Oval Office in Washington, DC

Student Tours and Travel to Washington, DC

By Travel

Washington, DC is internationally known as a powerhouse of political influence.  There is no question that it lives in people’s imaginations as the place from which world affairs ebb and flow.

Here you’ll find all the mechanisms of legislative, judicial and executive authority which turn the wheels of our nation and its destiny.  From Capitol Hill to the Pentagon, it’s inside the Beltway that history is made and leaders arise to point the way forward.

Whether your students are studying history, political science or government and how it molds their lives, there is no city on earth with more to teach them than Washington, DC.  Student tours and travel to Washington, DC are a journey to the center of what makes the USA great.

Meeting giants

Junior Tours has been creating exceptional student tours since 1967, when it was founded by former teacher, Marty Abrams.

Marty wanted to create a professional resource for teachers interested in showing their students the world outside the classroom, as it related to their studies.  He knew that student travel enlivened education, by giving it real-world texture and context.

You can tell your students about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal in the classroom.  But the classroom doesn’t offer them the experience of walking through this 4-term President’s life in the Oval Office.

Teachers can relate to students the great deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and how he changed the face of the USA.  But they can’t stand in the shadow of his monument or see the links in the chain of history which led to the Civil Rights Movement.

Related sites like the home of Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and activist, or the monument to President Lincoln – who finally ended the Institution of slavery – richly introduce students to giants they’ve only read about in books.

This is the beauty of Washington, DC.  Our national story is laid bare in this place of monuments, museums and living history, allowing students to directly experience it in all its triumph and tragedy.

Discovering government

An education in civics is a precious gift to your students, preparing them for their lives as citizens engaged with their government structures.

Visit the Capitol and discover how the United States was founded and how Congress, where the laws of the USA are made by our elected representatives, came to be established.  Here, you can even watch Congress in session.

Students with an interest in political life will be inspired by a day on Capitol Hill, taking in Congress chambers (even if Congress isn’t sitting at the time of your visit), the Exhibition Hall and a guided tour of the Capitol.

Washington, DC Capitol Hill

Go with Junior

Take your students to Washington, DC, with student tours and travel and open the doors to learning.  Junior’s knowledge of vendors and itineraries makes us the right choice to provide your students with a personalized experience that enhances your teaching.

We’ve just scraped the surface of Washington’s endless educational interest.  Ready to go?  Contact us for a free sample itinerary and quote.

Niagara Falls Toronto

Student Travel Attractions in Toronto and Niagara Falls

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Toronto is Canada’s largest urban center.  Located in Ontario, it’s also the hub of the nation’s commercial life and a hop, skip and jump away from one of the most famous waterfalls in the world.

A side trip to Niagara Falls is an opportunity not to be missed when visiting this spectacular Canadian city, home to numerous attractions your students will love.

Let’s find out more about student travel attractions in Toronto and Niagara Falls.

Kensington Market and Chinatown

Kensington Market is a vibrant, ethnically diverse center, offering visitors a sensory assault of sights, aromas and flavors from around the world.  Just like Toronto, the market is home to a blend of cultural backgrounds and ethnic delights.  With a reputation for multiculturalism and welcome, Kensington Market is an emblem of the city.

Students will delight at the proliferation of vintage clothing boutiques and cool cafes to be found here and with Toronto’s large, thriving Chinatown just around the corner, they’re bound to find something great to satisfy their hunger.

Casa Loma

If you thought the USA had the “eccentric millionaire” market cornered, you obviously haven’t heard about Canada’s Sir Henry Mill P. Ellett.

Ellett was a financier, businessman and industrialist with a strong romantic streak.  It was this part of his colorful character that led him to have the incredible Casa Loma built high on a hill overlooking Toronto.

His choice of architectural style was Medieval, a complex choice which took 300 workers 3 years to complete, at a staggering cost of $3.5 million in 1911.  Ellett’s fantastical property continues to amaze visitors.

Casa Loma Toronto

Maid of the Mist

Since its inception in 1846, the Maid of the Mist has captured the imaginations of people all over the world.  This ship is undoubtedly the best way to witness the majesty of Niagara Falls in all their misty glory.

The Maid of the Mist is also the oldest tourist attraction in North America, running continuously for well over 100 years and conveying millions of fall-watchers on their watery encounters with the base of the falls.

Celebrities as diverse as former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Marilyn Monroe have all set sail on this iconic ship.

Journey Behind the Falls and Whitewater Walk

Give your students the full Niagara Falls experience with these two additional attractions.  Journey Behind the Falls takes you behind the natural wonder to witness the spectacle of fully 1/5th of the world’s fresh water crashing into the Niagara basin.   Your students will understand the true meaning of the word “awe” after their visit.

The Whitewater Walk is another unique Niagara Falls experience, which takes your students into the heart of the falls on a boardwalk bordering the most untamed whitewater in the world.

As the waters crash and the mists envelope your students, they’ll develop a new respect for nature.

White Water walk TorontoGo with Junior

Junior Tours has been taking students places since 1967, when a retired teacher had a vision of a professional resource for student travel.

See Toronto and Niagara Falls with Junior.  Contact us.

Once upon a time story telling bench in Philly

Philadelphia Offers Students Lessons in Liberty

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Cheesesteaks and liberty may seem like an unlikely duo, but that’s what you’ll find in Philadelphia.  This city is a piquant blend of street-smart Irish and Italian-American attitude and American history that makes it unlike any other city in the nation.

While the locals may seem a little brusque at first, they’re good folk at heart, fueled by a time-honored craft beer tradition, whiskey and meat dripping with melted cheese, doled out at any number of fine cheesesteak establishments throughout the city.

Philadelphia offers students lessons in liberty, but it also provides a window into a city which drips as much attitude as it does cheesy goodness.

Brotherly love:  Once Upon a Time

This is the city of brotherly love, reflected in its Greek name.  In that spirit, the City of Philadelphia has established the award-winning Once Upon a Time story-telling benches, where trained storytellers relate true tales of this historic city you won’t hear anywhere else.

Lean in to capsule 3-5 minute histories from these master orators.  Students can collect a story-telling flag at the Philadelphia Visitors’ Center and collect a star to stick on it from each of the 13 tale-tellers at 13 historic locations.  These signify the 13 original colonies.

If there’s one thing you can say about Philly attitude is that it’s borne of a love for this place and this program richly reflects that.

1776 – a great year for Philly

It was in 1776 that Philadelphia was the site of the Declaration of Independence’s signing.  But it’s here you’ll also find the fabled Liberty Bell and Betsy Ross’s original, handsewn contribution to our national identity – the American flag.  With its original 13 stars and stripes, it reminds us how far we’ve come since we first set out as a fledgling nation.

Independence Hall is another historical site which figures prominently in the moment the USA came to be.  This is where the Declaration of Independence was signed, where George Washington was commissioned as the first Commander-In-Chief and where our treasured Constitution was drafted.

Pat’s King of Steaks

Established in 1930, there is no cheesesteak joint more iconic than Pat’s.  It’s here that the art of the cheesesteak – which stands as an icon of Philadelphia perhaps as potent as the Liberty Bell – has been perfected.

1930 is also the year that the Olivieri brothers decided to add a twist to their hot dog stand, substituting chopped steak for dogs and adding melted cheese and onions.  Philly folklore relates that a passing cabbie saw what was going on, ordered one and then told everyone he met about the culinary delight he’d just experienced.

The Philly cheesesteak phenomenon was born!  While you can now find this sandwich pretty well everywhere, don’t tell a native you’ve had better than Pat’s anywhere but Philly.

That could earn an errant educator some major Philly attitude!

Go with Junior

Junior Tours has been taking students places for over 50 years.  We’re a small, boutique operation that tailors itineraries to curricular needs and educator vision.

Contact us to experience Philadelphia!

New York City financial district

New York City Tours | New York Things to Do in 2018

By Travel

New York City is a world unto itself.  There’s a lot more to this teeming metropolis than concrete buildings.  New York City is one of the world’s most vibrant urban centers, known worldwide as the home of literary giants, theatrical spectacles, artistic masterworks and high finance.

But New York is also known for its internationally renowned fashion houses and Madison Avenue, the vast green expanse of Central Park and monuments like the Statue of Liberty – a symbol of America’s promise to newcomers.

Let’s look at some off the beaten track tours on offer in New York City to fire your imagination and set the wheels in motion for your upcoming visit.

Financial District and Wall Street

Located in Lower Manhattan, there’s a lot more to this part of town than insider trading, Goldman Sachs and Gordon Gekko.

This is Old New York and one of the coolest parts of the island we call Manhattan.  A visit to the Financial District is a walk in the footsteps of early Dutch settlers whose presence is still seen in local gabled architecture, amidst the towering concrete and glass Manhattan is famous for.

Remember that NYC started out life as New Amsterdam, established by Dutch settlers who arrived in the 1600s.

Visit Wall Street and discover the humble origins from which it gave birth to vast fortunes, even beyond America’s borders.

Finish your explorations at the 911 Memorial and World Trade Center, where students can contemplate the renewal and hope which sprang from the ashes of this brutal terrorist attack.

The Beats and others in Greenwich Village

The winding streets and alleys of Greenwich Village were home to the well-heeled in the 19th Century, but by the mid-20th Century, it became the nexus for the Beat generation and a center of Bohemian non-conformism.

Here’s where Beat greats like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg had their digs, as well as contemporary William S. Burroughs.  Together with the giants of other ages, like Dylan Thomas, Tennessee Williams and James Baldwin, the Beats would gather at the mythical San Remo café to share their lively banter and the rich life of people living on the edge of a changing society.

Not far away author of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott lived in two adjoined brick houses built by her uncle.  From 1867-1870, she was known to sit in a second-story window, as she wrote.  It’s here that she completed her most famous work.

Greenwich Village

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

If you’ve ever heard the song, “Bread and Roses” (a hymn to the rights of working people), then you’ll have a sense of the story of this place – a place where a tremendous tragedy spurred monumental change.

Also located in Greenwich Village, the factory was consumed by fire on March 25, 1911, causing women workers to leap to their deaths.  The incident spurred reform in NYC labor codes and inspired at least two books to be written.

New York City’s secrets are unending.  Experience them with the NYC insiders at Junior Tours.

school field trip

The Keys to Planning Your ‘Tour Team’ (aka Chaperones)

By Travel

Every detail counts when you’re preparing a student tour, but nothing’s more important than selecting the right chaperones.

When word seeps out that you’re planning a tour, you’ll rapidly discover that you’re the most popular teacher around (who could have imagined?).  Parents and colleagues will pop out of the woodwork to volunteer.

Some will offer cookies.

But wannabe chaperones are not always made of the right stuff to be supports for touring students.  That’s why we’ve put together this post sharing the keys to planning your ‘tour team’ (aka chaperones).

Know your policy

If it’s your first time touring with your students, you need to check with administration concerning district policies about chaperones.  How many students per chaperone, for example?  Add one more to that number.

If one of your students falls ill while you’re touring, you’ll still have the policy-mandated number of chaperones, as one stays behind to nurse your sick traveler.

Also, find out if administration requires a staff member to come on tour with you.  Not all school districts have this policy in place, but you need to know before getting started in earnest.  One position may have already been spoken for.

Who are these people?

As we’ve pointed out above, not everyone’s chaperone material.  Specific attributes make effective chaperones.

A key quality you’re looking for in your chaperones is standing in the school community.  Are your candidates engaged and recognized by students and faculty? Are they leaders?  Do they regularly volunteer to help with school events?

You’re seeking adults that your students respect and admire and who have some previous experience traveling with groups of young people.  You’ll also need at least one chaperone with CPR training, as anything can happen on tour and most districts require this.

Once you’ve gotten together your tour team, you need to discern who on that team are the obvious choices to act as your team leads.  There should be two – one female and one male.  These two chaperones should model all the qualities and virtues you seek in the general group.

Think about taking along a “rookie”, so that you have a chaperone in training with you.  It’s always a good idea to nurture resources like future tour team members and leaders.

Preparation

It’s important that team members are kept in the loop about all your tour plans, from itinerary to room assignments to their evolving roles and duties.

The tour team is there to assist with tour needs like gathering paperwork and setting up and administering fundraisers for your trip.  While on tour, every chaperone should be intimately familiar with your expectations and what you need from them, personally.

De-brief with your group at regular, informal meetings to share information and new aspects of the tour and its itinerary.  This creates camaraderie and unity and a tour community which supports the total success of your excursion.

Junior Tours

Junior’s been taking students on exceptional learning adventures for over 50 years.  When you go with Junior, you go with the best.  Contact us.