By Elyana Schosek
This past week, a group of students from Springville-Griffith High School boarded a bus for a trip north to Quebec City in Canada.
They boarded a tour bus around 5 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 and got situated for the nearly 12-hour commute they would have before arrival in the city.
Once they arrived at their hotel, the students had time to relax in their rooms before going to the waterpark in the hotel and eating dinner. Once at the waterpark, students had a couple hours to do their own thing.
In the last hour, most kids gravitated towards the Flowrider, a ride which entailed standing on a board trying to surf without falling off and getting swept back into the wall. Many students attempted this along with a few of their teachers.
This is the fifth time SGI students have gone to Quebec City. Valerie Brown is the French teacher at SGI High School, who plans this trip every other year. This gives kids two full years to fundraise for the trip.
This is a great opportunity for kids because “traveling to Europe can be expensive and Quebec City is very similar to Europe,” Brown said. “This trip allows for students to be independent and learn to think outside the bounds of their neighborhood, school, or classroom.”
The next day, students went to a Safari-themed cafe contained within the resort. After breakfast, they visited the Hotel de Glace, or Ice Hotel, which is just what it sounds like, a hotel made entirely of ice. Each room has its own theme, there was also an ice slide for kids to try out.
After touring the Ice Hotel, students boarded the bus for the short ride to Old Quebec. Here they had a couple of hours to walk through the city and shop. They met up at the pre-established meeting spot and some students even started a snowball fight, with a few passersby joining in on the fun.
After their visit to Old Quebec, the students had free time to go snow tubing and have dinner at their hotel. A group of students even decided to go to the arcade within the hotel for an hour before heading back to their rooms.
On day three, the group checked out of their hotel and got ready for a day of touring. First, they visited St. Anne de Beaupre Basilica. Then, they went to Chez Marie to try out their exquisite maple butter. Finally, they went to Montmorency Falls, a mostly frozen waterfall that flows into the St. Lawrence River. A bridge went across the falls that allowed the students to look straight down at the falls and out at the river. That was all before noon.
After that, they boarded the bus again to go to Old Quebec where they had more time to shop and have lunch. Only this time, they got to visit the lower part of the city. In the town square, there were a few street performers… normal right? Well, not for long.
A group of SGI students found their way to the top of a giant snow pile to dance to the music. Soon after a group formed on the ground also dancing. Within 30 minutes Springville students had taken over the square!
Following this, they drove to their second hotel. Upon check-in, they had some time to get situated and change out of their snow clothes before leaving for dinner.
They ate dinner at Erabliere du Lac Beauport, which they simply called the Sugar Shack. After learning how maple syrup is made, they sat down for dinner. Following dinner, some students got together to line dance. Saturday was a day of dancing for the group!
“Traveling outside your comfort zone allows for travelers to learn that there are people out there who live life differently and those cultural differences aren’t defined by national borders.”
In regard to the educational value of the trip, Madame Brown included, “Not all education can and should happen within the classroom. Learning is always happening.”
Traveling allows for learning in all of the following areas math, business, social studies, science, music, technology, art, language, government, economics, physical education and social skills.
“Students who have the opportunity to travel on trips are being brought into the real world, learning about real-world skills and how to adapt and adjust with the ever-changing situations,” added Brown.
Sunday was an early day with breakfast and checkout before 8 a.m. The group took the bus to Aventures Nord-Bec Stoneham for dog sledding and snowshoeing. During snowshoeing, the group was taken to an open space where they had time to just do their own thing.
The chaperones challenged the students to a few races. Let’s just say that running is difficult in snowshoes with four feet of snow, especially downhill. Getting up once you’ve fallen is pretty hard too. After dog sledding, the kids had time to play with the dogs and get hot chocolate.
Once they had taken off all their snow clothes, they once again boarded the bus. This time, they were heading to a mall, Galeries de la Capitale Shopping Mall to be exact. This isn’t just any ordinary mall; it contains a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, and merry-go-round plus much more. This would be their last stop of the trip before the bus ride home.
When asked what her favorite part of the trip was, Brown said how could she choose one favorite activity? She did, however, note that “the connections that the chaperones and the students make on these trips are life-changing.”
“Along with the other chaperones on this trip, we would like to say that we couldn’t be more grateful to be teachers of the students on this trip,” she continued. “We were able to make some memories that we will never forget and be able to tell for a lifetime. This trip puts a mark on your heart where you can think back and smile or laugh. It is the highlight of my year as a teacher. I will never forget this 2019 group! Merci pour les mémoires!”