Every two years, our 7th & 8th grade students travel
to Washington, D.C. to experience our nation’s capital.
This year 100 students, teachers, and parents will embark on the six day adventure. Students have been reviewing the sites they will visit over the past week during their social studies class. They will visit many of the monuments, have a private capital tour with Marsha Blackburn’s office, drop by the Pentagon and maybe even pop in and visit the President’s home. Stay tuned here for updates on their adventure!
Sunday, April 30
A hundred of Clarksville Academy’s finest embarked on a trip of lifetime today! We will spend 7 days in the Washington, D.C. area. Each day will be filled with learning opportunities and events. Today we spent the day traveling. We made a few stops along the way to stop and stretch our legs. In VA we made fun photos with the infamous LOVE sign. The day ended with a quick bite to eat before heading to our hotel. We look forward to sharing our experiences and memories with you throughout the week.
Monday, May 1
Day two in our adventure dawned bright and early! Our travel time was brief today as we made our way into downtown D.C. Students were excited as we made our way into town to begin a jam packed day. We went to the National Archives to experience the historical documents that tell the stories of our nation’s history. Our students were in awe at seeing these famous documents. Then, we strolled through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden on our way to the Museum of Natural History. The students had a great time experiencing all the wonderful exhibits, competing in learning challenges, and enjoying time with friends. The students loved looking at Hope Diamond. Many selfies were taken with this magnificent piece of history! The T-Rex was also a fan favorite. After this museum, we moved on to the Museum of American History. The variety of exhibits was overwhelming, but wonderful. A favorite of the students was the original Star Spangled banner and Lincoln’s hat. The time flew by so quickly, but fun was had by all! Our students are learning and experiencing so much. Stay tuned as we continue our travels tomorrow!
Tuesday, May 2
Our third day was a huge success! We began our day the Iwo Jima Memorial. While there, several Marine Corp troops were practicing for a weekly Sunset Ceremony that would take place in the evening. The soldiers spoke with our students, joined in our photos, and allowed them to handle their ceremonial rifles while explaining the ceremony.
We then made our way to the Air and Space Museum. Of course, the flight simulators were a hit. The students loved the interactive exhibits about the science of flight and all the space shuttle items.
Once at the Capitol building, we had our appointment with Congressman Marsha Blackburn on the House steps. She was so gracious in explaining her most current work in the House and answering questions from the 7th and 8th graders. They were most impressed and a little shocked by her answer to the question of how do you prepare for your meetings and work. She told us that she typically reads 3-4 hours a day as prep for her day’s work. She, in turn, ask our students many civics-related questions and they knew the answers to all of them (way to go Coach Trent!). Next, we began our tour of the Capitol building. Statuary Hall was a favorite place among the groups while touring.
We were able to fit in a few of the monuments before going to the Nationals game. Touring the Jefferson, FDR, and MLK, Jr Memorials was quite impressive. While at the FDR Memorial, our groups were able to visit with veterans of World War II and Korean wars who are in DC on Honor Flights. There were several proud and emotional moments as our students took it upon themselves to shake the hands of these men and thank them for their service. Many photos were requested and sweet conversations between them.
We ended our evening at Nationals Park watching the Washington Nationals take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was a great, close game with some impressive pitching and hits. Of course, our students loved cheering on the Nats and partaking of the ballpark food and goodies. Loads of Dipping Dots were consumed and everyone cheered loudly, sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, and even danced along to the “Carlton!”
We’re so proud of our students and how well they are representing themselves, their families, and CA!
Wednesday, May 3
We began our day in Arlington National Cemetery touring JFK’s gravesite, watching the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers changing of the guard, and honoring those that have served our great nation. Once again, we had another special event happen for us at Arlington. We were fortunate to be able to have a question and answer session with two members of the Tomb of the Unknown Honor Guard! A big thanks to Mr. Thrash for making that happen for us!
After our morning at Arlington and lunch at Pentagon City Mall, we began our tours of the WWII Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Korean War Memorial. Our students were amazed at the size of Lincoln’s statue, the emotion involved in finding a loved one’s name on the Vietnam Wall, and the detailed artistry of the Korean War statues and wall.
We spent our evening enjoying the jousting and merriment at Medieval Times! A special knighting ceremony for birthday boy, Arman Latefi occurred for all to see. Our Lords and Ladies feasted on a great meal and cheered for our Knights. Our own Mrs. Lisa Wilson was crowned Queen of Love and Beauty by the winning Knight! Our students are having a wonderful, educational, fun filled trip.
Thursday, May 4
Day 5 of our D.C. trip began with a visit to the Udvar- Hazy Air and Space Museum near Dulles airport. The observation tower allowed us to observe planes taking off and landing at Dulles. We were able to be up close to the Space Shuttle Discovery and so many other unique aircraft! The students enjoyed their time here, and of course, the flight simulators were a favorite.
From there we traveled to Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. Students enjoyed the interactive museum and even had snow falling on them as they viewed a movie of Revolutionary War battles! The immaculately preserved mansion was another favorite of the day. Walking the grounds, viewing the farm animals, visiting the working farm, walking alongside the Potomac, and honoring the tomb of the Washingtons rounded out our afternoon at Mount Vernon.
We spent our evening experiencing the National Harbor. It’s a great little village area built along the harbor. The Awakening sculpture was enjoyed and climbed on by all! We also visited plenty of the unique shops in the area. The Peeps Store was definitely a hit!
Day 6 will be packed with many exciting events including a tour of the Pentagon, the White House and the Spy Museum. Our students are having fun, learning so much and enjoying their time with their classmates.
Friday, May 5
There really are no words to adequately describe our adventure today.
All of us were up and eating breakfast at 6:00 a.m. in order to fight the traffic to make our early appointment for the Pentagon. Yes, the Pentagon! (Thank you to Mr. Thrash for making this happen). We had wonderful, military tour guides that showed us many of the areas within the massive complex of floors, rings, corridors, and rooms. The golden AK47 and the Pentagon 9-11 memorial and chapel were some of the favorite spots of our tour. We were also offered the opportunity to eat our lunch within the Pentagon and do a little souvenir shopping as well. It was an honor to visit and experience such an astounding area which is the hallmark of our nation’s defense.
Our amazing day continued with a tour of the White House! The architecture and detail in every aspect of the rooms was remarkable. We were able to view the Blue Room, Green Room, Red Room, East Room, and the State Dining Room. The original painting of George Washington from 1796 was amazing and the view of the South Lawn was certainly breathtaking.
We ended our day visiting the Spy Museum and having dinner at Union Station. The students found out if they have what it takes to be a spy! They enjoyed the fun interactive activities throughout the museum. Union Station provided a fun, unique spot to both shop and eat.
The 2017 DC group was the first to ever experience the Pentagon and the White House tours! What a way to end our stay in DC!
Saturday, May 6
Our students have had a wonderful experience this week. This trip allowed them to experience not only Washington, D.C., but to bond with fellow students. This trip would not have been possible without the tireless work of all our chaperones, Tracy Burkhart, Christie Burger, Mike Trent, Denise Walker, Adam Welch, Billy Daniels, Sal Herrera, Jennie Beth Johnston, Jon King, Randy & Tammy Thrash, John Wallace, and Lisa Wilson. We truly appreciate each of these teachers and parents giving up their week to allow our students to experience this once in a lifetime trip.
After a successful week away, everyone returned safely at 7:30P.M. on Saturday evening.