Alumni Share Favorite Memories of Off-Campus Trips

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Alumni Share Favorite Memories of Off-Campus Trips
Ravenscroft Communications

We asked members of our Alumni Facebook page: What was your favorite off-campus trip? Read three alumni’s expanded reflections here.

Open Curriculum Week in Paris, 1973

I could say that the field trips to the Pine State Creamery across the street from the Tucker Street campus were the most memorable of the field trips in which I participated during my time at Ravenscroft, but I was very young at the time and don’t remember many specific details. I can recall more details of the trip to Paris during Open Curriculum Week 1973.

This photo of the Paris Metro, featured in the 1973 Corvus, highlights some of the new things students experienced during their Open Curriculum Week trip.

Additional photos from the trip, also preserved in the Corvus, document the travels and sights students enjoyed while in Paris.

At that time, Open Curriculum Week was five days in March during which Upper School students would sign up for classes, workshops, seminars, field trips, etc. Upper School French teacher Mrs. Cannady (later Cole) and her then-husband led six students to Paris with side trips to nearby destinations including Versailles and Chartres Cathedral. We hit the major tourist spots in Paris, but what stands out for me is lunch at a small café near Notre Dame Cathedral recommended by Upper School French teacher Mary Joslin. Not only was the food great, but Mrs. Joslin financed the meal. Mrs. Joslin was also the teacher most responsible for fueling my desire to eventually study French for seven years even though I was never a stellar student in the subject.

I wonder what memories my fellow travelers Garry Marshall ’76, Barbara Stockstill ’76, Mandy Timberlake ’74, Hope Wester ’74 and George Spence ’73 have of this trip!

— Bill Skinner ’76

French teacher Martha Cannady (at left) chaperoned the Upper School trip to Paris, with suggestions from colleague Mary Joslin; both are pictured here in the 1973 Corvus.

Above, the entire eighth grade participates in the first School in the Mountains trip in 1985 that — like the Upper School’s Junior Mountain Trip that started in 1989 — was intended to build camaraderie among classmates and encourage students to try new things.

Bill Skinner ’76 in his freshman yearbook photo, 1973

School in the Mountains, 1985

I always loved field trips during school. I mean, who didn’t love getting out of the classroom and basically having a day off?! But when they first told us we were going to be in the mountains of North Carolina for a school trip for like a week, I wasn’t so sure about it. In fact, I was kinda dreading it.

It was the mid-’80s and we were in the eighth grade at Ravenscroft back then. No other class had done a trip like this before. We were the first.

In this photo from the 1985 Corvus, students and a chaperone explore what Troy Dreyfus ’89 remembers to be Linville Caverns in Marion, N.C.

It was a long time ago, but I always remembered what fun it turned out to be. We stayed at a camp and actually had some classes there outside. A lot were themed about the mountains or nature. The best part of the trip was getting out and visiting the different sites in Western N.C. If I’m not mistaken, we went to a cave/cavern, I think at Linville Falls. The excursions we did were really cool. Can’t say the food was fantastic at the camp, but I do remember the donuts in the morning being homemade, cooked fresh each morning on site. Those were delicious.

Before this trip, the Medieval Festival was the biggest thing in middle school, but this trip was way better. When we got back, there was a huge slideshow, put to music, that was shown to everyone in the gym. Man, would I love to see that slideshow just one more time!

As I think back at the many different trips I had during my 14 years at Ravenscroft (PreK through 12), I will remember the School in the Mountains as top on the list of best experiences.

— Troy Dreyfus ’89

Other School in the Mountains photos in the 1985 Corvus show the eighth-graders hiking, swimming and roughing it in old-fashioned tents.

Troy Dreyfus ’89 in eighth grade in 1985, the first year of the School in the Mountains trip

New York City and Carnegie Hall, 1991

I have so many wonderful memories of school trips from my 14 years at Ravenscroft, but there is one trip that stands out in my mind. It was 1991, and Lester Southern took the Upper School choir to New York City. We were invited to sing at Carnegie Hall for the 100th anniversary celebration.

It was my first trip to New York. I remember the plane ride being fun and everyone being so excited to spend a few days in NYC. We stayed in the middle of Times Square with all of the hustle and bustle and bright lights.

This photo of the seniors in the Upper School choir, taken from the 1992 Corvus, shows the seniors posing during a break in their 1991 Choir Tour.

In another photo from the 1992 Corvus, excited choir members mill around Choir Tour chaperone Steve Swaim, longtime Upper School teacher, as they prepare to depart for a performance.

We did the typical tourist things. Enjoyed some Broadway shows, like “Les Mis” and “Phantom.” Of course, the highlight of the trip was having the opportunity to stand on stage at Carnegie Hall and sing where so many incredible people have stood before.

I will never forget sitting in the stairwell backstage. There were several high school choirs there, and we were all there to perform together. A few of us started singing to warm up, and it spread up and down the stairs and sounded incredible. The acoustics in that stairwell were amazing; I still get chills thinking about it. The singing was so loud and beautiful, one of the adults had to pop in and tell us to stop, as they could hear us from the theater. In fact, my memory from the stairway stands out more than actually standing on stage. The entire experience is something that I will never forget, and I am grateful that Ravenscroft provided that incredible opportunity.

— Stephenie Butler Kovac ’92

Middle School and Upper School choir director Lester Southern, shown here in the Corvus spread on the 1991 Choir Tour, broadened his students’ experiences with performances at venues along the East Coast and beyond.

Senior Stephenie Butler (now Kovac) ’92 in the 1992 Corvus

Alumni from across the decades responded to this Dec. 17, 2021, post on the Ravenscroft Alumni Facebook page. Join the conversation and share your favorite off-campus trip!