Field Trip Memories

Do you remember the joy of leaving school to discover a new place? Our State staff shares some of their favorite school field trip memories. Share yours with us, too!

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The March 2013 essay by Memsy Price on school field trips got us reminiscing about our own educational adventures. Remember the excitement boarding the bus to discover something new? Our State staff shares some of their favorite school field trip memories. We’d love to hear yours, too!

Share your favorite field trip memories with us in the comment section below.

Jenn White“When I was in the second grade, we went to Chinqua Penn Plantation. I remember being in awe of the fine furnishings and design elements that surrounded me and thus began my love of furniture and design!”
— Jenn White, Sales Manager
Diane Martin“My favorite Field Trip was also my first one! When I was in second grade, my class went to Appomattox Court House and it began a life-long love of travel (and postcards!). I loved leaving my home town and seeing some place completely different.”
— Diane Martin, Sales Representative
Leah Hughes“One of my favorite field trips in elementary school was the fourth-grade trip to Raleigh. It was a trip you heard about every year leading up to the fourth grade. Now, in fourth grade at 9 years old, none of us understood much about the significance of the buildings we were seeing. But that young perspective gave us the opportunity to enjoy the small nuances of the capital city that many might miss, such as the trinkets in the gift shop at the N.C. Museum of History or the tulips blooming outside the governor’s mansion. I’m not sure if the fourth-grade trip to Raleigh is still a mainstay at Farmer Elementary, but it sure stuck in my mind.”
— Leah Hughes, Associate Editor
Jeffrey Turner“In elementary school I went on a field trip to Masonboro Island near Carolina Beach. I remember that a boat carried my class across the water. I imagine some of my classmates had never stepped on a boat before. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I had either. I remember feeling a little uneasy on that boat ride, so I’m guessing it was either due to inexperience or the hotdog bagged lunch we all ate before leaving the marina.”
— Jeffrey Turner, Assistant Editor
Erin Reitz“In elementary school, I remember that the return to school from a field trip was often just exciting as the field trip itself because we got to rave about our adventure to those who didn’t get to come. When my 5th grade class went to Washington D.C. we spent a lovely spring day museum hopping until the weather took an unexpected turn. Around dinnertime we found ourselves without transportation, huddled under picnic tables as a tornado and heavy storm swept through the city. It was terrifying in the moment, but afterwards we had a dramatic story that was the talk of the school for days, and that garnered the trip the title of ‘best field trip ever.'”
— Erin Reitz, Production Assistant
Katherine Kelly“While I loved many of my field trips when I was young, my favorite field trip was my junior year of high school and the infamous Junior Backpacking Trip with Greensboro Day School. This mandatory trip was built up from the day we walked into high school. The trip arrived, our class was divided into groups, and off we went into Mount Pisgah National Forest for a week. We had to sleep in tents, build fires, pump our water, and carry all of our belongings on our backs. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through, but I more than made it through. It was an amazing experience, and it taught me that I am tougher than I realized and can handle whatever is thrown my way.”
— Katherine Kelly, Integrated Marketing Associate
Andy Busam“In second grade, our class went to the Charles B. Aycock home and experienced what life was like long before our time. One particular activity that stuck with me was churning butter. Several of us took turns until we had beat the liquid close enough to a solid state to call it butter. Our teacher wrapped it up and brought it back to the school. The next morning when we arrived, our teacher had baked fresh muffins. It’s hard to believe they let us have an oven in our classroom. We smeared our churned butter on those muffins and almost swallowed them whole.”
— Andy Busam, Digital Marketing Coordinator
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17 Responses to Field Trip Memories

  1. Cliff Fox says:

    When I was in 7th grade at Wittenburg Elementary School in southern Alexander County I had a teacher named Richard Moose that just loved going on field trips. In that one school year he took us on a fishing trip for suckers spawning and swimming upstream at North State Dam, to Linville Falls, Linville Caverns, and Grandfather Mountain and later in the year he took us to all of the museums, the legislature building, the old state capitol building, and the Governor’s mansion in Raleigh. I had a absolute blast that school year! I think my favorite out of all of them was the visit to Grandfather Mountain and getting to see the bears, eagles, and other animals in their nature preserve and walking out on the mile high swinging bridge! Pretty scary being on a bridge over a mile high and it swinging back and forth in the wind that blows between the two slopes it’s anchored to and the sign at the bridge that says “Please Be Careful! You are on the most rugged mountain in Eastern America” didn’t make it any less scary! I remember those field trips like it was yesterday and I’ll be turning 52 in May. Thank you teacher/coach Richard Moose for the wonderful memories!

  2. Miriam Thompson says:

    I have a fieldtrip memory that I will keep through my lifetime. My third grade class from Oak Grove Elementary school was visiting the Durham water reservoir and sewage treatment plants. It was a windy March day and I pleaded with my mother to let me wear one of her favorite new cardigans. All went well at the reservoir, but the wind picked up on our visit to the sewage treatment plant and blew the sweater that I had draped around my shoulders into one of the open tranport vats. Horror of horrors! My mother’s sweater swirling along further and deeper into the vat. I was a frightened eight year old, but brave enough to ask the plant attendant conducting our tour, “Please can you get my sweater out and back to me? It’s my mother’s and she is going to be really UPSET! I remember his kind smile and reply very well, “Young lady it is impossible to get it back, it is on it’s way to that storage area right over there, and even if I could get it back, it would no longer be white, and you nor your mother would ever want to wear that sweater again!”

  3. Tammy Dawson says:

    In the 4th grade my class visited St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Bath. I was so excited to go and my parents even provided me with a camera to take along. Evidently I was totally fascinated with the church and especially with the cemetary. My parents joked for a long time afterwards, when the photos were developed I had taken 24 pictures of tomb stones! Should have known then I would minor in History. :-)

  4. Camilla Fogle says:

    When I was in the eighth grade at Rock Springs school in Denver, NC, we made a field trip to the Biltmore House. We boarded the train in Newton, NC early one morning and made the trip by rail. The tunnels and the Old Fort loops were fun. We enjoyed the Biltmore House of course and we traveled by bus to a restaurant in Asheville – can’t remember the name. For all of us from the little village of Denver, the trip was as exotic as going to Paris. We felt like world travelers!

  5. Lynda Daniels Hinshaw says:

    Field trip memories brings back my memory of a fourth grade field trip from Elon Elementary to the Burlington City Park. When we arrived back to class, we were asked by the teacher to write a poem about something we had seen on our trip. My poem was about the train. I wrote: “The choo choo train goes around the track; it takes the children around and back. When the train goes over the bridge, the children holler like a bunch of pigs!” We had to read our poem to the class and mine got some laughter. I’m approaching 70 and I still like to ride the train when I go to the Burlington City Park and I chuckle to myself thinking of the poem.

  6. Ann Beach says:

    Well, I don’t remember what grade we were in, probably 7th, when our class went to Raleigh for the day. I know we saw the Capital and went to a museum, but the lasting memory for all of us was that we really did go see “Old Sparky” the electric chair! I don’t imagine that’s on the tour these days.!

  7. Steve Rogers says:

    1st grade a million years ago we rode a real passenger train.

  8. Amy Abernethy says:

    My favorite field trip memory is one of our science teacher, L. C. Coonse, taking our eighth grade class to a mountainous part of our county for a rock hunting expedition. He literally parked the bus on the side of the road and we hiked into the woods for some hands on learning. To this day I think nature’s classroom is the best!!

  9. Ann Hudson says:

    6th grade, 1968, bus ride from Greensboro to Chapel Hill with entire 6th grade from Hunter Elementary. Went to the Moorehead Planetarium, awesome!! Had my Brownie camera with me to snap pix of my peeps! LOL! Oh those were the days!

  10. Laura Jordan says:

    I loved going to the North Carolina Symphony for the first time with my elementary school class. It opened my eyes to classical music as something to enjoy rather than to ask for the radio station to be changed! And, I started playing the clarinet in 6th grade as a result of the Symphony experience.

  11. Caroline Stec says:

    In 5th grade, at Westchester Country Day School (then Westchester Academy), in High Point, Mrs. Knight took the whole class on her annual trip to the Outer Banks. This was definitely one of the best school trips I can remember. We ate at the Sanitary Fish Market, toured New Bern, walked along the Albemarle Sound, saw Jockey’s Ridge, etc. Such a fun time with classmates, and it was a great adventure on the NC coast. Learned a lot that I still think about today!

  12. Danielle Vinson says:

    In elementary school my class went to Tryon Palace. It was so cool to learn about the history of Tryon Palace and be able to see how they lived and dressed back then. It was also really special because my dad went with our class as a chaperone, which to me just meant I got to go on a special adventure with my dad!

  13. Steve Gordon says:

    I think around 4th grade, our class took a visit to the Morehead Planetarium. What a fun day that was for us all. I remember that big “machine” that made the stars appear on the ceiling, the tour of the grounds and seeing a sundial for the very first time. A neighbor had let me borrow his camera and it was the first time I’d ever carried a camera anywhere. It was a big day as most of us had never been much of anywhere before. Good memories from long ago.

  14. Betsy Miller says:

    Going to Old Salem – last stop was the Winkler Bakery to load up on Moravian Sugar Cake to eat on the bus ride home! The tastiest lesson in NC History!!

  15. My favorite field trip was Williamsburg, Va., in fifth grade. We made candles, pivoted a windmill around to get the best wind, found our way through what seemed like a giant maze, and saw the Jamestown fort and ships. It was a rare treat for our small school to take a field trip, much less one where we were gone past dismissal time. I loved every minute of it.

  16. clay howard says:

    5th grade class drove from Tupelo, MS to Memphis and took a trip on a Steamboat.
    Definitely a favoriite.
    Same year, we walked from Church Street Elementary in Tupelo to Leake’s Hardware Store to see the meteorite they had on a pedestal out front of the store….not sure that one was scheduled- but it was pretty cool.

  17. Megan Hinkle says:

    My favorite field trips from McAdenville Elementary School in McAdenville, North Carolina:

    -walking from school – in Mrs. Parks’ kindergarten class – down the sidewalk in our tiny town to visit the petting zoo and the McAdenville Volunteer Fire Department;
    -the Biltmore Estate – in Mrs. Rice’s fourth grade class – after which I had several dreams of living there with my family and having my friends over for sleepovers;
    -Old Salem – in Mrs. Guffey’s fifth grade glass – which as a child made me forever fascinated with books and tales from times gone by.

    What great memories!!

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