By Jessica Hurst
Of The New Era
Two dozen Lebanon High School students and relatives recently toured Europe through the Educational European travel program at LHS.
The 15-day trip began in London and continued through Paris, France; Basque country, Barcelona and Madrid in Spain. The tour company the group used takes student groups from different parts of the United States and puts them together.
The Lebanon group was paired with a group of students from Texas.
“Not only did we get to meet people internationally, but we got to make friends from other places in the country,” said Deanna Chambers, the group leader.
“They were the nicest people,” student Madison Price said.
The students raised money for the trip, which cost approximately $5,000 each, by running a concession stand at athletic events, holding a can drive and hosting a Pampered Chef fund-raiser, among other things.
Some students, like Avery Jorgenson, paid their way with summer jobs.
Language students were given first priority to go on the trip and they were able to practice their French or Spanish on the trip.
Price said, “(The language students) had so many friends because they wanted to know what to eat!”
The group had lots of unplanned experiences, such as being able to go up to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower at night.
“My favorite was when we went on a walk and found a castle,” Price said. “We had an unplanned tour.”
Chambers said, “It was one of the most authentic experiences.”
Jorgenson said, “Everything is so much bigger than I expected. The tour was a taste of what we could see if we went back and spent more time.”
Jorgenson said she is considering pursuing study abroad programs to continue traveling.
The European travel program is open to anyone over 14. Chambers said participants must be flexible and have a positive attitude.
Next summer’s tour will have a World War II focus and participants will visit France, Switzerland and Germany. There is still time for interested travelers to sign up for the Summer of 2018 tour.
“My goal by leading these educational tours is to bring history to life,” Chambers said. “Take past events into recent memory; to educate and develop U.S. citizens into global citizens as well as to foster knowledge and change dreams into reality.”