by Lisa Tome
The learning doesn't stop when the school doors close for summer break.
From June 19-23, students from three local high schools will be headed to Quebec City, Canada, with Rising Sun High French teacher Tracy Ripani.
About two dozen students from Rising Sun, Perryville, and Elkton High will be going on the trip, which is not an official school trip. It's an extra for which Ripani volunteers. "Canada is easier and much more affordable," said Ripani.
The highlights of the trip, which is by motorcoach, include breakfast at Quebec's Parliament building, museum visits, a trip to Montmorecny Falls, maple syrup making, walking tours, and more. Activities during the trip run from 7-8 a.m. until 10 or 11 p.m. each day.
Ripani is taking students on the $850 trip for the third time. She said is gives them an opportunity to be exposed to the language, culture, food and history. "It's a wonderful, wonderful trip," said Ripani.
"Most of the students have never been out of the country. Some have never been out of the state. This broadens their horizons," said Ripani. "It's very busy for the students. There are a lot of interactive activities. It's such a great trip."
A year from now, Elise Hudson, an English teacher, also at Rising Sun High, will take students to Greece. "It takes a year and a half to plan a Europe trip," said Hudson.
Hudson started taking students to Greece when she taught Mythology. She has kept up the tradition. So far, four students have signed on for the 12-day trip next year. "We're looking for more (students) and also parent chaperones. The more the better," said Hudson. That trip costs $3,400 per person, includes airfare, hotel, most meals, and a three-day cruise through the Greek islands. The trip includes visiting Olympia, Athens, the Parthenon, and more. Those who go on the trips share their adventures with fellow students when they come back to Cecil County.
"It improves their curiosity too. Once they see one place, they want to travel more and go other places," said Ripani.
The trips are planned through educational travel agencies. The focus is on blending fun with education. "It's so much fun," said Hudson. But it is also busy for the trip leaders. "I didn't get any sleep the week before we went another time," said Hudson.
In addition to the trips to Greece and Canada, more than a dozen students will also be heading to Spain this summer with Spanish teacher Emily Bugbee.