Student travelers visit multiple countries

D.C. Everest and Wausau West Students pictured in Germany. Photo courtesy of Erica Rupple.

D.C. Everest and Wausau West Students pictured in Germany. Photo courtesy of Erica Rupple.

Heather Voll, Editor

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   For many people, traveling around the world is at the top of their bucket lists. This summer, three different groups of D.C. Everest students got the opportunity to experience life in a different country, or countries, for a short while.

  The trips this summer took students to Puerto Rico, Ireland, Scotland, and England, and band and choir students travelled around to many different countries in Europe.

  “We went to England, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy, and Germany, and we did a show in most of the countries” said choir student Shea Johnson, Junior.

  Johnson was nominated to attend the Wisconsin Ambassadors of Music program for choir and they travelled across Europe playing concerts, consisting of students from schools all over the state.

  “We either had two different shows of choir and band separate, or did one combined show with choir and band,” said Johnson.

  The students also got a chance to be tourists and explore the countries and cities they were in for such a short time.

  “Once we got to Switzerland, we had a little bit more free time so we would be able to walk around the town, because we were in a really small town so we could just walk around and we went down to the grocery stores, and had picnics before shows. Then, on the last night we were in Switzerland, they threw us a party, and they called it the fondue party because they had a bunch of Swiss cheese that was in fondue pots and bread, and that’s what we ate that night. Then they had a stage and had a bunch of traditional dancing and music, so that was a really cool thing,” said Johnson.

  Another group of students traveled to and explored Ireland, Scotland and England. Ms. Dawn Whitsett, one of the teacher chaperones, who has been on multiple trips with student groups.

  “Students crack me up, I mean let’s be honest, they make me laugh all the time, even if it’s watching one of your students crawl through a grassy area, like we did this summer. But just their excitement and the fact that things are so new, and they even become new for me, like experiencing them through the eyes of the students,” said Ms. Whitsett. “Like when I walked to do bed checks and they are videotaping their toilet flushing, that’s a sign that they’re finding or learning something totally different.”

  Danica Groth, a junior, traveled with Ms. Whitsett.

  “I’d say just how similar it is was the most interesting, when we went I felt like I was at home but just a part I’ve never seen before which has kind of helped me realize what the world really is. We all have similarities, but we just live in different places in the world and that some things are different but we’re all so connected even though we’re so far apart and it’s weird to see that,” said Groth.

  As chaperone for the Puerto Rico trip, Mr. Travis Greil, spoke about the experiences for students and what they gain from travel.

  “I would say most of the time it also gives you a sense of confidence, there have been students that I’ve taken on trips that are introverts to the point of they were barely functional in society, and they went on the trip and they came out of their shell and it fundamentally changed who they were and how they acted for the better, they gained a sense of confidence that they didn’t have before,” said Mr. Greil.

  Moving south, to Puerto Rico, the students that traveled there, experienced life after the hurricanes hit in summer 2017.

  “Seeing all the cultures and seeing everything rebuilt after the hurricanes and how nice everyone truly was after everything happened and it was very colorful and you couldn’t even tell that a hurricane hit it,” said Brianna Perkins, Junior.

  Many of the activities involved nature and exploring local areas.

   “We did a lot of hiking, we made a lot of Puerto Rican food, we did a lot of cooking classes, a lot of things outside. We pretty much just toured the whole island, so we didn’t really spend a specific amount of time on anything, it was more like touring the island and a bunch of swimming,” said Perkins.

  Eastern Europe is the target destination for a 2019 trip.

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Student travelers visit multiple countries