D.C. Trip Highlights


As many know, Keystone students go on an outdoor education trip every year. For Juniors, this trip is going to our nation’s capital and surrounding areas. For underclassmen, this trip seems intimidating, but rest assured it is the most exciting. Not only is the city beautiful and the museums engaging and informational, but students are allowed to explore without a chaperone (Although we love Dr. Lopez, Dr. Caraway, Dr. Arnold, Mr. Flynn, and Ms. Lynda). Being able to roam the city and choose where we wanted to go was many of my classmates’ favorite aspects of the trip (not including the talent show, which our grade always goes crazy for). So for those wondering- what does one do on the Junior Trip? 


The Airport and Bus Rides

A staple of all Outdoor Ed trips: long waiting times at the airport and trying to get to places. However, the Baltimore Airport was very nice and had clean bathrooms and an airplane upstairs (I don’t know why, but it looked fun). The buses were nice charter buses, and while sitting for three hours in a bus does not sound the most exciting, everyone takes advantage of the time and naps. Believe me, you’re going to want to on this trip. 


Arundel Mills

When we first arrived we went to the mall- a real mall. It was in Maryland and had these cute little capsule machines where I may have dropped too much money…however, I did get some cute figurines for my room. We did get to the mall an hour before it opened and only stayed for two hours, but we still had fun walking around a partially deserted mall and getting food. Some people got Starbucks, others got stuff from the food court, and some made some purchases. The haul from everyone included: Build-A-Bear toys, temporary hair dye, face masks, nail polish, books, and assorted trinkets. 

The Camp

The Class of 2024 was lucky enough to not go wherever the Class of 2023 went (The Spider Shack). We had heating and no bugs and lots of fun. There were speckles of ice on the ground outside and a fireplace where we made smores one day. We also spraypainted several people’s hair including Dr. Lopez. Most of the time at camp we were getting ready to leave or getting back or eating, which was opposite from our previous Tennessee trip. There was also a fantastic Junior Talent show with hosts 2Caden2Furious and a special performance by Dr. Caraway. 

National Mall

Do not be tricked by our standard definition of the mall, the national mall is actually just a strip of land surrounded by buildings. The buildings mostly being museums, which were fascinating. There was the National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Natural History Museum, The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, the National Air and Space Museum, and many more. Since we visited the National Mall for three days we got to experience many museums and city offerings (food trucks). If you like squirrels go to the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery and they will cuddle with you- don’t worry they don’t bite are very sweet and also won’t give you rabies. The museums had so much to offer and everyone got to choose what museums they wanted to visit in their groups. Also, you can walk to the Washington Monument, White House, Capital, and Supreme Court from the National Gallery and hit up many local coffee shops. 



We stopped at Target not once but twice. Who knows why? (Actually, I forgot my towel and Ms. Lynda was kind enough to get me one. Also, we needed more dishware to make pasta…) While we stopped for 20 minutes the first time and 10 the second time, we enjoyed the thrill of Target. Caden D. bought Cards Against Humanity and we all enjoyed playing it back at camp (with Dr. Caraway joining us when hearing of Old Mcdonald’s piercings).


Going to Georgetown was my favorite part of the trip. The stairs from The Exorcist can be found there, the scenery is beautiful, the Georgetown Campus was fancy, and the streets were so easy to navigate and long. There was a cat cafe most of our class went to and so many restaurants to go to, like 90 Second Pizza, Shanghai Lounge, and Kintaro (which was sadly closed when we went). 


Ollie dipping into the freezing water


Old Yorktown was so aesthetically pleasing, to say the least. There was this gorgeous view from the pier there and it was so calm and chill. There were some locals who lived in the houses there walking around, and there was a cute coffee shop there. 


Steps of the Jefferson Memorial


We visited several memorials while in D.C. including the Korean War Memorial, 9/11 Memorial, MLK Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and a few more. The architecture was astounding and we walked around to several different ones at night and got to see the lights coming from them. 

Steps of the Jefferson Memorial

Colonial Williamsburg

They had hot chocolate and gardens and old buildings and courts galore. It was very interesting to see historic buildings and learn about life back then in Williamsburg. A few of us got to sit in on a court reenactment where we got to play the roles of several different prosecutors and defendants. We also saw foals and horses and pet them and heard lots of gunshots from another reenactment section. 

Street at Colonial Williamsburg

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is George Washington’s Plantation, which was weirdly praised for its use of slave labor in a video we watched there. Mount Vernon was the most boring part of the trip, but it had some redeemable aspects. Terenti, Ollie, and I learned about brickmaking while other people visited the home of George Washington. The Potomac river runs through the property, so we got to sit on the ledge and dangle our feet over it. 

Harper’s Ferry

CANDY! We got candy. Harper’s Ferry was a tiny little town that we walked around and ate in and spent the last few hours of the trip there. We went to the old candy store and got candy from all decades (and learned a certain ginger is a fan of Charleston Chews) as well as drinks like ginger beer. There was also a bookstore that was just a bookstore in West Virginia. There was this little shop called the Coffee Mill, where they had the tastiest stuff. Eleanor got Toasted Marshmellow Hot Chocolate that actually tasted like toasted marshmallows. Rafa and I got ice cream sundaes that were so delicious. They were $10 sundaes and had three scoops of ice cream and a lot of whipped cream- a great deal if you ask me. There was also fudge, coffee, and pies there that looked so tasty. 

Mars, Caden, Rafa, Tavi, Eleanor, and Ollie (not pictured) enjoying their assorted beverages and snacks


To finish off this wrap-up about the Junior Trip experience, I’d like to say thank you to all of my classmates and chaperones. Everyone was so great and caring and I love that we are able to have such a close-knit group. I believe everyone got closer than we already were because of this trip and if you were thinking of skipping out on it I would say not to. It was truly my favorite trip so far and I’m sure some would agree. I hope the rising Juniors get to enjoy this trip as much as us and I’m sure they will have a great time and know what to look forward to. 

P.S. Maybe y’all will get to ice skate if you go a week or two later than us cause we barely missed the opening