By: Mackenzie McCollum, contributing writer
This past summer, from June 23rd to July 1st, Centralia High School (CHS) staff and chaperones took 16 students to several European countries.
The trip was offered through EF Tours to show students several different tourist attractions throughout Europe. Students went to France, Switzerland and Germany.
On this trip, participants visited the Louvre, Mount Pilatus looking over Lake Lucerne, the Eiffel Tower, Munich, the Neuschwanstein Castle and the Swiss Alps. Annika Kirtley, a 2022 graduate, said her favorite part of the trip was, “Probably going to the Swiss Alps. It was absolutely beautiful. I definitely want to go back again.”
Miss Alexis Willingham, CHS art teacher, was the head coordinator for the trip. Willingham held a gift card raffle, worked concession stands, and joined art club in putting on The Deck the Halls silent auction art show by selling baked goods. Willingham said, “I think this trip was very successful. Over the course of the trip I saw students actively learn in a new environment, I saw them get excited about new things that were out of their comfort zone, I saw them practice patience and flexibility when things didn’t quite go as planned, and I saw them grow confidence in themselves.”
There were some setbacks that occurred on this trip. On their way to the Louvre, they ran into some unexpected issues. “One of the most eventful days was getting into Paris to see the Louvre. Unbeknownst to us, there was a bike race that cut through the heart of Paris that morning, and all roads were closed. This eventually forced us to use the underground subway, which was awesome, but a bit stressful,” comments Dr. Andrew Darr, Language arts teacher and chaperone.
This trip was memorable for several students. Sarah McCoy, a CHS senior, said, “The most memorable part of the trip was the mountains in Switzerland. Honestly, I think the entire trip was memorable. From that being my first time flying to seeing the Eiffel Tower and then the Mona Lisa, it was all very memorable.”
There will be another trip through EF tours heading to Peru in the summer of 2023. Willingham said, “We will be visiting Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and so much more!”