Washington, D.C. 2023 Trip: Reflections

On an early Monday morning in June, a group of 22 students and chaperones departed Trinity Hall en route to Washington, D.C. for a culture and service trip around the city. After arriving in northwest D.C., the group joined the staff of a service organization called We Are Family to learn more about the work they do to stop food insecurity for senior citizens around the city. The group then traveled to a senior living community to deliver groceries to the doors of local seniors, a fulfilling service activity that left a lasting impact on both the seniors and the students. The students ended the night with dinner and a visit to the National Mall to see the Washington Monument and the White House. 
The second day of the trip consisted of an educational exploration around the city and at famous museums. Starting with the Smithsonian Museums, the students had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Natural History and the American History Museum. After lunch, the group visited the Holocaust Museum. They ended the night with a “monuments by moonlight” trolley tour on which they saw many iconic landmarks and made stops at the U.S. Capitol, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. 
The last day of the trip was spent on Catholic University’s campus with a final tour around the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The group headed back to New Jersey after two and a half packed days of culture and service around Washington, D.C. 
Hear from the students about their experiences on the trip: 
“I really enjoyed the work we did with the We Are Family organization. I especially enjoyed being able to interact with the people we were helping and getting to see the actual impact that organizations like this have on families. The main thing that impacted me regarding the service we did would have to be what Mark said about people being responsible for the wellbeing of their communities rather than our government systems.” L.D. ‘25
“My favorite parts of the trip were traveling to different monuments and participating in the service project. The service project was a great way to socialize with new people. Additionally, the project also helped me figure out what I truly enjoyed about service: socializing and connecting with others. Going to monuments and landmarks, such as the Holocaust Museum, Smithsonian Museums, the White House, the Capitol, and the Lincoln Memorial also educated me some more about the history, culture, and legacy of our country.” M.P. ‘25
“I liked that we got to see the people we were helping, and I liked that we were in groups because it made me feel more comfortable. Our work helped me realize that there are people in need everywhere and there’s always something we can do to help.” A.V.M. ‘26
“On this trip, one thing that surprised me was how many different things there are to do in DC. From monument tours or beautiful monuments to walking through the Smithsonian museums, there was always something wonderful to do in the city.” L.K. ‘25
“The trolley tour was one of my favorite parts. I feel that I learned a lot about the history of the area and I really enjoyed looking at all of the monuments.” E.P. ‘26 
“I enjoyed nearly everything about our service with We Are Family, but I especially enjoyed being able to interact with all of the people we were helping. It truly makes a difference being able to see how your actions positively affect those around you. It also helped me realize how much we are able to do for others and showed me the true impact that We Are Family had on not just the elderly community in their area, but entire families in need. This service was able to show me how much I am capable of doing for others.” R.R. ‘25
“I loved meeting the people of Washington, D.C. because it made me feel more connected to the city as a whole. Whether it was through service or exploring, it was really rewarding to hear the experiences of those we met. I learned that it is important to be immersed in the culture of a new area when you are visiting a new place. It is extremely important to make sure you are present when touring museums and monuments throughout the city in order to understand the significance of the area.” S.R. ‘25 

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