We met Uncle Joe, our bus driver, and he took us to Arlington Natinal Cemetery, the first stop of the day. The cemetery is HUGE and we walk through a large chunk of it.
We saw Kennedy's eternal flame. Did you know that at night you can see the flame from across the city?
Some of the bros got their pics by the Amphitheatre.
While all the kids were taking their own pictures Mr. King and Ms. Quigley posed on the steps so they'd be sure to be in every shot.
There was a chain blocking the path into the amphitheatre so Quigley and I weren't going in. But then we saw one of our bus drivers and told him we were disappointed we couldn't go inside. He said, "That chain is made of plastic. You just step over it and go inside. Go on, go look around." Since he said it was ok we took his advice and checked it out. We each got a turn on the throne inside.
Our students watched the changing of the guard and then four of our students participated in a special wreath laying ceremony. It was a huge honor and they did a great job of being respectful and following directions.
I was beyond thrilled that Mr. Brown obliged to fulfilling one of my dreams and allowed us to get Georgetown Cupcakes this year. If my flight had worked out yesterday I would have been able to actually go to the store to pick them up, but at least we still go to eat them.
Kids on the late flights all had the option of pre-ordering a cupcake for $3. They were delicious.
After lunch at Union Station we started visiting monuments and memorials all over the city. Iwo Jima is very cool. Uncle Joe taught us that though there are 6 men holding the flag, this sculpture has 11 legs and 13 hands. the extra hand is the hand of God.
Back at school Hodgin, Libey and I play a ninja game with a student named Noah. It's him against the three of us and all day long at school we try to sneak up and throat chop each other. When we realized Noah was coming on this trip we were all stoked. I was able to capture Noah getting Hodgin and Libey at the same time at Iwo Jima.
As soon as you've been throat chopped both ninjas have to bow in respect. We all had to be super aware and paranoid of getting attacked as we adventured around DC.
Super black belt ninja team. Don't mess with us.
Andrew Myers is in love with Ashley Honan. Not really, but it's been a joke for the past year between the two of them and Hodgin and I always get excited when we see them. Clarence and Mallory are awesome and got to spend lots of time together on this trip.
We visited the Crime and Punishment museum--one of our favorites because it's so fun and interactive. I love getting to walk around and explore with these kids.
Johnny and Nick stuck in the stocks...
Fierce in the Wild, Wild West...
Bonnie and Clyde's car...
Suspect line up behind a one way mirror...
Stuck in jail...
Really fun star wall with Sarah and Liz...
Observing a crime scene for clues...
Checking out an autopsy...
Getting their picture on the green screen...
One of my favorite spots to take pictures in DC is at the Albert Einstein Memorial. This huge Einstein is lounging on the steps with his E = mc2 work and the kids can climb all over him.
Three buses of kids came here at once and we filmed a Harlem shake video together around Einstein.
As everyone headed back to the buses a group of guys hung back to get a picture with Albert. These kids are awesome.
I was so excited to get to climb up too. This is my kind of photo opportunity.
Hodgin, Tucker and Moyer wanted to climb up too.
Next stop was Joe's Souvenirs for the best in DC clothing and memorabilia. I think that everything in this store is ridiculous so I pride myself in finding some of the best... or the worst... stuff.
One of this year's best finds were these blue camo Washington DC bucket hats. Can't wait to rock this during the 4th of July week at Tecumseh.
On the way to the next monument we spotted a fox that had just killed a squirrel and was in the process of eating it. The circle of life.
We had a very impressive sneak attack of ninja on Noah at the Jefferson Memorial.
It was a beautiful day and the kids got to just run around checking things out and taking pictures with their friends.
As a Wyld Life leader, I'm especially thankful for the chance to chaperone this trip. I love getting to hang out with all of these kids that I've gone to camp with, taken to dinner and we're sang at Club together. Sharing this experience with them is awesome. Both last year and this year I've grown closer to the kids on my bus and their friends. I know that these relationships will keep growing back at school and in Young Life.
I'm so thankful for Liz-- this girl who is so positive, fun, kind and helpful. I'm glad I got to see Angela at each spot and hang out with her more.
This crew of kids is ridiculous and fun and energetic and all over the place. Over and over again the chaperones talked about just how awesome all of our students are. They love to have fun and they're so easy to work with.
Liz, Rylee, Sarah and Linnea are rock stars and the kids of girls I would've wanted to be friends with when I was in Junior High. They make me laugh and I love getting to spend time with them.
Artsy bro pics for dayz.
The Franklin Delanor Roosevelt memorial is a whole series of walls, statues and quotes that paint a picture of him and the impact he had on the US. I love exploring through this maze with the kids and taking fun pictures all along the way.
Seriously so much fun. Every kid in this picture is working their pose so hard.
Lukas is one of the kings of posing for pictures and his friend Brett was stealing his limelight here-- I love the dynamic between them here.
The MLK memorial is one of my favorites. I think it makes a huge statement and I love the symbolism of, "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." I've made it a tradition now to have a whole group of kids do cartwheels and flips in this spot. I think MLK would appreciate this whimsy.
I've known Emma (above with the one red Ugg) for years and I loved getting to go on this trip with her. I'm always honored when she'll take a smiling picture with me when she shows her teeth despite her braces. Maddy Carter (wrapped in the blanket) is a rock star and one of the sweetest girls I know. She is always saying hi to me or giving me hugs or just talking to me in the hall. I loved seeing her through out the trip and getting to hang out.
We visited the White House but it's kind of hard to see behind the fence since it blends in to the snow. Still we had a great time taking more pictures with friends. Lucy is precious and I always love being around her.
I knew Linnea was awesome since the first time I saw her crazy side ponytail as a 7th grader. I loved playing with her all weekend. Nick Bowman was in group Vader with me this weekend and he's one of the 8th grade guys that high-5s me everyday at school and talks to me at lunch. I already knew he was awesome but I loved touring museums, playing the Circle Word game and running around monuments with him this trip.
Everyone ate dinner together at Vie de France, a buffet of chicken, potatoes, Swedish meatballs, bread, salad and cookies. The kids were fired up again as soon as they had eaten some food. We headed back out into the city for a night tour of more of the monuments. The Lincoln is one of the most well known and the the kids got to explore the whole area. I was happy to hang out with Hignight and Maddy.
Andrew Myers is hilarious and another one of my Vader guys that I hung out with all weekend. We decided that our Washington monument picture would be taken to a whole new level if we had Timmy with us. Andrew is so good at meeting people and making new friends.
We walked by the Vietnam Women's Memorial...
Korean War memorial...
World War I...
World War II...
We sang karaoke on the buss on the way home-- a rap from Clarence, some Ice Ice Baby from Muntchner and Dugan and then the whole bus just sang the rest of the time together. These kids rock.
We had a little time to hang out at the hotel before the kids were all locked into their rooms at 10:00 for the night. We had one big day still ahead before we headed back to Indiana.