By: Mary Ann Skewes ’16 (Le Moyne College)
It has been a busy fall for the students at CBA, as each class, (with the exception of the junior class who will be going to Washington, DC in the spring) either went on a field trip or a retreat. The purpose of the trips was to build camaraderie amongst classmates in a learning environment.
The seventh graders visited historical Fort Stanwix in Rome, NY. The students embarked on a great educational experience by being able to listen to different revolutionary speakers, who spoke about life at the Fort during the revolution. Additionally, they watched a documentary about the lives of some of the soldiers that lived at the Fort during the American Revolution. They concluded the day by exploring the Fort. This trip helped the students experience how the Fort played a pivotal role during the Revolution and understand the concepts involved.
“To learn history from books is one thing, but to be able to visualize it and experience it is totally different,” said Michael Cusano, Social Studies teacher.
The eighth graders took their annual trip to Gettysburg, PA. This is the 24th year that Social Studies teacher Laurine Feldmeth has led this significant trip. This two-day trip began with a walk through Gettysburg’s Cemetery, where New York military men were buried. The students then visited the Military National Park, where one of the things they were able to see was the Cyclorama, a 100-year old painting. The day concluded with a Tour of the Ghosts of Gettysburg.
The following day, the students toured Gettysburg Battlefield with licensed guides. This trip gave the eighth graders an opportunity to experience history, as they walked through the battlefields our ancestors fought in to keep this country united.
“The purpose of the trip was to give the students an understanding of what happened in Gettysburg, and to give them insight as to what it meant,” Feldmeth shared. “The class is currently studying the Civil War, thus the trip was beneficial as it gave them a first-hand experience of one of the places they have been reading about.”
For the first time in a long time, the freshmen took a class trip. Their destination was Niagara Falls. The students experienced the Falls up close, as they rode the Maid of the Mist. In addition, the students visited the Cave of the Winds, Aquarium of Niagara/Sea Lion show and the Power Vista Electricity Museum. Their day concluded at the Hard Rock Café for dinner.
“We worked closely with the science department to help the students relate their classroom learning to an outdoor experience. This strengthened the bond between the ninth graders and broadened their horizons,” said Guidance Counselor Chris Dopkowski.
The sophomores attended their sophomore retreat at Christ the King Retreat House. This retreat had intentions of helping the sophomores build their relationships with God, self/self-confidence, friends, diversity, and family. Within the retreats, there were senior Peer Ministers who shared their growth in each of the areas since their sophomore year. Students in the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program gave a presentation on healthy versus unhealthy relationships. Faculty member Matt Keough showed a video called “The Butterfly Circus.” After a time of reflection, the sophomores wrote a paper on a relationship they want to work on. This retreat concluded with a prayer.
The senior retreat was held at Arrowhead Lodge at Oneida Shores. The retreat had a theme of “we are all linked together as the class of 2015. We are not whole without each other.” The focus of the retreat was to help the class begin the bonding process of their senior year. The retreat began with breakfast and a prayer, and due to the beautiful weather, the students were able to have three influential outdoor activities: Yarn Ball Toss, Human Machines, and Community Toss. Each of the activities had a goal and a purpose of showing how they are all connected, with unique gifts, talents, and it helped them prioritize. After the activities, there was a presentation on healthy relationships, given by one of the mentors in the Mentor in Violence Prevention Program. After, a class member spoke and the retreat ended with a closing video.