Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Student Leaders Explore Nation's Capital

John C Thomas Middle School students recently explored the nation’s capital and the Big Apple June 17th-21st. Carrie Badger, the PE and Leadership teacher at JC Thomas, chaperoned Ryan Hurley, Shiloh Hoven, Abigail McKay-Beech, and Elias Cochran on the 5-day adventure.

They joined students from Warrenton, OR, South Dakota, and California on a quest to learn about the nation’s history and see iconic monuments through WorldStrides, an experiential learning program. WorldStrides organizes opportunities for students to travel across the world with adventure-packed itineraries that expose participants to unforgettable experiences and to inspire them to pursue careers, learn about new cultures, and experience history up close.

Students began their adventure in Washington D.C. where they paid their respects at Arlington National Cemetery while witnessing the Changing of the Guard. They ventured on to see the memorials of Iwo Jima, the memorials on “The Mall,” and the Holocaust Museum. The trip also included a visit to the home of the first president, George Washington, at Mount Vernon. A favorite part of the trip for student leader Ryen Hurley was visiting the president’s home and seeing how life was on a colonial farm. Time in DC was a highlight for Hurley as she enjoyed the Lincoln Memorial at sunset and a rare time that wasn’t as busy as normal. Carrie Badger shared that the impact of watching the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery was powerful and life-changing for students. As they withstood the elevated heat and humidity, they gained a new understanding and sense of respect for servicemen and women.

Following the three days spent in D.C., students traveled north to New York City where they spent two eye-opening days visiting the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, 9/11 Memorial, navigating the subway, and enjoying a Broadway show. Students were left awe-stricken by the level of beauty and talent witnessed in the Broadway musical, “Wicked.” The show was especially intriguing to McKay-Beech, an astounding up-and-coming actress herself, whom you may have witnessed perform in the end-of-the-year middle school musical drama, “Time Warped Teen.”

“Exposure to history, different choices and lifestyles is a great takeaway to the experience for students,” shared chaperone Carrie Badger. “Seeing something outside of our home is important and I like sharing a diverse perspective with students.” This is the second, but not the last trip Badger has taken students on with WorldStrides. The educational trips are filled with great experiences and out of it friendships are made while learning about multiple perspectives through students’ eyes.

Hurley served as the middle school student government President during this last school year and reiterated Badger's point on learning from multiple perspectives. “I feel like it helped me grow as a person, to talk in front of people and it showed me how important it is to connect with people around me. There are so many aspects to being a leader and for me, it helped me step out of my comfort zone to become a better leader.”


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