French connection continues at BHS
Another trip to France has passed for Baldwin High School students and French teacher Karen Moreau, but this one was just as special as the rest.
"I think the different group of kids bring a fresh look to everything," Moreau said. "For them, it's their first time seeing everything. This group was very helpful and open-minded."
Senior Zac Towns said he enjoyed the trip and learning about life outside the United States.
"I really had a lot of fun on the trip," Towns said. "I realized there is more to this world than America. You don't realize it when you are just here in one country."
Senior Connor Lyons said he loved the trip and will always remember it.
"I thought it was one of the best experiences I have ever had," Lyons said. "I will remember it for the rest of my life."
Fifteen BHS students took the trip during late March that lasted 14 days. The group traveled with students from four other schools from Wisconsin, Missouri and Michigan.
The group flew into Paris and spent a few days visiting many sites there. Some of the sites included the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Versailles Seine River and French Riviera.
Junior Jessica Hill said one of her favorite parts of the trip was one of the most typical tourist sites.
"It's kind of typical, but I liked the Eiffel Tower actually," Hill said. "You see it in pictures, but being there is pretty exciting."
Lyons said he enjoyed the French Riviera.
"I was surprised to see palm trees, and to swim in something that famous made me feel important," Lyons said.
Towns said he liked the Louvre, despite not being very into art.
"I am not really an artsy guy, but the Louvre was pretty interesting," Towns said.
After three days in Paris, the students traveled to Aux en Provence before heading to Southern France to begin their family stay. Each BHS student stayed with a French family for five days. This experience was different for every student.
Towns said he really enjoyed his home stay.
"My home stay was probably my favorite part of the trip, because my family was really nice," Towns said. "I just had a really interesting time."
Some of the students didn't quite enjoy the home stay as much.
"My family stay was probably the worst part of the trip, but it wasn't bad," Hill said. "I did get to go to a bullfight though."
During the remainder of the trip, the group visited Nice and other cities throughout the south part of France.
"Nice was pretty with all the cliffs and the water," Hill said.
The trip gave many of the students a chance to bond with other students they may not normally hang out with.
"None of my close friends went on the trip, so I met a lot of new friends on the trip," Towns said. "I made friends with a lot of people I go to school with."
Hill said many of the girls on the trip were friends prior, so it made it easy to travel.
"We all got along really well, and it was like we had known each other forever," Hill said. "A lot of us girls were friends already, so we just got along great."
Lyons said he liked the other students and even made friends with students from other schools.
"They were all really fun, and I made a few friends that I am keeping in touch with," Lyons said.
This was the ninth trip to France for Moreau, as her first trip was in 1989. She said she loves taking the trip every two years, because it gives the students a real-world experience.
"I want to give the kids the opportunity to speak French outside of the classroom," Moreau said. "The classroom isn't a real experience, but the trip makes it real for them."
Hill said she tried to speak some French, but was able to get by with English.
"Not as much as I would have liked to," Hill said. "Almost everyone there speaks English pretty much, so you can get by with English. I tried as much French as I could."
Towns said he also tried speaking French, but his family told him just to stick with English.
"I kind of spoke French, but my family told me I sucked at speaking French, and told me to start speaking English," Towns said.
The fifteen BHS students who went on the trip were Keisha Collins, Tessa Dick, Brant Elliot, Kristen Ferris, Kelsey Heckathorne, Katie Ikenberry, Alex Johnson, Zachary Michael, Katelyn Miles, Nichole Smith, Ashley Snedeger, Caleb Soden, Hill, Lyons and Towns.