By Rachel Price. The process all began back at the end of junior year. I had just gotten elected as Senior Class President and with that title came the job (among many others) to plan a trip that could include the entire senior class of 109. Dr. Moore gave me a challenge that no other presidents had before. I had to find a way to make the trip a non-school function. That meant the school would not collect money, endorse it, or be liable for it. Basically, it could potentially be 109 friends just hanging out in California for a few days, put together by yours truly–Rachel Price, Senior Class President. That was a lot of pressure and work to put on the shoulders of a 17-year-old, but I was determined to give my friends the best senior trip they could have. Seniors in the past have gone to Disneyland, but I wanted to do something different. I felt strongly that an amusement park angled towards older people would be more appropriate for a few teenagers about to graduate. Thankfully, the majority of my senior peers agreed with me, and I set 6 Flags Magic Mountain as our destination. Planning the rest of the trip was fairly simple; we just had to decide if there was anything specific we wanted to do, or if we could just please the majority and go to Santa Monica Pier, a fun beach and boardwalk area that we could enjoy for hours.
I started by looking for ways that the seniors could pay for the trip. First I thought, maybe I could open a bank account, but then I discovered I have to be a legal adult to get a bank account that I was in charge of instead of a high school checking account that my parents manage. So that was crossed off the list. Then I thought, well maybe we could use one of the parent chaperone’s bank account, but there was so much liability within that option that I knew there would be a bad outcome. Throughout all of this, I was researching different bus companies and getting quotes from them, and looking for nice, safe, affordable hotels that we could spend the night at and asking for basic prices to find out a rough price. The last bad idea I had was for everyone to give me the money. It was a last resort that I knew would be very difficult to make work. My parents suggested a travel agency to handle all our money and planning because usually travel agencies can get discounts from hotels and bus companies if they’ve worked with them before.
This great suggestion was exactly what I needed to set up the trip. I asked Dr. Moore which travel agency they use for the school tours, and I decided to hire them for our trip. They were very kind and accommodating to what we had planned together as a class. By far, the hardest part of organizing this trip was getting everyone to pay the money by the deadline. Money is always a touchy subject, so I didn’t want to bother anyone too much, but there comes a point when I really had to be annoying. I must’ve texted the group chat, “ don’t forget to pay!” at least 30 times. As of right now, we have 70 participants, including the 5 chaperones we’re bringing along. The whole seven months since August, I have been communicating with Chris Meeker, the travel agent, who has been so patient and helpful. Now, the trip is finally coming together in a way I never could have imagined. I am so excited and grateful for all the help I’ve received from my peers, parents and teachers. This trip will be by far the best trip I’ve ever managed, and probably the last trip I’ll manage!