The Gleaner
Education

CVR students return from European adventure

Chateauguay Valley Regional High School’s graduating class enjoyed the revived Europe experience over March break. 30 students and 12 chaperones participated in the voyage, which included stops in Germany, Czechia, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia.

Gabriel Perez and his mother, Jacki Garceau, tell of the trip’s rocky start: several bags only made it to the first stop two days late, and this was after the group got divided on the second flight with the group missing out on part of the first day. However, Garceau says, “The kids were troopers, and the guides were excellent in making everything else run smoothly.”

Perez and Garceau’s family has roots in Poland; Perez also has a fascination for history, particularly World War II. While Perez said the overall experience of seeing Europe was his highlight, Garceau says Dresden, Germany was her favourite part overall. “Its incredible architecture, friendly people, and the beauty that met us as we ventured out on our own in this city just overwhelmed the senses. I would move there in a heartbeat.”

 

Large group of students wear hoodies and coats stand on a cobblestoned sidewalk next to a tour bus in Europe.
Thirty graduating students and 12 chaperones took part in CVRs Europe trip over the March break PHOTO Jacki Garceau

 

For Perez, the biggest shock of the trip was the relative size of everything, “The biggest surprise was how different it was in Europe compared to here in Huntingdon. The giant buildings everywhere you go were like, ‘Whoa!’ while here in Huntingdon, it’s so rural.”

Though it was one of the more difficult parts of the trip, Garceau was surprised by the size of Auschwitz. “It’s a part of history that we learn about, but simply can’t fathom, until you place your feet upon the grounds of where this atrocity occurred,” she says. She adds that the students handled themselves with a remarkable amount of maturity at such an emotionally charged place.

Perez jokes that his biggest takeaway from the trip was, “If you want meat and potatoes, Europe is the place to be! We had them at every meal, but vegetables were amiss, which I wasn’t complaining about.” He also enjoyed the chocolate in Germany. Garceau was impressed to see “how capable these students are in moving onto their next adventures in becoming adults.” Their navigation through different countries, currencies, and languages filled her with pride.

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