Furthering our belief in experiential learning, Christ Episcopal School students participate in overnight trips each year beginning in fifth grade. These trips extend their classroom learning and are integral in fostering independence and self-discovery. Below is a summary of the class trips typically taken each year (locations subject to change).
CES students take their first overnight field trip in fifth grade, when they travel to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) to learn about marine conservation. They enjoy outdoor activities and take advantage of the DISL’s indoor touch lab, which provides a detailed introduction to the major marine phyla found along the Gulf Coast, accompanied by interesting facts and anecdotes. Our students are able to examine and touch a wide variety of preserved specimens, while identifying major body parts and adaptations to the marine environment. Students also participate in a night scavenger hunt on the beach and explore a nearby salt marsh.
For a number of years, our sixth graders have traveled to Universal Studios as culmination of their in-depth study of the Harry Potter book series. Examining the text from a variety of approaches in their ELA, science, history and even P.E. classes (the annual CES Quidditch match is a must-see!), the Universal trip has been a fun way to bring the series to life beyond the pages and screen. Our sixth grade faculty is currently exploring a new academic travel experience to introduce in the 2019-20 school year.
Seventh graders attend Camp Carolina Backcountry, which is a professional summer camp in Brevard, N.C. Students explore a small part of the Pisgah National Forest, which the camp borders. While at Camp Carolina Backcountry, students enjoy a variety of activities, such as rock climbing, sea kayaking, mountain boarding, mountain biking, hiking, swimming, fly fishing, horse riding, caving, and whitewater rafting. The camp has many special areas–a skate park, water park, and The Blob–that the students get to enjoy. This experience helps our seventh graders grow in confidence as they try new things and share these experiences with their classmates.
Our eighth graders experience Chicago by participating in an architectural river cruise on the Chicago River; an evening production of Blue Man Group; a Chicago Cubs baseball game at iconic Wrigley Field; visits to world-class museums such as the Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Science and Industry, and The Field Museum; Navy Pier; and 875 North Michigan Avenue (formerly known as the John Hancock Center). Headmaster John Morvant leads the trip, along with staff members Ruth Siporski and Ann Costa.
The ninth grade students participate in a program called NatureBridge, a field science program in Yosemite National Park that offers students the opportunity to learn hands-on science in one of the world’s most stunning geologic wonders. We participate in a five-day residential outdoor science program that is led by experienced educators. Examples of popular instructional days include:
While the venue for this trip changes, the purpose of it remains the same from year to year: to reveal to our students the importance of service and of community building that is gained through working together.
Our students always leave this trip with a new and profound understanding of the world outside of their own circle, of what they are capable of accomplishing, and of what it means to serve others.
The junior class members experience government, history, art, and architecture firsthand through visits to Jamestown, Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, the U.S. Capitol, the National Cathedral, the Holocaust Museum, Arlington Cemetery, and other national monuments and museums.
Our seniors visit Los Angeles to learn about the filmmaking business, visit local universities and our alumni who attend there, and then to be tourists while visiting museums, seeing the ocean and the grandeur of the natural beauty of California, and making a stop at Disneyland.
A typical itinerary includes stops at The Getty Museum, the USC campus, Warner Bros. Studio, The Griffith Observatory, The Museum of Tolerance, and Disneyland. Students also take in a Lakers basketball game, hike, and participate in service work at a local school, among other activities.