By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
Eighth-graders played a part in history as they experienced the inauguration first-hand on their trip to Washington D.C.
The enthusiastic group spent a four-day adventure experiencing the sites and history of Washington D.C., a trip that will not be long forgotten.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget,” Quinn Rauchenecker said. “I have so much more respect for this country.”
Memorable stops included the many memorials, museums and learning about Amish culture during a visit to Lancaster, Pa. The 38 students along with several chaperones and teacher Erin Montgomery spent six days traveling and experiencing the rich history and culture at the nation’s capitol.
“It really makes you realize all the work that went into building this country,” Hampton Grim said.
With only four full days to explore, the students kept busy hopping from each historical site to the next. One day was completely dedicated to visiting memorials and monuments, something that many students were not looking forward to initially, but later decided it was one of their favorite parts of the trip.
“One day we walked 14 miles and I was greatful for every step,” Isabel Wolf said.
About half of the eighth-grade students at Camanche Middle School went on the trip, but those left behind still got to see the sites and reflect on the experience. The students filmed videos about the different spots and what they learned for the students back in Camanche. This expedition gave students a chance to really put their learning to work.
“We realized how important history is and we were a part of history at the inauguration,” Alexa DeVries said.
Learning about past wars and the brave soliders who fought to protect the country inspired the students.
At most of the memorials, the talkative and animated group fell silent as they took in the true meaning of those who sacrificed everything for the good of the nation.
“This was the best trip of my life and it will likely always be,” Jakoby Helmers said. “It was great to see all the monuments and it really gave me an appreciation for the soldiers and our country.”
Even though they just returned last, the kids are already eager to go back.
“We already started talking about taking a road trip when we’re seniors,” Megan Hoffmann said. “And we talked about how we want to all live there someday. We may have gotten a little carried away.”
Videos from the trip are posted at https://www.youtube.com/user/emontclass.