Hapnot Travel Club learns history and self-reliance



The Hapnot Travel Club is back on home soil after a whirlwind trip through Europe. The crew, made up of a Hapnot Travel Club record of 37 travelers, embarked from Canada to Germany, first to Berlin and then to Dresden.

The Hapnot Travel Club is back on home soil after a whirlwind trip through Europe.

The crew, made up of a Hapnot travel club record of 37 travelers, embarked from Canada to Germany, first to Berlin and then to Dresden. After that, the group entered the Czech Republic and visited Prague, before heading north to Poland and visiting Krakow and Auschwitz. The group then headed south to Slovakia, Hungary and then back to Slovakia before ending the trip in Vienna, the Austrian capital.

Travel is not just a typical spring break getaway. The group focused on educational areas, including museums, art galleries, public squares and sites of historical significance.

“For me, this is an opportunity for the children to have a hands-on learning experience. It takes this opportunity that they don’t walk into a classroom to see the story, see the artwork, and see the opportunities they’ve seen in textbooks, but in person, see them. light up, ”said Daniel Dillon, a teacher from the Many Faces Education Center who was one of the main organizers of the trip. “They can stumble upon a piece of art on the Berlin Wall, see pictures, and then see it in person. It’s really cool.”

Club members sometimes had the opportunity to explore areas they visited on their own for short periods of time, Dillon said.

“Sometimes it was an amusement park. Other times it was something like tunnels and bunkers in the Czech Republic, ”he said. “It’s pretty cool to see kids learning outside of the classroom. “

The historical context of the trip was heavy for some students. Linnea McNichol remembers being upset when the group visited the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

“It was so heavy. There was so much information to take in. We’ve always heard about it in textbooks and read about it, talked about it, but really seeing it was a new perspective, ”she said.

“There are shoe and luggage stalls and they go through the buildings where the detainees were housed. There were walls with pictures on them and all the names and numbers of the prisoners. It went through the gas chambers that were in use at the time.

Hapnot staff have been organizing travel club trips for over two decades. In recent years, travel has proven to be so popular that two different travel clubs have sprung up. One includes trips specially designed for students interested in Francophone culture.

In addition to showing visitors a new place, trips also help develop a sense of responsibility and maturity in the students who go there.

“One great thing is that when we get back you will see a difference in everyone who goes on these trips,” said Andy Richard, one of the students who made the trip.

“Me and my younger brother David have been on this trip and have seen some major changes in me since that trip – self-confidence and the ability to know when I need to step in and say something: knowing when I need to. ” having time away from people: being able to take control of something in my own life. I have noticed that for my brother who sees other children traveling, he has more responsibilities and manages his time better now. It’s really thanks to this trip and the skills that we have learned.

Dillon agrees, saying he could see the students growing up on their trip.

“If you don’t see it in yourself, I see it,” he said. “These people have made two trips with me now, giving them leadership skills. If there were things that I could ask them to do while we were there, the trust factor of my position, being able to trust these people to do things, having free time for themselves, be with a group, be responsible, be back on time. It was great to see this level of maturity grow over time.

Not all the knowledge acquired during the group’s stay abroad was foreseen. The trip featured first-hand experience with civil disobedience. While the group was in Berlin, a tour detailing the history of the German capital was interrupted by a demonstration for transparency in favor of the Internet.

“They are putting in place a new internet law in Europe and there must have been 10,000 young adults walking behind us on the streets as we listened to our presentation, with music, signs and chants,” Dillon said.

“I thought it was a beautiful thing to see. I like having this opportunity. The students, on our way to our next location we had to walk through the group of individuals walking down the street but had we had the chance I would have loved the students to be part of it and see this that it was like. “

The group members also met with a group in Budapest affiliated with FridaysForFuture, a student climate change awareness group based in Sweden. Dillon used the group’s teachings in his own classes at Flin Flon.

“We spent time with them for about an hour or two and had conversations with them,” Dillon said.

“They stood up for what they believed in and made a difference. Hopefully this will inject some insight into the kids, what they can do and how they can stand up, come together, and make change. “

The Hapnot Travel Club’s next trip will be to South America in 2021. Another trip, organized by the French Immersion travel group, will take place next year, taking a group through Quebec and Ontario during the week. of release.

Richard recommends that students take the opportunity to travel before the pressures of daily adult life make travel difficult.

“I would definitely recommend these trips to anyone who has the opportunity to go. Keep going as much as you can while you’re still in school, ”said Richard. “You may not have the opportunity to travel when you are older. It’s nice to have this opportunity now to go all over the world and do all these different things. It will really change your perspective on the world and it will drastically change your life. I would definitely suggest going, if you can.


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