Sydney Murray reports:
Cami Albers, 13, recently spent eight days, June 18-25, in Costa Rica with 13 other students learning about animals and performing community service.
The trip was organized by Dale Moberly, a sixth-grade science teacher at Mason Intermediate School, through Discovery Student Adventures. He said he had been researching the trip for a few years and decided to pursue it.
“It’s a great company to work through,” he said.
During the trip, students worked at a wildlife reserve and helped feed and care for the animals. They also took some time for zip lining, repelling and whitewater rafting.
This was Cami’s first time out of the country and her longest time away from home. Cami’s mother, Pam Albers, said she was nervous about her daughter leaving, but believed in Discovery.
“They definitely have a plan and they’ve done this so much that you trust them,” Albers said.
Albers said they couldn’t pass up the trip because Cami hopes to be a marine biologist. Cami said she has always loved animals and wants to work with them.
Cami’s classmate, Faith Scully, also traveled out of the country for the first time and said the trip made her realize there is more to the world than her life at home and learned that many people throughout the world need help.
Faith’s mother, Susan Scully, was also nervous about her daughter traveling, but said she knew Faith was in good hands with Mr. Moberly.
“Mr. Moberly‘s such a phenomenal teacher,” Scully said. “I knew Faith would get a lot out of it because of him.”
Faith liked whitewater rafting and the experience of getting to know a new culture.
“I was amazed at how connected to nature they all are,” she said.
Faith said she would definitely advise other students to go on the trip, even if they don’t have other friends going because the trip was such a bonding experience for her and her classmates.
“I would beyond recommend this,” she said.
Moberly said the trip also gave students a chance to work hard to fund raise and earn the money to travel.
The wildlife reserve didn’t have any electric and poor plumbing, so Moberly said it was interesting to see the students out of their element, but they handled the situation well.
Moberly hopes to make the trip an annual event and is already planning next years’ June 2014 trip.
“I just firmly believe in global travel,” he said. “There’s nothing better than being there.”