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Class Trips 101

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Columbus Day Weekend means time for class trips. Each class, along with teachers, adventured somewhere different. “Overall, class trips give your class a place to gather outside of school. It allows people to see others in a different light,” said Bridget Ewing ’18.

A few members of the Freshman Class pose for a picture after their canoe trip

The Buffalo River was filled with 44 freshmen as they canoed their way down the river for their first ever SEM class trip. They left SEM on the dreary morning of October 5, not quite sure what to expect, and headed straight to the Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association (BSRA) to start their day. Before they were allowed to go on the river, the girls had to go through safety procedures followed by getting their boat assignments. The girls canoed past the grain elevators, silos, Riverworks, Canalside, and many other unique aspects of Buffalo. Many different emotions filled the freshman following their voyage down the river. “We spent the whole time yelling at each other,” said Mary Grace Stoj ’21. The canoe trip can be chaotic at times, however, is a good chance for class bonding. Contrary to how the freshmen felt this year, Katie Gareis ’20, remembered her canoe trip as a fun time.

The girls canoed past the grain elevators, silos, Riverworks, Canalside, and many other unique aspects of Buffalo. Many different emotions filled the freshman following their voyage down the river. “We spent the whole time yelling at each other,” said Mary Grace Stoj ’21. The canoe trip can be chaotic at times, however, is a good chance for class bonding. Contrary to how the freshmen felt this year, Katie Gareis ’20, remembered her canoe trip as a fun time. “It was a fun bonding experience,” she said.  The day ended at Wilkeson Pointe where the hungry and tired girls ate lunch together. “My arms hurt for like three days after it,” said Mary Grace.”I would do it again if we had more secure boats,” said Leah Walker ’21.

Members of the Sophomore Class take a break from hiking to smile for the camera

Also on October 5, 47 sophomores traveled to Letchworth State Park for the day. Throughout the day, the girls took artsy pictures, observed the river flowing throughout the park at a slow pace, and hiked a lot. With the leaves changing colors, the scenery was very autumn like and pretty. Green, yellow, and red surrounded the sophomore class as they hiked their way through the park. It was a perfect day for a hike; it wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold. “I felt personally attacked when the sun came out,”  said Georgia Bontempo ’20. Halfway through the hike struck lunchtime for the hikers which consisted of a brown paper bagged lunch and featured peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”The lunch was way better than I thought it was going to be,” said Maggie McCulloch ’20. Overall, the class had a memorable trip and was thought to be better than freshman year where everyone was super awkward. Mary Curtin, a current junior reflected on her trip the previous year to Letchworth as she enjoyed the trip. “I liked it. The last couple hours were fun where we could hike around, see the waterfall and take more pictures,” said Mary ’19. The trip was 10/10 and I would definitely do it again,” said Georgia.

 

Alivia LaRue ’19, Ayesha Khan ’19, Brigid Navagh ’19, Ciara Lambert ’19, and Deanna Abdellatif ’19 in front of the Capitol Building.

The coach buses arrived at SEM on the night of October 5 as 42 juniors prepared to depart for the nation’s capital for three days. The busy juniors had three days of non-stop fun. The girls saw the Lincoln Memorial, went to the Arlington National Cemetery, the Natural History Museum, the Newseum, the Georgetown neighborhood where they had some free time to explore the area, and saw plenty more attractions through Washington.

“My favorite part was probably Georgetown because I got to go shopping with my friends,” said Katie Nebbia ’19. Shear Madness, “America’s Favorite Comedy Whodunit,” fulfilled the entertainment aspect of the trip. This play took place at The Kennedy Center where the girls were apart of the audience and contributed to the plot of the play. Everyone enjoyed this comedy as laughs were shared by classmates.

Three days go by fast when you’re having fun with your friends and luckily the rain held off until the last day. “My favorite part of the trip was being with my friends and making memories,” said Deanna Abdellatif ’19.

“It was a jam-packed weekend that is now a fond blur that I wish I could do again,” said senior Tess Rine as she reflected on her D.C. experience, last year.

Natalia Vaquero ’18, Shelby Kmidowski ’18, Grace Heidinger ’18 and Tess Rine ’18 at Sky High.

The senior class took their final SEM class trip as they headed to Ellicottville Thursday evening. Two yellow school buses filled with 59 girls transported everyone from school to Holiday Valley. When the first bus arrived in Ellicottville, the girls got their room assignments and headed to their rooms with their roommates to wait for the next bus to arrive with the rest of the class. Once everyone was there, they gathered into a conference room where they would eat dinner. Girls sat with their friends at round wooden tables and enjoyed some pizza, salad, fruit, and vegetables. As dinner came to an end,  head of school Helen Marlette, teachers Jessica Silverstein and Susan Drozd prepared everyone for the rest of the night. What were thought to be simple games turned into tough challenges as a task for the class was to organize themselves in alphabetical order by the last letter of their first name. The catch to these activities was that the girls were not allowed to talk, which made it harder. Group skits, which later turned out to be the favorite part of the night,  followed these mini challenges.  Mrs. Silverstein divided the class into five random groups and assigned the groups to create a short skit reflecting their years at SEM. “The skits were a super cute way to reflect on SEM as everyone remembered certain memories,” said Katie Kraft ’18. Laughter filled the room while each group performed.

The night ended on a more serious note as Mrs. Marlette listened to the students talk about anything that was on their mind; the girls mainly focused on the dress code and the capstone initiative as this is the first class to complete capstones. At 11:00 pm, girls grew tired as more points were brought up.  “I think the topics were important, although the way they were brought up could’ve been better and more organized,” said Katie Gibbons ’18. The well-anticipated ropes courses at Sky High highlighted the following day. The girls were harnessed, practiced how to use the harnesses, and were finally ready to go. The seniors spent their last class trip climbing and zip lining through trees in the drizzling rain. ” I definitely would never have tried ziplining if I didn’t go on that trip,” said Katie Kraft.

Class bonding was a common theme for each trip, no matter which one you went on. “It is an opportunity to deepen relationships with your classmates and gain a better understand of the people around you,” said senior Bridget Ewing.

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