Explorer’s Club visits Europe


Photo courtesy of Michelle Jones

While in England, members of the Explorer’s Club visited William Shakespeare’s birthplace. Pictured are, from left, Ashley Jenkins, David DuVall, Megan Patterson and Tanika Kounhavong.

Shelby Parsons, Editor-in-Chief

Scotland, England and France. This past summer, 23 students from Center Hill High School traveled on a 10-day trip to these masses of culture and history. On planes, trains and buses, they proceeded through Edinburgh, Oxford, York, London and Paris.

Along the way, students and chaperones were able to see and visit a plethora of landmarks across Europe, including Edinburgh Castle, Warwick Castle and the York Minster.

Megan Patterson and Nevin Thomason, both seniors, recounted walking along the Shambles in York and climbing the Eiffel Tower.

“We were only half-way up [the Eiffel Tower] and we died going up the rest of the steps,” Thomason said.

Patterson recalled her experience at Warwick Castle.

“I stood for 10 minutes just looking at the stained glass there until Nevin made me leave,” she said.

Michelle Jones, one of the trip’s chaperones, said the group saw the critically acclaimed musical “Wicked” on West End and visited William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and hometown, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

“We saw where Shakespeare was born and saw where his wife’s family had lived, which is great being an English teacher and getting to see that,” Jones said.

The Explorer’s Club was able to make memories and experience new things while learning about Europe’s history and being exposed to its cultures. Patterson and Reese Shumway, a junior, re-enacted a wedding ceremony at Gretna Green, an infamous spot for people to elope.

“Reese’s and my birthday had just happened,” Patterson said. “The group didn’t have time to do anything for it, so they said, ‘go get married!’ It was so funny.”

Tanika Kounhavong also reminisced about the trip.

“I think it was in Paris, but there was a guy who was singing to a crowd,” Kounhavong said. “He saw that we were singing along so he invited us to go up and sing with him. I loved absolutely everything about Europe. The trip was really fun. I just graduated, so this was my last memory with Center Hill.” 

Jones encourages students to travel and broaden their horizons.

“I am a firm believer that everyone should leave the United States at least once,” she said. “It’s so great for you as a student to have that opportunity.”