CALEDONIA – Next March, 14 senior high students from the North Queens Community School in Caledonia will be heading on a 10-day educational trip called the Vimy to Juno tour.
This trip is the second one the school has taken to this area in France. In 2017, a group of North Queens students attended the 100th anniversary for Vimy Ridge, says Julie Ramey, the school’s tour staff advisor.
The upcoming tour includes a stop at Vimy Ridge, but the actual focus is Juno Beach, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary next June.
“Given that the celebrations for the 75th anniversary take place during exam preparations in June,” says Ramey, “it would be difficult to remove students from class at that time.”
As such, they chose ‘The Canada and the World Wars Tour’ for March to pay tribute at that time.
Students, says Ramey, will travel to many places to follow the footsteps of our Canadian military. They begin in Berlin and travel from there to Belgium, Amsterdam and finally France.
Ramey says staff started organizing this trip two years in advance of the tour so that students have time to subsidize the costs associated with travel by fundraising. The group is working to raise funds to offset the cost.
Each student needs to come up with $3,800, plus the costs associated with expenses beyond the tour including one meal per day, tips, additional attraction entrance fees, tour extensions, passport fees and personal spending money. Fundraising will continue until February 2019, with the hopes of bringing that total amount down for each student, says Ramey.
Several fundraising initiatives are in the works. There will be grocery bagging at No Frills in Bridgewater on May 12, ticket sales on a Mother’s Day basket and a bottle drive the week of May 25 to June 1.
The experiences arranged in the itinerary will bring historical relevance to topics studied by the students throughout junior high and high school specific to empowerment, national identity and Canadian history, specifically the First World War and Second World War, says Ramey.
“Essentially, I hope participants will come to a greater appreciation of our war history and the sacrifices that were made in the battle for freedom,” says Ramey.
Learn more about North Queens Community School at nqcs.ednet.ns.ca