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Welcome to the inaugural issue of Volume 68 of The Panel! With Volume 67’s edi...read more

Teachers Trautz and Sweeney Lead Hawai’i Trip Over March Break

On the first day of spring break, 12 students headed to Logan Airport for a trip of a lifetime. Chaperoned by Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Trautz, the group circumnavigated the big island of Hawaii, considered the most breathtaking and exciting of all islands. In the mornings, the team would pile into two four-wheel drive vehicles for daily adventures, such as visiting the southern-most point of the United States. Arguably the highlight of the trip was when the group traveled to Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. Upon arriving, Mr. Trautz quickly pointed out an area where Green Sea Turtles usually congregated, and before long the whole group threw on their snorkels and spent the day swimming with these amazing marine creatures. When Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Trautz weren’t cooking hamburgers and hotdogs, the crew headed off to famous eateries like Ken’s House of Pancakes. At this particular breakfast stop, both Duncan Grant and Patrick Connor attempted to eat the massive Sumo Stacker (three large pancakes, three eggs, three slices of bacon, one large ham steak, and around a pound of butter), but they came up just short. Unlike other Belmont Hill trips, the group of 14 spent three nights camping out under the stars: twice in the mountains with the glow of Kilauea Crater in the distance, and once on the beach.

This trip was not only relaxing but educational. The group of students learned about the formation of lava tubes, the history behind the Alii Path, and also about the geologic processes that created the island. The group hiked on an old lava flow and saw a cinder cone formed by volcanic ash.

The Belmont Hill trip gave back to the Big Island by doing a day of community service at Mr. Trautz’ old stomping grounds: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Here, the group planted 651 trees to provide a habitat for the threatened Iiwi.

This adventure around the big island was a breathtaking experience for every student, and even for the teachers who had experienced it many times before, with the only flaw being the trip’s short length.

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