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Class Trips » 2015 Class Trips

2015 Class Trips

Check this page for updates during the week of September 21-25 to see our Spartans in action, discovering, building and becoming incredible portraits of a TBS graduates both here and on international excursions!

Grade Level


5th/6th Grade

North Carolina Mountain Retreat

7th Grade

Southern NC (Fort Fisher, Ocean) / Science and Social Studies

8th Grade

Atlanta, Birmingham/ Civil Rights 

9th Grade

Mountain Wilderness/Leadership

10th Grade

New Orleans Culture and Service

11th Grade

Boston / American and British History with College Tours

12th Grade

Costa Rica, Spanish Language and Service to Others

The Burlington School's seventh graders in southern NC studying science and social studies at Fort Fisher!
New Orleans Day 1:
An update from New Orleans from one of our trip leaders, Mr. Will Roberson:

"Left school just before 4 AM;
Arrived in New Orleans, enjoyed lunch at Pat O'Brien's, sampled some New Orleans favorites including jambalaya, muffaletta sandwiches and shrimp and grits;
Went on a two-hour tour of the French Quarter;
Ate dinner at Huck Finn's Cafe, where we tried gumbo, shrimp po' boys and beignets!
The highlight was a jazz music performance at Preservation Hall to cap off a long day!"

What an adventure!
Today in Montgomery, Alabama, The Burlington School eighth graders took a tour of Rosa Parks' experience as an activist at The Rosa Parks Museum, discovered William Whitley's 'Hall' and Davis Thornton's 'Theatre' at Troy University, and witnessed an 82-year-old organist hired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself play at Dexter Street Baptist church, where she still plays - sixty years running! Wanda, our spirited tour guide, had plenty of love to share with The Burlington School Spartans!

Days two and three were exceptional for our sophomores in New Orleans! Trip leader and Upper School humanities teacher Will Roberson writes:

"Day two in New Orleans included a couple of very unique Louisiana experiences!

"This morning, we went to City Park and helped clear and mulch several trails as well as help in their rose garden. City Park is one of the largest uban public parks in the nation, 50% larger than New York's Central Park. Like the rest of the city, City Park was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina but is making a strong comeback.

We ate lunch at Johnny's Po-Boys, a world-famous restaurant in the French Quarter.

This afternoon, we drove about thirty minutes south to the bayou and went on a swamp tour. There, we saw many alligators out in their natural habitat. The tour even had a small gator on the boat (with his mouth taped shut, of course!) that we were able to pass around!

On day three, we drove about 45 minutes west of the city to Whitney Plantation, a sugar cane plantation and the only American museum devoted entirely to slavery. When we arrived, we were greeted by John Cummings, a former New Orleans lawyer who has spent over eight million of his own dollars to restore the plantation and add the museum.

As it happens, the BBC was there today working on a piece on the plantation. The crew followed our tour around and even interviewed several of us for their story! We will hope to be able to listen online in the next few weeks.

For more information on Whitney Plantation, visit…/the-only-american-museum-abou…/

After a quick lunch, we headed to KIPP Leadership Primary School, where we got to meet the second grade class of Ms. Rosie Towchik, a 2013 Elon University graduate. After interacting with the kids and sharing information about our school and learning about theirs, our students helped out with many tasks around the school, such as hanging billboards, organizing closets, and setting up rooms for events.

We then took a quick drive to the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina ten years ago.

We returned to the French Quarter for dinner and some shopping and sight-seeing before calling it a night!"

A Costa Rican update:

Yesterday, seniors on the Costa Rican Trip had another great day in San Jose. They ventured to the primary school to help prep and paint. The outdoor scrubbing was cut short because of rain, so students went under a covered walkway to brighten up walls. Seniors took turns painting, doing a mosaic activity, and playing with the children. Trip Leader and Upper School Spanish teacher Dr. Tyler Oakley noted that the children our Spartans have met are quite sweet! In these photos you can see the Costa Rican National Stadium, some senior Spartans in service learning, and the whole group on the bus... ready for a shower after a long day!

Before their last stop at the Center for Civil and Human Rights today in Atlanta, Georgia, The Burlington School eighth graders visited the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 16th Street Baptist Church, and Kelly Ingram Park in Alabama, where they learned of the divisive nature of segregated schools and the tragedies that affected Black families in an era of bombings, lynchings and police brutality in the 1950s and 60s. A passionate church member spoke of the realization of the dream, however - he noted that our TBS students "look like America" and that the wounds of the past were suffered in hopes that schools would one day look like ours. Our students ended the evening discussing myriad characteristics of diversity and the benefits of its presence in their learning environment, more than half of a century later.

Our sophomore's last day in New Orleans was once again jam-packed with service and culture! Trip leader Will Roberson writes:

"We spent the morning at Second Harvest Food Bank, helping to organize and pack many of the donations that have been received. The students brought a high level of energy and got a lot accomplished in just a few hours.

After lunch, we headed to Mardi Gras World, where many of the floats that are used in the Mardi Gras parades are designed and stored. We learned about the history of Mardi Gras and also about how the floats are made, as well as getting a chance to see many props used in prior years.

Unfortunately it became time to return to the airport and head home. Tony Edwards was at RDU to pick us up in the TBS bus and we arrived to the Davis Street campus around 1am!" What a week!

An update from trip leader Katy O'Day on senior activities abroad yesterday in Costa Rica:

"Today took us back to the school Finca San Juan. We had a project to finish and kids to play with! Yesterday, just when we were getting started on the wall opposite the mural our students painted last year, there was a deluge. Thankfully, there was a plan B and we still had enough time to complete it. We were able to sand, scrape, paint (2 coats!), sponge paint and clean up the entire Kindergarten hallway!

We were also back in the classes and on the courts with the students. The students gave us a sweet farewell, including gifts for us to remember them with. We were very excited to leave seven grocery bags full of donations for the students, ranging from pencils and crayons, to Frisbees and jump ropes.

This evening, despite the rain, we headed up to a mirador. Perched high in the mountains it had a beautiful view of the city of San Jose sprawled beneath us. The dinner of traditional Costa Rican food was just the beginning, as to our surprise, there was also traditional dancers. After they treated us to several of the traditional dances from the different areas of Costa Rica, the dance floor was opened for our students! Let's just say, Spartans know how to move!

Tomorrow is an early start as we head to the Pacific Coast. A day of fun...hopefully in the sun! But you is the rainy season!"

The Burlington School eighth graders spent their last day in Atlanta at the Center for Civil and Human Rights! There, they learned how to reduce their impact on human exploitation by choosing to support fair trade items and organizations, as well as honor the contributions and sacrifices past generations have had on their current experiences as young adults in the United States.
After two tough days of service at the Escuela San Juan, Spartan seniors enjoyed a night out at a Mirador, or overlook, with traditional Costa Rican cuisine, folk, and pop dance. The next day we hit the road early for a two hour trip south to Jacó, Puntarenas on the Pacific. The trip was worth it, just like our efforts at the school! We saw macaws, iguanas, and crocodiles along the way. Somehow we were able to soak up some sun during the rainy season. Now our hearts and minds are set on coming home to Burlington. We can't wait to share what we've experienced in Costa Rica! 
-Dr. Tyler Oakley, Upper School Faculty
Some snapshots from the 5th-6th grade trip to the North Carolina Mountains!
More from the seniors' trip to Costa Rica with trip Leaders Mrs. Katy O'Day and Dr. Tyler Oakley!
And the remainder of the photos that were secured from the 9th grade Turtle Island trip. What an experience! View more here: