Travel Programs for Teens

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Close-Up Washington

My 16-year-old daughter is interested in going on the Close-Up Washington trip to DC through her school. Has anyone had experience with this program? Good, bad, worth the money, not worth the money, etc?

On the Close-Up Trip to Washington, DC: My son went last spring and found the trip, as well as the group meetings in preparation for the trip, a very valuable experience. The two teachers who do the program - Mr. Teel and Mr. Collier - are very good. For someone interested in politics and world events, as my son is, it was a terrific learning experience. He would be willing to talk to your daughter if she's considering going. You can e-mail me privately. Miriam

This is in response to the woman who asked about the Close-Up Washington trip. My information is second- and third-hand. Last year I had an adult student whose sixteen year old daughter went (my students are low income and I helped sponsor her daughter so I got a report-back from both mother and daughter). The trip was wonderful for her; she loved the other kids and the activities. From what I heard, it seemed that the trip was well organized, well supervised and interesting. It seemed that they met with interesting people and worked hard. Lynn

Close-Up is a fantastic experience for high school students. I've worked with them for the past 25 years. The cost is high but that would be the case if you were to stay in D.C. on your own. The real advantage is that the students room with students from around the country and are able to appreciate the great differences in political values and attitudes. The staff is energetic and committed to making the week a highlight of the students entire high school experience. I hope your son or daughter is able to go. Feel free to contact me for more information. Sincerely, Steve Teel teelteach[at] Berkeley High School, History Department