Ticonderoga Middle School seventh grade students recently went on a three-day trip to the Boston area. They visited historic sites and museums along with making a whale watch on the Atlantic Ocean.
Ticonderoga Middle School students never cease to amaze Kyle Lang.
“I’m so proud of our kids,” said Lang, an English teacher at the school. “People constantly comment on how polite and well-behaved our students are. It never fails that our kids exceed all our expectations.”
Lang should know. He just took 67 seventh grade students to Massachusetts on the school’s annual whale watch trip.
This year students spent three days and two nights in Plymouth and Boston. They visited historic sites and museums along with taking a whale watch on the Atlantic Ocean.
Ti students have been making the trek for years. Lang has led the excursion the past 11 years.
“We actually have hotel staff and bus drivers look forward to our trip,” Lang said. “Our kids have learned how to treat others with respect and it shows.”
This year students also learned about fund raising. For the first time the trip was funded entirely by student efforts. The school district cut the whale watch from the school budget this year.
Students raised more than $20,000 for the adventure through sales, drawings and other activities.
“It was a total student effort,” Lang said. “It was a lot of work, but I think the kids really appreciated what it takes to raise that kind of money.
“We were also very fortunate to have wonderful community support,” he added. “Who bought all those raffle tickets? It was our community.”
For more than 30 years seventh grade students at Ti Middle School have gone on an overnight outdoor education trip. This year students spent three days and two nights in the Boston area.
While there they visited the Plymouth Plantation, the Boston Museum of Science and Northeastern University. They also toured Plymouth, walked the Boston Freedom Trail and went on a whale watch.
This year’s trip was especially nice, Lang said, because of great weather. Students saw about 30 whales, including 25 humpbacks.
“There have been years when the weather has been cold and nasty,” Lang said. “This year it was beautiful. There was nothing but smiles on the boat. Everyone loved it. It was one of our best trips ever; it was really special.”
The trip is valuable for students, Lang said.
“It’s an incredibly positive experience for the kids,” he said. “It’s definitely an educational trip. There’s a science component at the museum and whale watch; there is a history component at the plantation and on the tours; they do math at the museums; and the trip inspires a lot of writing in English classes when we return.”
Teachers from every discipline went on the trip.
“There’s also a social aspect,” he added. “This is the first time most of the kids have been away from home without their parents. They learn a lot — and they laugh a lot. It was a lot of fun.”
The trip is planned by seventh grade teachers, who also chaperone. The goal is to expose students to as much as possible in a weekend, said Lang.
Lang noted the trip is so popular, it has inspired similar trips at St. Mary’s School in Ticonderoga and Crown Point Central School.
The annual trip began in the 1970s when seventh grade students were taken to Caumsett State Park on Long Island for an overnight trip and outdoor education program. After several years the trip was changed to visit Provincetown, Mass., so a whale watch could be added to the itinerary. Eventually the trip moved to Boston so students could visit historic sights.