Close-up and Personal

Students go to Nation’s capital on annual school trip

Claire Haigwood, Staff writer

Tourists sightseeing, politicians hurrying to work and drivers blaring: a typical scene on any street in our nation’s capital. Amid the chaos, however, a group of students from halfway across the country navigate the disorderly roads on their annual trip to Washington, D.C.

“My mom thought it would be a once in a lifetime kind of thing,” senior Taylor Kappel said.

“We probably wouldn’t go to D.C. if it wasn’t through the school and you get to do a bunch of stuff you wouldn’t normally get to do if you went on your own,” her sister, Reagan Kappel, added.

The students explored Washington, visiting iconic locations such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the United States Capital. Surrounded by history at every footstep, the city around them left the students in awe.

“We could have spent all day in the Library of Congress,” Reagan said. “We would look up at the ceiling and be mesmerized.”

In addition to observing the historical landscape, the tourists met some influential people in Washington. With some of the most recognized individuals of American politics surrounding them, the students had an unforgettable experience.

“Ted Cruz talked to us and answered a few of our questions,” Taylor said. “We could ask him any questions we wanted to, so people asked him about minimum wage, immigrants, FEMA, and things that he has learned from his time working in the government. Trump and Pence drove by and were waving and pointing to us because some kid was wearing a Trump t-shirt.”

The students witnessed the passing of a bill, a staple of American democracy and they learned a few things about what they did not want to do in the future.

“We also went into into the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill day and Paul Ryan lead us in the pledge of allegiance. We also saw a bill being passed in real life and we were thinking ‘wow, this is intense.’ I don’t think I would ever be in politics. They argue too much,” Reagan added.

  The group visited students from other schools from around the country such as Georgia, California and Louisiana. After their experiences in Washington, students had some profound reflections about what they witnessed.

“I definitely have way more respect for our country and feel much more proud to be an American,” Taylor added.