Thank you, Father John for supporting our 8th grade students.
The trip to Washington, D.C. is a capstone experience and an important rite of passage for students in our eighth-grade class. For five days and four nights students enjoy a phenomenal taste of our nation’s history, government, culture, and our religious identity as Catholics. This year's tour includes tours of the capital building, National Archives, Smithsonian Institute museums, Mount Vernon, Holocaust Museum, and--for the first time ever--Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown! Our professional tour guides show off memorials and monuments—not just by driving past them, but by exploring and explaining them. Other destinations include Arlington National Cemetery where our students will present a wreath, tour Ford’s Theater, and much more.
A visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception plays a key role in our annual tour. This visit helps our students realize their role as members of larger Catholic communities, nationally and internationally. In addition to the main sanctuary, the Basilica houses chapels donated from congregations all over the United States and the world.
Our group travels to and from Washington, D.C. by airplane, then tours the different sites by private bus and licensed drivers. We stay in beautiful hotels located just outside the capitol, with interior halls and a nightly security guard. Students usually sleep four to a room, with upgrades available for a fee. Meals are included, with breakfast at the hotel each day, lunch on the road, and a restaurant in the evening for supper.
Mrs. Pate accompanies our tours and has done so for several years now. She stays with our students at all times of the day to help guide, monitor, and watch out for them. St. Mary Catholic School students always have that affirming and supportive adult presence and positive role model. Mrs. Pate's personal and professional values, along with a quality tour company, ensure that our students have a safe, meaningful, and joyous experience to treasure.