Forty-five kids, two chaperones, one bus; all headed to the world renowned monument known as the Statue of Liberty. This already sounds like a recipe for disaster, considering the usual, troublesome antics of your average thirteen and fourteen year old teenager. It certainly was no easy journey for Mr. Longtin and Mrs. Ott, who were no rookies at babysitting rebellious children seven hours a day on your typical school day; but this trip was different. They were not freed from the eighth graders when the bell rang at 3 o’ clock. This time, they were ‘round the clock monitoring all forty-five of us for a week straight, praying they would not have to make a phone call home to the parents of a misbehaving kid who was anxiously twiddling their thumbs while they awaited the phone call between the chaperone and the parents to end.
As our annual History Club trip was coming to an end, there was still one last stop to make. Every New Yorker seemed to know their way around Liberty Island in New York Harbor, making the navigation process nearly effortless when it came to setting our sights on the Statue of Liberty. From the Harbor, the forty-five of us were loaded onto one of the Lady Liberty Cruises’ cruise ships. Every one of us could feel the excitement as the large ship slowly cruised towards the small island holding one of our national treasures. There was a lot of freedom given to the students on the ship, as most of us decided to split into groups and divide off into our own sections of the boat, some of us traveling upstairs to the second floor of the ship, and others gathering closer towards the port hand of the ship to see how close we were to the island. This experience was exciting and different. Majority of the trip seemed to feel slow as we were dragged through museum after museum, but the salty air and the motion of the boat was exciting as we got to experience Lady Liberty with our own eyes, not read off of a plaque.
The time seemed to pass by quickly as my friends and I hung off the side of the boat and let our hair tangle in the breeze, occasionally hearing a student shout that they lost their hat or sunglasses. As the boat slowed to a gentle stop, each of us were rallied up and tallied off one-by-one, stepping off of the boat launch onto the dock that leads to the island. Finally, there it was: The Statue of Liberty. The magnificent height of the monument only grew the closer you got to it. A new appreciation for not only the historical site, but for New York itself, was created as we all joined together underneath it and tried to take pictures with the enormous statue. With antique Coke bottles in our backpacks from the small gift shop on the island, we all loaded back onto the ship and headed back to the harbor. When we made our way to the bus, each of us slumped down into our seats and plugged in our earbuds, ready for the journey back home to our small school in Canaan, New Hampshire.
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