The Old City of Philadelphia is rich in historical and cultural heritage and CMS students covered that several times on walking tours.

On March 14 -17, 2019, twenty-seven Camdenton Middle School students and three CMS teachers toured the highlights of one of our nation’s historically rich cities on the Trip to Philadelphia. For ten years, Philadelphia served as the nation’s capital and the decades before and after that served as a cultural hub for American thoughts and influence with its most famous resident, Benjamin Franklin, leading the way. For three days, CMS students were able to walk where the founders walked in an educational tour offering historical, government, and even scientific perspectives. “It is always exciting to see student’s reactions when they see something they recognize from their textbook,” said Matt Hendon, CMS teacher and planner / coordinator of the trip.

The Old City of Philadelphia is rich in historical and cultural heritage and CMS students covered that several times on walking tours. Some of the sites the students visited on their walks through Old City included Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was first debated and the Constitution written; Carpenter’s Hall, home of the First Continental Congress; and the First National Bank. Thankfully for the students, Philadelphia was experiencing its first traces of spring, so spending time in the footsteps of the founding fathers was an educational and pleasant experience. 

The Museum of the American Revolution, National Liberty Museum, and United States Mint are located near Philadelphia’s Old City and were also visited. CMS 8th grade student, Andrew Haas said, “The trip to Philadelphia was a fun and interesting time. One of the most interesting places that we visited was the American Revolution Museum. It is new and has many interactive features. 

Outside of the Old City, the tour offered some of the best Philadelphia has to offer. The students twice visited the celebrated Reading Terminal Market for their fun and varied food options. “One of my favorite parts about the trip was Reading Terminal. We got root beer floats that exploded when you put your straws in them,” said 8th grade student Jeselyn Moehle. Many students were impressed with the sprawling nineteenth century castle-looking structure called Eastern State Penitentiary. A tour both inside and out of the unique location offered insight into not only life in prison during the nineteenth and twentieth century, but offered glimpses into society as a whole and architectural trends of the period. Students experienced hands-on science displays and an IMAX theater show at the Franklin Institute Science Museum.

Of course, some social fun is included on any middle school trip. Day three of the trip started with the students running the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which are featured in the 1976 classic movie “Rocky.” Running up the iconic “Rocky Steps” was a highlight of the trip for many of the students. 

Braden Tate said about the trip, “The Philly trip was an experience I will truly never forget. Whether it was the jam-packed history, the inside jokes, or spending time with friends, it was all about just being able to have freedom and being able to go at my own pace. If I went to Philadelphia by myself, I would never have seen nearly anything that I was able to see." 

Capstone teacher Matt Hendon planned and coordinated the trip and was accompanied by Middle School chaperones Tyler Dinsdale, social studies teacher, and Katie Dwiggins, special services teacher.