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Most Important Travel Trends for 2019

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You’re already up to your ears, planning for the coming school year and the student trips you intend to enliven classroom learning with.

You’ve got big plans for tying student travel into the curriculum, but are you aware of the most important travel trends for 2019?  Read more in this post about what those are and how they can inform your student travel planning for the coming year.

Winter Wonderlands

Winter travel is more popular than ever in 2019, offering snow enthusiasts the best of the season of cold weather.

Winter sports strike a chord with many young people and the USA features great winter sporting destinations like Aspen.  But you may want to go further afield to the world-famous slopes of Whistler, Canada!

There are so many options for student travel in winter, from snowboarding to skiing, to enjoying a crackling fire in the mountain retreat of your choice.

Going Green

With the environment and sustainability taking center stage, it was only a matter of time before these social concerns asserted themselves in the travel industry.

And green travel is huge for the coming year.  Young people especially are concerned about the state of the world we live in and traveling green is just part of that.  Everywhere, hotels are asking that we re-use guest towels and turn out lights we’re not using.

But eco-tourism offers students additional educational opportunities, which come in the form of trips to nature reserves and national heritage sites which inspire and inform while they’re adventuring the green way.

The Roar of the Greasepaint

Drama teachers will be thrilled to learn that theater tourism is a vital trend in 2019.  Your drama students get an education that’s up close and personal when you take them to famed theatrical destinations like New York City’s Broadway.

But don’t forget Orlando, where Disney’s famed Y.E.S. Program offers students the opportunity to learn more about their thespian aspirations.  Professionally-led workshops beckon in this mecca of theme parks and student adventure.

Taste Bud Travel

Food lovers get a boost in 2019, with food tourism being one of the biggest trends of the year.

The loss of food travel icon Anthony Bourdain may well may have something to do with the uptick in interest in tours which highlight regional and ethnic cuisine.  This is an opportunity not just for those students who have culinary inclinations, but for those who seek to understand the connection between food and culture, as the great Bourdain did.

And with the US being the ethnically-diverse food wonderland it is, the possibilities are endless, from Little Havana in Miami, FL, to mining the ethnic neighborhoods of New York City for its culinary treasures.

Junior Tours

Since 1967, Junior Tours has been supporting hardworking teachers with extraordinary educational trips and tours that live in students’ memories and enliven their studies.

We believe that learning is an adventure and what’s more adventurous than taking learning out into the world?  Discovery, adventure and education create a symbiosis which translates into experiential learning that sticks.

Contact us.

Po' Bpy sandwich from New Orleans

A Quick Guide to New Orleans Food

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A lot of people think of NOLA as a place almost entirely constructed of Mardi Gras beads and the feathers which sprout from the massive costumes of the city’s famed Mardi Gras Indians. But while Mardi Gras is a huge part of the New Orleans cultural experience, the culinary traditions of the city are one of its most vibrant attractions.

Born in the cauldron of one of the USA’s most fascinating and unique places, New Orleans food reflects centuries of cultural influences as diverse as Creole, Cajun, African-American, French, Spanish and even Irish.

In this post, we offer a quick guide to New Orleans food, in some of its most representative dishes.

Po’ Boy.

Now a staple of New Orleans’ culinary scene, this sandwich has a colorful story.  When the city’s streetcar workers went on strike in 1929, they sacrificed their paychecks to get better remuneration and working conditions.  Inventive locals banded together to feed them on the picket line and the Po’ Boy was born.

Filled with fried shrimp or meat and served on crusty baguette, be sure to ask that your Po’ Boy be “dressed”, with tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise and pickles (onions, too if you like them). Get yours at Johnny’s Po’ Boys, in the French Quarter.

Red Beans and Rice.

Some refer to New Orleans as the northernmost Caribbean city and this dish would seem to prove the point.  Flavored with the pork bones from Sunday dinner, this dish is traditionally eaten on Mondays.

Every family and restaurant prepares a different version of this hearty staple of NOLA cuisine and each and every one swears theirs is the only way to cook it.  Get to know a local and wangle an invitation for Monday dinner.

Boudin.

Boudin is a Cajun specialty that’s not to be missed.  This delicious sausage is different from any you’ve ever eaten.  Liberally stuffed with seasoned meat and “dirty” rice (another Cajun favorite), Boudin is a staple all over southern Louisiana.

We recommend that you seek out Boudin at one of the many festivals in New Orleans.  Festival stalls in the city tend to be brimming with great chefs creating classics like this insanely tasty sausage.

Gumbo.

Gumbo’s origins are rooted in Africa.  While those origins have taken on baggage over the centuries, the word itself is West African and means “okra” – frequently used in gumbo.

There are many varieties, but under the various rubrics, variations on the dish abound.  As with everything else in New Orleans, this fragrant dish draws on numerous cultural influences.  When you eat “filé gumbo”, you’re eating a Choctaw Native version, as the dish contains sassafras.  The roux used as a base for this stew hails from France, but NOLA’S version is distinct and worlds away from the original.

Eat it at Dooky Chase, in Uptown New Orleans.

Go with Junior Tours.

Junior Tours has been taking students on extraordinary educational adventures since 1967.

Has a quick guide to New Orleans food whet your appetite?  Contact us for a sample itinerary and quote.

Times Square New York City

Destination Education: What Is a Must-See Place In Your State?

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You’ve been thinking about how you can keep your students engaged this school year by taking them out into the wider world to enrich their classroom learning. That’s great, but where to go?  What’s within range?  No matter which state you’re located in, there are sites and points of interest which are bound to fire young imaginations and help you reach your educational goals.

This post, “Destination education: what is a must-see place in your state?” is about getting creative with your curricular imperatives and taking your students on an adventure in their own state.

Something for everyone.

In all 50 states of the Union, there’s something for everyone.  Regardless of what you’re teaching students, you’ll find a site that answers your learning objectives.

The USA is a nation rich in history, archaeological sites and museums of all kinds.  In every state, there’s a vast array of educational opportunities which fit the bill.

From New York to Orlando – fascination.

Florida is about much more than beaches and the Everglades.  In Florida, with its unique climate and location, there are opportunities to engage in numerous activities and excursions.  Orlando offers fun and learning at Disney World, where students can enjoy everything from performance opportunities to performing arts workshops.

Universal Studios and the Kennedy Space Center can also be found in Orlando, offering educators a wide range of subject interest and extraordinary experiences for students.

New York City is replete with learning opportunities, from the cultural history of its vibrant ethnic neighborhoods, to the Statue of Liberty.  Experience the excitement of Wall Street, or the thrill of live theatre at the world class level in this iconic city that never sleeps.

Art students will thrill to the enormous collections on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).  They’ll be treated to the endless fascination of almost 200,000 pieces of art in its continually evolving repertoire.

It’s easy to find must-see places in every state, from New York City to Orlando, Florida.  In a nation of this size, with attractions that never seem to end, educators are spoiled for choice and students are treated to a smorgasbord of learning.

Junior Tours takes you there.

Since 1967, Junior Tours has been leading students on curated learning adventures which open a window to the world, illuminating classroom education with experiential adventure.

Because we’ve been student travel professionals for 50 years, we offer educators expert knowledge of attractions and sites in the USA, coupled with logistics excellence and premier service.   We know that the USA is an endless source of interest and education for students of all ages.

Whether you’re visiting Tammany Hall in New York to hear its tales of political intrigue, or the traditional, the Magnificent Mile Chicago to explore its exceptional architectural riches, Junior’s extensive educational travel expertise and knowledge of local vendors gets to the must-see places all over this great nation.

If you’re ready to take your students on an unforgettable educational adventure, contact Junior Tours for a free quote and sample itinerary.

group of young people on tour in Washington DC

Make History Come to Life With Junior’s Tailored Itineraries

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At Junior Tours, we know that teachers are some of the most creative people in the world.  We were founded by a teacher in 1967.

Marty Abrams’ creativity led him to believe that teachers needed a resource like ours.  Our tour company creates exceptional educational travel experiences for students that make in-the-field learning fun, fruitful and unforgettable.

Educational tours that make history come to life mean you donning a tri-corn hat in the classroom is just the “teaser”.  When you go with Junior Tours, American history becomes a living thing, as your students explore the sites at which history was made.

It doesn’t get more live than that.

The American story.

There is no story more dramatic in the world’s history than that of the formation of the United States of America.  Forged from an Old World, the story of America is one told far and wide.  Hope, profound change and the indomitable will of a determined people is that story’s foundation.

From the Statue of Liberty’s embrace of the great, huddled masses yearning to live free, to the midnight ride of Paul Revere, our nation’s story is one of endless diversity and struggle.  Not always a pretty picture, the history of America is a living thing that must be experienced to be fully understood.

Educational tours provide your students with access to the broad sweep of the American story, placing their feet on well-trod paths that have led us, as a nation, to lead the world.

Expert knowledge.

For 50 years, Junior Tours has been sharing the American story with teachers and students from all 50 states of the union.  Over that time, we’ve developed key relationships with the highest quality accommodations vendors and transportation providers, wherever we go.

That means your tour group gets the best of everything.  Beyond that, our staff has wide-ranging knowledge of all our destinations which ensures that your group sees pivotal points of historical interest that put them in the heart of the action.

Your educational goals meet our logistical excellence and destination knowledge to make history come to life for your students.

A vision of excellence.

A half-century ago our founder had a vision of excellence.  The result is Junior Tours.  Family owned and operated, we bring educators a partnership which honors their educational vision for students, expanding on it with expert knowledge of all our destinations.

We bring you exceptional service, rooted in the personal touch.  That starts with our personalized itineraries.  At Junior, we’re not a faceless corporation.  We’re a boutique student travel company that offers premium travel experiences for students.

We make educators look as good as they are, by supporting their goals for students and making sure the tours we plan are superlative experiences, right up to the minute you touch down, safe at home.

Best of all, we’re affordable.  All we do is transparent, up front and tailored to help you meet your budget.  We even provide educators and students with fundraising supports.  Contact us to find out more.

Washington DC

Getting the Most From Your 8th Grade Washington, DC Trip

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Students in the 8th grade stand on the cusp of adolescence.  They’re curious and exploratory.  When they’re learning about the history of the USA and this nation’s governmental mechanisms, there’s no place they’d rather be than in Washington, DC.

This is the age at which watching what they’ve been reading about in the schoolroom come to life before their eyes is a magical experience.  What they’ve only imagined is suddenly laid out before them.

Getting the most from your 8th grade Washington, DC trip means getting inside your students’ heads.  As an educator, you do something like that every day.  But when you take your kids out into the field, you want to feature maximum impact for optimal experiential value.

Following are Junior Tours’ top Washington, DC attractions.

The Smithsonian Museums.

Smithsonian history museum in Washington DCThe diversity of experience available in the magisterial collections at the Smithsonian is tailor made for the curious minds of the 8th graders.  This is the world’s largest educational resource, research center and collection of museums.

With over 154 million unique artifacts on display, students need you to guide them to the areas of this massive complex that best meet your goals as an educator.  What better place could there be to instill in your students a love of preserving and examining the historical record?

With everything from African Art to Archie Bunker’s chair on display, the Smithsonian has something for everyone.

Library of Congress.

Just telling your students that this famous library houses 540 miles of shelves with 90 million unique items on them is bound to leave them speechless.  But just wait until they hear the library’s fascinating story, as they walk through it.

This is hallowed ground and one of the cradles of nascent American government.  Established in 1800 with reference books and maps imported from England, everything in the library was subsequently used by the British as kindling to burn down the Capitol, only 14 years after it opened as a congressional resource.

It was Thomas Jefferson himself who rebuilt the collection, selling his personal collection of books to make it happen.

Lincoln’s footsteps.

Lincoln statue in Washington DCShare the awe with your students, as they stand in the shadow of Abraham Lincoln, one of the USA’s greatest Presidents.  As they’re dwarfed by the sheer size of the 19-foot-tall statue, they’ll feel part of something greater than themselves as they read the words of the Gettysburg Address, inscribed there.

Lincoln Park and Lincoln’s Cottage are also here in Washington, DC, allowing your students the unforgettable experience of walking in the footsteps of one of America’s most beloved and celebrated leaders.

Let Junior take you there.

Getting the most from your 8th grade Washington, DC trip gets even easier when you’ve got Junior Tours leading the way.

Since 1967, we’ve been creating educationally rich travel experiences for students like yours.  As we celebrate our 50th year in the student tour sector, we’re proud to offer you logistical excellence and superior service that makes Washington, DC unforgettable.

Contact us for a sample itinerary and quote.

Washington DC

Inside The Beltway: Educational Travel Destinations In Washington, DC

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There are no halls of power more potent than those of our nation’s capital – Washington, DC. From the Capitol building, where the laws of our nation have their genesis, to the White House, this is the global hub of the world’s political affairs.

Students with an interest in political life, law and history will all find a rich storehouse of the American Experience Inside the Beltway, following in the footsteps of giants like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

A towering shadow.

It might well be said that every modern President stands in the shadow of Abraham Lincoln.  His achievements are lavishly memorialized in Washington, DC.  From the massive memorial on which are engraved his iconic words at Gettysburg, to the Lincoln Cottage, where President Lincoln lived for most of the Civil War, Washington, DC is where students can experience Lincoln’s legacy firsthand.

Lincoln Park was created by freed slaves in memory of Abraham Lincoln, led by Charlotte Scott of Virginia.  The Ford Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth and the Peterson House, where he drew his final breath, are all here for students to experience.

In Washington, DC, the Lincoln legacy looms large, living and history-changing.

Civil Rights beacons.

Cedar Hill is where legendary civil rights leader Frederick Douglass presided over his life long struggle to bring freedom to the oppressed, excluded and downtrodden.  A leader in the late 19th Century in the movement to abolish slavery, Douglass’s tireless efforts and a life of selfless service can be experienced here.

Martin Luther King Jr. is internationally known as the beacon of the 1960s Civil Rights movement in America.  His memorial stands as a tribute to his resilience in the face of repeated attacks on he and his family and the 20 incarcerations he suffered due to his struggles.

Assassinated in Memphis, TN, he was never to see the promised land he sought to lead his people to.  He is remembered for his application of non-violent resistance to effect profound change.

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue the Capitol and SCOTUS.

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the address of the most famous and fascinating residence on the planet.  The White House has been home to US Presidents since the time of its first occupant, John Adams, in 1800.

The White House Visitors’ Center provides students with an overview of the architecture, furnishings and first families.  Students will also learn about White House protocol in its relationships with international leaders and the media.

Started in 1793, the US Capitol’s dome is a symbol of American legislative power.  It’s here that representatives from all over the United States convene to create our matrix of federal laws, balanced by the mediation of the Supreme Court, when challenged.

Visits to these institutional landmarks are an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the political and legislative life of their nation and to consider the complex interplay of power that determines how they’ll live.

Junior Tours invites your student group to experience Washington, DC’s grandeur with a tailored student trip.  Contact us for more.

happy students taking picture in Paris

We Raise the Bar On Student Travel and Keep the Cost Low

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In 1967, former teacher Marty Abrams had a vision, so he created a student tour company to provide a new dimension in educational student travel experiences. Today, Marty’s vision is Junior Tours.  We raise the bar on student travel and keep the cost low, so all kinds of students can enjoy premium student travel which illuminates and inspires.

Educators from all over the USA return year after year to Junior Tours to give their students something special – fully customized tours that take them on educational adventures into the heart of America and beyond.

Proudly family-owned.

Junior Tours is proud to be a family-owned company.  Run by tour professionals, you’ll feel like part of the family from your first call, answered by a living, breathing person and not an automated system.

All our tours are private.  Your group won’t find you traveling with people you don’t know, as you might with some of the chain tour companies.  We know that’s important to your student travel group, so we offer you individualized attention and a fully customized experience.

You choose your dates.  Your itinerary is crafted from specific learning goals and the group’s interest.  At Junior we make education fun, ensuring that everyone gets a little of what they’re craving while you’re out on the road.

You’re never alone with Junior.

With Junior Tours, your group gets 24/7 attention from one of our professional Tour Guides.  They don’t just jump on and jump off.  They’re with you all the way, making sure you get the most from your trip and all the attractions and sites you’re visiting.

All our tour planners and guides have extensive knowledge of the destinations they accompany you to.  That means you get an insider’s eye view that’s detailed and insightful.

No fine print.

Junior Tours offers you a straightforward planning and costing process that doesn’t hide line items in the fine print.  We lay it all out for you in simple terms that gives you a forthright, transparent pricing overview.

We have a payment plan that’s realistic and modest, allowing students to pay in installments, as your fundraising machine ramps up in anticipation of your trip.

With affordable pricing that’s within everyone’s reach, Junior Tours also offers you a range of fundraising supports to ensure that everyone interested in coming on your trip can.  Our resources even show you how to set up a website for your trip to keep students in the loop.

The Junior Tours edge.

As a boutique student travel company, we bring your student trip the very best in personalized planning and on-tour support.  With Junior Tours, your students enjoy an unforgettable experience of your educational theme.

From the arts to history, to high finance and fashion, we offer itineraries that place your students at the heart of the chosen subject.  Inspiration abounds, as your students experience a taste of sectors in which they may one day find their life’s vocations.

Contact us to request a free quote and sample itinerary.

Statue of Liberty in New York City

Inspiration Awaits With Education Travel Destinations In New York City

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There’s no place on earth like the Big Apple.  With its history as a point of entry for new Americans coming to follow their dreams of freedom, New York City’s iconic status is globally recognized.

A city of such diversity is a rare gem and New York City hits all the numbers.  Whether you students are fascinated by the live theater traditions of Broadway, or the financial intrigue of Wall Street, there is something here to capture the imagination of everyone.

The Statue of Liberty looms over the city’s harbor as a symbol of new beginnings in the sheltering arms of the USA.  The rich cultural traditions brought here from the four corners of the earth live on in the teeming boroughs of New York City.  There is no world culture that hasn’t found a home in her concrete warrens.

Workshops and more.

Budding actors, singers and musicians will find much to be inspired by in New York City.  With its enormous wealth of talented experts, students can enjoy workshops in vocal training, improvisation and musical theater.  Walking in the footsteps of performers like Debbie Allen and Chita Rivera, their dreams take shape in the hands of renowned professionals.

They can even find themselves at a Broadway show, as some of the greatest actors alive inspire them with their virtuosity.

A fashion, art and design capital.

New York City is the spiritual home of fashionistas everywhere, with 5th Avenue’s glamour beckoning.  Fashion and design enthusiasts find the best that fashion offers in the glittering shops here.  A trip to a fashion design showroom reveals the tricks of the trade to young, aspiring designers.  A visit to the garment district’s bustle promises a singular experience.

Art and design admirers are treated to one of the most famous museums in the world, at the Museum of Modern Art.  With the most acclaimed collection of modern art in existence, the MOMA has been a New York City tradition since 1929.

Students with an interest in architecture will thrill to the beauty of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum and its stunning collections of modern art.

History and Culture.

The stories of struggle and victory can practically be heard whispering in the walls at Ellis Island, where so many came to pursue a new life among us.  New York City is where many of these seekers established thriving ethnic enclaves which your students can explore with walking tours of traditional neighbourhoods like Little Italy.

The United Nations had stood as a mediating force in the world since its inception in 1945.  Its 18-acre site in Manhattan is an exercise in architectural and artistic diversity in the service of international cooperation.  It’s here that one can view the famed “Gattica” by Pablo Picasso.

A world in a city.

Your students will find a thumbnail of the world in New York City.  Its layers of history, culture, art and entertainment make it a learning environment like no another.

Contact Junior Tours for an outstanding educational experience in New York City.

mother and a boy traveling together

Teach Children To Be Travelers, Not Just Tourists

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Most of us know that travel and tourism are two different animals.  Travelers; those who travel go forth into the world not just to see it, but to feel and experience it.  Tourists, on the other hand, tend to stick to the beaten path.  They may want to experience their destinations, but not necessarily in a profound way.  There’s little depth to the beaten track, and there’s little in the way of transformational contact with the cultures being encountered.

Were that not the case, the world would undoubtedly be a much better place.  It would be filled with people who feel connected to other cultures and sympathetic to the differences that make us fascinating humans, living on a small planet.

Alas, there are too many tourists and not enough travelers.  But if you’re a thoughtful person and you have children, part of your mission as a parent is to change that reality.  When you teach children to be travelers, not just tourists, what you’re really doing is creating a better world, in which understanding is the norm, not the exception.

Getting off the tourist track.

To travel mindfully, getting off the tourist track is your first order of business.  That means avoiding anything even remotely redolent of package tours and all-inclusive resorts.  To be a traveler and not a tourist, you need to know about where you’re going beyond the usual guidebooks.

Sit down and do your homework, starting with where you plan to stay.  Finding the right place to stay depends on what you’re hoping to teach children while you’re traveling.  Do you want them to see the great museums at your destination, or encounter unique cultural realities?  Are you looking for an immersive experience that includes encountering the food and music of your destination?

Seek out areas which offer the kind of experiences you want your children to have while you’re traveling.  That’s not necessarily the most central area, but it’s certainly one which offers access.  That access is an experience itself, as public transit can be the source of memorable encounters – encounters that change a child’s life and perspectives.

Speaking the language.

Even if you’re traveling within the USA, this country is home to many distinct cultural settings which you’ll want to explore.  If you’re going to New Orleans, for example, you’ll want to know what “lagniappe” (something extra) means.

But speaking the language goes beyond differences in the way people speak.  It extends to customs and manners.  What’s acceptable at home may not be acceptable where you’re going.  Manners and unwritten behavioral rules exist everywhere.  Try to find out what those are at your destination before you go.  Instead of culture shock, you’ll experience cultural contact.

Junior Tours.

Junior Tours has been teaching children to be travelers, not just tourists since 1967.  Junior Tours was founded by a teacher whose greatest desire was to do just that.  Ever since, we’ve been offering children unique educational tours that help them understand the world around them by learning from it.

Contact us to find out more.

happy group of students in the woods

Top Summer Camp Educational Trips In 2017

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Summer’s here!  But just because the sun is high in the sky, it doesn’t mean kids can’t continue learning, while enjoying the experience.  At Junior Tours, we’ve been creating trips and excursions that make education fun since 1967, including summer camp.

Our top summer camp educational trips in 2017 is a window into some of what’s available to young people keen to continue learning over the summer months.  There’s something for everyone and the diversity of experience will amaze you.

Language immersion.

Summertime keeners interested in learning a new language will be thrilled to know there’s a summer camp dedicated to just that.  With the world becoming increasingly small, young people who speak more than one language enjoy greater opportunities.

Concordia Language Villages offer 1 week and 6 week options for immersion learning, through the end of August.  Based in Moorhead, MN, students are treated to cultural as well as linguistic experiences.  Issued passports, camper are also given names which reflect the language they’re learning.

Kids can choose immersion in 15 languages, from Japanese to Arabic.

For budding diplomats.

In the Catskill Mountains, kids can learn diplomatic skills at the model United Nations camp.  With 3 1-week sessions offered between July 21 and August 10, students interact with professors and peace corps volunteers to learn about international relations and how they’re effectively managed.

With a different theme each week, students will connect with complex themes in diplomacy, from combating cyber warfare to global access to medical care.

Participants also enjoy a simulation of the World Trade Organization, in which such weighty matters are discussed on the international level.

Game and app design for the geeks.

Geek is the new mogul and kids with their dreams set on the world of coding and computing will fit right in at the National Computer Camps.

On three campuses located in Fairfield, CT, Atlanta, GA and Cleveland, OH, classes take place on various dates during the month of July.  Campers will learn how to produce 2D and 3D games, design an app for the Android mobile device and create digital videos.

Coding certification courses are also available for older, or more computer savvy campers.

Space – the final frontier.

Space Camp in Huntsville, AL runs from the beginning of June through the end of August.  Among it’s alumni are NASA astronauts.

Drawing on STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math), students aged 9 to 18 learn to apply these within the context of the space program, with practical hands-on experiences.  They’ll also have an opportunity to apply their analytical skills to space mission findings and participate in simulations of mission control.

Junior Tours creates outstanding educational experiences for students.  Founded by a teacher, we’re committed to combining learning with fun, offering student groups exceptional trips and tours, tailored to educator vision.

These top summer camp educational trips in 2017 express some of the best learning opportunities available at US summer camps, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg.  Contact us.  Junior Tours makes the world your classroom.