Students lead in Hersheypark field trip decision

Taylor Easter

Last year, the MYP’s eighth grade class took a day trip to Six Flags, accompanied by Mr. John Mester, the MYP design teacher, and Ms. Jenna Flickinger, one of the MYP’s English teachers. This year, the eighth grade class is set to go on a trip to Hershey Park on Wednesday, June 7. However, it took a long time to get a final decision regarding this year’s eighth grade trip. The first announcement regarding the eighth grade trip was made in early February, and an interest meeting for the trip was held on February 28. It was announced that the eighth grade would be going on a trip to North Bay Adventure Camp for three days and two nights in May. Immediately, there was a large backlash from the majority of the eighth grade students. Part of the adverse response stemmed from the fact that some of the students had been to North Bay before and had a less-than-pleasurable experience. Last year, Skyline Middle School (where a lot of the incoming eighth graders have come from) took a trip there. The majority of them did not enjoy the trip. MYP eighth grader and former Skyline student Sean Ferguson said, “When I went on the trip last year, it was horrible. Our tour guide person was awful, we didn’t get to go on the zip line or the swing like they promised, and, oh yeah, I fell in a swamp! I would not recommend going there.” “There were some good things, like the lunch and the bus ride there. Then again, I always like long car rides where I can talk to my friends,” Ferguson said. “Other than that though, the trip was pretty bad.” Another reason why the eighth graders were not happy with the trip location occurred was because they thought they would have more say in the decision, like the eighth graders did last year. The National Junior Honor Society had talked about possible destinations for the trip during their monthly meetings. Camping was one of the trip ideas they had vetoed, so the North Bay announcement came as a shock. Virtually none of the eighth graders had wanted to go camping, and it did not make sense to them that camping was the final trip option. Cost was also a concern to some eighth graders, but to the majority, the problem was that they felt unheard. After the eighth graders made their grievances about the trip known, eighth grader Alex Satinskas created a Google Form polling the eighth grade class, seeing where they wanted to go. Mr. Melidosian said the new decision will in part have something to do with the results of the form, which was true. The input from the NJHS also helped finalize the trip decision. On May 1, “The Dickinson Patriot” was told that the eighth grade would be going to Hershey Park on Wednesday, May 31. (The date was later pushed back by a week). Even though it took a long time to get to this decision, there is something to be said about the way that they got there. Rather than just complaining about the trip (although there was a lot of complaining taking place), the students did something about it and took it up with the administration. The students’ issues were addressed and the trip was changed accordingly.