational Travel Consultants is offering a price as low as $299 per student for group travel to Washington D.C.

This Washington D.C. student trip includes the following:

– A Tour Escort/Licensed Washington D.C. Tour Guide
– Deluxe Motor coach from a School Group’s Hometown
– Two Totally Free Teachers or Chaperones for every 20 students on tour (double occupancy)
– Hotels
– Admission and Entrance Fees
– Two Breakfasts and Two Dinners
– Coverage Under Educational Travel Consultants Liability Insurance Policy
– Taxes and Tips

Many student travel companies quote low prices and add hidden costs. This is not how Educational Travel Consultants does business. We are clear about our pricing, and what is included in the student trip from the outset. If student travel group coordinators, chaperones, teachers or administrators wish to add extra items to the itinerary, then they deserve a clear and concise answer about additional costs up front. The professional staff at Educational Travel Consultants delivers this information to clients upon request for additional itinerary items.

Educational Travel consultants has been escorting student trips to Washington D.C. for nearly 25 years. Thanks to our experience in this market, we know which educational experiences student trips tend to want when they visit the city, and which destinations they derive the most learning from.

An Educational Travel Consultants’ trip to Washington D.C. includes attractions such as the US Supreme Court, US Capitol, Smithsonian Museums, Arlington Cemetery, an illuminated tour of Washington D.C’s Memorials and Monuments plus other attractions as time permits.

For groups that are interested in more specific tours such as an Art Tour, Black History Tour, or Performance Tour of Washington D.C., an Educational Travel Consultant professional will assist in creating the perfect itinerary. These focused trips provide a wonderful learning experience to students who are studying art or African American history, or student in the high school band, orchestra, theater, or ensembles that wish to have a public performance or adjudicated music festival wound into their trip. Some of these specialty tours that Educational Travel Consultants custom designed are also priced staring at $299 per student.

For anyone planning a student trip to Washington D.C., please heed this advice: plan early! With post 911 security regulations in place at highly visited areas such as the White House and Capitol, it is imperative that reservations are made a minimum of six months to one year in advance. Read up on special requirements for booking a large group at these sites, on the Educational Travel Consultants blog.

For more information about booking a student trip to Washington D.C. email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote.

Visit the New National Musuem of American History in Washington D.C.

Plan an Educational Tour of the National Museum of American History in Washington DC

Student field trips and educational tours to famous, metropolitan cities like New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC are popular these days, but in the fall of 2008 a Washington DC educational student travel destination reopens that everyone will want to visit. On Friday, November 21, 2008 the National Museum of American History opens its doors after over two years and $85 million of architectural renovations. According to a July 30, 2008 press release from the National Museum of American History the center core of the building has been redesigned to improve architectural appeal and modernize the presentation of the museum’s extensive collections. The redesign includes construction of a skylit 5-story atrium, grand staircase and a new Star-Spangled Banner Gallery.

Visit the Museum of American History and Make Your Washington DC Student Travel Tour a Success

An Inspirational and Educational Field Trip: Visit the 200-Year-Old Star Spangled Banner
In the center of Washington DC’s American History Museum the Star-Spangled Banner Gallery was built to inspire visitors through the dramatic and powerful story of the American flag and the national anthem. The Star-Spangled Banner gallery is a state of the art facility made to protect, preserve and display the American flag. Housed behind a 45-foot tall, floor to ceiling glass wall in a special, climate controlled chamber the flag’s wool and cotton fibers are monitored and maintained. Low light levels and the projection of the first stanza of Francis Scott Key’s poem, “The Star Spangled Banner” on the wall above and behind the flag provide excellent visibility for museum visitors. According to the American History Museum’s web site, “The History Channel, a donor through financial contributions and in-kind gifts, will release a new one-hour special touching on the flag’s colorful history, including the specialized conservation treatment undertaken by the museum and the new high-tech flag chamber.” As a part of the ‘Save Our History’ series, the History Channel documentary airs this fall.

Celebrate American History: Take a Class Trip to See the White House Copy of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, given on November 19, 1863, is one of the most well-known and memorable speeches in American history. The manuscript, displayed at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC, is one of five drafts and the last known to have been written in Lincoln’s own hand in March of 1864. This copy of the Gettysburg Address is officially part of a collection kept at the White House in the private quarters of the Lincoln Bedroom. First Lady Laura Bush approved the loan of this copy to the Washington DC American History Museum until January 4, 2009.

Additional Museum Exhibitions Perfect for Student Tour Groups and Student Trips
On the second floor of the National Museum of American History the Nina and Ivan Selin Welcome Center serves as a landmark and houses historical objects like the Vassar College telescope from 1865. The telescope is situated on the west wing of the first floor to represent science and technology and was used by the first woman astronomer in America. The west wing also includes a hands-on science and invention center called the Lemelson Hall of Invention and Spark!Lab. One of the program highlights planned for the spring of 2009 is the 8,000 square foot ‘On the Water: Stories from Maritime America’ exhibition. In 2009 The Susan and Elihu Rose Gallery will begin to feature rotating exhibits so visitors can encounter varying historic characters every weekend as well as celebrate and learn about various federal holidays.

Make Your Educational Student Tour Unforgettable at Washington DC’s National Museum of American History

The American History Museum renovations also include the construction of the 275-seat Carmichael Auditorium, the Samuel J. and Ethel LaFrak Lobby, new elevators, new restrooms, retail operations, The Constitution Café and the 600-seat Stars and Stripes Café. Historians, families, student travel tours, educational travel services and individuals interested in exploring American history from colonial to modern times can view virtual exhibits and collections online at the National Museum of American History’s web site: americanhistory.si.edu. Museum schedules, special events and educational activities are also available online.

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Arlington National Cemetery: Just Outside of Washington D.C.

by Howard Clemens

Student travel groups headed to the Washington D.C. area will want to schedule some time on their itinerary for a visit to Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington is a place of remembrance and loss. It is also a monument to the sacrifices made to keep U.S. democracy sound and our nation properly defended. A number of students have viewed Arlington National Cemetery on television, in the movies, and on news programs but there is nothing as awe inspiring as a visit to the actual site itself.

Famous Americans and Heroes Interred at Arlington

Arlington National Cemetery has been a National Cemetery since 1864. Many famous Americans are buried at Arlington National Cemetery, including John F. Kennedy. War heroes who fought for freedom and the birth of a new nation are interred at Arlington, from the Revolutionary War to the present day war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A Brief History of Arlington House
A student trip to Arlington House is needed to understand the full scope and impact the Civil War had upon Arlington and elsewhere in the nation. The history of Arlington National Cemetery is richly woven into the memorable events in world and domestic politics, and social life. The original owner of Arlington House, was George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of George Washington. Washington’s wife, Martha, was widowed when they met and had children by a previous marriage. Custis inherited the property at the age of 2, and when he became an adult he commissioned George Hadfield, the English architect who designed the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., to design a 19th Century Greek revival mansion. Arlington House stands on the hill today – overlooking over 250,0000 gravesites.

After Custis died, his only daughter, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married Robert E. Lee. At the conclusion of the Civil War, Union troops took up positions around Arlington House, and the property was confiscated for tax purposes as well as obvious political reasons. Lee always lamented the loss of Arlington House and felt personally responsible for it. After Lee’s death, George Washington Custis Lee reclaimed ownership of Arlington House because he said it was illegally confiscated. Eventually it was sold to the government for $150,000 and was turned into public property, where it first served as a freedman’s village and military base and later as a national cemetery.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded everyday by specially trained military personnel who are dressed in their best regalia and remain solemn, focused, and silent. An average of 27 funeral processions occur each day at the cemetery. Much of the ceremonial activities, especially by heads of state, are centered around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Students may be able to witness a wreath laying ceremony in several ways. For example, if they visit Arlington around the time of a holiday such as Memorial Day or when a head of state is visiting they may witness a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On any given day there are many other wreath laying ceremonies throughout Arlington National Cemetery they may see. The best way to ensure student travel groups participate in a wreath laying ceremony is to schedule one on the itinerary.

A student travel professional from the Educational Travel Consultants staff will be happy to incorporate a wreath laying ceremony into a student trip to Arlington National Cemetery. An Educational Travel professional will create a formal request letter that goes to the appropriate Arlington personnel for a specific timed wreath laying ceremony for your school. An Educational Travel Consultant will order the wreath with the school colors and have it delivered specifically to the Tomb site at Arlington.

Social Studies Students
Many eras of American history and government are touched upon in Arlington National Cemetery. Educators can easily complement a curriculum where certain periods in American history are being studied by focusing in on specific eras during Arlington National Cemetery’s history. Clearly the Civil War era is a period that can be easily studied in conjunction with a student trip to Arlington. Many heroes from Revolutionary Times are also interred at Arlington, as well as political figures, authors, and even freed slaves. Educators can handpick a variety of topics appropriate to their curriculum by visiting the history page of Arlington National Cemetery’s website.

The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C: A Student Travel Favorite

When it comes to seeing some of the finest in musical and performance talent, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. is a favorite choice for student travel trips.

Many performance tours, such as student orchestras, jazz ensembles, marching bands, and ensembles, visit The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. These groups are looking for a specific travel experience in Washington D.C. that reflects their unique learning focus. The Kennedy Center can also be an excellent choice for an itinerary for any type of student traveler (even those not on performance tour). The Kennedy Center offers an excellent evening of entertainment to complement any student travel trip. It can also offer the musical or performance insight that performance students seek.

Kennedy Center Performances for Student Travel Groups
The Kennedy Center has a very special list of educational performances just for school groups. These performances educate student travel groups about the performing arts as a career choice, expand on their knowledge of the arts, and challenge their critical thinking skills. An example of an educational performance is the WNO Student Dress Rehearsal for classics such as Rigoletto and Elektra. These dress rehearsals teach students about the necessary preparations for formal performance. This unique glimpse into the behind the scenes work of artists performing at the Kennedy Center allows students to view this career choice realistically.

On occasion, some of the better known musicians and performers (such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) will give mini performances for student travel groups during their stay at The Kennedy Center. All of these types of performances enrich the student traveler’s experience and provide a wonderful foundation for their own performances.

Fall Highlights for the National Symphony Orchestra
The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) is housed at The Kennedy Center, and is a unique cultural experience for any student travel group. The NSO performs on a regular schedule and is composed of some of the finest musicians in the nation. Consider some of the creative musical fusion on the fall 2008 schedule. In the fall of 2008 NSO Pops plays with Arlo Guthrie on September 18th and Linda Eder sings Judy Garland songs with Marvin Hamlisch conducting on September 25. These exciting musical guests bring both innovation and exceptional musical talent to the program.

Planning The Kennedy Center Visit
Advance planning is key to a successful student travel trip and to booking the performance that works best for a specific group. Many student travel groups and/or their planners want to see the National Symphony Orchestra perform. Or perhaps, they want to see the popular show Sheer Madness, a comedy mystery who-dunnit that the audience participates in solving. In any case, advance ticket purchase is necessary for student groups.

One of Educational Travel Consultant’s professional staff will be happy to assist with this task while creating a student travel trip to Washington D.C. Just email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or fill out our request a quote form for more information on specific destinations and itineraries.