We started our October in Italy with 60 BFA senior students & (thankfully) 9 other adults. It is a BFA tradition that the Seniors take a trip to Italy at the beginning of the year and since Micah & I are Senior Sponsors that meant we got to go this year. There were also some gaps in the leadership of the trip this year with various faculty members who left last year, etc. so Micah & I stepped into those gaps and ended up shouldering a lot of the planning that needed to be done. It was worth it though, because we got to visit some pretty amazing places!
The trip actually started at 8:30 PM on Thursday night when we drove through the night & “slept” (supposedly) our way to Florence. We got to see the most famous sight in Florence:
Pictures don’t do this sculpture justice – it is beautiful! (Picture taken from the Florence tourism website as you aren’t allowed to take pictures in the museum)
That afternoon we drove to our Hotel located about an hour outside of Rome in Santa Severa. We were right across the street from the Mediterranean – it was wonderful!!
The next few days we spent sightseeing in Rome & seeing lots of famous sights, such as:
And, of course, the Coliseum (again taken from a tourism website, because guess who forgot to bring their camera on the day we went here?)
The kids got lots of neat experiences on this trip that most high school students can only dream about. Actually, many adults can only dream about these experiences!
Church on the beach with the mediterranean in the background
Playing on the beach
One of the most amazing blessings of the trip is that one of our students became a Christian while on the trip & chose to be baptized. He had been very open about not being a Christian so all his classmates were very excited to welcome him into the ‘family’!
We headed home via Venice where the students got roughly 9 hours (we had to keep the buses parked for that amount of time for the bus drivers to rest to comply with German laws). In that time we also went to a classical music concert in an old church. Beautiful!
All in all, a great trip! One of the other sponsors said that trying to keep 60 students together as we walked through Rome was like herding cats & I think that is probably the best descriptor there could be for some of those moments. Overall, though the students were amazing! We had no major discipline issues in spite of the fact that the students were often allowed 3 or 4 hours of time to wander around in groups, no one got sick, & the worst injuries were a couple possible broken toes from our day on the beach (ultimate frisbee & beach volleyball injuries). We ate lots of great Italian food, lots of gelato, & soaked in the sun. Best of all, the students came back bonded as a result of shared experiences and feeling like Seniors ready to be an example to the student body!