SCHROON LAKE - After a long absence, the traditional senior trip is returning to Schroon Lake Central School.
The Schroon Class of 2009 will visit Washington, D.C., April 10-13.
"The (school) board hadn't approved senior overnight trips for all of my nine years here and a period of time before my arrival," said Superintendent Mike Bonnewell, noting there have been day trips.
"I am not certain that there is anything particular with this class that led to their being approved-though I think, as do many others, that they are a great bunch of young adults," Bonnewell added. "I think that the change has occurred because a good deal of time has elapsed since the board had to deal with incidents of misconduct several years ago."
The approval surprised Schroon Lake seniors and their adviser.
"When we asked for a trip, we figured we would be denied as classes have been for years," said Tracy Gath, senior class adviser. "However, this year we decided to ask for it at the September meeting. The kids prepared statements and each student said something. The basic message was to give us a chance, that we would be the kids that made a difference."
The seniors are scheduled to visit King's Dominion amusement park before touring the nation's capitol.
Students will visit the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, Arlington Cemetery, the National Air & Space Museum and the National Museum of American History.
They will also see a play at the Dinner Theater of Columbia and conclude their visit with a stop at the U.S. Capitol, where they hope to meet an elected official.
"We figured Washington is educational, interesting and a good way to reinstate the idea of senior or high school trips," Gath said. "We threw the theme park in to have some fun, but the rest of the trip is fairly educational.
"Joe Provoncha (Essex County clerk) is working on us meeting somebody (at the U.S. Capitol) before we get on the road home," she continued. "Maybe Obama? Doubtful, but who knows?"
Schroon Lake seniors have been raising money for the trip since they were freshmen, although they're still about $2,000 short of what they need.
"We have a couple of ideas, but nothing firm," Gath said of raising the remaining money. "Much of the money they have raised this year has gone to charity, like $500 each to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Schroon North Hudson Historical Museum after our Dan Berggren concert, and $100 each to the food pantry and the American Cancer Society after our ziti dinner. We just need to get creative and muster some more energy to get the last payment made."