The St. Nicholas Level 7 students make the longest trip. Traveling to restored Williamsburg, Virginia, they are gone for four days and travel more than 600 miles. This experience is exceptionally beneficial for these maturing children.
The week is filled with colonial dancing, military demonstrations, lantern tours, storytelling, and historical interpretative enactments. Students visit the excavations of the original fort at Jamestown, Monticello in Charlottesville, and the Appomattox Courthouse.
While visiting historic Colonial Williamsburg, St. Nicholas students walk through refurbished, reconstructed, and historically furnished buildings and talk with costumed interpreters telling the stories of the men and women of the 18th-century city. They listen to voices that speak from the perspective of the first Americans who were black, white, Native American, or enslaved. They learn of the challenges these people faced. In this significant place, the future learns from the past.
The overriding and obvious intent of these trips is to provide a substantive educational experience with cultures/environments that cannot be touched without leaving home. However, the effect of these trips is found within the children themselves. It is hard to know whether the greatest effect is one of growth in knowledge and understanding or one of growth in self reliance and confidence. Students always return more confident and secure than they were when they left.
For more information, check out the Williamsburg website: http://www.history.org/history/teaching/grouptours/index.cfm