By Madison Gaston
It is an Oak Hall tradition to allow the highest grade in each division attend a unique class trip close to the end of the school year. The trips are some of the best moments at Oak Hall that students remember for the rest of their lives.
For more than 20 years, Oak Hall’s seniors have had the amazing opportunity to fly to New York City. Jeff Malloy, Director of Auxiliary Operations, has attended the trip for 16 years, helping schedule the itinerary alongside Danielle Tripp, Auxiliary Operations Administrative Assistant, and the helpful feedback of the students. The senior class has consistently stayed for five days and four nights in “The Big Apple”. The seniors have the opportunity to roam and explore the city in small groups accompanied by optional chaperones.
During the nighttime, the students stay together to enjoy two Broadway shows, one Off Broadway show, and another activity such as “Escape the Room” or karaoke. In addition, the class dines together for two meals, and gets to experience one of New York’s best chocolate-themed restaurants. Students can also ride the Staten Island Ferry, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and go up to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. The New York trip occurs from May 16-20 the year of graduation, and seniors are excited to explore the vast city, as most anticipate this class trip since freshman year.
Susan Harper, Oak Hall’s first Middle School division head, created a legacy to recognize the celebration of the end of Middle School, through an annual class trip for eighth graders. The “15th Annual Andersonville-Atlanta-Chatanooga Eighth Grade Class Trip” is from May 5-8, 2020. The eighth graders have the opportunity to attend a faculty guided tour, as they learn about historical sites, while celebrating their final days as Middle Schoolers. The trip first includes going to the Andersonville National Historic Site and Cemetery to learn about one of the largest Confederate military prisons during the Civil War. Later on that same day, students get to enjoy the Guinnette Braves Triple-A baseball game and relax with friends.
The second day is spent in Chattanooga where students ride the railway up to Lookout Mountain to watch a historical 3D map and work on a project at Point Park. After the assignment, the rest of the day is spent at the Tennessee Aquarium Campus, including a movie at the IMAX Theater. In the evening, students experience a riverboat cruise along the Tennessee River, which for many is an unforgettable experience. The last destination for the eighth graders is Atlanta, beginning with the Martin Luther King Junior National Historic Site. After, students eat lunch at The Varsity, go to the Atlanta Zoo, and have an awesome dinner at Dave and Busters where the students can play games all night. The faculty hopes that the Andersonville-Atlanta-Chatanooga Eighth Grade Class Trip is academic and fun for Oak Hall’s eighth graders.
The Fifth Grade Washington D.C. Trip, May 15-20 of the graduation year, has been a tradition for Oak Hall’s Lower School for more than 20 years. Using Candies Coachworks Motorcoaches, the students tour the many monuments, memorials, and museums of Washington D.C. The chaperones of the trip, consisting of teachers and assistants, take the students to the U.S. Capitol Building for a tour, the National Archives, and the National Cathedral, amongst other places. The fifth grade class takes a traditional photo in front of the White House, tour Ford’s Theatre and listen to a ranger talk in the theatre.
One special part of the trip is the illuminated night tour of the memorials. One powerful moment is at Arlington National Cemetery, where students are able to see the endless rows of white tombstones of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Lastly, the class visits Mount Vernon, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Colonial Williamsburg to experience more of the historic city. The Washington D.C. Class Trip continues to educate and entertain the soon-to-be Middle Schoolers.