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16 days w/125 High School students... (long post, sorry)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bill N, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Bill N

    Bill N Guest

    Just a few thoughts after spending 16 days in Europe with ~125 High School music students on tour. N. Michigan band/choir group (MI. Ambassadors of Music) put together for performing in several countries in out door settings and church settings. Sight seeing trips were set up all along the way. We landed in London, England and then traveled by bus until departing from Frankfurt, Germany, ~3,000 kilometers later.

    Traveling with these youngsters was more enjoyable than adults. Much less whining and complaining. Though my legs were starting to show their 54 years of age after the first few days. They can walk much faster and longer than this old dog.

    After 8 countries, from the channel selection I would assume that TV is not the priority it is here in the states (as it shouldn't be!). I did find it odd that none of the TV sets had the option of closed captioning, at least where we were staying. Made it much easier to not want to spend/waste much time in Hotel room, get out and see the sights.

    Venice in August can be very hot and humid and crowded! It almost, I said almost, took my interest away in walking around enjoying the city. I would love to return for a visit in fall or spring.

    I didn't know that Mercedes Benz made busses! The first week they were sooo cool. The second week, not so much.

    An interesting observation for me (retired law enforcement, 26 years). The larger cities had the feeling of being safer than what I have observed here in the states in larger cities. I'm sure they have their problems too. People seemed more at ease. Children didn't seem to have their parents "hovering" over them to the extent they do here. Also drivers were observed to have much better driving skills than I am used to seeing.

    The kids were always greeted with such a great response for their preformances. They were treated well by shop keeps and the like all along the way. I'm sure it will take some time for it all to sink in for them. They saw so much in such a little time.

    Even though I went with a light weight set up. D50 with 18-55vr with nice foam style strap. After a couple of weeks it was getting heavy slung around my neck many hours a day. Could have used a bit wider and a bit longer but from a quick look I am pretty happy with my photos. I was going for more of "holiday snap shots" as this was not a photography trip but a fast moving tour. The D50 did well with the little vr lens in low light and some night shooting. One battery would have been fine, two was more for peace of mind. I kept rotating memory with 4 2gig cards. Ended up with about 800 images.

    Last thought for now. People are people. The old guys in park giving one another the business.... Parents spending time with their children out and about.... I felt as "at home" with all the people we met along the way as I have in any other state/city I have spent time in here in the US. To those thinking of taking a trip to Europe just go and enjoy the sights and people just like you would here in the US. Use your common sense and don't leave your manners at home.

    Sorry for the long post. It some times feels good to get your thoughts written down. Pics to follow as time allows to get them processed.
    Regards, Bill
     
  2. I'd love to take that trip...just without the kids.

    As a former high school teacher, I can honestly say that I'd rather have an ice cream enema, lightly salted, than to go on vacation with a herd of teenagers.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your shots!
     
  3. Bill N

    Bill N Guest

    It wasn't too bad, Mark. My wife and I just tagged along, we weren't chaperons (I made sure of this before we left!). We did end up being kind of an "unofficial" bus mom and dad. Amazing how even at this later school age you could see that the kids were defiantly missing mom and dad a few days into the trip. Once the kids got a feeling of what we were all about they warmed up to us and started to even call us mom and dad! My wife being an ER nurse helped too as she was called upon when medical/illness type things came up. It was almost like going on vacation with a 100 of your own kids. We had a blast!
    Bill
     
  4. As long as you weren't designated "chaperone" it could be a good trip.

    Three or four years ago, I got this brochure in my school mailbox advertising a free trip to Paris - if I brought along 5 paying kids. I made the mistake of mentioning it in one of my classes. The next day 11 students went to the office to sign up for the trip...ten girls and one boy. Now, I'm no genius, but I know a disaster in the making when I see one. There was no way in hell I was gonna put myself through that misery. To make matters worse, I couldn't get anyone to help me with the trip, so I quickly squashed the idea. Besides, in Paris, I would probably be the one needing a chaperone.:biggrin:
     
  5. Bill N

    Bill N Guest

    There you go. It was kind of like "having children with benefits" if you know what I mean. End of day my wife and I wondered off to our room. We didn't even have to worry too much about our own two kids. Towards the end the true chaperons were dragging tail for sure. Bed checks and all they had a long day. I know they didn't pay what we paid, maybe not anything. That still would be a job and a half! If I got it right all were teachers. I don't know where they got all their patience from, maybe it helped that most were half my age. Not a job for the faint of heart. We just helped out when there was a need.
     
  6. FotoPhocus

    FotoPhocus

    311
    Jun 15, 2008
    As a musician and fellow Michigan resident, that's really cool that you helped take the kids on the trip.
     
  7. Bill,
    great thread
    what an awesome experience.... for those kids... AND YOU
    i cannot wait to see the images
    thanks for sharing the info behind your trip with us
     
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