Friday, October 5, 2012

My First BFA Field Trip

Since I'm one of the Freshmen class sponsors, I went on the field trip with them yesterday to the WW1 trenches in France, just an hour from Kandern. After loading the bus with 31 eager freshmen, telling them to keep it down (the bus driver's over here DO NOT like noise and we had already gotten yelled at in German once), we started off towards France. After the bus made it to the top of a (very) windy, hilly road, we got out and walked through the French cemetery. The view from the top of the cemetery was gorgeous!

We walked up through the forest and my legs got a GREAT workout going up and up and up! Once we were at the top, there was a large white cross we met under. The cross was on the plot of land right near No Man's Land, between the German and French trenches. The kids were broken up in 3 groups and heard two different accounts of life in the trenches, an excerpt from All Quiet On the Western Front, and actually walked through a very large German trench. As someone who is just still getting used to outdoorsy things, I wasn't so thrilled about the last part. I got stung by stinging nettles and tripped more times than I would like to count! I also kept thinking to myself, "This is definitely NOT a field trip they'd do in America!" 1) because we were letting these kids go through a LOT of rough spots and patches and 2) because after lunch we basically said, "Go have fun and explore! Don't fall into the barbed wire!"

I went off with some of the other chaperones to explore more of the trenches and the German side. We found tunnels and secret passageways and even a spot that was used for Polish P.O.W's in WW2! My camera died right at the beginning and I was super bummed because I missed a lot of great photo ops!!!

At the end of the day, we headed back to the bus and I could already feel the soreness creeping in. I realized I'd done a lot of climbing, ducking, falling, and walking since about 10am that morning! It was a great experience and I hope these kids will one day recognize just how cool their field trip was and the things that they actually got to see were something that not many people will ever experience in a lifetime.

French cemetery

The white cross that marks where the trenches were

French trenches

Some of our fantastic freshmen!

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